Main point summary
Jesus is the promised Seed of Abraham and the Son of David —he is Messiah.
a The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
b the son of David,
c the son of Abraham.
d Abraham was the father of Isaac,
and e Isaac the father of Jacob,
and f Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
and g Judah the father of Perez and Zerah
and Perez the father of Hezron,
and Hezron the father of Ram, 1
and Ram the father of Amminadab,
and Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
and Nahshon the father of Salmon,
and Salmon the father of Boaz
by h Rahab,
and Boaz the father of Obed
and Obed the father of Jesse,
and i Jesse the father of David the king.
And j David was the father of Solomon
by k the wife of Uriah,
and l Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
and Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
and Abijah the father of Asaph, 1
and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat,
and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
m and Joram the father of Uzziah,
and Uzziah the father of Jotham,
and Jotham the father of Ahaz,
and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
and Manasseh the father of Amos, 1
and Amos the father of Josiah,
and n Josiah the father of o Jechoniah and his brothers,
at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
And after the deportation to Babylon:
p Jechoniah was the father of q Shealtiel, 1
and r Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
and Abiud the father of Eliakim,
and Eliakim the father of Azor,
and Azor the father of Zadok,
and Zadok the father of Achim,
and Achim the father of Eliud,
and Eliud the father of Eleazar,
and Eleazar the father of Matthan,
and Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of s Joseph the husband of Mary,
of whom Jesus was born,
who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations,
and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations,
and from the deportation to Babylon to t the Christ fourteen generations.
cf. Gen 2:4; 5:1; Ruth 4:18-22 While Ruth's reference ends with David, Matthew picks off from there
Where have you heard an expression similar to 1:1 in Holy Scripture? How does Matthew 1:1 relate to Gen 2:4? What is significant about 'Christ'? What then, is significant about David, 'son of David' and Abraham? In the light of all of this, why 'Jesus'?
“Jesus” (Iēsous, GK 2652) is the Greek form of “Joshua” (cf. Gk. of Ac 7:45; Heb 4:8), which, whether in the long form yehōšûaʿ (GK 3397, “Yahweh is salvation,” Ex 24:13) or in one of the short forms, e.g., yēšûaʿ (“Yahweh saves,” Ne 7:7), identifies Mary’s son as the one who brings Yahweh’s promised eschatological salvation. Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 212). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
Priests: Lev 4:3; 6:22 Kings 1 Sam 16:13; 24:10; 2 Sam 19:21; Lam 4:20 Patriarchs (metaphorically): Ps 105:15 King Cyrus: Isa 45:1 And as the rest of the OT progressed it pointed to the Davidic descendant (2 Sam 7:12ff, Ps 2:2) who would represent God's people and establish his reign on the earth 'forever'.
See Isa 11:1
“Son of David” is an important designation in Matthew. Not only does David become a turning point in the genealogy (1:6, 17), but the title recurs throughout the gospel (9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30–31; 21:9, 15; 22:42, 45). God swore covenant love to David (Ps 89:28) and promised that one of his immediate descendants would establish the kingdom—even more, that David’s kingdom and throne would endure forever (2Sa 7:12–16). Isaiah foresaw that a “son” would be given, a son with the most extravagant titles: Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 193). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition. See Isa 9:6-7
Matthew shifts the chronology here (cf. 1:2-6), placing David before Abraham, perhaps to introduce the title Son of David that he will use so often in his gospel, and as he uses the title later on, the reader should come back to this OT anticipation.
Gen 12:1-3, 17:7, 22:18; Gal 3:16; Matt 28:18
Jesus the Messiah came in fulfillment of the kingdom promises to David and of the Gentile-blessings promised to Abraham (see Mt 3:9; 8:11). Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (pp. 194-195). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
Who does the genealogy focus on? Why? David's line Women Sin Gentiles A God who works in space-time, with mess to keep his promises What are some things that are surprising in the genealogy? Why does the author bring them up?
1Ch 1–3 1Ch 2:1–15 1Ch 3:5–24 Ru 4:12–22
Ge 49:10; cf. Heb 7:14
cf. 8:11 with 19:28 Israel's children were the chosen people (as opposed to Ishmael's or Esau's)
Ge 38:27; cf. 1Ch 2:4 Both mentioned probably because they are twins. Judah's other sons are not mentioned. For the genealogy from Perez to David, see also: Ruth 4:12, 18–22
Ge 46:12; 1Ch 2:5
Ex 6:23; Nu 1:7; 1Ch 2:10
Nu 2:3; 7:12; “the prince of the people of Judah,” 1Ch 2:10
Ru 4:20–21; 1Ch 2:11
1:1 In this loaded verse, Matthew points his readers back to the history of mankind, specifically the tapestry of redemptive history —tracing God’s plan through Adam, Abraham, David and its final consummation in the person of Jesus Messiah. “The book of the genealogy” would remind readers of the first Adam and perhaps the last instance of the phrase in Ruth (Gen 2:4, 5:1 LXX; Ruth 4:18-22). Jesus is the Greek form of *Joshua —*YHWH saves/is salvation, reminding readers of two namesakes within the OT - Joshua the high priest from Zechariah and Joshua of the Exodus. But more than that, here is the personification of Ps 130:8 (cf. Matt 1:21) “He (YHWH) himself will redeem Israel from all their sins” , the answer to the perennial problem of sin (Gen 3) beginning with the first Adam, which the Mosaic Covenant could not take away once for all. Christ is the Greek form of Messiah or ‘anointed one’, looking back to: Priests: Lev 4:3; 6:22 Kings 1 Sam 16:13; 24:10; 2 Sam 19:21; Lam 4:20 Patriarchs (metaphorically): Ps 105:15 King Cyrus: Isa 45:1 And as the rest of the OT progressed it pointed to the Davidic descendant (2 Sam 7:12ff, Ps 2:2) who would represent God's people and establish his reign on the earth 'forever' while also being a priest ‘forever’ (Ps 110:1-4). This descendant was the Anointed One . Son of David has multiple layers that Matthew might be using to make a single point —YHWH keeps his promises: God makes his unconditional covenant with David (2 Sam 7:12ff, Ps 89:28), promising a kingdom, sonship to God and priesthood forever. This Davidic king is seen to be far greater than a fallible monarch and is given tremendous titles and attributes (cf. Isa 9:6-7) and grounded on God working for his own glory. The lost line of David at the exile is seen to be a chopped tree stump with a new branch (Isa 11:1) And so we see Matthew using the title Son of David throughout his gospel (Matt 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30–31; 21:9, 15; 22:42, 45), urging his readers to look back to this genealogy (using David as a key pivot in 1:6) and further up and further on to God himself. He is faithful. Son of Abraham was not so much a title, but perhaps Matthew was looking back at God’s first covenant with the Israelites and its extended blessings (as opposed to the curses of Gen 3) to all nations (Gen 22:18, cf. Matt 28:19). The fulfilment of all of God’s covenants was here. He was the king, the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham through whom all nations would be blessed. 1:2-6a This genealogy seems to function primarily as a means to showcase the fulfilment of God’s promises —Jesus the Messiah is the anointed heir to the promises of God and the person who would mediate blessings to all nations Abraham begins the genealogy —pointing back to God’s great covenant with Israel’s great ancestor through whom all nations would be blessed. Isaac is mentioned, singled out instead of Ishmael. Isaac was the promised ‘seed’ Jacob too is singled out instead of Esau, continuing the ‘seed’ of promise thread But Judah is singled out with his brothers - while the sceptre would come from Judah (Gen 49:10), the Messiah bearing the sceptre would be from from God’s chosen people descended from Judah and his brothers, a theme seen in Matthew (see 8:11, 19:28). Perez and Zerah are twins, unlike their half brothers, and are thus probably mentioned together (Ge 38:27; cf. 1Ch 2:4). The failure of Judah in the middle of the Joseph narrative within Genesis (Ge 37-39), should give us pause, considering the providence of God in preserving his people (Ge 50:20). Tamar (the wife of Judah’s son Er) is the first woman mentioned in the genealogy, and is part of the mess of relationships within Jacob’s household (Gen 38) Hezron (Ge 46:12; 1Ch 2:5) Ram (1Ch 2:9) Amminadab (Ex 6:23; Nu 1:7; 1Ch 2:10) was seen during the Exodus of Israel, implying four centuries between him and Perez (Gen 15:13, Ex 12:40) and probably several names missing Nahshon (Nu 2:3; 7:12; 1Ch 2:10) was the leader/prince of Judah Salmon (Ru 4:20–21; 1Ch 2:11) Rahab is the second woman mentioned and is most likely the prostitute from Jericho (See Jo 2 & 6) Boaz, most famously seen in the book of Ruth, married Ruth the Moabite —the third woman in the genealogy (1Ch 2:11–12, Ru 4:22) Obed was the son of Ruth and Boaz (Ru 4:22) Jesse was then the son of Obed (Ru 4:22) And Jesse’s son was great ‘King’ David , to whom God made great promises, and in whom all of Israel’s (and the world’s) hope would lie (2Sa 7:12–16; Ps 89:19–29, 35–37; 132:11). Here now was the promised ‘seed’ of Abraham among the matrix of the people of Israel, through whom all nations would find peace and blessing (Is 9). 1:6b-11 The next set of 14 ‘generations’ covers King David through the exile into Babylon —covering a period that began so well and ended with much pain and regret. The people covered in the genealogy appear in 1Ch 3:5-16 and their lives are covered in great detail within the history of the Kings in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Solomon is (and the kings that follow are), unlike David, not called King (2Sa 11:27; 12:4), perhaps to allow the reader to narrow their focus on David and his greater Son. Bathsheba, alluded to as the ‘wife of Uriah’, makes the number of women listed in the genealogy four, after Tamar, Rahab and Ruth. The odd oblique reference to Bathsheba maybe because Matthew wanted to hint at Uriah’s Hittite lineage, as opposed to him being an Israelite. Rehoboam , the wicked king partly responsible for the split of the kingdom (2Ch 10) was the son of Solomon (2Ch 10-12) Abijah the wicked king followed Rehoboam the wicked king (2 Ch 13) Asa (ph) the good king was the son of Abijah the wicked king (2Ch 14-16) Jehoshaphat the good king followed Asa the good king, but allied himself with Ahab, the wicked king of Israel (2Ch 17-20) Joram /Jehoram the wicked king was the son of Jehoshaphat (2Ch 21) “Good or evil, they were part of Messiah’s line; for though grace does not run in the blood, God’s providence cannot be deceived or outmanoeuvred.” Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 200). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition. Uzziah , or Azariah, a generally good king, was the descendant of Joram (1Ch 3:11; cf. 2Ki 15:13, 30 with 2Ki 15:1), with three kings being omitted —Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah (2Ki 8:24; 1Ch 3:11; 2Ch 22:1, 11; 24:27)— for reasons that can only be speculated. Perhaps it was because of their connections to Ahab, Jezebel, Athaliah and all their notoriety. All three omitted kings died terrible deaths (2Ki 8-14). Uzziah was known for his pride which resulted in his trying to offer incense to God, resulting in a wasting leprosy (2Ch 26:16ff) Jotham , another good king was Uzziah’s son (2Ch 27) Ahaz , the wicked king, was Jotham’s son (2Ch 28) Hezekiah , the good king, was Ahaz’s son (2Ch 29) best known for reviving the Passover celebrations (2Ch 30), his response to Sennacherib (2Ch 32), his miraculous longer life and his pride with the Babylonian emissaries (2Ch 32:24ff) Manasseh , probably the most wicked king of Judah, was Hezekiah’s son (2Ch 33) and was in many ways the provocateur for the exile that was coming (2Ki 21:10-14, Je 15:4) Amos or Amon was the wicked son of Manasseh (2Ch 33:21ff) Josiah , the last good king of Judah, was Amon’s son (2Ch 34-35), best known for his great revival of the Mosaic law after over 50 years of it going missing. Jeconiah /Jehoiachin was the descendant of Josiah, but two kings have been omitted —Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, was deposed after three months and captured by Necho the king of Egypt in favour of his brother Jehoiakim (formerly Eliakim), who is also omitted and was captured by Nebuchadnezzar (2Ch 36:5ff). Jeconiah/Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim and he too is deposed and brought to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar (2Ch 36:9ff), who makes Zedekiah his brother the last king of Judah before the destruction of Jerusalem and the kingdom of David (cf. 2Ki 23:34; 24:6, 14–15; 1Ch 3:16; Jer 27:20; 28:1). King David’s family tree was chopped, but a stump remained —Jeconiah/Jehoiachin is last seen as a symbol of hope in 2Ki 25:27ff (cf. Is 11:1) 1:12-16 The final set of 14 ‘generations’ are largely made up of names not seen within Old Testament Scripture Shealtiel (2Ch 3:17) Zerubabbel (Ezr 3:2; 5:2; Ne 12:1; Hag 1:1; 2:2, 23; cf. 2Ch 3:19 —Pedaiah, Shealtiel’s brother probably married his widow to continue the family line, based on Dt 25:9) was most famous post-exile, where he led the first group of returnees, was the governor of Judah and supervised the reconstruction of the temple (Ezr 3-4, Hag 2) and in many ways was seen as a messianic type (Hag 2:20-23) Abiud Eliakim Azor Zadok Achim Eliud Eleazar Matthan Jacob Joseph, the husband of Mary (woman number five in the genealogy), by whom was born the Saviour of all nations Jesus was born, who is called Messiah. He is connected physically to Mary, and legally to David through Joseph —although Matthew seems to not make a connection between Jesus and Joseph explicit. ? This surprising missing generation perhaps “will suggest to some readers that just as God cuts short the time of distress for the sake of his elect (24:22), so also he mercifully shortens the period from the exile to Jesus the Messiah.” Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 203). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition. Multiple other solutions have been proposed, but with more objections than resolutions. 1:17 Matthew then summarises his arrangement of Fourteen Generations . Most probably borrowing from DaViD’s numerical value (DVD=6+4+6=14) to point backward to David, forward to the great fulfilment by God and aid memory. Why memory? This Jesus now inaugurates the New Covenant, fulfilling God’s promises within the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants. All of God’s promises are truly Amen in this Messiah. Great king David’s greater Son has come. APPLICATION 1. What does it mean to you that Jesus is the anointed one? 2. How does it help you to see this God who keeps his promises?