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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Matthew 1:1

The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - David;   Genealogy;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Joseph;   Scofield Reference Index - Christ;   Matthew;   Thompson Chain Reference - Christ;   Divinity-Humanity;   Genealogies of Christ;   Humanity, Christ's;   Names;   Son;   Titles and Names;   The Topic Concordance - Jesus Christ;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Genealogies;   Human Nature of Christ, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Book;   Genealogy;   Generation;   Joseph;   Mary;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Boaz;   Joseph the husband of mary;   Matthew, gospel of;   Messiah;   Moab;   Rahab;   Ruth;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Abraham;   Adam, the Second;   David;   Genesis, Theology of;   King, Christ as;   Matthew, Theology of;   Worship;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Nativity of Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jesus;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Genealogy of Jesus Christ;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ancestors;   Camel;   David;   Dreams;   Genealogies;   Incarnation;   Jesus Christ;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   Matthew, the Gospel of;   Messiah;   Virgin, Virgin Birth;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - English Versions;   Generation;   Mss;   Text of the New Testament;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Book (2);   David;   David ;   Eschatology (2);   Generation;   Jesus ;   Joseph (2);   King (2);   Manuscripts;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Names and Titles of Christ;   Nationality;   Numbers;   People ;   Preaching Christ;   Sermon on the Mount;   Son of David;   Writing;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Rahab;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Book;   Genealogy;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Christ;   Generation;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Reign of the Judges;   Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Abraham;   Genealogy;   Generation;   Genesis;   Matthew, the Gospel of;   Papyrus;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;   Jesus of Nazareth;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for August 4;  
Unselected Authors

Adam Clarke Commentary

-Usherian year of the World, 4000.

-Alexandrian year of the World, 5498.

-Antiochian year of the World, 5488.

-Constantinopolitan AEra of the World, 5504.

-Year of the Julian Period, 4709.

-AEra of the Seleucidae, 308.

-Year before the vulgar AEra of Christ, 5.

-Year of the CXCIII. Olympiad, 4.

-Year of the building of Rome, 749.

-Year of the Emperor Augustus, i.e. from the battle of Actium, 26.

-Consuls, Augustus XII. and Lucius Cornelius Sulla.

-Year of the Paschal Cycle or Dionysian Period, 530.

-Year of the Solar Cycle, 5.

-Year of the Lunar Cycle, 13.

-Dominical Letters, B A.

CHAPTER I.

The genealogy of Christ divided into three classes of fourteen

generations each: The first fourteen, from Abraham to David,

2-6.

The second fourteen, from Solomon to Jechonias, 7-10.

The third fourteen, from Jechonias to Christ, 11-16.

The sum of these generations, 17.

Christ is conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin

Mary, when she was espoused to Joseph, 18.

Joseph's anxiety and doubts are removed by the ministry of an

Angel, 19, 20;

by whom the child is named JESUS, 21.

The fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah relative to this,

22, 23.

Joseph takes home his wife, Mary, and Christ is born, 24, 25.

NOTES ON CHAP. I.

Verse Matthew 1:1. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ — I suppose these words to have been the original title to this Gospel; and that they signify, according to the Hebrew Phraseology, not only the account of the genealogy of Christ, as detailed below, but the history of his birth, acts, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension.

The phrase, book of the generation, ספר תולדות sepher toledoth, is frequent in the Jewish writings, and is translated by the Septuagint, βιβλος γενεσεως, as here, by the evangelist; and regularly conveys the meaning given to it above; e. g. This is the book of the generations of Adam, Genesis 5:1. That is, the account of the life of Adam and certain of his immediate descendants. Again. These are the generations of Jacob, Genesis 37:2. That is, the account or history of Jacob, his son Joseph, and the other remarkable branches of the family. And again. These are the generations of Aaron and Moses, Numbers 3:1. That is, the history of the life and acts of these persons, and some of their immediate descendants. The same form of expression is also used, Genesis 2:4, when giving the history of the creation of heaven and earth.

Some have translated βιβλος γενεσεως, The book of the genealogy; and consider it the title of this chapter only; but the former opinion seems better founded.

Jesus Christ — See on Matthew 1:16; Matthew 1:21.

The son of David, the son of Abraham — No person ever born could boast, in a direct line, a more illustrious ancestry than Jesus Christ. Among his progenitors, the regal, sacerdotal, and prophetic offices, existed in all their glory and splendour. DAVID, the most renowned of sovereigns, was king and prophet: ABRAHAM, the most perfect character in all antiquity, whether sacred or profane, was priest and prophet: but the three offices were never united except in the person of Christ; he alone was prophet, priest, and king; and possessed and executed these offices in such a supereminent degree as no human being ever did, or ever could do. As the principal business of the prophet was to make known the will of God to men, according to certain partial communications received from Heaven; so Jesus, who lay in the bosom of the Father, and who was intimately and thoroughly acquainted with all the mysteries of the eternal world, came to declare the Divine nature and its counsels to mankind; see John 1:18. As the business of the priest was to offer sacrifices to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people; so Christ was constituted a high priest, to make, by the sacrifice of himself, an atonement for the sins of the whole world; see 1 John 2:2, and the whole Epistle to the Hebrews. As the office of king was to reign over, protect, and defend the people committed to his care by the Divine Providence; so Christ is set as a king upon Sion, having the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, Psalms 2:6; Psalms 2:8, c. Of the righteousness, peace, and increase of whose government, there shall be no end, Isaiah 9:7. This three-fold office, Christ executes not only in a general sense, in the world at large but, in a particular sense, in every Christian soul. He is first a prophet, to teach the heart of man the will of God; to convict the conscience of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and fully to illustrate the way of salvation. He is next a priest, to apply that atonement to the guilty conscience, the necessity of which, as a prophet, he had previously made known. And lastly, as a king, he leads captivity captive, binds and casts out the strong man armed, spoils his goods, extends the sway of the sceptre of righteousness, subdues and destroys sin, and reigns Lord over all the powers and faculties of the human soul; so that AS sin reigned unto death, EVEN so does grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21.

It is remarkable, that the evangelist names David before Abraham, though the latter was many generations older: the reason seems to be this, that David was not only the most illustrious of our Lord's predecessors, as being both king and prophet; but because that promise, which at first was given to Abraham, and afterwards, through successive generations, confirmed to the Jewish people, was at last determined and restricted to the family of David. Son of David, was an epithet by which the Messiah was afterwards known among the Jews; and, under this title, they were led to expect him by prophetic authority. See Psalms 89:3-4; Psalms 132:10, Psalms 132:11, compared with Acts 13:23, and Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5. Christ was prophesied of under the very name of David. See Ezekiel 34:23-24; Ezekiel 37:24-25.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/matthew-1.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

6. Genealogies of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38)

The genealogies recorded by Matthew and Luke show how the birth of Jesus fulfilled the promises made to Abraham (Genesis 12:2-3; Genesis 22:18). Matthew, writing for the Jews, begins his genealogy with Abraham, father of the Jewish race (Matthew 1:1-2a). Luke, writing for non-Jews, traces Jesus’ genealogy back past Abraham to Adam, to emphasize Jesus’ union with the whole human race (Luke 3:34-38).

Between Abraham and David the two genealogies are the same (Matthew 1:2-6a; Luke 3:32-34a), but between David and Jesus they are different, as they follow two lines of descent that started with David and came together in Jesus (Matthew 1:6-16; Luke 3:23-31).

Matthew’s genealogy shows that Jesus had legal right to the throne of David, for he was in the royal line of descent that came through Solomon and other kings of Judah down to Joseph. Jesus therefore fulfilled the promise that the Messiah would be one of David’s royal descendants (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Jeremiah 23:5). But both writers point out that though Joseph was Jesus’ legal father he was not his natural father (Matthew 1:16; Luke 3:23).

The genealogies do not necessarily list every person in the line of descent. As is often the case, they may be selective and stylized, to make them fit a simple scheme. Matthew, for example, omits some names to produce an arrangement of three sets of fourteen (Matthew 1:17).

Luke’s genealogy gives further proof that Jesus was descended from David, by tracing his ancestry through the line of another of David’s sons, Nathan. This may represent another line of descent from David to Joseph, or it may represent the line of descent from David to Mary (but Mary’s name is not shown, since the genealogies record only the names of the males). If the latter is the case, Joseph was the ‘son’ of Heli only because of his marriage to Mary (i.e. Mary was the daughter of Heli, Joseph the son-in-law). It is possible that Mary’s mother was from the tribe of Levi and descended from Aaron (cf. Luke 1:5,Luke 1:36) and her father from the tribe of Judah and descended from David (cf. Luke 1:32,Luke 1:69).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/matthew-1.html. 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

DIVISION I

MATT. 1

THE ANCESTRY AND BIRTH OF CHRIST; THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD

Matthew 1:1-17

This genealogy is quite unlike that in Luke 3. Labored efforts to reconcile the two generally lead to suppositions concerning Levirate marriages in which the issue had two fathers (the legal and the actual), and also to various renditions of the same name, and other devices pressed into service for the purpose of achieving a "harmony"! Perhaps the best, and certainly the simplest, reconciliation of these two lists is to view Matthew's account as the ancestry of Joseph, and Luke's genealogy as the record of Mary's ancestry. Two separate genealogies of Jesus Christ are absolutely necessary in the establishment of the Christ, first as the blood descendant of David, and secondly, as the legal heir to the royal throne of the Hebrews. Matthew shows Christ as the legal heir to the throne by tracing his ancestry down through the royal line of the kings of Israel.

Luke's genealogy is utterly different, because it is not concerned with title to a throne but with the blood ancestry of Jesus. The only real difficulty in this view is the statement in Luke 3:23 that Joseph is the "son of Heli." R. A. Torrey stated that "Joseph's name is introduced into this place instead of Mary's, he being Mary's husband. Heli was Joseph's father-in-law; and so Joseph was called "the son of Heli." While Joseph was son-in-law of Heli, he was, according to the flesh, actually the son of Jacob (Matthew 1:16).[11] This type of double entry was not confusing to the Jews, for a woman's name did not usually stand in the tables of genealogy. The term "son" as used in such tables actually had three different meanings: (1) son by actual birth; (2) son-in-law; and (3) son by creation, as in the case of Adam (Luke 3:38).

There is no evidence that the names Shealtiel and Zerubbabel in the two lists refer to the same individuals. It would be just as reasonable to suppose that the two Eliakims refer to the same man. The Jews, as do all peoples, used the same names over and over. There are two each of the following names in the Luke account of the 76 generations from Christ to Adam: Cainan, Matthat, Melchi, Levi, Joseph, Mattathias, and Jesus!

The two genealogies of Jesus also clear up another point. The prophecy in Jeremiah 22:30 forbade any descendant of Jechoniah ever to sit upon the throne of David. Therefore, if Jesus had actually been the literal fleshly descendant of "Coniah," as he was called, it would have countermanded his claim upon the throne due to the prophecy, Joseph, Jesus' foster father, however, could lawfully transfer his right to the throne to his legal son, Jesus Christ! Thus, Jesus was the legal son with right to the throne of David through Jechoniah, and he was the literal blood-son of David through Nathan, the ancestor of Mary, Jesus' mother. How marvelous are the ways of the Lord. Again, from Torrey, "As we study these two genealogies, we find that so far from constituting a reason for doubting the accuracy of the Bible, they are rather a confirmation of the minutest accuracy of that Book ... We need no longer stumble over the fact of there being two genealogies, but discover and rejoice in the deep meaning of the fact that there are two."[12]

[11] R. A. Torrey, Difficulties in the Bible (Westwood, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1907), p. 102.

[12] Ibid., p. 103.

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1)

The book of the generation. The true meaning of this appears in a glance at various renditions in some of the versions and translations: "The book of the origin of Jesus Christ"[13] (Catholic); "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ" (RSV);[14] "Register of the lineage of Jesus Christ" (Emphatic Diaglott);[15] "The ancestry of Jesus Christ" (Goodspeed);[16] "The family tree of Jesus Christ" (Williams);[17] "The birth roll of Christ" (Moffatt).[18]

The son of David. Jesus was the literal son of David through Mary, a descendant of Nathan, one of David's sons, as in Luke's genealogy. Jesus was the legal son and heir of David through King Solomon as in Matthew's genealogy. He was also the antitypical son of David in that many parallels exist between the life of our Lord and that of King David. Both were born in Bethlehem. David's struggle with Goliath answers to Christ's struggle with Satan. In both cases, it was the enemy's own weapon which was used to destroy him (Hebrews 2:14). Both David and Christ were sent by their father with a message to the brethren. Both were rejected. David was, in a sense, a mediator between the lines of Israel and the Philistines; Christ is the one Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). Matthew considered it of great importance to identify Jesus Christ as the Son of David, a popular designation for the Messiah; and he does so in the very first verse of his gospel.

The son of Abraham. Jesus was the "son of Abraham" in the following senses: (1) He was the "seed" of promise (Galatians 3:16). (2) He was the legal son and heir through Isaac, son of the free woman, as distinguished from Ishmael, son of the slave woman. (3) He was literally descended from Abraham through Mary and her ancestors. (4) He was the antitype of Isaac. As in the case of David, there are also sharp contrasts between the life of Abraham and that of Christ. Abraham gave up his wife to Abimelech in order to procure his own safety, or so he thought; but Jesus gave himself up to die for his bride, the church (Genesis 20:2 and Ephesians 5:25).

[13] Roman Catholic Testament.

[14] Revised Standard Version.

[15] Emphatic Diaglott.

[16] Goodspeed, New Testament in Modern Speech.

[17] Williams, The New Testament.

[18] Moffatt, The New Testament.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/matthew-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The book of the generation - This is the proper title of the chapter. It is the same as to say, “the account of the ancestry or family, or the genealogical table of Jesus Christ.” The phrase is common in Jewish writings. Compare Genesis 5:1. “This is the book of the generations of Adam,” i. e., the genealogical table of the family or descendants of Adam. See also Genesis 6:9. The Jews, moreover, as we do, kept such tables of their own families. and it is probable that this was copied from the record of the family of Joseph.

Jesus - See the notes at Matthew 1:21.

Christ - The word “Christ” is a Greek word, Χριστός Christos, signifying “anointed.” The Hebrew word, משׁיח mâshı̂yach, signifying the same is “Messiah.” Hence, Jesus is called either the Messiah, or the Christ, meaning the same thing. The Jews speak of the Messiah; Christians speak of him as the Christ. In ancient times, when kings and priests were set apart to their office, they were anointed with oil, Leviticus 4:3; Leviticus 6:20; Exodus 28:41; Exodus 29:7; 1Sa 9:16; 1 Samuel 15:1; 2 Samuel 23:1. To anoint, therefore, means often the same as to consecrate, or to set apart to an office. Hence, those thus set apart are said to be anointed, or to be the anointed of God. It is for this reason that the name is given to the Lord Jesus. Compare the notes at Daniel 9:24. He was set apart by God to be the King, and High Priest, and Prophet of his people. Anointing with oil was, moreover, supposed to be emblematic of the influences of the Holy Spirit; and since God gave him the Spirit without measure John 3:34, so he is especially called “the Anointed of God.”

The Son of David - The word “son” among the Jews had a great variety of significations. It means literally a son; then a grandson; a descendant: an adopted son; a disciple, or one who is an object of tender affection one who is to us as a son. In this place it means a descendant of David; or one who was of the family of David. It was important to trace the genealogy of Jesus up to David, because the promise had been made that the Messiah should be of his family, and all the Jews expected that it would be so. It would be impossible, therefore, to convince a Jew that Jesus was the Messiah, unless it could be shown that he was descended from David. See Jeremiah 23:5; Psalms 132:10-11, compared with Acts 13:23, and John 7:42.

The son of Abraham - The descendant of Abraham. The promise was made to Abraham also. See Genesis 12:3; Genesis 21:12; compare Hebrews 11:13; Galatians 3:16. The Jews expected that the Messiah would be descended from him; and it was important, therefore, to trace the genealogy up to him also. Though Jesus was of humble birth, yet he was descended from most illustrious ancestors. Abraham, the father of the faithful - “the beauteous model of an Eastern prince,” and David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, the conqueror, the magnificent and victorious leader of the people of God, were both among his ancestors. From these two persons, the most eminent for piety, and the most renowned for their excellencies of all the people of antiquity, sacred or profane, the Lord Jesus was descended; and though his birth and life were humble, yet they who regard an illustrious descent as of value, may find here all that is to be admired in piety, purity, patriotism, splendor, dignity, and renown.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-1.html. 1870.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

As all are not agreed about these two genealogies, which are given by Matthew and Luke, we must first see whether both trace the genealogy of Christ from Joseph, or whether Matthew only traces it from Joseph, and Luke from Mary. Those who are of this latter opinion have a plausible ground for their distinction in the diversity of the names: and certainly, at first sight, nothing seems more improbable than that Matthew and Luke, who differ so widely from each other, give one and the same genealogy. For from David to Salathiel, and again from Zerubbabel till Joseph, the names are totally different.

Again, it is alleged, that it would have been idle to bestow so great pains on a thing of no use, in relating a second time the genealogy of Joseph, who after all was not the father of Christ. “Why this repetition,” say they, “which proves nothing that contributes much to the edification of faith? If nothing more be known than this, that Joseph was one of the descendants and family of David, the genealogy of Christ will still remain doubtful.” In their opinion, therefore, it would have been superfluous that two Evangelists should apply themselves to this subject. They excuse Matthew for laying down the ancestry of Joseph, on the ground, that he did it for the sake of many persons, who were still of opinion that he was the father of Christ. But it would have been foolish to hold out such an encouragement to a dangerous error: and what follows is at total variance with the supposition. For as soon as he comes to the close of the genealogy, Matthew points out that Christ was conceived in the womb of the virgin, not from the seed of Joseph, but by the secret power of the Spirit. If their argument were good, Matthew might be charged with folly or inadvertence, in laboring to no purpose to establish the genealogy of Joseph.

But we have not yet replied to their objection, that the ancestry of Joseph has nothing to do with Christ. The common and well-known reply is, that in the person of Joseph the genealogy of Mary also is included, because the law enjoined every man to marry from his own tribe. It is objected, on the other hand, that at almost no period had that law been observed: but the arguments on which that assertion rests are frivolous. They quote the instance of the eleven tribes binding themselves by an oath, that they would not give a wife to the Benjamites, (Jude 21:1.) If this matter, say they, had been settled by law, there would have been no need for a new enactment. I reply, this extraordinary occurrence is erroneously and ignorantly converted by them into a general rule: for if one tribe had been cut off, the body of the people must have been incomplete if some remedy had not been applied to a case of extreme necessity. We must not, therefore, look to this passage for ascertaining the common law.

Again, it is objected, that Mary, the mother of Christ, was Elisabeth’s cousin, though Luke has formerly stated that she was of the daughters of Aaron, (Luke 1:5.) The reply is easy. The daughters of the tribe of Judah, or of any other tribe, were at liberty to marry into the tribe of the priesthood: for they were not prevented by that reason, which is expressed in the law, that no woman should “remove her inheritance” to those who were of a different tribe from her own, (Numbers 36:6.) Thus, the wife of Jehoiada, the high priest, is declared by the sacred historian to have belonged to the royal family, —

Jehoshabeath, the daughter of Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest,” (2 Chronicles 22:11.)

It was, therefore, nothing wonderful or uncommon, if the mother of Elisabeth were married to a priest. Should any one allege, that this does not enable us to decide, with perfect certainty, that Mary was of the same tribe with Joseph, because she was his wife, I grant that the bare narrative, as it stands, would not prove it without the aid of other circumstances.

But, in the first place, we must observe, that the Evangelists do not speak of events known in their own age. When the ancestry of Joseph had been carried up as far as David, every one could easily make out the ancestry of Mary. The Evangelists, trusting to what was generally understood in their own day, were, no doubt, less solicitous on that point: for, if any one entertained doubts, the research was neither difficult nor tedious. (85) Besides, they took for granted, that Joseph, as a man of good character and behavior, had obeyed the injunction of the law in marrying a wife from his own tribe. That general rule would not, indeed, be sufficient to prove Mary’s royal descent; for she might have belonged to the tribe of Judah, and yet not have been a descendant of the family of David.

My opinion is this. The Evangelists had in their eye godly persons, who entered into no obstinate dispute, but in the person of Joseph acknowledged the descent of Mary; particularly since, as we have said, no doubt was entertained about it in that age. One matter, however, might appear incredible, that this very poor and despised couple belonged to the posterity of David, and to that royal seed, from which the Redeemer was to spring. If any one inquire whether or not the genealogy traced by Matthew and Luke proves clearly and beyond controversy that Mary was descended from the family of David, I own that it cannot be inferred with certainty; but as the relationship between Mary and Joseph was at that time well known, the Evangelists were more at ease on that subject. Meanwhile, it was the design of both Evangelists to remove the stumbling-block arising from the fact, that both Joseph and Mary were unknown, and despised, and poor, and gave not the slightest indication of royalty.

Again, the supposition that Luke passes by the descent of Joseph, and relates that of Mary, is easily refuted; for he expressly says, that Jesus was supposed to be the son of Joseph, etc. Certainly, neither the father nor the grandfather of Christ is mentioned, but the ancestry of Joseph himself is carefully explained. I am well aware of the manner in which they attempt to solve this difficulty. The word son, they allege, is put for son-in-law, and the interpretation they give to Joseph being called the son of Heli is, that he had married Heli’s daughter. But this does not agree with the order of nature, and is nowhere countenanced by any example in Scripture.

If Solomon is struck out of Mary’s genealogy, Christ will no longer be Christ; for all inquiry as to his descent is founded on that solemn promise,

I will set up thy seed after thee; I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son,” (2 Samuel 7:12.)

The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne,” (Psalms 132:11.)

Solomon was, beyond controversy, the type of this eternal King who was promised to David; nor can the promise be applied to Christ, except in so far as its truth was shadowed out in Solomon, (1 Chronicles 28:5.) Now if the descent is not traced to him, how, or by what argument, shall he be proved to be “the son of David”? Whoever expunges Solomon from Christ’s genealogy does at the same time, obliterate and destroy those promises by which he must be acknowledged to be the son of David. In what way Luke, tracing the line of descent from Nathan, does not exclude Solomon, will afterwards be seen at the proper place.

Not to be too tedious, those two genealogies agree substantially with each other, but we must attend to four points of difference. The first is; Luke ascends by a retrograde order, from the last to the first, while Matthew begins with the source of the genealogy. The second is; Matthew does not carry his narrative beyond the holy and elect race of Abraham, (86) while Luke proceeds as far as Adam. The third is; Matthew treats of his legal descent, and allows himself to make some omissions in the line of ancestors, choosing to assist the reader’s memory by arranging them under three fourteens; while Luke follows the natural descent with greater exactness. The fourth and last is; when they are speaking of the same persons, they sometimes give them different names.

It would be superfluous to say more about the first point of difference, for it presents no difficulty. The second is not without a very good reason: for, as God had chosen for himself the family of Abraham, from which the Redeemer of the world would be born, and as the promise of salvation had been, in some sort, shut up in that family till the coming of Christ, Matthew does not pass beyond the limits which God had prescribed. We must attend to what Paul says,

that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers,” (Romans 15:8)

with which agrees that saying of Christ, “Salvation is of the Jews,” (John 4:22.) Matthew, therefore, presents him to our contemplation as belonging to that holy race, to which he had been expressly appointed. In Matthew’s catalogue we must look at the covenant of God, by which he adopted the seed of Abraham as his people, separating them, by a “middle wall of partition,” (Ephesians 2:14,) from the rest of the nations. Luke directed his view to a higher point; for though, from the time that God had made his covenant with Abraham, a Redeemer was promised, in a peculiar manner, to his seed, yet we know that, since the transgression of the first man, all needed a Redeemer, and he was accordingly appointed for the whole world. It was by a wonderful purpose of God, that Luke exhibited Christ to us as the son of Adam, while Matthew confined him within the single family of Abraham. For it would be of no advantage to us, that Christ was given by the Father as “the author of eternal salvations” (Hebrews 5:9,) unless he had been given indiscriminately to all. Besides, that saying of the Apostle would not be true, that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever,” (Hebrews 13:8,) if his power and grace had not reached to all ages from the very creation of the world. Let us know; therefore, that to the whole human race there has been manifested and exhibited salvation through Christ; for not without reason is he called the son of Noah, and the son of Adam. But as we must seek him in the word of God, the Spirit wisely directs us, through another Evangelist, to the holy race of Abraham, to whose hands the treasure of eternal life, along with Christ, was committed for a time, (Romans 3:1.)

We come now to the third point of difference. Matthew and Luke unquestionably do not observe the same order; for immediately after David the one puts Solomon, and the other, Nathan; which makes it perfectly clear that they follow different lines. This sort of contradiction is reconciled by good and learned interpreters in the following manner. Matthew, departing from the natural lineage, which is followed by Luke, reckons up the legal genealogy. I call it the legal genealogy, because the right to the throne passed into the hands of Salathiel. Eusebius, in the first book of his Ecclesiastical History, adopting the opinion of Africanus, prefers applying the epithet legal to the genealogy which is traced by Luke. But it amounts to the same thing: for he means nothing more than this, that the kingdom, which had been established in the person of Solomon, passed in a lawful manner to Salathiel. But it is more correct and appropriate to say, that Matthew has exhibited the legal order: because, by naming Solomon immediately after David, he attends, not to the persons from whom in a regular line, according to the flesh, Christ derived his birth, but to the manner in which he was descended from Solomon and other kings, so as to be their lawful successor, in whose hand God would “stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever,” (2 Samuel 7:13.)

There is probability in the opinion that, at the death of Ahaziah, the lineal descent from Solomon was closed. As to the command given by David — for which some persons quote the authority of Jewish Commentators — that should the line from Solomon fail, the royal power would pass to the descendants of Nathan, I leave it undetermined; holding this only for certain, that the succession to the kingdom was not confused, but regulated by fixed degrees of kindred. Now, as the sacred history relates that, after the murder of Ahaziah, the throne was occupied, and all the seed-royal destroyed “by his mother Athaliah, (Genesis 11:1,) it is more than probable that this woman, from an eager desire of power, had perpetrated those wicked and horrible murders that she might not be reduced to a private rank, and see the throne transferred to another. If there had been a son of Ahaziah still alive, the grandmother would willingly have been allowed to reign in peace, without envy or danger, under the mask of being his tutor. When she proceeds to such enormous crimes as to draw upon herself infamy and hatred, it is a proof of desperation arising from her being unable any longer to keep the royal authority in her house.

As to Joash being called “the son of Ahaziah,” (2 Chronicles 22:11,) the reason is, that he was the nearest relative, and was justly considered to be the true and direct heir of the crown. Not to mention that Athaliah (if we shall suppose her to be his grandmother) would gladly have availed herself of her relation to the child, will any person of ordinary understanding think it probable, that an actual son of the king could be so concealed by “Jehoiada the priest,” as not to excite the grandmother to more diligent search? If all is carefully weighed, there will be no hesitation in concluding, that the next heir of the crown belonged to a different line. And this is the meaning of Jehoiada’s words,

Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord hath said of the sons of David,” (2 Chronicles 23:3.)

He considered it to be shameful and intolerable, that a woman, who was a stranger by blood, should violently seize the scepter, which God had commanded to remain in the family of David.

There is no absurdity in supposing, that Luke traces the descent of Christ from Nathan: for it is possible that the line of Solomon, so far as relates to the succession of the throne, may have been broken off. It may be objected, that Jesus cannot be acknowledged as the promised Messiah, if he be not a descendant of Solomon, who was an undoubted type of Christ But the answer is easy. Though he was not naturally descended from Solomon, yet he was reckoned his son by legal succession, because he was descended from kings.

The fourth point of difference is the great diversity of the names. Many look upon this as a great difficulty: for from David till Joseph, with the exception of Salathiel and Zerubbabel, none of the names are alike in the two Evangelists. The excuse commonly offered, that the diversity arose from its being very customary among the Jews to have two names, appears to many persons not quite satisfactory. But as we are now unacquainted with the method, which was followed by Matthew in drawing up and arranging the genealogy, there is no reason to wonder, if we are unable to determine how far both of them agree or differ as to individual names. It cannot be doubted that, after the Babylonish captivity, the same persons are mentioned under different names. In the case of Salathiel and Zerubbabel, the same names, I think, were purposely retained, on account of the change which had taken place in the nation: because the royal authority was then extinguished. Even while a feeble shadow of power remained, a striking change was visible, which warned believers, that they ought to expect another and more excellent kingdom than that of Solomon, which had flourished but for a short time.

It is also worthy of remark, that the additional number in Luke’s catalogue to that of Matthew is nothing strange; for the number of persons in the natural line of descent is usually greater than in the legal line. Besides, Matthew chose to divide the genealogy of Christ into three departments, and to make each department to contain fourteen persons. In this way, he felt himself at liberty to pass by some names, which Luke could not with propriety omit, not having restricted himself by that rule.

Thus have I discussed the genealogy of Christ, as far as it appeared to be generally useful. If any one is tickled (87) by a keener curiosity, I remember Paul’s admonition, and prefer sobriety and modesty to trifling and useless disputes. It is a noted passage, in which he enjoins us to avoid excessive keenness in disputing about “genealogies, as unprofitable and vain,” ( Titus 3:9.)

It now remains to inquire, lastly, why Matthew included the whole genealogy of Christ in three classes, and assigned to each class fourteen persons. Those who think that he did so, in order to aid the memory of his readers, state a part of the reason, but not the whole. It is true, indeed, that a catalogue, divided into three equal numbers, is more easily remembered. But it is also evident that this division is intended to point out a threefold condition of the nation, from the time when Christ was promised to Abraham, to “the fullness of the time” (Galatians 4:4) when he was “manifested in the flesh,” (1 Timothy 3:16.) Previous to the time of David, the tribe of Judah, though it occupied a higher rank than the other tribes, held no power. In David the royal authority burst upon the eyes of all with unexpected splendor, and remained till the time of Jeconiah. After that period, there still lingered in the tribe of Judah a portion of rank and government, which sustained the expectations of the godly till the coming of the Messiah.

1. The book of the generation Some commentators give themselves unnecessary trouble, in order to excuse Matthew for giving to his whole history this title, which applies only to the half of a single chapter. For this ἐπιγραφή, or title, does not extend to the whole book of Matthew: but the word βίβλος , book, is put for catalogue: as if he had said, “Here follows the catalogue of the generation of Christ.” It is with reference to the promise, that Christ is called the son of David, the son of Abraham: for God had promised to Abraham that he would give him a seed, “in whom all the families of the earth should be blessed,” (Genesis 12:3.) David received a still clearer promise, that God would “stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever,” (2 Samuel 7:13;) that one of his posterity would be king “as long as the sun and moon endure,” (Psalms 72:5;) and that “his throne should be as the days of heaven,” (Psalms 89:29.) And so it became a customary way of speaking among the Jews to call Christ the son of David

(85) “ Il, leur estoit aise de le monstrer comme au doigt, et sans long ropos.” — “It was easy for them to point it out, as with the finger, and without a long story.”

(86) “ Matthieu, en sa description, ne passe point plus haut qu'Abraham, qui a este le pere du peuple sainct et esleu.” — “Matthew, in his description, does not pass higher than Abraham, who was the father of the holy and elect people.”

(87) “ Si quem titillat major curiositas.” — “ S'il y a quelqu'un chatouille de curiosite qui en demande d'avantage.” — “If any one is tickled by a curiosity, which asks for more of it.”

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/matthew-1.html. 1840-57.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Let's get into the Gospel According To Matthew.

Matthew was a tax collector in Capernaum before he was called by Jesus Christ to be a disciple. He was also called Levi. And he opens his gospel by giving to us the genealogy of Jesus Christ back to Abraham, as he said in chapter one, verse one,

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham ( Matthew 1:1 ).

Now the Lord had promised to Abraham, "through thy seed shall all of the nations of the earth be blessed"( Genesis 22:18 ). By that was understood that from Abraham's seed the Messiah would come, the one who would be a blessing to all of the nations of the earth. So anyone who would seek to lay claim as the Messiah, would first of all have to be able to prove that he was a descendant of Abraham because God had made that special promise to Abraham.

Later on God promised to David that He would build David's house and that his seed would sit upon the throne forever ( 2 Samuel 7:12 ). And from that promise, David understood that God was promising that the Messiah should come through his line, through his genealogy. And after David, there were many prophecies that referred to the Messiah as, "the branch out of the root of Jesse," and, of course, He is referred to as, "Sitting upon the throne of David." So it would be necessary for one who would seek to lay claim to being the Messiah to be able to prove that he is a descendent both of Abraham and also of David.

Now it is interesting to me that no longer do the Jews have any accurate genealogical records; so that there is not a Jew in the world today who can actually prove by the genealogical records that he is a descendent of David. They have lost all their books of generations, but no problem because the Messiah has already come. And Matthew points out here that He does fulfill both of the requirements, being a son of Abraham and a son of David, and so he seeks to trace Jesus back to David and to Abraham.

You say but wait a minute; is not this the genealogy of Joseph? And if Jesus was virgin-born, then why would it be necessary to trace Joseph's genealogy? And it is true when we get to verse sixteen, "And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ". Notice that it does not say that Joseph was the father of Jesus, but he was "the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ".

Now you are familiar with the fact that in the New Testament we have another line of genealogy that traces the genealogy of Christ back to Adam. And as you read the genealogies in Matthew and in Luke, you'll find that there are differences in the genealogies. In Matthew's genealogy we are tracing the line of Jesus back to David through Solomon, but as you read Luke's genealogy you'll find that it traces the genealogy, actually not of Joseph but of Mary. She also goes back to David and to Abraham, but she comes through the son Nathan, of David. So that Mary also was of the tribe of Judah and a descendant of David, but not through Solomon and his line, but through David's other son Nathan and his line.

But in Matthew's gospel, Joseph is actually a descendant of David through the kingly line. And as you read the kings of Judah, you find that they are listed in the descendants of Joseph, and actually he was of the royal seed of David, and as such, an heir to the throne in Israel. However, there is a real problem to Joseph being king in Israel because his line goes back through the kings of Israel, which includes Joconiah, of whom the Lord cursed through Jeremiah the prophet, saying that "none of his seed would sit upon the throne of Israel forever" ( Jeremiah 22:30 ). So that kingly line that came through Solomon was disallowed from sitting on the throne because of Joconiah's sin there in Jeremiah 22:30 . So that Jesus, being the son of Mary, still has a claim to the throne of David, but not through Joconiah who was cursed as not being able to rule, or any of his descendants to rule upon the throne.

So if Jesus were the son of Joseph, He could not reign upon the throne of David because of that curse in Jeremiah 22 . But being the son of David through Nathan, and through a different line, He has the right to the throne, coming from Mary. And yet, as far as the Jewish nation would be concerned, they would recognize Joseph as the kingly line, and thus the eldest son of Joseph, considered to be the eldest son of Joseph, though He was born of the Holy Spirit, would then have a right to the throne. So the Lord put the two things together and it's quite fascinating the way it happened.

Now there are some interesting things, and I told you, you can skip the first seventeen verses because reading these names can become laborious to a person who is not familiar with the names, and you spend your whole time just trying to pronounce them and they become rather meaningless. But rarely were women named in the genealogical lines, but in tracing Joseph back, there are four women that are mentioned. And it is interesting to me the four women that are mentioned, because they were not, with the exception of one, really virtuous kind of women.

The first woman that is mentioned is Thamar. And in verse three,

And Judah begat Phares and Zara of Thamar ( Matthew 1:3 );

Now Judah had a son who married Thamar, but his son died before he had any children. So his brother did what was the accepted thing in that culture; he took her as his wife. But he also died before he had any children.

Now Judah had another son. And it was the obligation of the other son to marry her and to raise up a seed, a descendent. But Judah having had two sons die as a result, I don't know if it was a result of her cooking, but I mean he was suspicious anyhow, was not willing to let the third son marry her and he kept stalling her. He said, Oh, he is too young, he's too immature, and he kept on stalling her off until it became quite obvious to her that Judah had no intention of allowing his third son to marry her.

So she put on the attire of a prostitute and sat in the path. And when Judah came by he propositioned her, which she accepted. And she said, What will you give me? He said, I'll give you a goat out of my flock. She said, Well, you don't have it with you. He said, Well, I'll give you my ring as a guarantee and I'll send the goat back. And so he went in unto her. She had a veil on; he didn't recognize her and she became pregnant by Judah.

Now when word came out to Judah, Thamar, your daughter-in-law is pregnant, he said, put her to death. So she sent his ring. The next day the servant came back with the goat and the gal was gone. And so he said to the people around there, Where is the prostitute that was sitting here? They said, There's no prostitute here. So the fella came back to Judah and said, Hey, I couldn't find her; I've still got the goat. Judah said, Oh well, let it go. Well, when he found out Thamar was pregnant and ordered her to be put to death, then Thamar sent the ring and she said, The man who owns this ring is the one responsible for me being pregnant. And so Judah was trapped. But isn't it interesting that Thamar appears in the lineage of the royal seed of David, that God has chosen Thamar with these untoward circumstances?

The second is Rahab. Now when the children of Israel were ready to come into the land that God had promised them, the first city that they came to was Jericho. And they sent spies into Jericho to take a look at the defenses and all. And when the people of Jericho realized that there were spies within their city from the Israelites, they sought to find them to put them to death. But Rahab who was a prostitute, hid them under some sheaves on her roof. And then she let them down over the wall saying, Please, when you take the city, spare my family and myself. And so they said, You let this scarlet cord hang down, and when we take the city everyone that's in your house will be saved. So the city of Jericho was taken, but they respected Rahab who had sheltered the spies, and those that were within her house were not killed, they were spared ( Joshua 2:1-15 ).

Rahab then married Booz, what we know as Boaz; who was, of course, the one who married Ruth, the Moabitess. And Ruth is the third one that is mentioned. Now Rahab did not come from the line of Israel, but she was of Jericho, a Canaanitess, a prostitute, that the Lord also put in the line.

The next one mentioned is that of Ruth, who was a Moabitess, who were under an eternal curse of God. A Moabite could not come into the temple of the Lord to the tenth generation, or forever, as God had placed a curse on Moab. And yet by the grace of God, Ruth became the wife of Boaz; whose son was Obed, whose son was Jesse, whose son was King David. And so God brought Ruth the Moabitess into the line.

And then, the fourth woman that is mentioned is that one, and it doesn't name her, but we know who she is.

who was wife of Urias ( Matthew 1:6 );

So Bathsheba is the fourth woman that is brought into the record. And she is the one who had the illegitimate relationship with David, whose husband was subsequently put to death by a conspiracy of David, and then became David's wife. And from her was born Solomon, who became the king over Israel, and the line comes through Solomon.

So the Lord has put into the genealogy of the line of Joseph these four women, in order to display the grace of God, in order that any of us, through our failures, can still identify with God's plan of grace and love for men. None of us are excluded. God has already included in His program people who had made a mess out of their lives, people who had had great personal failures in their lives, people who had immoral stains in their lives and still God used them in His total plan. And thus, it encourages us who also have stains, who also have failures, that God can still use us in His plan. And so to me it's exciting to see the inclusion that God makes in this line coming to Christ.

Now Matthew divides the generations.

fourteen from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the carrying away into Babylonian captivity, and fourteen from the Babylonian captivity unto the time of Christ ( Matthew 1:17 ).

However, it is quite obvious that Matthew has left out some of the names so that, it is in order that he might, to set them in couplets of seven, three couplets of seven, but deliberately leaving out some of the names. And some of the names that are left out, which are quite obvious, in verse eight, Ahaziah. If you go back in the record in Chronicles you'll find that Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah are left out.

Who were Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah? They were the sons of Athaliah, who was the daughter of Jezebel and Ahab; that wicked king and queen of the Northern Kingdom, whose sin actually sealed the fate of the Northern Kingdom. And Athaliah had sought to kill all the royal seed of David, but one of the children escaped and, of course, later became king. But the descendants of Athaliah are left out of this record and I am certain deliberately so by Matthew.

There are other omissions, but the purpose of Matthew was to set it up in fourteen generations, and surely it was deliberate. I cannot believe that Matthew just made a mistake, but it was a deliberate omission on Matthew's part in writing the genealogies, because he has the same records that we have of the Old Testament. And He knows good and well these other names fit in there but he deliberately omitted them. And if you want to make a study of the omissions and those persons omitted, I'm sure that you can find the reasons why Matthew chose to omit those names.

Now we get in verse sixteen,

And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ ( Matthew 1:16 ).

So this is the little transition verse. It's a necessary transition verse, because he is giving the genealogy to Abraham, to show that He comes from Abraham and from David. But yet, Jesus Christ was not born of Joseph, and he is going to explain that in just a moment.

Verse eighteen,

Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened like this: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, [that is, before they had had physical intercourse,] she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit ( Matthew 1:18 ).

Now Luke's gospel gives to us a little further enlightenment of how that the angel Gabriel came to Mary and informed her of the process when she said, "How can these things be, seeing I've not had relations with a man?" ( Luke 1:34 ) The angel told her the process by which the child would be born, and we'll study that when we get to the Gospel of Luke.

It is necessary that we understand that in that culture there were three relationships that a couple had: first of all, the engagement; secondly, the espousal; and thirdly, the betrothal.

Now the engagement could take place at any time in that child's life, because marriage was by arrangement. And if your parents had friends, and they had a little daughter born about the same time that their son was born, and they were close friends, they could say, well, let's have your daughter marry our son. And they would strike an arrangement whereby your daughter would marry my son. Now your daughter may be two years old and my son is three years old, and because we made this arrangement that would constitute engagement. And so the little girl two, and the little boy three would be engaged to be married. So you'd go to kindergarten and you'd say, who's your girlfriend, oh, I'm engaged to her. So the engagement could come very early in life because marriage was by the arrangement of the parents.

But when they had come to that point of maturity where they could then get married, and usually it was in the early teens, fifteen, sixteen, when a girl was married; they would go through a year of espousal, when they were really separated to each other as far as relationship is concerned. And it is more like what we call engagement today, where they accept the arrangement of the parents, they accept each other, and they set themselves apart for each other for a year of preparation and planning for the marriage.

After the year of espousal, now during the time of espousal you were considered, in a sense, as being married; that is, to break an espousal actually took a writ of divorcement. You were considered to be married, but it was a year in which you were dedicated to each other without physical relationship, the espousal period. And that could not be broken, except by divorce.

After the year's espousal, then there would be the betrothal, the marriage itself. And on the wedding night the father would take the signs of his daughter's virginity and keep them in case there was ever any question of her being a virgin. You see, if later on the fellow said, Well, she wasn't a virgin when I married her, and sought to divorce her, then the father could bring the tokens of her virginity, and this louse of a husband could be prosecuted for falsely accusing his wife. So it was something that the father kept for the protection of his daughter, the tokens of her virginity, on the wedding night after the betrothal and the whole wedding ceremony and all, he would keep these tokens of her virginity.

So there was first of all, the engagement; secondly, the espousal; thirdly, the betrothal. And so it was during this period that Joseph and Mary were espoused, they were committed to each other, without the physical relationship, that suddenly this very difficult problem developed when Mary became pregnant.

Now under the Jewish law, this constituted infidelity, adultery, because they were in the period of the espousal. And under Jewish law she could be stoned to death for her betrayal of Joseph. And so this is the problem that Joseph faced when Mary, who no doubt was an extremely beautiful person, not necessarily physically, but spiritually. A young girl who was so pure, so righteous, that God chose her above all others to be the vessel through which His Son should be brought forth into the earth. Gave her such a high honor that from that time on, all people would call her "blessed". And so we refer to "the blessed mother of Jesus."

And the depth of her spirituality is reflected in the gospel of Luke when she met her cousin Elizabeth. And as they shared their experiences with the Lord and their two sons, John was in Elizabeth's womb, and Jesus was in Mary's womb. As they began to share the experiences of their pregnancies and all, and those miracles surrounding them, that Mary burst forth into the glorious Magnificat recorded in Luke's gospel, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit doth rejoice. For he hath regarded the low estate of his maiden" ( Luke 1:46 ). And she goes on, in this glorious outburst of praise unto God, which expresses really a depth of relationship that Mary had had with the Lord, beautiful in spirit, chosen by God for this high honor.

But Joseph was in a turmoil. He loved her. He didn't know what to do about it. He really could not in his mind stand the thought of publicly disgracing her by declaring that he was not responsible for the child. And to see her stoned by the angry mobs he could not bring himself to do that and so he was thinking, Well, maybe I can just ship her off someplace, put her away privately and she at least can be spared. And Joseph while he was going over these things in his heart and in his mind, notice that it says,

Joseph, being a just man ( Matthew 1:19 ),

Many times Joseph is pictured as sort of an oaf, but he was a man in contact with God also and the Lord spoke to him. Evidently Joseph died rather early in the life of Jesus. Because after their return from Egypt, the only reference Isa 6:42 ,"Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, the carpenter?" And no doubt he was there in Nazareth for a time, but by the time Jesus began His public ministry, Joseph has already departed the scene.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David ( Matthew 1:19-20 ),

We have already seen that he is a descendant of David.

Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife ( Matthew 1:20 ):

Because of their espousal she was considered his wife, though they had not yet been betrothed.

for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Yehshua JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins ( Matthew 1:20-21 ).

That is the interpretation of Yehshua. It means Yahweh is salvation. It is the Hebrew word for what we call Joshua, which is Yehshua and it is Jehovah, or Yahweh, is salvation. Thus, call His name Joshua, because He will save His people from their sins. So his name implies His mission that of the Savior.

Now all this was done, in order that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying ( Matthew 1:22 ),

Notice that Matthew accepts that the words of the prophets were actually inspired by God. One thing the New Testament recognizes all the way through and that is the divine inspiration of Scriptures. As we read, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" ( 2 Timothy 3:16 ).

Peter in referring to the writings of David said, "And David by the mouth of the Holy Spirit spake saying" ( Acts 1:16 ). The New Testament teaches and recognizes that God was behind the writing of the Scriptures, that God is actually the divine author of the Word. So here again is another confirmation that it might be fulfilled, that which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet. As Paul the Apostle said, "That which I have received from the Lord I also delivered unto you." The prophet Isaiah declared in Chapter seven, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" ( Isaiah 7:14 ), which being interpreted is, "God with us."

Now as we were talking about modern translations and all, and my difficulty with the modern translations, which seek to do away with the deity of Jesus Christ, this is one of those areas where I distrust and despise the Revised Version of the Bible. For when you go back to this prophecy in Isaiah where Isaiah prophesies, "The Lord said to the king Jehosaphat, Ask a sign and I will give it to you." And Jehosaphat said, "I will not ask a sign." And the prophet said, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" ( Isaiah 7:14 ), which being interpreted is God with us. There, the Lord was promising that the Messiah would be born of a virgin.

However, there is a scholar recognized by those biblical authorities, those men at least who establish themselves as such, who are much like the Pharisees, who established themselves as the biblical authorities that no one could understand or interpret Scriptures except for the Scribes and the Pharisees. And Jesus had much to say about them. We have our modern day Scribes and Pharisees, who sit in their little intellectual circles, looking down upon all of us poor ignorant folk. One of their scholars, Jansenius, who has written this dictionary and so forth, translated that Hebrew word, "alma," as "young maiden." And so these translators, of course, wanting to water things down, pick up Jansenius' "young maiden". They translate this, "Behold the Lord will give you a sign, a young maiden will conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel."

First of all, tell me what kind of a sign is it when a young girl gets pregnant. That's no sign; that happens all the time. There is nothing unusual or unique about that. It was obvious that the Holy Spirit intended the translation to be "virgin," and every other use of "alma" in the Old Testament is referring to a "virgin." But you know this scholar's reason for translating it "young maiden," instead of "virgin", now this is scholarship. He declared, "I do not believe in miracles, and for a young virgin to have a child would be a miracle, thus I reject it." And thus he translated it, "young maiden" instead of a "virgin." That's the kind of scholarship that I have absolutely no respect for, because it has already taken a presupposition that God doesn't really exist. That God isn't able to transcend the natural laws that He has established in the Universe. I thoroughly, totally reject such stupidity, and I don't have to accept it, thank God.

Now some two hundred years before Jesus was born, there were seventy scholars who felt that the people should have Scriptures in a language they could understand, because the Hebrew language was pretty much lost during the Babylonian captivity. And after they had returned from Babylon, the majority of the people did not speak Hebrew. It was a language then that was only for the biblical scholars in those days. The people had to depend upon the scholars to teach them the Scriptures, because they did not have them in their own language any longer.

And because of Alexander the Great's influence and the Grecian influence through that territory when Alexander the Great conquered, these men decided to translate the Hebrew Bible, Old Testament, into Greek, in order that the people might be able to read their own Scriptures. Because there were seventy scholars who gave themselves to this task of translation, they called the translation the Septuagint, for the seventy scholars. Thus, when you read of the Septuagint, it is a Greek translation made approximately two hundred years before the birth of Christ, in order that the people might have their Scriptures again in a language that they could read and understand for themselves.

So it is interesting that when these Greek scholars, two hundred years before Mary had this experience of bearing the child Jesus as a virgin, that these Greek and Hebrew scholars, understanding the prophecy of Isaiah when translating that Hebrew word "alma" into Greek, used then a Greek word that is only used of "a virgin". And of course, Matthew copies here in his Greek their translation from the Septuagint. And inasmuch as the New Testament is recognizing that the Old Testament is inspired of the Lord, and Isaiah, when he said this, was inspired of the Lord and it translates it "virgin"; it's really tampering with the Scriptures and blasphemous for man to take upon himself to translate that passage in Isaiah "a young maiden" by translating the passage, "a young maiden will conceive."

That's just one of my cases, of which I have hundreds, against the modern translations. That's why I am so glad that the Lord has finally provided us a new translation which sticks to the Majority Text and to the fundamental truths that God has declared. So that is just a little aside, but it is something that I am rejoicing in.

Then Joseph when he awoke from his sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took Mary as his wife: And he did not know her until she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name [Yehshua] ( Matthew 1:24-25 ).

The dogma that was developed in the Catholic Church of the perpetual virginity of Mary, is sheer poppycock. It is the invention of man who have sought to elevate Mary to the status of deity. The obvious is here, "And did not know her until," but obviously afterwards he did have the normal husband-wife relationships with Mary, or else the other sons that were born of Mary and the daughters were also virgin-born, and that throws the whole story in disarray. For Mark's gospel names the brothers of Jesus: James, Joses, Simon, and his sisters. So to declare perpetual virginity of Mary is not a scriptural truth. It is a dogma developed by the church without scriptural foundation, as is so much dogma. Beware of dogma. Jesus said, Beware of the dogs. "



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Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/matthew-1.html. 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This verse is obviously a title, but is it a title of the whole Gospel, a title for the prologue (chs. 1-2), or a title for the genealogy that follows (Matthew 1:1-17)? Probably it refers to the genealogy. There is no other ancient Near Eastern book-length document extant that uses the expression biblos geneseos (book or record of the generation) as its title. [Note: Carson, "Matthew," p. 61.] While the noun genesis (birth) occurs again in Matthew 1:18, there it introduces the birth narrative of Jesus. In the Septuagint the same phrase, biblos geneseos, occurs in Genesis 2:4; Genesis 5:1 where in each case a narrative follows it, as here. Genealogies are quite common in the Old Testament, of course, and the presence of one here introduces a Jewish flavor to Matthew’s Gospel immediately.

"Each use of the formula [in the Bible] introduces a new stage in the development of God’s purpose in the propagation of the Seed through which He planned to effect redemption." [Note: Merrill C. Tenney, The Genius of the Gospels, p. 52.]

The last Old Testament messianic use of this phrase is in Ruth 4:18, where the genealogy ends with David. Matthew reviewed David’s genealogy and extended it to Jesus.

"The plan which God inaugurated in the creation of man is to be completed by the Man, Christ Jesus." [Note: Toussaint, p. 36.]

This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ. The name Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, and it means "Yahweh is salvation" (yehoshua, the long form) or "Yahweh saves" (Yeshua, the short form). The two major Joshuas in the Old Testament both anticipated Jesus Christ by providing salvation (cf. Hebrews 3-4; Zechariah 6:11-13).

"Jesus" occurs no fewer than 150 times in Matthew, but human characters never use it when addressing Jesus Himself in this book. Matthew evidently reserved the use of this name for himself to establish the closest possible association between himself as the narrator and Jesus so his point of view might coincide with that of Jesus. [Note: Kingsbury, pp. 45-46.]

The name Christ is the rough equivalent of the Hebrew "Messiah" or "Anointed One." In the Old Testament it refers generally to people anointed for a special purpose including priests, kings, the patriarchs (metaphorically), and even the pagan king Cyrus. It came to have particular reference to the King whom God would provide from David’s line who would rule over Israel and the nations eventually (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalms 2:2; Psalms 105:15; et al.). The early Christians believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ of the Old Testament. Because they used both names together, "Christ" became a virtual name for Jesus, a titulary (title turned name). Paul, for example, used it this way frequently in his writings.

Matthew introduced Jesus Christ as the descendant of David and Abraham. Why did he select these two ancestors for special mention, and why did he name David before Abraham?

Abraham and David are important because God gave each of them a covenant. God vowed that He would unconditionally provide seed, land, and blessing to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 12:7; Genesis 15; et al.). Abraham would not only receive blessing from God, but he would also be a source of blessing to the whole world. God’s covenant with David guaranteed that his descendants would rule over the kingdom of Israel forever. The house or dynasty of David would always have the right to rule, symbolized by the throne (2 Samuel 7:12-16). Thus Matthew’s reference to these two men should remind the reader of God’s promises regarding a King who would rule over Israel and the universal blessing that He would bring (cf. Isaiah 11:1). [Note: See J. Dwight Pentecost, "The Biblical Covenants and the Birth Narratives," in Walvoord: A Tribute, p. 262.]

"What is emphasized is the fact that the Messiah has His historical roots in Abraham and that He has come as a Davidic king in response to the promises to the patriarchs." [Note: Eugene H. Merrill, "The Book of Ruth: Narration and Shared Themes," Bibliotheca Sacra 142:566 (April-June 1985):137.]

"He is the Son of Abraham both because it is in him that the entire history of Israel, which had its beginning in Abraham, attains its goal (Matthew 1:17) and because he is the one through whom God will extend to the nations his blessing of salvation (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 28:18-20). . . .

"Just as the title ’Son of Abraham’ characterizes Jesus as the one in whom the Gentiles will find blessing, so the title ’Son of David’ characterizes Jesus as the One in whom Israel will find blessing." [Note: Kingsbury, pp. 47-48.]

The non-chronological order of David and then Abraham indicates that Matthew had more in mind than a simple chronological list of Jesus’ ancestors. As the Gospel unfolds, it becomes clear that the Jews needed to accept Jesus as the promised Son of David before He would bring the blessings promised to Abraham (cf. Matthew 9:27; Matthew 12:23; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 20:30-31; Matthew 21:9; Matthew 21:15; Matthew 22:42; Matthew 22:45). Jesus presented Himself to the Jews first. When they rejected Him, He turned to the Gentiles. Yet He explained that their rejection was only temporary. When He returns, the Jews will acknowledge Him as their Messiah, and then He will rule on the earth and bless all humankind (cf. Zechariah 12:10-14; Zechariah 14:4; Zechariah 14:9-11; Romans 11:26).

"Christ came with all the reality of the kingdom promised to David’s Son. But if He were refused as the Son of David, still, as the Son of Abraham, there was blessing not merely for the Jew, but for the Gentile. He is indeed the Messiah; but if Israel will not have Him, God will during their unbelief bring the nations to taste of His mercy." [Note: William Kelly, Lectures on the Gospel of Matthew, p. 14.]

"By this brief superscription Matthew discloses the theme of his book. Jesus is the One who shall consummate God’s program." [Note: Toussaint, p. 37.]

"First He is Sovereign, then Savior [in Matthew]." [Note: S. Lewis Johnson Jr., "The Argument of Matthew," Bibliotheca Sacra 112:446 (April-June 1955):143.]

"This introduction clearly demonstrates that Matthew’s purpose in writing the gospel is to provide adequate proof for the investigator that the claims of Christ to be King and Saviour are justified. For this reason, the gospel of Matthew was considered by the early church one of the most important books of the New Testament and was given more prominence than the other three gospels." [Note: Walvoord, p. 17.]

The Old Testament prophets predicted that the Messiah would be born of a woman (Genesis 3:15), of the seed of Abraham (Genesis 22:18), through the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), and of the family of David (2 Samuel 7:12-13). Jesus qualified in every respect.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/matthew-1.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

A. The King’s genealogy 1:1-17 (cf. Luke 3:23-38)

Matthew began his Gospel with a record of Jesus’ genealogy because the Christians claimed that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. To qualify as such He had to be a Jew from the royal line of David (Isaiah 9:6-7). Matthew’s genealogy proves that Jesus descended not only from Abraham, the father of the Israelite nation, but also from David, the founder of Israel’s royal dynasty.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/matthew-1.html. 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Ver. 1. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ,.... This is the genuine title of the book, which was put to it by the Evangelist himself; for the former seems to be done by another hand. This book is an account, not of the divine, but human generation of Christ; and not merely of his birth, which lies in a very little compass; nor of his genealogy, which is contained in this chapter; but also of his whole life and actions, of what was said, done, and suffered by him. It is an Hebrew way of speaking, much like that in Genesis 5:1 and which the Septuagint render by the same phrase as here; and as that was the book of the generation of the first Adam; this is the book of the generation of the second Adam. The Jews call their blasphemous history of the life of Jesus, ספר תולדות ישו "The book of the generations of Jesus" o. This account of Christ begins with the name of the Messiah, well known to the Jews,

the son of David; not only to the Scribes and Pharisees, the more learned part of the nation, but to the common people, even to persons of the meanest rank and figure among them. See Matthew 9:27. Nothing is more common in the Jewish writings, than for בן דוד "the son of David" to stand alone for the Messiah; it would be endless to cite or refer to all the testimonies of this kind; only take the following p,

"R. Jochanan says, in the generation in which בן דוד "the son of David" comes, the disciples of the wise men shall be lessened, and the rest, their eyes shall fail with grief and sorrow, and many calamities and severe decrees shall be renewed; when the first visitation is gone, a second will hasten to come. It is a tradition of the Rabbins (about) the week (of years) in which בן דוד "the son of David" comes, that in the first year this scripture will be fulfilled, Amos 4:7. "I will rain upon one city", c. in the second, arrows of famine will be sent forth in the third there will be a great famine, and men, women and children, holy men and men of business will die, and the law will be forgotten by those who learn it; in the fourth there will be plenty and not plenty; in the fifth there will be great plenty, and they shall eat and drink and rejoice, and the law shall return to them that learn it; in the sixth there will be voices (or thunders;) in the seventh there will be wars; and in the going out of the seventh בן דוד the "son of David" comes. The tradition of R. Judah says, In the generation in which

בן דוד "the son of David" comes, the house of the congregation (the school or synagogue) shall become a brothel house, Galilee shall be destroyed, and Gabalene shall become desolate; and the men of Gabul (or the border) shall go about from city to city, and shall find no mercy; and the wisdom of the scribes shall stink; and they that are afraid to sin shall be despised; and the face of that generation shall be as the face of a dog, and truth shall fail, as it is said, Isaiah 59:15 --The tradition of R. Nehorai says, In the generation in which בן דוד "the son of David" comes, young men shall make ashamed the faces of old men, and old men shall stand before young men, the daughter shall rise up against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; nor will a son reverence his father. The tradition of R. Nehemiah says, In the generation in which

בן דוד "the son of David" comes, impudence will increase, and the honourable will deal wickedly, and the whole kingdom will return to the opinion of the Sadducees, and there will be no reproof. --It is a tradition of the Rabbins, that

בן דוד "the son of David" will not come, until traitorous practices are increased, or the disciples are lessened or until the smallest piece of money fails from the purse, or until redemption is despaired of.''

In which passage, besides the proof for which it is cited, may be observed, how exactly the description of the age of the Messiah, as given by the Jews themselves, agrees with the generation in which Jesus the true Messiah came; who as he was promised to David, and it was expected he should descend from him, so he did according to the flesh; God raised him up of his seed, Romans 1:3 it follows,

The son of Abraham. Abraham was the first to whom a particular promise was made, that the Messiah should spring from, Genesis 22:18. The first promise in Genesis 3:15 only signified that he should be the seed of the woman; and it would have been sufficient for the fulfilment of it, if he had been born of any woman, in whatsoever nation, tribe, or family; but by the promise made to Abraham he was to descend from him, as Jesus did; who took upon him the seed of Abraham, Hebrews 2:16 or assumed an human nature which sprung from him, and is therefore truly the son of Abraham. The reason why Christ is first called the son of David, and then the son of Abraham, is partly because the former was a more known name of the Messiah; and partly that the transition to the genealogy of Christ might be more easy and natural, beginning with Abraham, whom the Jews call q ראש היחס the "head of the genealogy", and the root and foundation of it, as Matthew here makes him to be; wherefore a Jew cannot be displeased with the Evangelist for beginning the genealogy of our Lord at, Abraham.

o Apud Wagenseil. Tela Ignea. p T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 97. 1. Shir Hashirim Rabba, fol. 11. 4. q Juchasin, fol. 8. 1. Tzeror Hammor. fol. 29. 3. & 154. 4.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/matthew-1.html. 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The Genealogy of Christ.


      1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.   2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;   3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;   4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;   5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;   6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;   7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;   8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;   9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;   10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;   11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:   12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;   13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;   14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;   15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;   16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.   17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

      Concerning this genealogy of our Saviour, observe,

      I. The title of it. It is the book (or the account, as the Hebrew word sepher, a book, sometimes signifies) of the generation of Jesus Christ, of his ancestors according to the flesh; or, It is the narrative of his birth. It is Biblos Geneseos--a book of Genesis. The Old Testament begins with the book of the generation of the world, and it is its glory that it does so; but the glory of the New Testament herein excelleth, that it begins with the book of the generation of him that made the world. As God, his outgoings were of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2), and none can declare that generation; but, as man, he was sent forth in the fulness of time, born of a woman, and it is that generation which is here declared.

      II. The principal intention of it. It is not an endless or needless genealogy; it is not a vain-glorious one, as those of great men commonly are. Stemmata, quid faciunt?--Of what avail are ancient pedigrees? It is like a pedigree given in evidence, to prove a title, and make out a claim; the design is to prove that our Lord Jesus is the son of David, and the son of Abraham, and therefore of that nation and family out of which the Messiah was to arise. Abraham and David were, in their day, the great trustees of the promise relating to the Messiah. The promise of the blessing was made to Abraham and his seed, of the dominion to David and his seed; and they who would have an interest in Christ, as the son of Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth are to be blessed, must be faithful, loyal subjects to him as the son of David, by whom all the families of the earth are to be ruled. It was promised to Abraham that Christ should descend from him (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18), and to David that he should descend from him (2 Samuel 7:12; Psalms 89:3; Psalms 132:11); and therefore, unless it can be proved that Jesus is a son of David, and a son of Abraham, we cannot admit him to be the Messiah. Now this is here proved from the authentic records of the heralds' offices. The Jews were very exact in preserving their pedigrees, and there was a providence in it, for the clearing up of the descent of the Messiah from the fathers; and since his coming that nation is so dispersed and confounded that it is a question whether any person in the world can legally prove himself to be a son of Abraham; however, it is certain that none can prove himself to either a son of Aaron or a son of David, so that the priestly and kingly office must either be given up, as lost for ever, or be lodged in the hands of our Lord Jesus. Christ is here first called the son of David, because under that title he was commonly spoken of, and expected, among the Jews. They who owned him to be the Christ, called him the son of David,Matthew 15:22; Matthew 20:31; Matthew 21:15. Thus, therefore, the evangelist undertakes to make out, that he is not only a son of David, but that son of David on whose shoulders the government was to be; not only a son of Abraham, but that son of Abraham who was to be the father of many nations.

      In calling Christ the son of David, and the son of Abraham, he shows that God is faithful to his promise, and will make good every word that he has spoken; and this. 1. Though the performance be long deferred. When God promised Abraham a son, who should be the great blessing of the world, perhaps he expected it should be his immediate son; but it proved to be one at the distance of forty-two generations, and about 2000 years: so long before can God foretel what shall be done, and so long after, sometimes, does God fulfil what has been promised. Note, Delays of promised mercies, though they exercise our patience, do not weaken God's promise. 2. Though it begin to be despaired of. This son of David, and son of Abraham, who was to be the glory of his Father's house, was born when the seed of Abraham was a despised people, recently become tributary to the Roman yoke, and when the house of David was buried in obscurity; for Christ was to be a root out of a dry ground. Note, God's time for the performance of his promises is when it labours under the greatest improbabilities.

      III. The particular series of it, drawn in the direct line from Abraham downward, according to the genealogies recorded in the beginning of the books of Chronicles (as far as those go), and which here we see the use of.

      Some particulars we may observe in the genealogy.

      1. Among the ancestors of Christ who had brethren, generally he descended from a younger brother; such Abraham himself was, and Jacob, and Judah, and David, and Nathan, and Rhesa; to show that the pre-eminence of Christ came not, as that of earthly princes, from the primogeniture of his ancestors, but from the will of God, who, according to the method of his providence, exalteth them of low degree, and puts more abundant honour upon that part which lacked.

      2. Among the sons of Jacob, besides Judah, from whom Shiloh came, notice is here taken of his brethren: Judas and his brethren. No mention is made of Ishmael the son of Abraham, or of Esau the son of Isaac, because they were shut out of the church; whereas all the children of Jacob were taken in, and, though not fathers of Christ, were yet patriarchs of the church (Acts 7:8), and therefore are mentioned in the genealogy, for the encouragement of the twelve tribes that were scattered abroad, intimating to them that they have an interest in Christ, and stand in relation to him as well as Judah.

      3. Phares and Zara, the twin-sons of Judah, are likewise both named, though Phares only was Christ's ancestor, for the same reason that the brethren of Judah are taken notice of; and some think because the birth of Phares and Zara had something of an allegory in it. Zara put out his hand first, as the first-born, but, drawing it in, Phares got the birth-right. The Jewish church, like Zara, reached first at the birthright, but through unbelief, withdrawing the hand, the Gentile church, like Phares, broke forth and went away with the birthright; and thus blindness is in part happened unto Israel, till the fulness of the Gentiles become in, and then Zara shall be born--all Israel shall be saved,Romans 11:25; Romans 11:26.

      4. There are four women, and but four, named in this genealogy; two of them were originally strangers to the commonwealth of Israel, Rachab a Canaanitess, and a harlot besides, and Ruth the Moabitess; for in Jesus Christ there is neither Greek, nor Jew; those that are strangers and foreigners are welcome, in Christ, to the citizenship of the saints. The other two were adulteresses, Tamar and Bathsheba; which was a further mark of humiliation put upon our Lord Jesus, that not only he descended from such, but that is decent from them is particularly remarked in his genealogy, and no veil drawn over it. He took upon him the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3), and takes even great sinners, upon their repentance, into the nearest relation to himself. Note, We ought not to upbraid people with the scandals of their ancestors; it is what they cannot help, and has been the lot of the best, even of our Master himself. David's begetting Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias is taken notice of (says Dr. Whitby) to show that the crime of David, being repented to, was so far from hindering the promise made to him, that it pleased God by this very woman to fulfil it.

      5. Though divers kings are here named, yet none is expressly called a king but David (Matthew 1:6; Matthew 1:6), David the king; because with him the covenant of royalty was made, and to him the promise of the kingdom of the Messiah was given, who is therefore said to inherit the throne of his father David,Luke 1:32.

      6. In the pedigree of the kings of Judah, between Joram and Ozias (Matthew 1:8; Matthew 1:8), there are three left out, namely, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah; and therefore when it is said, Joram begat Ozias, it is meant, according to the usage of the Hebrew tongue, that Ozias was lineally descended from him, as it is said to Hezekiah that the sons which he should beget should be carried to Babylon, whereas they were removed several generations from him. It was not through mistake or forgetfulness that these three were omitted, but, probably, they were omitted in the genealogical tables that the evangelist consulted, which yet were admitted as authentic. Some give this reason for it:--It being Matthew's design, for the sake of memory, to reduce the number of Christ's ancestors to three fourteens, it was requisite that in this period three should be left out, and none more fit than they who were the immediate progeny of cursed Athaliah, who introduced the idolatry of Ahab into the house of David, for which this brand is set upon the family and the iniquity thus visited to the third and fourth generation. Two of these three were apostates; and such God commonly sets a mark of his displeasure upon in this world: they all three had their heads brought to the grave with blood.

      7. Some observe what a mixture there was of good and bad in the succession of these kings; as for instance (Matthew 1:7; Matthew 1:8), wicked Roboam begat wicked Abia; wicked Abia begat good Asa; good Asa begat good Josaphat; good Josaphat begat wicked Joram. Grace does not run in the blood, neither does reigning sin. God's grace is his own, and he gives or withholds it as he pleases.

      8. The captivity of Babylon is mentioned as a remarkable period in this line, Matthew 1:11; Matthew 1:12. All things considered, it was a wonder that the Jews were not lost in that captivity, as other nations have been; but this intimates the reason why the streams of that people were kept to run pure through that dead sea, because from them, as concerning the flesh, Christ was to come. Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it, even that blessing of blessings, Christ himself, Isaiah 65:8; Isaiah 65:9. It was with an eye to him that they were restored, and the desolations of the sanctuary were looked upon with favour for the Lord's sake,Daniel 9:17.

      9. Josias is said to beget Jechonias and his brethren (Matthew 1:11; Matthew 1:11); by Jechonias here is meant Jehoiakim, who was the first-born of Josias; but, when it is said (Matthew 1:12; Matthew 1:12) that Jechonias begat Salathiel, that Jechonias was the son of that Jehoiakim who was carried into Babylon, and there begat Salathiel (as Dr. Whitby shows), and, when Jechonias is said to have been written childless (Jeremiah 22:30), it is explained thus: No man of his seed shall prosper. Salathiel is here said to beget Zorobabel, whereas Salathiel begat Pedaiah, and he begat Zorobabel (1 Chronicles 3:19): but, as before, the grandson is often called the son; Pedaiah, it is likely, died in his father's lifetime, and so his son Zorobabel was called the son of Salathiel.

      10. The line is brought down, not to Mary the mother of our Lord, but to Joseph the husband of Mary (Matthew 1:16; Matthew 1:16); for the Jews always reckoned their genealogies by the males: yet Mary was of the same tribe and family with Joseph, so that, both by his mother and by his supposed father, he was of the house of David; yet his interest in that dignity is derived by Joseph, to whom really according to the flesh he had no relation, to show that the kingdom of the Messiah is not founded in a natural descent from David.

      11. The centre in whom all these lines meet is Jesus, who is called Christ,Matthew 1:16; Matthew 1:16. This is he that was so importunately desired, so impatiently expected, and to whom the patriarchs had an eye when they were so desirous of children, that they might have the honour of coming into the sacred line. Blessed be God, we are not now in such a dark and cloudy state of expectation as they were then in, but see clearly what these prophets and kings saw as through a glass darkly. And we may have, if it be not our own fault, a greater honour than that of which they were so ambitious: for they who do the will of God are in a more honourable relation to Christ than those who were akin to him according to the flesh, Matthew 12:50; Matthew 12:50. Jesus is called Christ, that is, the Anointed, the same with the Hebrew name Messiah. He is called Messiah the Prince (Daniel 9:25), and often God's Anointed (Psalms 2:2). Under this character he was expected: Art thou the Christ--the anointed one? David, the king, was anointed (1 Samuel 16:13); so was Aaron, the priest (Leviticus 8:12), and Elisha, the prophet (1 Kings 19:16), and Isaiah, the prophet (Isaiah 61:1). Christ, being appointed to, and qualified for, all these offices, is therefore called the Anointed--anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows; and from this name of his, which is as ointment poured forth, all his followers are called Christians, for they also have received the anointing.

      Lastly. The general summary of all this genealogy we have, Matthew 1:17; Matthew 1:17, where it is summed up in three fourteens, signalized by remarkable periods. In the first fourteen, we have the family of David rising, and looking forth as the morning; in the second, we have it flourishing in its meridian lustre; in the third, we have it declining and growing less and less, dwindling into the family of a poor carpenter, and then Christ shines forth out of it, the glory of his people Israel.

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Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Matthew 1:1". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/matthew-1.html. 1706.