Christmas is drawing near.
Most people hate reading genealogies, and if you get bored and skip over the list of unpronounceable names, please at least note the women who are mentioned. We’ll think about them later. And while I say many get bored at reading genealogies it is interesting to see that there is a lot of interest for people to chase back their own lineage; in addition there are at least 2 TV shows on our local channels which chase up as far as they can specific people’s genealogies for as many generations as they can.
Here Matthew gives us the lineage of Joseph who was not Jesus father genetically. However, as Joseph’s adopted son, Jesus was by law Joseph’s son. Thus for a Jew Joseph’s forebears were Jesus ancestors also.
Matthew 1: 1-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 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 Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, 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, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and 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 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 the Christ fourteen generations.
Comment 2: Obviously every child has both a mother and a father. Why were these four mothers specifically mentioned?
Mary obviously is mentioned because apart from her being Jesus mother, without her after his birth marrying Joseph, and thus Jesus becoming his adopted son – Jesus has no right to be included in the list. It would need a different list ending with Mary’s father. Therefore, Luke gives us a different list brining us to Mary’s father. Matthew wrote as a Jew; Luke as a gentile.
It seems as if Matthew wanted to bring all the dirty family linen to be washed in public. Tamar played the roadside prostitute to get into the line. Judah had treated her shamefully but she tricked him into getting her pregnant and back into the line in which she rightfully had a place. Rahab saved the lives of the 2 spies sent into Jericho by Joshua and was saved when the city was later conquered. A foreigner into the ancestry of Jesus. Ruth was also a gentile about whole a whole book of the Old Testament is written. Bathsheba – And David committed adultery and murder to become the father of Solomon. Just by mentioning her Matthew paints nasty warts onto the face of that great hero, David, and into the forebears of Christ! (NB Mary was also a descendant of David).
Prayer: Thank you God for including us gentiles in your plan of salvation.