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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Matthew
Matthew records the genealogy of Jesus Christ and record of His virgin birth. The genealogy which opens the Gospel of Matthew and the New Testament is really an extremely important manuscript in the Holy Scriptures. The entire Bible rests upon its accuracy. This genealogy is divided into three divisions:
#1. Genealogy from Abraham to David (verses 1-6).
#2. Genealogy from Solomon to the Babylonian captivity (verses 7-11).
#3. Genealogy from the Babylonian captivity to Joseph, the carpenter (verses 12-17).
In the Book of Genesis is about families. The genealogies there are also very important, and we see them here as we start the New Testament.
The New Testament rests upon the accuracy of this genealogy because it establishes the FACT that the Lord Jesus Christ is of the line of Abraham and of the line of David. Both are very important. The line of Abraham places Him in the nation, and the line of David puts Him on the throne . . . He is in that royal line, The Lord Jesus Christ is the King!
The genealogies were very important to the nation Israel, and through them it could be established whether a person had a legitimate claim to a particular line. When Israel returned from the captivity, Scriptures record: Ezra 2:62 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. (KJV) . . . It was possible in Ezra's day to check the register of the tribe of Levi and remove those who made a false claim. It seems these genealogies were kept by the government and were accessible to the public. It seems logical that these records were kept in the Temple because Israel was a theocracy, and actually the "church" and the state were one. This genealogy was evidently on display and could have been copied from the public records until the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. These Jewish enemies of Jesus could have checked them and probably did, challenging every move of the Lord Jesus, even offering a substitute explanation for the Resurrection (Mat.28:13), but they never did question His genealogy. They must have checked it out and found that it was 100% accurate.
Jesus’ genealogy is extremely important because it puts Jesus in a very exclusive position. You remember that He said the Shepherd of the sheep enters in by the door but the thief and the robber climb up some other way to get into the sheepfold (Jn.10:1-2). That "fold" is the nation Israel. Jesus did NOT climb into the fold over a fence in the back, and He did NOT come in through a secluded alley. Jesus came in through the gate. He was born in the line of David and in the line of Abraham. This is what Matthew tells us. Christ Jesus is the Fulfillment of everything that had been mentioned in the Old Testament . . . so the enemies of Christ could NOT challenge Him in regard to His genealogy. They had to find some other ways to challenge Him, and they did.
Also consider this, since the Spirit of God inspired the writers of the Bible, the genealogy must be important! 2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (KJV)
Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (KJV)
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ . . . I would want to think that these words are the original title of this Gospel; not only the account of the genealogy of Christ, but the history of His birth, His work, His sufferings, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension. This book is an account, not of the divine, but the human generation of Christ. It is the Hebrew way of speaking, much like that in (Gen.5:1) and as that was the book of the generation of the first Adam; the book of Matthew is the generation of the second Adam.
The son of David . . . the Messiah was promised to David (2 Sam.7:16; Jn.7:42).
It is quite common in the Jewish writings, than for "the son of David" to mean the Messiah. Son of David: (Mat.9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30-31; 21:9; 22:41-45; Mk. 10:47-48; 11:10; 12:35-37; Lk. 18:38-39; 20:41; Jn.7:42).
The son of Abraham . . . Abraham was the first to whom an exacting Promise was made, that the Messiah would spring from (Gen.12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4). The first Promise was in Gen.3:15, signified that He would be the seed of the woman; and it would have been sufficient for the fulfillment of it, if He had been born of any woman, in whatever nation, tribe or family; BUT . . . the Promise made to Abraham was that He would descend from him, as Jesus did; who took upon Him the seed of Abraham (Heb.2:16), assumed a human nature which sprung from him, and is therefore truly the son of Abraham.
Old Testament Promises of a future King from David’s line: (2 Sam.7:12; 1 Chron.17:11-13; Ps.132:11-12; Isa.9:7; 11:1; 16:5; Jer.23:5; 33:15; Eze.34:23-24; 37:24-25).
New Testament statements verifying that Jesus Christ is descended from David: (Mat.1:1; Lk.3:23,31. Jn.7:42; Rom.1:3; 2 Tim.2:8; Rev.22:16).
Christ Jesus inherits the throne of David: (Mat.27:37; Mk.15:26; Lk.1:32-33,69; 23:38; Jn.1:49; 18:37; 19:19).
Christ Jesus is called “Son of David”:
By those wanting healing: (Mat.9:27; 15:22; 20:30-31; Mk.10:47-48; Lk.18;38-39).
At His triumphal entry into Jerusalem: (Mat.21:9,15; Mk.11:10).
Proofs for identifying Christ Jesus as the Son of David:
His Human descent: (Mat.1:1; Rom.1:3; 8:3).
His Birth in Bethlehem: (Mic.5:2; Mat.2:5; Lk.2:4,11. Jn.7:42).
His healing ministry: (Isa.35:5-6; 42:7; Mat.12:22-23).
His ultimate victory: (Gen.3:15; Mat.12:20; 1 cor.15:54-57; Rev.5:5).
Christ Jesus is MUCH MORE than a mere human King descended from David: (Ps.2:6-9; 45:6-7; 110:1; Mk.12:35-37; Jn.18:36; Rev.19:11-21).
What is the “Davidic Covenant?" The Davidic Covenant refers to God’s Promises to David through Nathan the prophet (2 Samuel chapter 7). It is summarized in the following Passages: 1 Chron. 17:11-14 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. 13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: 14 But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore. (KJV)
2 Chron. 6:16 Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me. (KJV)
This is an unconditional covenant made between God and David through which God promises David and Israel that the Messiah, Christ Jesus, would come from the line of David and the tribe of Judah and would establish a Kingdom that would endure forever (2 Sam.7:10-13). The Davidic Covenant is unconditional because God does not place any conditions of obedience or works upon its fulfillment. The certainty, the sureness of such Promises made by God, rests completely on God’s faithfulness and does NOT depend on David’s or Israel’s obedience.
The provisions of the covenant are summarized in: 2 Sam. 7:16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. (KJV) . . . The Promise that David’s “house,” “kingdom” and “throne” will be established for ever is extremely important because it shows that the Messiah will come from the line of David and that He will establish a kingdom from which He shall reign. “For ever” emphasizes the eternal and unconditional nature of this Promise of Almighty God to David and to Israel.
Matthew 1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; (KJV)
Abraham begat Isaac . . . the descent of Christ from Abraham is in the line of Isaac (Gen.22:2). Although Abraham begat Ishmael before Isaac (Gen.16:15-16), he is not mentioned here because the Messiah was NOT to come from any other than Isaac, of whom it is said, "in Isaac shall thy seed be called" (Gen.21:12), who was Abraham's only beloved son.
Isaac begat Jacob . . . the genealogy of Christ proceeds from Isaac, in the line of Jacob. Isaac begat Esau, as well as Jacob, for there were twins (Gen.25:24-26), but one was loved, and the other hated (Mal.1:2-3; Rom.9:13), so there is no mention made of Esau, because the Messiah did not come from him, but from Jacob, or Israel, by whose name he is sometimes called (Isa.49:3).
Jacob begat Judas and his brethren . . . the line of Christ is carried on from Jacob in the line of Judah, because it was prophesied that the Messiah, Shiloh, the Prince and Chief Ruler, should be of him (Gen.49:10; 1 Chron.5:2). And it is evident beyond all doubt, that our Lord Jesus sprung from his tribe (Heb.7:14). Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judah and his brethren, are mentioned here because they were the heads of the tribes for whom especially wrote his Gospel.
History of Abraham: (Gen.11:26-25:11).
History of Isaac: (Gen.21:1-35_29).
History of Jacob: (Gen.25:24; 50:14).
History of Judas and his brethren: (Gen.29:16; 30:24; 1 Chron.2:1-4).
Matthew 1:3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; (KJV)
And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar . . . the genealogical line of Christ goes on from Judah in the line of Phares, with whom Zara is mentioned . . . not because they were twins, for so were Jacob and Esau, and yet Zara is taken no notice of . . . but it may be because of what happened at their birth (Gen.38:27-30). The line of the Messiah was in Phares, and very rightly is he put in the genealogy of Christ, the Jews themselves being witnesses, who clearly say that "the Messiah comes from him." Phares and Zara . . . the remarkable history of these twins is recorded in Genesis 38. Some of the ancients thought that Matthew refers to the mystery of the youngest being preferred to the eldest, as predicting that the Christian church over the synagogue. Thamar (Tamar) . . . was the daughter-in-law of Judah. She was married to Judah’s eldest son, Er (Gen.38:6). After her husband’s death, she was married to Onan, his brother (Gen.38:8). When Onan died, Judah promised Tamar that his third son, Shelah would become her husband. This promise was not fulfilled, and hence Tamar's revenge and Judah's great guilt (Gen.38:12-30). She eventually bore the twins, Phares and Zara, with Judah as the father. It is from Phares (Pharez), the royal line of King David sprang. Thamar, this daughter-in-law to Judah, although she was a Canaanite woman, has the honor to be named in the genealogy of Christ, who came to save Gentiles as well as Jews; nor can the Jews rebuke Matthew for putting her into the account; since they themselves frequently acknowledge that the Messiah was to spring from her.
And Phares begat Esrom . . . called Hezron (Ruth 4:18), where the same phrase is used as here. He had another son called Hamul (1 Chroh.2:5), but the account proceeds from Phares, in the line of Esrom.
And Esrom begat Aram . . . called Ram in Ruth 4:18, where the same way of speaking is used as here. Esrom also besides him begat Jerahmeel, Chelubai, or Caleb, and Segub (1 Chron.2:91; 2:21), but these are not in the line. Elihu, who conversed with Job, is said to be of the kindred of Ram (Job 32:2), whether it is the same as Ram or Aram, I do not know.
The mention of women in a Jewish genealogy is very unusual, but in addition to Mary, four women are recorded in this list of names. The surprising emphasis is underscored by the kind of women Matthew mentions: Tamar, who was involved in a scandal with Judah (Gen.38); Rahab, the Canaanite harlot of Jericho (Josh.2); Ruth, who was not an Israelite, but a Moabite (Ruth 1:4); and and Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, a woman involved in a sin of unspeakable magnitude (2 Sam.11:1-12:23), and who may have been a Hittite. At the very beginning of his Gospel, Matthew shows how God's grace forgives even the darkest of sins and reaches far beyond the nation of Israel to the entire world. He also points out that God can lift the lowest and place them in royal lineage. Thus Christ descended from BOTH Jews and Gentiles.
Matthew 1:4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; (KJV)
And Aram begat Aminadab . . . that which is in this verse, agrees exactly with the genealogical account in Ruth 4:19-20.
Matthew 1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; (KJV)
And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab . . . that Salmon begat Boaz, is affirmed in Ruth 4:21, but it is not there said, nor any where else in the Old Testament, as here, that he begat him of Rahab, meaning Rahab the harlot.
And Booz begat Obed of Ruth . . . Ruth was a Gentile, a Moabite. It is thought that she was the daughter of Eglon (Judg.3:14), grandson of Balak, king of Moab; and it is thought by the Jews that the Messiah should descend from her, so the mentioning of her in this genealogy, cannot be said by them to be disrespectful.
And Obed begat Jesse . . . some say that Jesse was not the immediate son of Obed, but was of the fourth generation from him, although no others are mentioned between them in Ruth, any more than here. (Ruth 4:17; 1 Chron.2:12; Lk.3:32). Jesse was descended from Obed, and to this day the Jews pray for him in their synagogues under the name of "the son of Jesse."
Besides Mary, four women are recorded in the genealogy of Christ; two of them Gentiles by birth . . . Rachab and Ruth; and three of them with a blot at their names in the Old Testament . . . Thamar, Rachab, and Bath-sheba. This feature in the Matthew’s genealogy differs from that given by Luke. Matthew gives a Jewish view on the ancestors of Joseph, while Luke’s account gives a Greek view on the ancestors of Mary (Lk.3:23-38).
The first fourteen men listed were patriarchs. The second fourteen were all kings. David can be counted twice, first as a patriarch, second as one of the kings, thus making up the full number of the second fourteen.
Matthew 1:6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; (KJV)
And Jesse begat David the king . . . the descent of the Messiah runs in the line of David, the youngest of Jesse's sons (1 Sam.16:11), but God chose him, and anointed him to be king, and set him on the throne of Israel; hence he is called "David the king," and too, because he was the first king that was of the tribe of Judah, and in the line of Christ, and was an eminent type of the king Messiah, who is sometimes called by the same name (Eze.34:24; 37:25; Hos.3:5).
And David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias . . . the adulteress Bathsheba, is rightly called the wife of Urias. Solomon was begotten of Bathsheba, not while she was the wife of Uriah, but when she was the wife of David.
Matthew 1:7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; (KJV)
And Solomon begat Roboam . . . called Rehoboam (1 Ki.11:43), of Naamah an Ammonitess (1 Ki.14:21,31).
And Roboam begat Abia . . . sometimes called Abijam (1 Ki.14:31), sometimes Abijah (2 Chron.12:16) and sometimes, as here, Abia (1 Chron.3:10). Him Rehoboam begat of Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom (1 Ki.15:2), called Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel (2 Chron.13:2). Maachah and Michaiah being one and the same.
And Abia begat Asa . . . who was a good king (2 Chron.14:2). He is wrongly called Asaph in some versions.
Solomon. A wise but sinful king.
Rehoboam. A foolish king, from whose kingdom of twelve tribes God cut off ten tribes.
Abijah. A sinful king, like his father Rehoboam.
Asa. A godly king who reformed his kingdom of Judah.
Matthew 1:8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; (KJV)
And Asa begat Josaphat . . . called Jehoshaphat (1 Ki.15:24), whom Asa begat of Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi (1 Ki.22:42). He also was a very good king (1 Ki.22:43).
And Josaphat begat Joram . . . called Jehoram (1 Ki.22:50), to whom his father gave the kingdom, because he was the firstborn (2 Chron.21:3).
And Joram begat Ozias . . . called Uzziah (2 Chron.26:1), and Azariah (2 Ki.15:1). He was not the immediate son of Joram; there were three kings between them, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, which are here omitted; either because of the curse denounced on Ahab's family (1 Ki.21:21-24), into which Joram married, whose idolatry was punished to the third or fourth generation; or because these were kings of ungodly character; or because their names were not in the Jewish registers. This omission does not affect the plan of Matthew, which is to show that Jesus, the TRUE Messiah, is of the house of David, since there are such omissions in the Old Testament (Ezra 7:2), where six generations are omitted all at once. One genealogical writer states: “we see in the genealogy of Ezra that he hath skipped over seven generations (perhaps it should be (w) "six" and not (z) "seven", since six are only omitted) from Ahitub to Ahitub.''
Jehoshaphat. A good king, much like his father Asa; but he displeased God by being too friendly with Ahab, the worst, wicked king of Israel (1 Ki.21:25).
Joram. Married Athaliah, the wicked daughter of Ahab, and followed Ahab in all his ungodly practices.
And Joram begat. Joram begat Ahaziah, and Ahaziah begat Joash, and Joash begat Amaziah; and Amaziah begat Uzziah. The names of Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah may have been omitted because they were wicked descendants of Ahab unto the fourth generation (Ex.20:5).
Uzziah. He was a good king, but smitten with leprosy for arrogantly entering the temple to perform duties belonging only to the priests (2 Chron.26:16-19). This daring and wicked act reveals the compelling influence of self-important pride and vanity.
Matthew 1:9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; (KJV)
And Ozias begat Joatham . . . called Jotham (2 Ki.15:7). Jotham, Ozias begat of Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok (2 Ki.15:33).
And Joatham begat Achaz . . . or Ahaz (2 Ki.15:38), to him the sign was given, and the famous prophecy of the Messiah (Isa.7:10-14).
And Achaz begat Ezekias . . . or Hezekiah (2 Ki.16:20), him Ahaz begat of Abi, the daughter of Zachariah (2 Ki.18:2). He was a very godly king, and had that remarkable flavor from God to have fifteen years added to his days (Isa.38:5).
Jotham. A good king like Uzziah, his father.
Ahaz. One of Judah's worst kings.
Hezekiah. A godly king, like David.
Matthew 1:10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; (KJV)
And Ezekias begat Manasses . . . or Manasseh (2 Ki.20:21). Him Hezekiah begat of Hephzibah (2 Ki.21:1). He was very remarkable both for his sins (2 Chron.33:1-9), and for his humiliation because of them (2 Chron.33:12-13). God did forgive Manasseh, and moved the Assyrian Emperor to bring Manasseh back to Jerusalem to rule over his kingdom.
And Manasses begat Amon . . . of Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah (2 Ki.21:19). He was a very wicked king.
And Amon begat Josias . . . or Josiah of Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath (2 Ki.22:1). He was a very godly king, and was prophesied of by name some hundreds of years before he was born (1 Ki.13:2).
Manasseh. An evil king, like Ahaz, but, being punished of God, he repented.
Amon. An evil king like his father Manasseh; who became worse and worse until his people conspired against him and slew him (2 Ki.21:23). .
Josiah. One of the best kings, good, like Hezekiah.
Matthew 1:11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: (KJV)
And Josias begat Jechonias . . . Jechonias is the same as Jehoiakim, the son of Josias, called so by Pharaohnecho, when he made him king, whose name before was Eliakim (2 Ki.23:34), begat of Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah (2 Ki.23:36). Jeconiah was Josiah's grandson, being the son of Jehoiakim, Josiah's second son (1 Chron.3:15-16).
And his brethren . . . were Johanan, Zedekiah, and Shallum. Two of them were kings, one reigned before him, Shallum, who is called Jehoahaz (2 Ki.23:30), the other Zedekiah, called before Mattaniah, reigned after his son Jehoiakim: these being both kings, is the reason why his brethren are mentioned; and to tell him apart from Jechonias in the next verse; who does not appear to have had any brethren.
About the time they were carried away to Babylon . . . which is not to be connected with the word "begat" . . . for Josiah did not beget Jeconiah and his brethren at that time, for he had been dead some years before; nor with Jechonias, for he never was carried away into Babylon, but died in Judea, and slept with his fathers (2 Ki.24:6).
And Josiah begat. Josiah begat Jehoiakim, and Jehoiakim begat Jechoniah.
Jechoniah and his brethren. As far as is known, Jechoniah had no literal brothers. The word "brethren" may mean his royal kindred; his father Jehoiakim, and his uncles Jehoahaz and Zedekiah, the three sons of Josiah.
At the time. Probably about 599 B.C.
Of the carrying away to Babylon. Into captivity.
Matthew 1:12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; (KJV)
And after they were brought to Babylon . . . not Jechonias, but the father of Jechonias, and the Jews.
Jechonias begat Salathiel . . . not the Jechonias mentioned in the former verse, but his son, called Jehoiachin (2 Ki.24:6,8), and Coniah (Jer.22:24,28). Both are rendered Jechonias by the Septuagint in (1 Chron.3:16; 2 Chron.36:8; Jer.22:24).
And Salathiel begat Zorobabel . . . this agrees perfectly with many passages in the Old Testament, where Zorobabel is called the son of Shealtiel or Salathiel (Ezra 3:2; 5:2; Hag.1:1,12,14; 2:2,23) which is adequate to justify Matthew in this claim. Zorobabel is also Zerubbabel, the seed of Babylon, the son of Salathiel or Shealtiel (Hag.1:1). Zorobabel is also called also the son of Pedaiah (1 Chron.3:17-19), and according to a frequent usage of the word "son;" the grandson or the nephew of Salathiel. He is also known by the Persian name of Sheshbazzar (Ezra 1:8,11).
Jechoniah. If we do not count David twice, as above indicated (as a patriarch and a king), we must count Jechoniah twice (as a king who became a citizen). But if we count Jehoiakim as properly included in the phrase "his brethren" in Mat.1:11, we need count no one twice.
Shealtiel. Luke calls Shealtiel the son of Neri (Lk.3:27). Jechoniah may have been the natural, and Neri the legal, father of Shealtiel (Deut.25:5-10; Mat.22:24). Or Luke's Shealtiel and Zerubbabel may have been different persons from the Shealtiel and Zerubbabel of Matthew.
Zerubbabel. The governor of Jerusalem, who rebuilt the temple, as told by Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah.
Matthew 1:13-15 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; (KJV)
And Zorobabel begat Abiud . . . the children of Zorobabel are said in (1 Chron.3:19-20), to be Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister, but no mention is made of Abiud: he seems to be the same with Meshullam the eldest son, who might have two names, since it was usual, especially about the time of the Babylon captivity, for men to have more names than one, as may be observed in Daniel and others, (Dan.1:7) where they went by one, and in Judea by another.
And Abiud begat Eliakim . . . from here to the 16th verse the genealogy is carried down to Joseph, the husband of Mary; which account must be taken from the genealogical tables of the Jews, to which was possible, and with which it agrees; otherwise the Jews would have complained, but it seems no objections have been made by them to it.
And Eliakim begat Azor . . . None of these names are found in the Old Testament; but they were no doubt taken from the public or family registers, which the Jews kept ever so carefully, and their accuracy was never challenged. There are many objections made to this last part Matthew’s genealogy, and great difference between Matthew and Luke. There is no Abiud recorded amongst the sons of Zorobabel (1 Chron.3:19-20), and for the others named, there is no sure account of them in any part of the Holy Scriptures. From the time of Jehoiakim, there was over 500 years to the birth of Christ, of which 70 of that was spent in the captivity of Babylon (Jer.25:11-12; 29:10; Dan.9:2; Zec.7:5). Zorobabel was alive at the end of the captivity (Ezra 5:2), and as it seems, was the ruler of the Jews, though not under the title and style of king. For Eliakim, Azor, Sadoc, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, and Jacob, though we have no mention of them in any Old Testament Books, but Matthew's credit in the service of God should out weigh any objections. That Matthew in what he wrote was guided by the unerring Spirit, and that he had access of Jewish pedigrees should quench any opposition. This is enough for TRUE Christians, who believe the Books of the New as well as the Old Testament to be written by persons Divinely inspired (2 Tim.3:16) . . . we have nothing to do but to reconcile Matthew and Luke, both whom we know to have had the same infallible inspiration and direction. IF Jews or pagans argue from any other topic than this, it should be sufficient to tell them that the Jews kept exact genealogies, and especially as to the descents in the tribes of Judah and Levi, that they might never be at loss as to the Messiah, Whom they expected as the Son of David. And in my humble opinion, although these records and rolls of genealogy are now lost, we have NO reason to believe they were so in Matthew's time.
Matthew 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (KJV)
And Jacob begat Joseph . . . Joseph was the legal and physical husband of Mary, and was a direct descendant of David. Matthew was very careful NOT to identify Jesus as the physical son of Joseph. In the Old Testament, anointing signified two things: God's choice and His empowering a person for a task. Israelites were by tradition anointed to three different offices: prophet, priest, or king. Even though the Lord Jesus was God's Anointed for all three, Matthew places the most stress on Jesus' royalty. Jacob begat Joseph . . . a poor carpenter of Nazareth, was the descendant of a long line of kings. As the husband of Mary he was the legal father of Jesus, thus Matthew gives his line of descent. A comparison of the table given by Luke will show that it differs in part from that of Matthew. Between David and Joseph the lists are widely different. Several views, all possible, have been presented, but the most probable explanation is that Matthew gives the line of Joseph, the legal line, and that Luke gives the line of Mary, the mother of our Lord. Since the Jews regarded only male descent, unless Joseph, the supposed father, was a descendant of David they would not have recognized the genealogy as a fulfillment of the prophecies that Christ would be the Son of David . . . while Luke, himself a Gentile and writing for Gentiles, was more particular to give the line that shows that Jesus is really the Son of David. If Mary was the daughter of Heli, especially if an heiress, Joseph, by marriage, would become the “son of Heli.” That there is no contradiction between the two tables is shown by the fact that the Jews who best understood their genealogies never charged it. These tables were preserved with great care, for various reasons, until Christ was born, but it is asserted that Herod destroyed them. If this is incorrect, they did not survive the destruction of Jerusalem.
Of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ . . . or Messiah; that impressive Person, spoken of by the Prophets of the Old Testament (Gen.3:15; 12:3; 18:18; 2 Sam.7:13; Isa. 9:7; 11:1-5; 49:6; 53:3,6,10,11; Mic.5:2), and under that Name, Messiah (Dan.9:25-26), and whom the Jews expected. From this genealogy it appears, that Jesus was of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, and of the family of David; where several ancient prophecies have their accomplishment, and therefore He should be acknowledged as the true Messiah: and that He was of the royal blood and had His descent from the kings of Judah, and was heir apparent to the throne and Kingdom of
Of the four women in this genealogy, Rahab and Ruth were Gentiles. Tamar and Bathsheba were Jews. Thus Christ descended from both Jews and Gentiles. Rahab was a harlot (Jam.2:25). Both Tamar and Bathsheba committed adultery (Gen.38; 2 Sam.11:1-5). Ruth was a virtuous woman (Ruth 3:11).
Of the four women introduced, three of them had a blemish on their names in the Old Testament . . . Thamar, Rachab, and Bath-sheba. This feature in Matthew’s genealogy differs from that given by Luke. Rahab (Joshua 2) Ruth (Ruth 3) Bathsheba (1 Kings 1:15-21) In the genealogy Bathsheba is simply called Uriah’s wife. Christ’s genealogy repeatedly shows how He brought the outcast in.
KINGS OF ISRAEL:
Jeroboam, bad, 930-909 B.C.
Nadab, bad, 909-908 B.C.
Baasha, bad, 908-886 B.C.
Elah, bad, 886-885 B.C.
Zimri, bad, 885 B.C.
Tibni, bad, 885-880 B.C.
Omri, extra bad, 885-874 B.C.
Ahab, wicked, ungodly, the worst, 874-853 B.C.
Ahaziah, bad, 853-852 B.C.
Joram, bad mostly, 852-841 B.C.
Jehu, not good but better than some, 841-814 B.C.
Jehoahaz, bad, 814-798 B.C.
Joash, bad, 798-782 B.C.
Jeroboam II, bad, 793-753 B.C.
Zechariah, bad, 753 B.C.
Shallum, bad, 752 B.C.
Menahem, bad, 752-742 B.C.
Pekahiah, bad, 742-740 B.C.
Pekah, bad, 752-732 B.C.
Hoshea, bad, 732-722 B.C.
KINGS OF JUDAH:
Rehoboam, bad mostly, 933-916 B.C.
Abijah, bad mostly, 915-913 B.C.
Asa, good, 912-872 B.C.
Jehoshaphat, good, 874-850 B.C.
Jehoram, bad, 850-843 B.C.
Ahaziah, bad, 843 B.C.
Athaliah, devilish, 843-837 B.C.
Joash, good mostly, 843-803 B.C.
Amaziah, good mostly, 803-775 B.C.
Uzziah, good mostly, 787-735 B.C.
Jotham, good, 749-734 B.C.
Ahaz, wicked, 741-726 B.C.
Hezekiah, the best, 726-697 B.C.
Manasseh, the worst, 697-642 B.C.
Amon, the worst, 641-640 B.C.
Josiah, the best, 639-608 B.C.
Jehoahaz, bad, 608 B.C.
Jehoiakim, wicked, 608-597 B.C.
Jehoiachin, bad, 597 B.C.
Zedekiah, bad, 597-586 B.C.
The Virgin Birth Of Jesus Christ (1:17-23) His Name (1:17-23)
Matthew 1:17 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. (KJV)
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations . . . There are exactly fourteen generations from Abraham to David, and two other series are made to correspond. Matthew traced the genealogy of Christ from Abraham, which he divides into "three" parts . . . persons from Abraham to David are fourteen generations: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Phares, Esrom, Aram, Amminadab, Naasson, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David.
And from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations . . .
Solomon, Roboam, Abia, Asa, Josaphat, Joram, Ozias, Joatham, Achaz, Ezekias, Manasses, Amon, Josias, Jechonias, or Jehoiachin.
And from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations . . . that is, the whole genealogy can be divided into three fourteens, each taking on one marked era, and each ending with an important event, in the Israelite records. Fourteen generations . . . the Jews, to whom Matthew wrote his Gospel, were very fond of such groupings and divisions as this. There were gaps found in some of the Old Testament genealogies. In Ezra 7:1-5, no fewer than six generations of the priesthood are omitted, as will appear by comparing it with 1 Chron.6:3-15. It will be observed that the last of the three divisions of fourteen appears to contain only thirteen distinct names, including Jesus as the last. As Matthew (Mat.1:17) reckons David twice . . . as the last of the first fourteen and the first of the second . . . so, if we reckon the second fourteen to end with Josiah, who was simultaneous with the "carrying away into captivity" (Mat.1:11), and third to begin with Jeconiah, it will be found that the last division, as well as the other two, embraces fourteen names, including that of our Lord. So all the generations from Abraham unto David are fourteen generations; and from David unto the carrying away to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon unto the Christ fourteen generations.
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. (KJV)
Now the birth of Jesus Christ . . . now we come to the fifth woman in association with Christ. Matthew having finished the genealogy of Christ, proceeds to give an account of Jesus’ birth, including both His conception and birth.
Was on this wise . . . was "after this manner," which was amazing and astonishing.
When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph . . . espoused, betrothed or engaged to be married. There was usually an interval of ten or twelve months, among the Jews, between the contract of marriage and the celebration of the nuptials. Unfaithfulness to each other was deemed adultery, and thereby the outward credit both of Mary and Jesus were secured; for had this appeared before the espousals, the Jews would have fixed a brand of infamy on them both. Christ had no real physical father as Man, for Joseph was only His legal or supposed father.
Before they came together . . . before Joseph brought his bride to his own house. An espoused maiden lived in her father's house until the marriage.
She was found with child of the Holy Ghost . . . Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (KJV) . . . An espoused maiden lived in her father's house until the marriage, as is our own custom. The Jews were usually betrothed ten or twelve months prior to the marriage. So sacred was this relationship that unfaithfulness to it was considered adultery, and was punishable by death by stoning (Dert.22:23-28; Lev.20:10. Eze.16:38. Jn.8:405). Those espoused were regarded as husband and wife, and could only be separated by divorce. Hebrew betrothals really set a good example for the world. Hasty marriage is all too often followed by hasty repentance. No woman of Israel was married unless she had been first espoused. Both Matthew and Luke give the earthly genealogy of Jesus, and are very careful to mention His extraordinary, miraculous conception through the Holy Spirit. All the New Testament writers recognized Jesus as being both Human and Divine. Christ's "physical" nature was begotten by the Holy Spirit, but the Christian's "spiritual" nature is begotten of Him (Jn.1:12-13). The act of the Holy Spirit in this case reveals that He is a Personality, and not a mere influence, as some are disposed to imagine. Influences do not create physical bodies. Our awesome Triune God consists of three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost! http://www.hisservants.org/triune_god_h_s.htm
Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. (KJV)
Then Joseph her husband,. . . the word in the original does not imply that they were married. It means here the man to whom she was espoused.
Being a just man . . . Joseph was kind, loving, merciful and tender hearted, and very attached to Mary. He did not want to expose her to public shame (1 Jn.1:9).
And not willing to make her a publick example . . . to expose her to public infamy. Adultery has always been considered a crime of a very scandalous nature. In Egypt it was punished by cutting off the nose of the adulteress; in Persia the nose and ears were cut off; in Judea the punishment was death by stoning. This punishment was also inflicted where the person was not married, but betrothed. In this case, the regular punishment would have been death in this painful and humiliating manner. But Joseph was a godly man, mild and tender, and he was not willing to complain of her to the magistrate, and expose her to death, but sought to avoid the shame.
Put her away privily . . . the law of Moses gave the husband the power of divorce (Deut.24:1). It was usual, in a bill of divorce, to specify the cause for which the divorce was made, and witnesses were also present to testify to the divorce. But in this case, it seems, Joseph resolved to put her away without specifying the cause: for he was not willing to make her a public example. This is the meaning here of privately. Both to Joseph and Mary this must have been a great trial. Joseph loved her, but her character was likely to be ruined, and he thought it proper to separate her from him. Mary was innocent, but Joseph was not yet satisfied of her innocence. This may teach us how to put our trust in God. He will defend the innocent. Mary was in great danger of being exposed to humiliating shame. Had she been espoused to a cruel and violent man, she would have died in the disgrace of stoning death. BUT . . . our all wise God had so planned that she was espoused to Joseph, a man good-natured, mild and tender. And, in due time, Joseph would know the truth of the case, and willingly took his faithful and beloved wife to his bosom. How completely different was the conduct of the innocent Joseph from that of guilty Judah (Gen.38:24). There may be times when we may be attacked, or circumstances may be against us. but in due time God will vindicate our character, and save us from ruin.
Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (KJV)
But while he thought on these things . . . Joseph did not act hastily, nor did he take the course which the law would have permitted him to do. He was not hasty, violent or unjust, for it was something deeply affecting his happiness, his character, and the reputation and character of his chosen lifetime companion. God will always guide the thoughtful and the concerned. When we have looked patiently at a confusing subject, and do not know what to do, God in His goodness, as He did with Joseph, will step in to lead us, and direct our way, Psalm 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. (KJV)
Behold, the angel of the Lord . . . the word angel literally means a messenger. It is applied primarily in the Scriptures to those invisible holy beings who have not fallen into sin; who live in Heaven (1 Tim.5:21; Jude 1:6), and who are sent to minister to those who are heirs of salvation (Dan.9:21; Heb.1:13-14). It is commonly and falsely applied, however, to the unfallen, happy spirits that are in heaven, whose only dignity and pleasure it is to do the will of God.
Behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream . . . dreams were a common way of making known the will of God to the ancient prophets and people of God (Gen.20:3; 31:10-11,24; 37:5: 41:1; 1 Ki.3:5; Dan.7:1; Job 4:13-16). In what way it was determined that these dreams were from God, we cannot know, but it is sufficient for us to know that in this way many of the prophecies were communicated. There are many false prophets and false pastors in today’s world who claim to have dreams from God. There is now, NO evidence that we are to put reliance on those dreams. It is erroneous belief to suppose that God now makes known His will in this way. It is probably the same Angel which appeared to Zacharias (Lk.1:13), and brought him tidings that his wife should have a son, and who also appeared to Mary (Lk.1:30), and told her that she would conceive, and bring forth the Messiah. This angel’s name was Gabriel (Lk.1:19,36).
Saying Joseph, thou son of David . . . Joseph was a descendant of David. The angel reminded him of his relationship to David, possibly to prepare him for the fact that Mary was to be the mother of the Messiah, the promised heir of David.
Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife . . . do not hesitate or have fears about Mary’s virtue and purity, or that she will disgrace you.
For that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost . . . she has not been guilty of any sinfulness with men. Mary’s conception came about by the Holy Ghost, and completely owing to His coming upon her, and overshadowing her in a wonderful and miraculous way. The angel not only encourages Joseph by these words, but gives him something by way of prophecy, in the following verse.
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (KJV)
And she shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Jesus . . . even though she was with child, it could not be known any otherwise than by prediction or divine revelation, that she would have a son, whose Name should be called Jesus; a name of the same signification with Joshua and Hosea, and may be interpreted a "Saviour" (Ps.2:7; Isa.7:14; 9:6; Lk.1:31; Acts 13:33; Heb.1:5-6; 5:5).
For he shall save his people from their sins . . . the salvation here attributed to Him, and for which He is in every way fit, being God as well as Man, and which He is the sole Author of, is to be understood, not as physical, but a spiritual and everlasting salvation such as was prophesied of (Ias.45:17), and which Jacob had in his mind when he said, "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord" (Gen.49:18).
Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, (KJV)
Now all this was done . . . these are not the words of the angel, but of Matthew.
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet . . . saying that Mary's being with child of the Holy Ghost, and her conception in such an amazing manner, while a pure virgin, before she and Joseph came together, who although she was espoused to him, was untouched by him. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (KJV)
Saying . . . about the year 740 B.C. While Ahaz was king of Judah, his land was threatened with an invasion by the united armies of Syria and Israel. Isaiah came to frightened Ahaz, promised divine aid, and told Ahaz to seek from God a sign confirming this promise. This Ahaz refused to do; whereupon Isaiah replied that God would grant a sign any way. The sign was that a virgin should have a son, and before the Son reached the age of discretion, the kingdoms of Syria and Israel should be destroyed. The sign given Ahaz was one of deliverance, and prefigured the birth of Christ, the great Deliverer, in four ways: #1. A virgin would bear bear a child. #2. A male child (Rev.12:5). #3. The divinely ordered naming of the child. (4) The significance of the Name given; Jesus fulfilled in His ministry. “Immanuel” means God with us.
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (KJV)
Behold, a virgin shall be with child . . . these words are 100% rightly applied to the virgin Mary and her Son Jesus, for there have been NO other births from virgins anywhere at any time!
And they shall call his name Emmanuel . . . the difference between Isaiah and Matthew is very small, it being in the one "shall call", that is, thou virgin shalt call him by this name; and in the other "they shall call" that is, Joseph, Mary, and others.
Which being interpreted is, God with us . . . “Immanuel” well agrees with Jesus, who is God in our nature, the word that was made flesh and dwelt among us (Jn.1:14), and is the one and only Mediator between God and us (1 Tim.2:5).
Matthew 1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: (KJV)
Then Joseph being raised from sleep . . . a natural sleep, or was he meditating on Mary's being with child, or was he cast into sleep so that he could have the dream? I do not know.
Did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him . . . firmly believing that it was a messenger of God that was sent to him, and that this matter was of the Lord. He . . .
And took unto him his wife . . . meaning that Joseph publicly married her, took her to his house, and lived with her as his wife, with no more thoughts of putting her away.
Matthew 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (KJV)
And knew her not . . . Joseph did not have sexual intercourse with her even though she was his wife. This conduct was necessary,
Till she had brought forth her firstborn . . . that it might crystal clear, not only that she conceived, being a virgin, but also that she brought forth a child, being a virgin. For both are meant in the prophecy“a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son” which is as if it had been said, a virgin shall conceive, and "a virgin" shall bring forth a son. The "firstborn" is that which first opens the womb of its mother (Gen.30:22; Ex.13:2), whether any follows after or not. Some are persistent to say that Mary remained a virgin all her life, That is NOT true according to Holy Scriptures (Mat.12:46; 13:55; Mk.6:3; Jn.2:12; 7:3,5,10; Acts 1:14; Gal.1:19). Christ is called Mary's firstborn, because she had none before Him, but she DID have other children afterwards. Joseph knew her not till she had brought forth . . . the meaning is sure that he knew her not before Jesus was born.
And he called his name JESUS . . . this was given by Divine appointment (verse 21), and was conferred on Him on the eighth day, at the time of His circumcision (Lk.2:21).
Can a person be a TRUE Christian and deny the virgin birth of our dear Lord Jesus? I really do think that it is possible to accept Christ as your Saviour without knowing. Some who turn to Christ know very little about Him, some may have never even opened the Bible, so they do not know about this record is in the Bible. But after you have become a child of God (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-3-8), you will not, you cannot deny the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus. You may not have to know it to be saved, but as a TRUE child of God you CANNOT deny the virgin birth of Christ Jesus.
Do I sound inflexible and rigid in my beliefs? I truly do hope so because the Word of God certainly is!
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (KJV)
1 John 5:10-13 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (KJV)
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (KJV)
John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (KJV)
I believe the above to be true and all-important. We need a Saviour who is able to reach down and save us. If Jesus were just another Man, and not God, He could NOT help us! BUT . . . if He is Emmanuel, God with us, virgin born, then He is a very qualified Saviour who can save us. Is He your Savior today? Our remarkable God, took upon Himself our humanity in this way so that He might die a redemptive death on the cross for us. Have you thanked Him? If not, why not?
Gospel of Matthew
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