Thursday, January 29, 2009

Matthew 1:1–17

Matthew 1:1–17 (ESV): The Genealogy of Jesus


The book of Matthew—and, hence, the New Testament—opens with Jesus’ genealogy. In these seventeen verses, Matthew traces Jesus’ lineage from Abraham (the father of the Jewish religion).


There isn’t much to say about a passage that does genealogy. I did notice a couple of things that interested me, though.

In verse 6 (ESV), instead of just mentioning that David was the father of Solomon, Matthew says that “… David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah” (emphasis added). Matthew didn’t have to add in that detail, it’s really an aside from the point that he’s making, but he does include it. Jesus is the only perfect person who ever lived; none of his ancestors were, not even David—and that’s why he had to come in the first place!

He also includes women in the genealogy, which is not common.

Matthew breaks the genealogy up into three distinct sections:

  1. From Abraham to David
  2. From David to the deportation to Babylon
  3. From the deportation to Jesus

Matthew mentions that there are fourteen generations included in each section, and I’m sure numerologists have a field day with that, although the ESV Study Bible points out that Matthew actually excludes some generations from his genealogy—so it’s not quite as precise as all that!

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