Matthew 1

Matthew 1 Introduction:

General Outline
vs. 1-17:         The Jewish pedigree of Jesus Christ – Abraham’s Seed appears
vs. 18-25:       The Divine pedigree of Jesus Christ – God’s prophecy fulfilled

The book of the generation:  “book” refers at least to the catalogue Matthew gives in the first half of the first chapter.  It may also be Matthew’s manner of setting the stage for his exposition of Jesus as the authentic Jewish Messiah.

1.     Jesus’ genealogy, through his father Joseph, is traced back 40 generations; he is the 40th from Abraham.  Most people know little or nothing of their grandfather, much less great-great-great (say it 34 more times) grandfather.  More particularly, the genealogy is of Jesus’ legal connection to the throne of David, rather than his natural descent from him.  Not every name of a forebear is given.  Some are omitted.

2.     His genealogy is traced to Abraham.  Jesus’ father Joseph was of no reputation.  Abraham, however, had the greatest reputation.  To a Jew, the best pedigree was to be a “child of Abraham”, to have Abraham as one’s “father.”

3.     The generations are divided into 3 groups of 14 generations: (v.17)
Abraham to David
David to Israel’s being taken captive to Babylon
Captivity to Christ

4.     The first group (1:2-6), from Abraham to David:

Abraham:  was the father of the holy and elect people of God.  God had chosen him and his family from which the Redeemer of the world would be born.  The “promise of salvation had been, in some sort, shut up in that family till the coming of Christ”.  (JCalvin)
– Rm. 3:2 They were “entrusted with the oracles of God”
– Rm. 15:8 “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers”
– Jn. 4:22 “Salvation is of the Jews.”
– Eph. 2:14 his seed, by the covenant of God, was separated by a “middle wall of partition” from the rest of the nations.
Judah      Judah (and his brethren) – God adopted the Twelve Patriarch brothers, who He gathered into His church, though He did not do so to brothers Ishmael and Esau whom He treated as strangers and banished (with Tamar)
Phares (& Zara)
Salmon, of Rachab,
Boaz, of Ruth (Moabite)
David, wife of Uriah Ps. 132:11 “The Lord hath swon in thruth unto David; he will not turn from it; of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.”

5.     The second group (1:7-12), from David to Captivity:

Prior to this time, the tribe of Judah had no power even though it occupied a higher rank than other tribes.  In David, Judah’s royal authority “burst upon the eyes of all with unexpected splendour, and remained till the time of Jeconiah.”  JCalvin
Solomon:  2 Sam. 7:12-14:  “I will set up thy seed after thee; I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.”  See also, I Chron. 28:5. This truth is foreshadowed in Solomon and realized in Christ.
Josias (bears sons “about the time they were carried away to Babylon”)

6.     The third group (1:12-16), from Captivity to Christ:

Judah still holds a position of rank and government “which sustained the expectations of the godly till the coming of the Messiah.”  JCalvin
Salathiel (born “after they were brought to Babylon”)
Joseph, the husband of Mary

7.     Jesus’ birth fulfilled the prophecy of the Jews of Isaiah 7:14; 8:8,10
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.”
Isaiah 8:8,10
 “And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel…Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.”

The genealogies in Matthew and Luke differ. (From David to Salathiel and Zorobabel to Joseph the names are totally different.)  There are four main points of difference.

Matthew                                               Luke 3:23-38
Order:      past to present                                    present to past

Origin:      Abraham                                            Adam

Right:        legal descent                                      natural descent

Names:    some omitted (for pedagogy);         more exact
Names?                                                Names?  (i.e., same person, alternate name)

Matthew’s genealogy traces Jesus through Joseph as descendant of Abraham and the promise.  Luke’s genealogy traces Jesus through Joseph as a descendant of Adam, the son of God; the second Adam