Matthew 1:1-17 (The Ancestors of Jesus)



I plan to start a thread roughly every week going through each passage of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in order for me to share with you all what I have learnt or certain perspectives on Gospels teachings and in order for me to learn from you all what you have recieved from these Teachings.

The first one I would like to talk about is Matthew 1:1-17 (I have quoted the CEV version, I hope nobody minds, if you prefer a different version please don’t hesitate to quote it for me).

I have not really read much about this passage, so there is not too much I can share with you all about the first passage I have quoted here, so if anyone would like to share anything at all they have learnt about this passage, It would be greatly appreaciated.

(I plan to also share certain things I have learnt from passages out of the Gospel when I get up to them ;))

Thank you all in advance. God Bless.


Please don’t hesitate to expand on and share whatever you like regarding this passage … the sky is the limit. :slight_smile:

I’ll go first :slight_smile:

I assume that ancestory would be passed down like it is today, where the last name and direct relation is in regard to the Father, hence taking their last name, so I assume that Mary’s father and his father and his father’s father etc would lead directly back to King David and than later to Adam.

This is my uneducated guess. :slight_smile:

Id love to hear what people have learnt about this passage.

Thank you for reading


Good thread, I’ll be following this! :slight_smile:

Scholars have noted that the genealogy is divided into three sections, each of which has fourteen members. The Hebrew letters of the name of David (d-v-d) add up to 14. It’s a deliberate piece of symbolism on the part of St. Matthew, who was writing to Jews to prove that Jesus Christ is the Davidic Messiah. :slight_smile:

There are various interesting theories about the divergences between this genealogy and the one given in the Gospel of St. Luke. A traditional view is that St. Luke gives Our Blessed Mother’s lineage, not Joseph’s; a more modern view (see in Ronald Knox’s notes, for example) is that levirate marriages may have been involved.


Matthew’s Gospel is about the King and his Kingdom. This is what Matthew is telling us about in his genealogy. The genealogy is a timeline and an outline for what he will write about in his Gospel.

Genealogy in the Bible was a literary tool which authors used to signify that something was changing and to focus attention down onto a specific person. It was often used to carry the storyline from one time to another.

In this genealogy, the author is taking you from covenant to covenant to covenant. Matthew is focusing attention on three people - Abraham, David and Jesus. Abraham and David both made covenants with God and a Jewish audience would be keenly aware of this. This genealogy is a timeline from Abraham’s covenant --> David’s covenant --> Jesus’ covenant. All three covenants were about making great nations, blessing them, and ensuring that their leadership would last forever.

Abrahamic Covenant

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (Genesis 12:2)

Davidic Covenant

And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever. (2 Samuel 7:16)

Covenant of Jesus

**I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. **(Matthew 16:19)

Matthew’s Gospel is about the King and his Kingdom - that is the theme of Matthew’s Gospel. The genealogy is an outline of his Gospel. Matthew writes about the arrival of the King, the authority of the King, the beautiful kingdom parables in Matthew 13 which explain what the kingdom will be like, the actual establishment of the kingdom and the tearing down of the old kingdom.

In the genealogy Matthew takes us from the covenant promise made to Abraham to make a great nation, to the covenant establishment of the old kingdom in David, to its ultimate fulfillment and establishment of the new covenant and new kingdom of Jesus. It’s about Abraham, David and Jesus. It’s about nations, kingdoms and covenants. It is about the fulfillment of those earlier covenants, nations and kingdoms in Jesus.

The covenants with God were everything to the Jews and these are what makes the nation and kingdom of Israel different from all the other nations. Matthew’s entire Gospel is about the King and the Kingdom.



Seems to me that this is the genealogy of who God chose from all of humanity to be the foster father and protector and teacher of Jesus, who is Joseph, who is mentioned as the husband of Mary.

Mary being the one chosen from all of humanity to be the Mother of God-Incarnate, Jesus.

Mary is not part of the genealogical line that is mentioned in these verses.


Another interesting part of this genealogy is the mention of four women:

  1. Tamar - Tamar is the Canaanite wife of Judah’s son Er. When Er and his brother Onan (of contraceptive fame) are slain by the Lord for displeasing him, Judah rather unwisely places the blame on Tamar, and refuses to marry her to his third son Shelah. In order to preserve Er’s bloodline, Tamar poses as a “sacred prostitute” (Hebrew qedeshah) and becomes the mother of Judah’s twin sons. Through her, the Hebrews receive the House of David, and ultimately, Christ.

  2. Rahab - Rahab is mentioned in Joshua 2 as a prostitute (Hebrew zona) who protects the lives of Joshua’s spies, and whose life and home are spared in return. Rahab is cited as a model of good works in James 2, and her house has been viewed by Church Fathers as a figure of the Church - within whom alone we can be saved, and outside which there is no salvation. (Some Protestant commentators, annoyed by this, try to solve their “problem” by claiming that Matthew is referring to a different Rahab.)

  3. Ruth - Ruth is a Moabite who is assimilated into the Israelite community, and who is revered as a figure of family loyalty by both her mother-in-law and her husband Boaz. She is David’s great-grandmother.

  4. Bathsheba - Though she is not named, she is mentioned (“she who had been the wife of Uriah”). David’s sin with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah lead to grievous consequences, but also to his sincere repentance when rebuked by Nathan (2 Sam 11-12; Psalm 51) - a repentance that has been praised even by secular authors such as Isaac Asimov (Asimov’s Guide to the Bible). David and Bathsheba’s son Solomon, before his apostasy, is the greatest of the Davidic kings in terms of temporal power.

So many lessons, so little space. If we continue at this rate, we’ll have an entire Commentary on Matthew 1, copyright 2014, CAF Forum members. :slight_smile:


Just a couple of comments.

As RPRPsych pointed out, the geneology oddly mentions four women. That’s odd because in Jewish geneologies, the line is through the man, and women are not normally mentioned. That the four women mentioned are all involved in some form of scandal (as elucidated by RPRPsych), and yet still bear the Abrahamic and Davidic lines (and Covenants), it may be that these women were mentioned in defense of Jesus being validly of these lines though his own mother was involved in an apparent scandal (pregnant out of wedlock).

The second comment I’d like to make is that some find it odd that Matthew would use Joseph’s geneology to establish Jesus’ right to the throne of David when Joseph wasn’t Jesus biological father. The answer to this is that Joseph’s geneology was important because he was Jesus’ foster father, and in Jewish law, all the rights and privileges of the foster father are conferred on the adopted son. Therefore, by establishing Joseph’s geneology as belonging to the line of David, Matthew was demonstrating his validity as a Davidic King as the adopted son (and therefore legal heir) of Joseph.


I’m digging up something I wrote a while back in my hiatus - I posted it elsewhere. I’m gonna fall back to my old habit of long posts; pardon me a bit.

Matthew begins by announcing: “The scroll (traditionally “the book;” i.e. the record) of the geneseōs” (βίβλος γενέσεως, biblos geneseōs) of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham." There are actually many ways of understanding the word geneseōs. In many translations, geneseōs is usually translated as ‘genealogy’, understanding the phrase to be the heading of the genealogy in 1:2-17. It could also be understood as ‘birth’ (as in 1:18) or the ‘origin’ or ‘beginning’ and be taken as the introduction to 1:2-25 or 1:2-2:23 or or even 1:2-4:16 - Jesus’ ‘birth’, His ‘origins’, and the ‘beginning’ of His earthly and public life.

Another possibility is that geneseōs is a conscious allusion to the book of Genesis. In other words, Matthew begins his work - rather properly, one could say - at the ‘beginning’: he apparently considers the story of Jesus as the story of a new Genesis, a new creation. In fact the phrase biblos geneseōs appears two times in the Greek Septuagint version of Genesis (2:4; 5:1-2 NETS). An author named Peter Leithart makes the following observation:

[INDENT]Dale Allison argues that Matthew’s opening words, BIBLOS GENESEOS, should be translated as “Book of the Genesis,” a translation ambiguous enough to capture all that Matthew intended – an allusion to the first book of the Bible, a new creation theme, an introduction to the genealogy or birth story, etc. GENESIS was, he argues, established as the title of the first book of the Bible by Matthew’s time. He suggests that Matthew 1:1 is a title: “Book of the New Genesis of Jesus Christ….”

He and WD Davies also note (in their jointly authored ICC volume) how the phrase is used in the LXX of Genesis 2:4 and 5:1. There, the phrase does not, as in Matthew 1:1, introduce a genealogy; rather, BIBLOS GENESEOS in Genesis 5:1 introduces a list of descendants and in 2:4 does not (on their reading) introduce any sort of ancestry or genealogy at all.

Let’s assume, though, that Matthew meant to draw a very direct link between his use of the phrase and that of Genesis 2:4 and 5:1. What would that mean?

First, I think it likely that the phrase in Genesis 2:4 does in fact introduce a series of “generations.” This is the use of the similar phrases throughout Genesis. 10:1, for instance, introduces the “generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth,” and then goes on to list those who are born from them, and the events generated by those generations. In 2:4, the “heavens and earth” are the “parents” who generate (though God’s work) plants, mist, a garden, a man, etc. Adam’s mother is the earth, as his father is the God of heaven; he is taken from the dust, and his Father breathes life into Him from heaven. Genesis 5:1 definitely introduces a list of those “generated” by Adam. Thus, in both places where Genesis uses the same phrase as Matthew, the text goes on to describe those things that come from the one named.

If this is correct, and if Matthew is using the phrase in the same sense, then Jesus is being presented not only as the descendant of those named (though he is that, 1:16) but also as the progenitor of those listed. Israel’s history is initiated by Jesus, even as it also climaxes in Jesus. He is the Alpha and the Omega of this genealogy, the first Man and the Last Man, the beginning Israelite and the final Israelite. This is neatly captured by the chiastic structure of Matthew’s genealogy – moving from Jesus-David-Abraham [v. 1] and then through Abraham [v. 2]-David [v. 6]-Jesus [v. 16].

Jesus is the heavens-and-earth that generates a new world, a new Adamic race, a new Bride; Jesus is the Adam who gives birth to a race of true Sethites.

You might note that the very first names which appear in 1:1 (Jesus, David, Abraham) also appear in 1:2-16, but in reverse order. So the very first verse offers a triad and the front half of what is known as a chiasmus, as Leithart has explained:

a.) “Jesus Christ” (1:1b)
[INDENT]b.) “David” (1:1c)
[INDENT]c.) “Abraham” (1:1d)
c.) “Abraham” (1:2)
b.) “David the king” (1:6)[/INDENT]
a.) “Jesus who is called Christ” (1:16)[/INDENT][/INDENT]


Here’s a nice little bit that’s ‘lost in translation.’ In Matthew, Esrom is supposed to be the father of an “Aram,” who is in turn Amminadab’s father. One might be tempted to connect it with the ‘Ram’ who fits the same description in the Hebrew text of 1 Chronicles and Ruth 4:19 - and there are some translations which ‘fix’ Aram into Ram. To complicate matters however, the Greek version of 1 Chronicles 2 has four sons of Esrom instead of the Hebrew text’s three (Jerahmeel, Ram, Chelubai) - the extra son is named Αραμ “Aram” (as in Matthew’s text), who is clearly not the same person as Ram. (For the record, the Greek version of Ruth 4:19 has Αρραν “Arran” instead of Ram.)

Hebrew (ESV): The sons of Hezron that were born to him: Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai. Ram fathered Amminadab, and Amminadab fathered Nahshon, prince of the sons of Judah.

Greek (NETS): And Heseron’s sons, who were born to him: Irameel and Ram and Chaleb and Aram. And Aram became the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab became the father of Naason, ruler of the house of Ioudas.

Another difficult part in the genealogy is Rahab’s name. There’s no source in the OT for the claim that the Rahab of Joshua became Salmon/Salma’s wife and Boaz’s mother. (In the Talmud, Rahab is said to have become the wife of Joshua; b. Megillot 14b-15a.) That, and the fact that there seems to be a gap of a century or two between Rahab and Salmon have led some to suggest that perhaps Matthew’s Rahab is a different figure. Some might even point out that in Greek the names are slightly different: Joshua’s Rahab is Ῥαάβ (Raab; cf. LXX Joshua, Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25; 1 Clement 12:1-3), but the form found in Matthew’s text is Ῥαχάβ (Rachab, the ch (chi) accurately representing the (ḥeth) of Hebrew Rāḥāḇ).

One might argue, however, that this interpretation is quite contrived. Regarding the names, the argument based on differences in transliteration is rather arbitrary: some versions of Josephus’ Antiquities (5.8-15) for instance refer to the Rahab of Joshua as Ῥαχάβη Rachabē (although Ῥαάβη Raabē is also noted). In addition, one might note the fact that Matthew introduces his Ra©hab without any further identification, suggesting that he expected her to be already familiar to his readers; it is argued that Matthew would not have included a biblically-unknown person. So despite the chronological difficulty, it is still assumed by many commentators that Joshua’s Rahab is what Matthew had in mind here.

Now the scholar Richard Bauckham (cf. Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels, pp. 34-41) suggested that the inclusion of Rahab might have been based (using Jewish-style exegesis or midrash) on 1 Chronicles 2:5-51, 54-55, which mentions a “Salma” (Hebrew: שַׂלְמָ֗א Śalmā’, the same spelling used for Salmon’s name in v. 11; Greek: Σαλωμων Salōmōn, with an extra omega distinguishing it from Σαλμων Salmōn of v. 11) - who is the father of a “Bethlehem”! - and a “house of Rechab” (Hebrew: רֵכָֽב Rēḵāḇ; Greek: Ρηχαβ Rēchab - just one letter away from Rachab). It helps that immediately after the mention of Rechab the book immediately lists David’s offspring (3:1-9). In other words, Matthew ‘discovered’ Rahab and her putative connection to Salmon/Salma and David in 1 Chronicles 2-3 via midrash.

The sons of Hur the firstborn of Ephrathah: Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim, Salma, the father of Bethlehem, and Hareph the father of Beth-gader. …] The sons of Salma: Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab and half of the Manahathites, the Zorites. The clans also of the scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab. (3:1) These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron…

Y’all wanna read more? Here you go. Stuff’s still unfinished though - never got to complete it during Christmas season. I particularly recommend part 3.

Matthew’s Infancy Narrative, 01: “Jesus Christ, Son of David”
Matthew’s Infancy Narrative, 02: From Abraham to David
Matthew’s Infancy Narrative, 03: From Solomon to the Exile


Let’s do a more literal translation. I kept the names as they are in the Greek instead of Anglicizing them - so ‘Iēsous’ instead of ‘Jesus’ or ‘Ioudas’ instead of ‘Judah’. :slight_smile:

The scroll of the genesis of Iēsous Christos [the anointed one] son of Dauid son of Abraam.

Abraam fathered Isaak,
and Isaak fathered Iakōb,
and Iakōb fathered Ioudas and his brothers,
and Ioudas fathered Phares and Zara by Thamar,
and Phares fathered Hesrōm,
and Hesrōm fathered Aram,
and Aram fathered Aminadab,
and Aminadab fathered Naasōn,
and Naasōn fathered Salmōn,
and Salmōn fathered Boes by Rachab,
and Boes fathered Iōbēd by Routh,
and Iōbēd fathered Iessai,
and Iessai fathered Dauid the king:

And Dauid the king fathered Solomōn by the wife of Ourias,
and Solomōn fathered Roboam,
and Roboam fathered Abia,
and Abia fathered Asaph,
and Asaph fathered Iōsaphat,
and Iōsaphat fathered Iōram,
and Iōram fathered Ozias,
and Ozias fathered Iōatham,
and Iōatham fathered Achas,
and Achas fathered Hezekias,
and Hezekias fathered Manassēs,
and Manassēs fathered Amōs,
and Amōs fathered Iōsias,
and Iōsias fathered Iechonias and his brothers at the deportation to Babylon.

After the deportation to Babylon Iechonias fathered Salathiēl,
and Salathiēl fathered Zorobabel,
and Zorobabel fathered Abioud,
and Abioud fathered Heliakim,
and Heliakim fathered Azōr,
and Azor fathered Sadok,
and Sadok fathered Achim,
and Achim fathered Elioud,
and Elioud fathered Eleazar,
and Eleazar fathered Matthan,
and Matthan fathered Iakōb,
and Iakōb fathered Iōsēph,
the husband of Maria of whom Iēsous was born, who is called ‘Christos’.

All the generations therefore from Abraam to Dauid: fourteen generations,
and from Dauid until the deportation to Babylon: fourteen generations,
and from the deportation to Babylon until the Anointed: fourteen generations.


Very true. One of the main points of the genealogy is to demonstrate that Jesus was the legal heir of the Davidic dynasty. :thumbsup:


Once again, Patrick, I am in awe at the depth of your scholarship. Thanks a lot. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Matthew is said to have made editorial use of the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 1-3 for his own genealogy. Here’s how it appears in the Septuagint:

Now Abraam’s sons: Isaak and Ismael. …] And Abraam became the father of Isaak, and Isaak’s sons: Esau and Iakob. …]

These are the names of Israel’s sons: Rouben, Symeon, Leui, Iouda, Issachar, Zabulon, Dan, Ioseph, Beniamin, Nephthali, Gad, Aser.
Ioudas’ sons: Er, Aunan, Selon, three. They were born to him by the daughter of Saua, the Canaanite, and Er, Iouda’s firstborn was wicked before the Lord, and he killed him. And Thamar, his daughter-in-law, bore him Phares and Zara. Iouda’s sons were five in all.
Phares’ sons: Harson and Hiemouel. …]

And Heseron’s sons, who were born to him: Irameel and Ram and Chaleb and Aram. And Aram became the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab became the father of Naason, ruler of the house of Ioudas. And Naasson became the father of Salmon, and Salmon became the father of Boos. And Boos became the father of Obed, and Obed became the father of Iessai. And Iessai became the father of his firstborn Eliab; second was Aminadab; third was Samaa; fourth was Nathalael; fifth was Raddai; sixth was Asom; seventh Dauid. And their sister: Sarouia and Abigaia. …]

Hor’s sons, firstborn of Ephratha: Sobal, father of Kariathiarim, Salomon, father of Baithlaem, Harim, father of Baithgedor. And Sobal’s sons, father of Kariathiarim, were Haraa, Hesi, Hammanith, Emospheos, Iair’s city, Haithalim and Miphithim and Hesamathim and Hemasaraim; from these came the Sarathites and the Esthaolites. Salomon’s sons: Baithlaem, Netophathi, Atharoth of Ioab’s house and half of Manathi, Hesarei. Paternal families of scribes living in Iabes: Thargathiim, Samathiim and Sokathiim; these are the Kinites who came from Mesema, father of Rechab’s house. …]

And these were born to [Dauid] in Ierousalem: Samaa, Sobab, Nathan and Salomon, four by Bersabee daughter of Amiel, and Ibaar and Elisama and Eliphalet and Nage and Naphag and Ianoue and Elisama and Eliada and Eliphalet, nine. All these were Dauid’s sons, besides the sons of concubines, and Themar, their sister.
Salomon’s sons: Roboam, Abia his son, Asa his son, Iosaphat his son, Joram his son, Ochozia his son, Ioas his son, Amasias his son, Azaria his son, Ioathan his son, Achaz his son, Hezekias his son, Manasses his son, Amon his son, Iosia his son.
And Iosia’s sons: Ioanan his firstborn, the second Ioakim, the third Sedekia, the fourth Saloum.
And Ioakim’s sons: Iechonias his son, Sedekias his son.
And Iechonia-asir’s sons: Salathiel his son; Melchiram and Phadaias and Sanesar and Iekemia and Hosama and Denethi.
And Salathiel’s sons: Zorobabel and Semei, and Zorobabel’s sons: Mosollamos and Hanania and Salomith their sister and Hasoube and Ool and Barachia and Hasadia and Asobaesd, five.

(1 Chronicles 1:28, 34; 2:1-5, 9-16a, 50-55; 3:5-20 NETS)

You can see that in order to arrive at the number fourteen Matthew deliberately skipped some names: he omitted at least four kings (Ahaziah, J(eh)oash, Amaziah, Jehoiakim), three of which died violent deaths (2 Chronicles 22:1-9; 24:1-25, 28) apparently because of the curse laid upon the northern house of Ahab (1 Kings 21:21), to which they are in some degree related via Athaliah (2 Kings 11:1-3; something which both Chronicles and Matthew skips).

There are at least a couple of differences between Septuagint 1 Chronicles and Hebrew (Masoretic) 1 Chronicles. I mentioned the mystery ‘Aram’ who exists only in the Greek version; another difference is the Greek text’s having Zerubbabel (‘Zorobabel’) to be Shealtiel’s (‘Salathiel’) son - in agreement with passages like Ezra 3:2,8; 5:2, Nehemiah 12:1, Haggai 1:1,12,14 which name him as “son of Shealtiel” - instead of Pedaiah (‘Phadaias’), as in the Hebrew version.


The transliteration of the names in the genealogy as they appear in Matthew’s Greek text for the most part agree with the Septuagint’s, although differences do exist. I’ll look at three names from Matthew’s list in particular: the names Ozias, Asaph and Amos.

Some assume that Matthew had erred by ‘confusing’ king Asa’s name with the psalmist Asaph (cf. Psalms 50; 73-83; 1 Chronicles 16:5-37; 2 Chronicles 29:30) and that of king Am(m)on with Amos (the prophet?), or that Matthew’s source had contained the spelling error, or that this is a scribal error which crept into the text quite early on. (Later manuscripts of Matthew correct the names back to ‘Asa’ and ‘Am(m)on’.) Note, however, that some Septuagint manuscripts do spell Amon’s name as Amōs (cf. Josephus’ Amōsos - a Grecized form of the name), which may at least account for the textual variant in 1:10.

It has been argued that if these were spelling ‘errors’ (one should, however, keep in mind that ancient spelling conventions were generally not as strict as modern standards - so there’s almost no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of spelling a word or a name; in any case, it’s not as if Matthew could not have known the difference between Asaph the psalmist and Asa the king) made by Matthew, then it could have been intentional ones: Matthew deliberately spelled Asa’s name as ‘Asaph’ and Amon’s name as ‘Amos’ for subtle theological reasons, as allusions to the psalmist and the prophet who bore those names and to connect Jesus to priestly and prophetic threads in Israelite history - in a midrashic sort of way. (There’s a little bonus in that Asaph and the “sons of Asaph” were closely associated with David; 1 Chronicles 6:31-32, 39; 1 Esdras 1:15; 5:59-60; Ascension of Isaiah 4.19. There’s also a possibility that Asaph was held to be a prophet as well.) That being said, there are no overt quotations from Amos or the psalms of Asaph in Matthew’s gospel (although there are possible allusions from both; Matthew 5:8 to Psalm 73:1; 10:29 to Amos 3:5; 13:35 to Psalm 78:2; 27:45 to Amos 8:9), which in the view of some commentators weakens this theory.

As for Ozias, it is generally thought that the name refers to king Uzziah - since he generally fits the description (Jehoram’s (great-great-grand)son and father of Jotham). But the thing is, the transliteration problem among the different manuscripts of the Septuagint - the short form of Ahaziah in some versions of 1 Chronicles 3:11, Oz(e)ias, elsewhere stands for Uzziah - makes it unclear as to whether Uzziah (aka Azariah) or the earlier Ahaziah is being intended here. Consequently, some have thought that Matthew omitted Joash, Amaziah and Azariah/Uzziah rather than Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah from his genealogy. One explanation is that someone’s eye - either Matthew, Matthew’s source, or the version of the Septuagint Matthew was using - slipped from ‘Ahaziah’ to ‘Uzziah’, that is from Ochozia/Ozeia/Ozias to Ozias or to some other spelling of Uzziah (a type of scribal error known as a homoioteleuton). But the fact that Matthew is keen to achieve the number fourteen might favors deliberate design over fortunate accident: the omission of Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah has more significance than that of Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah/Azariah. In any case, in 1 Chronicles 3:12 LXX Uzziah appears under his other, less easily confused name ‘Azariah’ (Azaria(s)). It’s probable that Matthew deliberately took Oz(e)ias from 1 Chronicles, intended there for Ahaziah (whose name is usually rendered as Ochoz(e)ias), but made it apply to Uzziah/Azariah according to its usual reference in the other books in the Greek Septuagint.


(Last one for now, I promise)

There’s another difficulty in the genealogy this time about “Iechonias and his brothers.” In 1 Chronicles, Josiah’s second son is Jehoiakim, who in turn has two sons - Jeconiah (aka Jehoiachin, 2 Kings 24:8-16; 2 Chronicles 36:9-10; Coniah, Jeremiah 28:4; 37:1) and Zedekiah. As one can notice, the names Jehoiachin (יהויכין, Yəhōyāḵîn) and Jehoiakim (יהויקים, Yəhōyāqîm) are quite similar to each other - the only real difference being between a couple of letters in Hebrew. In fact, the Greek Ιωακιμ Iōakim was sometimes used for both men (e.g. 2 Kings 23:36; 24:8-16), and the similarity led to confusion between the two names in 1 Esdras 1:41. Another source of confusion is that both Jehoiakim and Jeconiah had brothers named Zedekiah - which probably explains why in 2 Chronicles 36:10 king Zedekiah (Jehoiakim’s brother and Jehoiachin’s uncle, though scarcely older than the latter; 2 Kings 24:17; Jeremiah 37:1) is mistakenly referred to as being the brother of Jehoiachin.

These, coupled with the fact that “brothers” in the plural are mentioned (1 Chronicles 3:16 does not indicate that Jeconiah had more than one brother, although Jehoiakim’s brothers appear in the preceding verse), has led some scholars to suggest (again) a scribal error: Matthew would have originally written ‘Jehoiakim’, but along the way some scribe had mistakenly confused Jehoiakim with Jehoiachin/Jeconiah. This would account for the mention of “brothers” and allow us to count Jeconiah in the third set of fourteen generations so as to get the number fourteen there more easily. (If you’ll count closely, you’ll notice that despite Matthew’s claim of having three sets of fourteen generations each, there are only thirteen generations in the third set.) Now where this theory is weak is that it fails to notice Matthew’s linking Jeconiah with the deportation to Babylon, an apparent reference to the Chronicler’s description of Jeconiah - not Jehoiakim - as “(the) captive.” ('assir; interestingly, the Septuagint and the Vulgate treat the word as a proper name - either a part of Jeconiah’s name (Iechonia-asir; LXX) or (so Vulgate and Douai-Rheims) a supposed son of Jeconiah. Did Matthew have a Greek version - different from the one we have - which understood the word differently, or did he have a correct understanding of the Hebrew?) Plus, 1 Chronicles 3:16-17 did not offer Matthew the name ‘Jehoiachin’, but ‘Jeconiah’/Iechonias, which is not easily confused with ‘Jehoiakim’/Iōakim.

That only leaves the matter of “brothers.” As mentioned, 1 Chronicles only mention a single brother of Jehoiachin/Jeconiah: Zedekiah. Perhaps “brothers” here should not be understood in the sense of ‘blood siblings’ but ‘kinsmen’ (in keeping with the broad meaning the word has in Hebrew; Genesis 13:8; 24:48; 29:12) - he certainly had cousins in the form of Zedekiah’s sons (2 Kings 25:7) - or perhaps, ‘fellow countrymen’; in other words, all the Jews who were exiled with him. One might argue that the parallel in 1:2 (“Judah and his brothers”) and the “begat” in 1:11 demand that brothers mean “blood brothers,” but at the same time we also encounter ‘brotherhood’ in the gospel in a wide theological sense: just as Judah and his brothers made up the people of God during their time, so does Jeconiah and his ‘brothers’ made up the people of God who went into exile.


I think this genealogical passage is an indication that the gospel was written before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

If we look at the words quoted by Patrick above :

All the generations therefore from Abraham to Dauid: fourteen generations,
and from Dauid until the deportation to Babylon: fourteen generations,
and from the deportation to Babylon until the Anointed: fourteen generations.

We firstly notice that this is narrative, not any sort of sayings text.

We notice that Matthew is trying to situate Jesus at an important time in Jewish history by using the repetition of 14 generations. If the book was written after the fall of the temple then it would have made much more sense to mention that Jesus’ generation was the last before the fall of the Jerusalem temple and all of the utter destruction of the Jewish kingdom. This would have better suited Matthew’s purpose of the importance of Jesus in Jewish history.


It is hard to see how such an introductory narrative text could be written after the cataclysmic change of the destruction of the temple and the city’s inhabitants and fail to mention it.

This is especially so when Matthew is chronocalling important events in Jewish history and relating them to the coming of ‘the anointed’ - Jesus.


…Because he’s telling about the life of Jesus?



Thank you all for the information you have provided me and others with on the ancestry of Jesus.

I liked this short youtube video found in one of the links you provided us with patrick457

I also liked your post #10 Patrick425, but I can’t follow some of the names unfortunately.

I gathered Abraam = Abraham as I think I have seen it written that way at mass and thus assumed the next three because Abraham, Isaac and Jacob :slight_smile: And the only other one I gathered was Dauid the king = King David … because it looked close to ‘David’ and namely ‘the king’ bit :smiley: and namely the last two Iōsēph, (Joseph) the husband of Maria (Mary) of whom Iēsous (Jesus) was born, who is called ‘Christos’ (Christ).

I have never seen Jesus spelt ‘Iēsous’ but I am assuming it’s Jesus as you have got 'is called ‘Christos’ which I think I have seen somewhere as Christ. :slight_smile:

That’s about the most I was able to get from the family tree :smiley:

So I suppose the main point that Matthew is making here is that Jesus family from Joseph’s linage is decendant from King David. But than again as you have mentioned PRPRsych It’s interesting that it mentions four women. I suppose it’s simply establishing his Jewish roots coming completely from and among God’s chosen people.

Thank you all for all the information you have provided. :thumbsup:

Thank you for reading


Matthew is here setting the scene for the life of Jesus within the context of Jewish history.

The destruction of the Jerusalem temple, the destruction of the people of Jerusalem and the violent ending of the Jewish kingdom has to be part of that Jewish history and especially so if it had just occurred.

Unless of course it hadn’t happened yet which I believe this passage (and others) indicate.

Patrick, don’t you think the writing of the life of Jesus by Matthew is constantly used to show the fulfilment of the Jewish scriptures and prophecies. He is constantly pointing to things such as Jesus’ birth place, his flight to Egypt his life in Nazareth to show how they fulfil Jewish messianic expectations.

He also points specifically to Daniel’s prophecies of the Messiah. One of Daniel’s prophecies is that after the Messiah comes the Jerusalem temple will be destroyed.

This is perhaps the biggest prophecy of interest to Jews and yet Matthew never points to it as a fulfilment of prophecy, which would have served his writing purpose perfectly.

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