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The Genealogy of Jesus According to Matthew                                         Lesson 2

Matthew 1:1-17

The Genealogy of Jesus

 1A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron,  Hezron the father of Ram, 4Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife, 7Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, 8Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, 9Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, 11and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.12After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 14Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud, 15Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.


Thought to Ponder:

Why did Matthew painstakingly detail the genealogy of Jesus Christ?

Jewish records were used to determine legal issues

  • The Jewish records traced heirs, the were usually not concerned with women in the line.
  • If land was sold the records were consulted to make sure the buyer was from their own tribe.
  • The law specified that all of their priests were to come from the tribe of Levi.
    • Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7 detail the family backgrounds and positions of those returning from captivity. It was critical that they knew the family background so they could determine the positions they held in Jewish society and thereby their position as they resettled.
    • The Jews needed Jesus genealogy known for them to understand that he was the Messiah they had been waiting for.
      • Isaiah 11:1, 10 prophesied that the Messiah would come from the royal line of King David.
      • There were many claiming to be the Messiah, but one could quickly check the genealogy to verify their claim. The issue was not that the Messiah was the son of Abraham but that he was a direct descendant of David.
  • We know that a censes was the reason the Mary and Joseph traveled to Jerusalem.

Thought to Ponder:

Why should this genealogy be important to us?

  • It established that Jesus was descended from the royal family line of King David.
  • This would establish Jesus as a historical figure.
    • Jesus is not just mentioned in the New Testament; his existence was document by early documents written by contemporaries as Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus, Suetonius, Bar-Serapion, Thallus, Lucian, Josephus, and the Talmud.
    • Biblical Archaeology Review (November-December 2002 issue) announced the discovery of a First Century burial box (ossuary) that scholars believe belongs to Jesus' brother James as it contains both his name and the name of Jesus.
  • The long list of names established a chronicle of God’s grace.

Let’s look at some of the flaws of the people on the list:

  • Abraham lied to the Abimelech, king of Gear, and told him that Sarah was his sister (Genesis 20).
  • In Genesis 26 Isaac did the same thing.
  • Jacob cheated Esau out of Isaac’s blessing to the first born in Genesis 27.
  • Judah sleeps with his daughter-in-law Tamar in Genesis 38 believing that she is a prostitute.
  • David an adulterer and a murderer
  • Solomon had multiple wives and many were pagan.
  • Manasseh was a evil king who ruled Israel

 Women are on the list:

  • Tamar  - Genesis 38
  • Rahab was a prostitute, a Canaanite (enemy of Israel) Joshua 2. Hebrews 11:31 tells us that she was a woman of faith
  • Ruth was not Jewish but a Moabite. In the story of Lot he gets drunk and has sex with his two daughters who bore sons (one was named Moab, the other Ammon) who founded evil nations that became Israel’s enemies. Ruth also married Boaz who had Obed who had Jesse who had David.
  • Bathsheba is mentioned as the woman “who had been Uriah’s wife.” An adulterer who brought Solomon into the world.
  • Note that three of these women are Gentiles.

Thought to Ponder:

Why do think women are on the list?

  • God’s plan is not limited to men only.

Thought to Ponder:

Why do you think gentiles are on the list?

  • God’s plan is not limited to the Jewish people only.

Thought to Ponder:

Why are sinful people included in Jesus’ family tree?

  • A message to self-righteous people.
    • Pharisees were judgmental and self-righteous – this family tree might have shocked them and they might have determined that it was “not clean.”
  • A reminder that all fall short.
    • This demonstrates God’s grace.
    • It might have been a royal line but it was a line filled with sinners.
  • This list will help us to focus on Jesus.
    • Jesus has a background similar to yours and mine.
    • He was called a friend of sinners, Luke 19:10 tells us that the Son of man came to seek and save that which is lost.

 The last verse reads:

17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.

  • While we will not study this, you should be aware that there is a whole system of numerology called Gematria which basically studies the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew letters in order to find new meaning in the scriptures. (Number 666 in Revelation is often understood to represent the emperor Nero Caesar.) Most recently the “Bible Code” has become popular and scholars have used computers to look at scripture. They believe that detailed predictions of world events that have been hidden within the words of scripture.
  • Fourteeen generations indicate a Divine Order (the number 10) plus the number 4 representing God's absolute control over the world.
    • Numbers (and the multiples of these numbers) that have symbolic meanings in the Bible:
    • The number 4 represent Gods absolute control over the world (His creative works).
    • The number 7 represents spiritual perfection and fullness or completion. It is the number of Covenant and of the Holy Spirit.
      • The number 7 holds the most significance in the Bible and occurs 481 times (394 in the Old Testament, 87 in the New) in the Bible.

    • The number 10 represents Divine order.

Click here "Luke 3: 23-38" to complete The Genealogy of Jesus and lesson 2.

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RCR Ministries was born out of a sincere desire to help all who seek God to find Him. It is our hope that by providing you with sound interpretation of the scriptures along with the historical background that you will gain a foundation of God's word that will lead you to a un-shakable personal relationship with him. A realtionship where by you will experience a steadfast confidence  in His love, compassion, and grace.  Learn More

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The New International Version is used unless otherwise stated.

Before You Begin

Dear Heavenly Father,

Praise and glory to the one true Living God, the alpha and the omega. Holy, Holy, Holy is   your   name.   Thank   you Father, for your son Jesus Christ who redeemed us from our sins. And thank you for this day and everything you have brought to me. May my prayer rise to you as sweet incense from the alter. I ask that you guide me, Father, through your Word. Please open my heart and mind to recieve your word and please reveal your Holy Truth. Please dwell in me and help me to live each day of my life in keeping with your Word. In the Holy name of Jesus Christ, I pray and ask it. Amen.