Matthew 1 – The Genealogy of Jesus & Genealogies in Ancient Israel

Finger Pointing UpJesus had 13 disciples in all, but only 12 when He was alive: Peter, Andrew, James (probably Jesus’ brother), John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the Less, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealous, Judas Iscariot, and Matthias. 

1 South dome
South dome of inner narthex at Chora Church, Istanbul, depicting the ancestors of Christ from Adam onwards.

Matthias, after Jesus’ crucifixion, became the 13th disciple, replacing Judas Iscariot.

But only five of them wrote books in the New Testament, Matthew (the book of Matthew); Mark (the book of Mark); John (the book of John, 1st,2nd, 3rd John and Revelation); Peter (1st and 2nd Peter); and James (James).

The book of Luke and the book of Acts were written by a doctor who also went with Paul on at least two of his journeys.

The remainder of the books of the New Testament that are not mentioned above were all written by Paul, accept it is uncertain who wrote the book of Hebrews.

Each author will be featured on the book (only once) they wrote.  The other disciples will be introduced throughout the Gospels.

2 King David
King David
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Is 9:7)

The definition of “disciple” is: a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another.  Therefore, even though Matthias never met Jesus, he was disciple.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, but not an apostle.

An apostle is also a disciple, but not vice-versa.  To the best of my understanding, to be an apostle one has to have direct communication with the person you are a disciple of.

Paul was not a disciple, and actually he was an enemy of Jesus and his disciples/apostles, but after His crucifixion Jesus spoke to Paul, converting him and therefore making him an apostle.  And Paul was probably the most powerful apostle of them all.

I do talk to God and He does talk back.  He answers questions that I have, He informs me things, He explains things to me, but I am unable to call myself an apostle like Paul was, we’re just friends.

3 Michelangelos Jesse David Solomon
Michelangelo’s Jesse-David-Solomon. David is generally seen as the man on the left with Solomon the child behind him.

In regard to pictures in the Bible chapters.  The chapters of the Old Testament told a story, how life was back then.  Only the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and the book of Acts tell a story in the New Testament, and the Gospels tell almost the exact same story (especially the first three).

Therefore, finding pictures to match the chapter will be difficult, if not impossible.  Yet, I will do my best to find pictures that somehow fit, if not then I will still provide pictures of some sort, like I had done with Zechariah 8, and actually I will complete the pictures of the “International  Mosaiculture Exhibition” I had shown there.

Tomorrow I will show…

Matthew 1
The Genealogy of Jesus

1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

1:1-16 – the types of people mentioned in this genealogy reveal the broad scope of those who make up the people of God as well as the genealogy of Jesus.4 Jesus

“The son of Abraham” – because Matthew was writing to Jews, it was important to identify Jesus in this way.

2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;

3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

“Thamar” – in Matthew’s genealogy five women are named.  At least three of these were Gentiles (Thama, Rachab and Ruth).  Bathsheba was probably an Israelite but was closely associated with the Hittites because of Uriah, her Hittite husband that King David had killed.

By including these women (contrary to custom) in his genealogy, Matthew may be indicating at the very outset of his Gospel that God’s activity is not limited to men or the people of Israel.

4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;

5 Simeon blessing
Michelangelo’s Jesse-David-Solomon. David is generally seen as the man on the left with Solomon the child behind him.

8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;

9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;

10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;

13 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;

16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

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.

6 1500 year
1500 year old mosaics of Jesus and his disciples

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.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

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.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

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.

“Emmanuel” – means “God with us,” and is used as a title of Jesus’ divinity.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:7 God with us

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

“And knew her not till” – both Matthew and Luke (1:26-35) make it clear that Jesus was born first and of a virgin, plus the couple didn’t have sex again until Jesus was born.  Although this doctrine is often ridiculed by the non-believers/heathens/pagans, but it’s an important part of the evangelical faith.


Genealogies in Ancient Israel

In societies organized around kinship, genealogies (lists of names tracing the ancestry of a given individual or group) serve as public records that document history, establish identity and/or legitimate office.

8 The opening of the Gospel
The opening of the Gospel of Matthew in the Liesborn Gospels. Germany, 10th century A.D.

The key to legitimacy and identity is a direct, irrefutable familiar tie with the past. Such lists may ascend from the individual, using the formula “x the son of y, the son of z…” (1 Chr 6:33-43; Ezra 7:1-5; Lk 3:23-38) or descend from a common ancestor, using the pattern “x was the father of y, ye the father of z…” (Gen 5:1-32; Ruth 4:18-23; Matt 1:1-17).

These two basic types of genealogies can be combined.  In addition, genealogical rolls may either contain a simple succession of names or may be supplemented with expansive content pertaining to the deeds of certain prominent individuals on the list.

Genealogies feature prominently in both the early and later history of Israel.  There are ten principal genealogical lists in Genesis alone (e.g., the written account of Adam’s line” in Gen 5).

These records served to establish and protect identify in that they regulated a variety of social interactions, including marriage and land inheritance (Deut 25:5-10: Ezra 10:18-43).  Thus the registration of families who had returned from exile was a profound concern during the postexilic period (1 Chr 1-9; Ezra 8:2-14; Neh 7:7-63).

Genealogies were especially important in ancient Israel because the right to hold important offices was a hereditary privilege. For example, the priesthood was assured to the sons of Levi (Ex 6:16-26; Num 3:10; 1Chr 6:1 -53), while kingship was reserved for the descendants of Judah (Gen 49:10) and more specifically for the son of David (2 Sam 7:12-16; Ps 89:29; Isa 9:7; 11:1-3).

In the New Testament era certain genealogical records were stored in a public archive in the temple mount, while others were maintained by private families.

9 Rose window in Basilica
Rose window in Basilica of St Denis, France, depicting the ancestors of Christ from Jesse onwards.

Early Christian preaching radically redefined genealogical descent by considering all who identified with Jesus as true, legal descendants of Abraham, “heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:29; cf. Matt 3:9; Jn 8:33,39; Rom 4:16).

The New Testament preserves two pertinent genealogical lists, both of which present the human ancestry of Jesus as the son of David (Matt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38).

The two listings are different, and the reasons for this variation have been extensively debated. It may be that the register in Luke preserves the biological family tree of Joseph, while that in Matthew records the legal line of descent that authenticated Joseph’s (and Jesus’) claim to David’s throne.

Others suggest that the genealogy in Matthew is Joseph’s, while the one in Luke is Mary’s.

…all of the disciples that have not written anything.

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