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Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ; Thompson Chain Reference - Genealogies of Christ; The Topic Concordance - Jesus Christ; Torrey's Topical Textbook - Genealogies; Human Nature of Christ, the; Prophecies Respecting Christ;
Verse Matthew 1:17. Fourteen generations — Matthew 1:11; Matthew 1:11. The Jews had a sort of technical method of summing up generations in this way. In Synopsis Sohar, p. 132, n. 18, we have the following words; "From Abraham to Solomon were fifteen generations; and then the moon was at the full. From Solomon to Zedekiah were other fifteen generations; the moon was then in the wane, and Zedekiah's eyes were put out." That is, the regal state came to its zenith of light and glory in the time of Solomon; but decreased gradually, till it became nearly extinct in the days of Zedekiah. See Schoetgen.
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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Matthew 1:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/matthew-1.html. 1832.
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).
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Matthew 1:17". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/matthew-1.html. 2005.
Fourteen generations. This is an artificial grouping of the names to make possible their easier retention by the memory. It will be noted that Jechoniah is counted twice, being the end of the second grouping and also the beginning of the third and final grouping. McGarvey's view is typical of many. He said, "Matthew, seeing there were just 14 names in the preceding division, desired for the sake of aiding the memory, to have the same number in the next one." Matthew had Scriptural precedent for this, to say nothing of his inspiration. Ezra, in giving his own genealogy, omits six names in a single group. This will appear in a comparison of Ezra 7:1,2 with 1 Chronicles 6:6-11.
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Matthew 1:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/matthew-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
So all the generations ... - This division of the names in the genealogical tables was doubtless adopted for the purpose of aiding the memory. It was common among the Jews; and other similar instances are preserved. The Jews were destitute of books besides the Old Testament, and they had but few copies of that among them, and those chiefly in their synagogues. They would therefore naturally devise plans to keep up the remembrance of the principal facts in their history. One method of doing this was to divide the tables of genealogy into portions of equal length, to be committed to memory. This greatly facilitated the remembrance of the names. A man who wished to commit to memory the names of a regiment of soldiers would naturally divide it into companies and platoons, and this would greatly facilitate his work. This was doubtless the reason in the case before us. And, though it is not strictly accurate, yet it was the Jewish way of keeping their records, and answered their purpose. There were three leading persons and events that nearly, or quite, divided their history into equal portions: Abraham, David, and the Babylonian captivity. From one to the other was about 14 generations, and by omitting a few names it was sufficiently accurate to be made a general guide or directory in recalling the principal events in their history.
In counting these divisions, however, it will be seen that there is some difficulty in making out the number 14 in each division. This may be explained in the following manner: In the first division, Abraham is the first and David the last, making 14 altogether. In the second series, David would naturally be placed first, and the 14 was completed in Josiah, about the time of the captivity, as sufficiently near for the purpose of convenient computation, 2 Chronicles 35:0. In the third division Josiah would naturally be placed first, and the number was completed in Joseph; so that David and Josiah would be reckoned twice. This may be shown by the following table of the names:
| First |
| Second |
| Third |
Carrying away into Babylon - This refers to the captivity of Jerusalem, and the removal of the Jews to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, 588 years before Christ. See 2 Chronicles 36:0. Josiah was king when these calamities began to come upon the Jews, but the exact time of the 70 years of captivity did not commence until the 11th year of Zedekiah’s reign, or 32 years after the death of Josiah. Babylon was situated on the Euphrates, and was encompassed with walls which were about 60 miles in circuit, 87 feet broad, and 350 feet high, and the city was entered by 100 brass gates - 25 on each side. It was the capital of a vast empire, and the Jews remained there for 70 years. See Barnes’ notes at Isaiah 13:0.
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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Matthew 1:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-1.html. 1870.
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.
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. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Matthew 1:17". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/matthew-1.html. 2014.
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.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 1:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/matthew-1.html. 2012.
Clearly the three groups of 14 generations Matthew recorded do not represent a complete genealogy from Abraham to Jesus (cf. Matthew 1:8). Luke recorded several names from the exile to Jesus’ birth that Matthew omitted (Luke 3:23-27). "All the generations" (NASB) then must mean all the generations that Matthew listed. The Greek text literally says "all the generations from Abraham to David . . . to Christ." Matthew’s summary statement does not constitute an error in the Bible. Jewish writers frequently arranged genealogies so their readers could remember them easily. Perhaps Matthew chose his arrangement because the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew consonants in David’s name total 14. In Hebrew the letter equivalent to "d" also stands for the number "4," and "v" represents "6." Matthew did not need to present an unbroken genealogy to establish Jesus’ right to the Davidic throne.
Before leaving this genealogy, note that each of the three sections ends with a significant person or event connected with the Davidic dynasty.
"In David the family [of Abraham] rose to royal power . . . At the captivity it lost it again. In Christ it regained it." [Note: Allen, p. 2.]
Moreover in each period covered by each section, God gave Israel an important covenant: the Abrahamic (Genesis 15), the Davidic (2 Samuel 7), and the New (Jeremiah 31). [Note: Johnson, cited by Toussaint, p. 41.] All came to fruition in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Generally Matthew’s genealogy shows that Jesus had the right to rule over Israel since He was a descendant of David through Joseph. Legally he was Joseph’s son. Specifically this section of the Gospel strongly implies that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
The differences with Jesus’ genealogy in Luke 3:23-38 are a problem that no one has been able to solve adequately. The problem is that Joseph’s ancestors in Matthew’s genealogy are different from his ancestors in Luke’s genealogy, especially from Joseph to King David. The theory that many scholars subscribe to now is that Matthew gave the legal line of descent from David, stating who was the heir to the throne in each case, and Luke gave the actual descendants of David in the branch of David’s family to which Joseph belonged. [Note: See I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary on the Greek Text, pp. 157-65, for further discussion and advocates of this and other views.]
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 1:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/matthew-1.html. 2012.
So all the generations from Abraham,.... The Evangelist having traced the genealogy of Christ from Abraham, which he divides into "three" parts, because of the threefold state of the Jews, "first" under Patriarchs, Prophets, and Judges, "next" under Kings, and "then" under Princes and Priests, gives the sum of each part under its distinct head; "so all the generations", that is, the degrees of generation, or the persons generated from Abraham to David, both being included, "are fourteen generations"; as there were, and no more, and are as follow, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Phares, Esrom, Aram, Amminadab, Naasson, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David.
And from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations. Here David who closed the first division must be excluded this, and it must be observed, that the Evangelist does not say as before, that "all" the generations from David to the captivity were fourteen, for there were seventeen, three kings being omitted by him at once; but, the generations he thought fit to mention, in order to reduce them to a like number as before, and which were sufficient for his purpose, were fourteen; and may be reckoned in this order, Solomon, Roboam, Abia, Asa, Josaphat, Joram, Ozias, Joatham, Achaz, Ezekias, Manasses, Amon, Josias, Jechonias, or Jehoiachin.
And from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. This must be understood as before; for there might be more generations in this interval, but these were enough to answer the design of the Evangelist; and which he thought proper to mention, and may be numbered in this manner; Jechonias, or Jehoiachin, Salathiel, Zorobabel, Abiud, Ehakim, Azor, Sadoc, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph, Christ. This way of reckoning by generations was used by other nations as well as the Jews u, particularly the Grecians; so w Pausanias says,
"From Tharypus to Pyrrhus the son of Achilles, πεντε ανδρων
και δεκα εισι γενεαι, were fifteen generations of men.''
And Herodotus x speaking of those who had reigned in Babylon, says, among them were two women, one whose name was Semiramis, who reigned before the other γενεησι πεντε, five generations; many other instances of the like kind might be given.
u Vid. Pirke Abot. c. 5. sect. 2. w Attica sive l. 1. c. 10. p. 19. x Clio. l. 1. c. 184. p. 74.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 1:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/matthew-1.html. 1999.
|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.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Matthew 1:17". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/matthew-1.html. 1706.
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28