Friday, May 9, 2014

Matthew’s Genealogy Of Christ

Matthew 1:1-16

Matthew and John were Jesus’ apostles, while Mark and Luke were not.  As a result each one provides a different perspective into Christ’s ministry.  Matthew writes from firsthand experience as he remembers the various events as a traditional Jewish man.  John focuses more on Jesus’ teachings than on the events themselves.   Mark writes from the perspective of a young boy trying to understand what was going on, while Luke writes as an outsider, a Greek, trying to get all the information to share with others.

In Navajo culture, family ties are very important so almost meeting includes a time of making family connections clear.  Family had a similar importance in Jewish culture, so Matthew starts out with a listing of the genealogy of Christ.  While it may seem a little tedious to read, it is critical in establishing Jesus’ credentials to be the Messiah.  Messiah had to be a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Judah, and qualified as an heir to the throne of David.

 Matthew’s record establishes those qualifications, listing the genealogy of Joseph, the person the Jews would most consider, supposing him to be the father.  Luke, as a Greek, was more concerned with his actual genetic heritage and lists the genealogy of Mary, his actual mother, and thus the genealogies differ.   

“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” (Matthew 1:1-15)

Joseph’s family was the royal line that had ruled Judah from the time of David until Israel went into captivity in 605 BC.  Besides the list of kings, Tamar, Judah’s daughter in law, Rahab, the Harlot from Jericho and Ruth the Moabite girl are especially significant, as well as Zerubabbel, the first governor after Judah was allowed to return to the land of Israel after the captivity in Babylon.

Mary was a descendent of David’s son Nathan, rather than of Solomon, and the genealogy in Luke follows her family, referring to Joseph in Luke 3:23 as the supposed father of Jesus, and the son in law(son) of Heli.

“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.” (Matthew 1:17)

While there were fourteen generations of the family in each of the listed time periods, there was considerable difference in the length of the periods.  The time from Abraham to David was over a thousand years while the time from David to the Babylonian captivity was only a little over five hundred years, as was the time from Babylonian captivity until the birth of Christ.


  1. I'm interested to see what you say as you go through Matthew. Pointing out the differing genealogical records is very important, because it tends to be a sticking point with some who point out that they don't agree and therefore the Bible is in error. Good post.

    1. There are several things I have discovered in my studies that I believe support the biblical record. I hope what I have learned over the years will be helpful. Thanks, Ian.