Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed which is Christ.
God selected Abraham and his seed to be His people from whom the Christ would come. Later as the the nation of Israel grew from the 12 sons of Jacob the tribe of Judah was selected to rule. It was from Judah that the promised Christ would come:
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
The Christ was to be King over God's people, Israel, and God narrowed the genealogical requirement further with a promise to David that the Christ would come from his seed:
I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him [David], that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
The genealogy recorded in the book of Matthew traces the bloodline of Jesus Christ through his human parents to show his birthright as King of Israel and descendant of both David and Abraham. There is no recording of the actual birth of Jesus Christ in Matthew. The record begins with his kingly genealogy followed by the record of Joseph accepting the responsibility of raising Jesus as a son in his house. The record then jumps ahead to the visit of the magi a year and three months after the birth of Christ; men who came from the east seeking the young child who had been born King of the Judeans.
The Christ had to be made of the seed of David according to the flesh. While Joseph was of the seed of David, Jesus Christ did not receive any real genetic characteristics from Joseph as God (by creation of seed in Mary's womb) was Jesus Christ's genetic father. Joseph accepted the responsibility to raise Jesus as his son and thus legally Jesus Christ was heir to the bloodline of David. However, his genetic tie to the promised kingly bloodline came from Mary who was also of the house of David. That is why the genealogy listed in Matthew is Mary's line as the Christ had to be made of the seed of David according to the flesh.
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
In order to show Jesus Christ the King, Matthew begins by documenting that he was a descendant of both David and Abraham as required by the old testament prophesies. Then follows his kingly genealogy:
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
of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
The genealogy begins with Abraham follows through to David (who it then identifies as KING), then continues on to Jesus the Christ. Verse 16, as translated, contradicts the genealogy given in Luke where Joseph (Mary's husband) is identified as the son of Heli. The genealogy in Matthew is identifying the bloodline in which Christ is of the seed of David according to the flesh. It is Mary's line. The confusion comes because Mary's father was named Joseph and Mary's husband was also named Joseph. The Greek word translated husband in Matthew 1:16 is the word andra from the root word aner. Aner is translated in various places in God's Word as husband, prophet, fellow, murderer, and man. It's meaning is determined by the context but it is always used in reference to an adult male. In the Aramaic the word gavra which means "mighty man" is the word used in this verse. The mighty man of a household in the Bible was the father. This genealogy is Mary's line clearly showing Jesus Christ's genetic and legal claim to the throne of David. Jesus Christ was of the seed of David according to the flesh. God put one more safeguard on the genealogy by dividing it into three equal sections in verse 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.
Only by understanding Joseph as Mary's father do the
verses in Matthew 1:2-16 break down into three groups of fourteen generations:
|From Abraham to David (14 generations)|
|7.||Aram||14.||David (the King)|
|From David to carrying away to Babylon(14 generations)|
|From the carrying away to Babylon to Christ (14 generations)|
|1.||Salathiel (born after carrying away)||8.||Eliud|
|5.||Azor||12.||Joseph (father of Mary)|
The gospel of Luke was written to show Jesus Christ the man. It is in Luke that we read the record of his birth in a manger and the visit of common shepherds from the Judean hills. In Genesis 3:15 God promised mankind a redeemer who would be a man who would walk the walk Adam failed to walk in the beginning - the seed of the woman.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The gospel of Luke tells of the believing of Mary in her declaration:
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
The gospel of Luke tells of Jesus Christ's circumcision at eight days, his "coming of age" at twelve, and the beginning of his ministry at "about 30." In order to redeem man, Jesus Christ had to be a man, descended from Adam, who would walk a perfect walk before God. As all men are descended from Adam the Word of God documents his human genealogy tracing his line back to Adam through his adoptive father Joseph. This genealogy is recorded as he began to be about 30 in verse 23 of Luke Chapter 3.
And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,
Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge,
Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda,
Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri,
Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er,
Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi,
Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim,
Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,
Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson,
Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,
Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,
Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,
Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,
Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
In a society built upon paternal genealogy, Jesus Christ needed credentials through his (as was supposed by society) father Joseph as well as the credentials of his mother. Joseph assumed the responsibility for Jesus as his son and it was Joseph's line that gave him full legal standing in the House of David. The genealogy in Luke is not a kingly genealogy or royal lineage. Luke traces Jesus Christ's line through Nathan (who was not a king) the son of David rather than through Solomon. The two genealogies are identical from Abraham to David but not from David to Mary and Joseph.
Jesus Christ was the offspring of Mary and God.
Thus he was born with no sinful nature in him (as the life of the flesh
which was corrupted by sin is passed from father to son by the seed of the
father), yet he was totally a man. He had to grow and mature and
learn to walk with God just as any other man. He had to learn of
his mission to redeem man and he had to fulfill all the genetic requirements
of the promised seed of the woman. He had to be a descendent of Adam,
Abraham, and David. He was and is God's plan for the redemption of
man. He is the only begotten son of God.
God has a purpose for everything He says, where He says it, why He says it, when He says it and to whom He says it. The records given in the gospels were set forth as they are because that is how God gave them. The second group of fourteen generations listed in Matthew purposely omits four of David's descendants in this line. God inspired Matthew to set forth the generations as they appear. Matthew had to be aware of the records in the old testament, but God gave the generations as they appear in the book of Matthew for the expressed purpose of showing Jesus Christ's kingly line. The omitted "kings" are Ahaziah (II Kings 8:24-9:27 and II Chronicles 22:1-9) the son of Joram (number 6), Ahaziah's son Joash (II Kings 11:2-12:20 and II Chronicles 24:1-22), Joash's son Amaziah (II Kings 14:1-19 and II Chronicles 25), and Jehoiakim (II Kings 23:34-24:6 and II Chronicles 36:1-8) the son of Josias (number 13). The reason for their omission could be idolatry or wickedness, since certain generations had names deleted for this reason. But whatever the reason, the record is as God gave it and the names listed are divided into three sets of 14 generations.
There is no record of the "Cainan" listed
in Luke 3:36 in the Old Testament. Genesis 11:12 lists Sala as the
immediate and direct son of Arphaxad. Although most manuscripts include
the "Cainan" listed in verse 36, the error may have come in when an early
scribe copying this section of Luke allowed his eye to drop to the Cainan
of Luke 3:37 and mistakenly copied the name in verse 36 as well. The Codex Bezae omits "which was the son of Cainan" in verse 36; the third-century papyrus known as p75 appears to support this omission.