Read my thoughts on this chapter:
- Genealogies were of extreme importance to the Jews for in it, was their heritage, inheritance, legitamacy and rights.
- The reason the first line in Matthew 1 says, "the son of David, the son of Abraham" is because God made covenants with each of these men that were of great importance to the Jews. The covenant was that a Savior would come from their family line and when Jesus came to earth, the covenants were fulfilled.
- Usually, women were not mentioned in genealogies, only the men. However, in this genealogy Matthew mentions five: Tamar, Rahab, the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba), Ruth and Mary. A brief intro to these lovely women: Tamar trying to continue the family line, deceives her father-in-law by dressing as a prostitute, tricking him into having sex with her and then giving birth to twins. (Read about it in Genesis 38: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2038&version=ESV). Rahab was a prostitute who hid two spies that were on their way to Jericho. She married a man named Salmon, then bearing their son, Boaz. (Read about it in Joshua 2: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=joshua%202&version=ESV). Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon, although she did not get pregnant from her husband Uriah. David who was king at the time, saw Bathsheba taking a bath and desired her, sending her husband to the front of the army, in hopes that he would be killed. And so he was. (Read more about it in 2 Samuel 11: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel+11&version=ESV). Ruth was a Moabite, a people group who worshipped other gods besides God. Ruth met Boaz, who was an honorable man, they married and had Obed. (Read about it in Ruth: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ruth&version=ESV). And lastly, Mary. Mary was a teenager and, much more importantly, a virgin, when she was engaged to Joseph and conceived a baby, who was Jesus. We will be reading more about it in the upcoming chapters of Matthew and other Gospels. Although the following transcript by Mark Driscoll is from a sermon on the Gospel of Luke, you can still read it as it includes some interesting stuff on the birth of Jesus. (Read about it here: marshill.com/media/luke/jesus-birth#transcript).
- There is another genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%203&version=ESV. However, this one and the one in Matthew look somewhat different. Here's some info on why they are different, taken from Mark Driscoll's sermon transcript (marshill.com/media/luke/jesus-is-man#transcript):
LUKE’S GENEALOGY COMPARED TO MATTHEW’S GENEALOGY
Now for those of you who are Bible students or you’ve studied Scripture or are studying Scripture at college, there will be this notation made that there are distinctions between Matthew’s genealogy and Luke’s. First, as I told you, Luke goes back to Adam. Matthew only goes back to Abraham. Luke goes from son to father. Matthew’s goes from father to son. Matthew’s works forward from Abraham to Jesus. Luke works backward from Jesus to Adam. And some of the names are common, and many of the names are not common. So you’ll find lists in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 that are not all together congruent. And the question is why.
Scholars have given four potential reasons. One, it is supposed that maybe one of the genealogies is Joseph’s line, Jesus’ father, the other is Mary’s line, Jesus’ mother. It is true that generally speaking the genealogies are traced what we’ll call patriarchally, through the male line. But if Mary had no brothers then she would be the one inserted in the genealogy. So this may be two genealogies, one for Jesus’ adoptive father, the other for his mother. Number two, some presuppose that maybe these are not complete genealogies, that there may be some people who are missing. Thirdly, some would say that maybe one is a biological line: everyone born into a family. And then the other is just the legal line: those who had rights legally to the family name and inheritance. So one is complete and the other is legal. Some would offer, fourthly, this explanation that one of the genealogies includes not just those who are biologically born as direct descendants, but also those who are adopted in, as Jesus was. In that day the mortality rate was high, and if someone died and they had children, those children would be adopted by the closest living relative. So that may explain some of the distinction between the two genealogies. One has some of the children that were adopted in, and the other just has biological. All of that to say there are ways to consider how these might work together. For those of you who are more studious, that would be some fun for you. Or maybe not.