Title: The genealogy of the King
Scriptures to Read: Matthew 1:1-17
Why two genealogical accounts
Only two gospels give the genealogical accounts, Matthew and Luke. An important question to answer is “why are there only two genealogies?” Jesus was not connected to Joseph in a biological way. To understand why we have two genealogies we have to go back to the Old Testament where you have two lines of kingship developing.
Two requirements for kingship
The first requirement in the Southern Kingdom of Judah (Jerusalem) was the requirement of Davidic descent. Unless you were a descent of David you had no right to sit on the throne of David. God will not allow anyone else to sit on the throne of David because that would violate His Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:8-16, I Chronicles 17:7-15). The second requirement in the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) was the requirement of divine appointment. Unless you received a divine appointment or prophetic approval you have no right to sit on the throne in Samaria. Anyone who tried was assassinated (See the story of Jehu in 2 Kings 9:1-10, 10:29-31,15:8-12).
The significance of women’s names in Matthew’s genealogy
When we look at Matthew’s account we see that he breaks tradition and law on two
• He skips names- Some names are omitted, such as three of the kings of Judah- Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah.
• He also mentions the names of women which goes contrary to Jewish practice.
But Matthew has a reason for mentioning these four woman. They all have two things in common:
• All four of these woman are gentiles.
• The second common element of these four is that three of the four are guilty of sexual sins- Ruth is from Moab who came from an incestual relationship with Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19:23-38); Bathsheba was guilty of adultery (2 Samuel 11:1-11); Rahab was guilty of prostitution (Joshua 2:1-11); Tamar was guilty of incest (Genesis 38:1-30).
Joseph was not an heir to David’s throne
Because Matthew is writing to the Jewish reader, in his genealogy he has only to go back to Abraham the father of the Jews to develop his point. Joseph is a direct descent of David through Solomon but contrary to popular thinking, he was not the heir apparent to the throne of David as is commonly believed, because of Jeconiah in
verse 11. In Jeremiah 22:24-30 we learn about two curses:
• Jeconiah will be taken into captivity and he will die in captivity.
• Jehovah calls on the earth three times to hear the curse in verse 30 that none of his sons or descendants will ever again sit on the throne of David.
Matthew’s solution to the Jeconiah curse
Joseph was not the heir apparent to David’s throne. If Jesus was the real son of Joseph, it would disqualify Him from sitting on David’s throne. Neither can Jesus, even by adoption, claim David’s throne because Joseph was not the apparent heir. The dilemma is solved by the Virgin birth of Jesus completely bypassing the Jeconiah curse. Although Jesus was the legal son of Joseph, there is no blood or biological connection between the two. As we will see, Luke does not have that problem. He begins in reverse order- the Virgin birth of Jesus first and then in chapter 3 with the genealogy.