The Genealogy of Jesus Advent Bible Study for First Presbyterian of Osawatomie’s Adult Class A study of Matthew 1:1-18 and maybe Luke 3! 1
Facts and Overview There are two sets of Genealogies of Jesus in the gospels. They are different from one another. The Gospel of Matthew has the Genealogy as the opening of the entire book as a prelude to the birth story of Jesus. This is a typical Jewish Genealogy descending from the farthest ancestor to the most recent member. The gospel of Luke has a genealogy in chapter three just before Jesus begins public ministry. This is a more Greek genealogy beginning with the life of Jesus and reaching back to the farthest ancestor. (If time allows in this lesson we will look at Luke’s genealogy. 2
Facts continued Purpose of the genealogies is not to give an exact history but to place Jesus’ birth in the context of what the gospel recorder believes to be the most significant and salvific acts of God. So, in the gospel of Matthew the writer of the gospel records a genealogy that taps into the very significant stories of our Old Testament. 3
Gospel of Matthew (line by line) Vs. 1: “the record of the genealogy” literally translates from the Hebrew as “book of genesis” – this implies a new creation or beginning. This word “genesis” evokes at least three meanings. Genesis can imply a historical story or narrative, origins or beginnings, First book of Moses or Genesis, i.e the Christ event is a new creation. Ancient listeners would have understood an echo of the Genesis creation narrative here. This verse then highlights Son of David. King David was understood to be the greatest King of Israel. He united a divided Kingdom and was favored by God. Abraham was the father of all in the Israelite faith. By listing Abraham’s name the writer is trying to indicate that Jesus was always destined by God. 4
Snippets of Story! What follows are the names and relationships of significant stories of God’s acts in the Israelite faith as it comes to us in our Old Testament. While each of these selections are a part of a much larger story, these specific portions of the story can provide a playful foreshadowing of the life of Jesus. 5
Vs. 2 : Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Abraham had longed to be a father with his wife Sarah and had finally had a son with her named Isaac. Isaac was treasured, of course, but at one point in Abraham’s story, he believes he must be willing to sacrifice Isaac. This of course, bring the theme of sacrifice into the Genealogy of Jesus. 6
Vs. 2 : Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers – Isaac survived however and became a father himself. His two sons, Jacob and Esau had their own troubles. Esau was the rightful heir to Isaac but in a moment of trickery, Jacob stole the right as heir from his brother. From this story, we get the suggestion that in Jesus story, the most important person will be the least likely and will assume privileges in a bold way. (remember that Jesus taught the crowds as someone with authority. 7
8 Vs. 2 : Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers Jacob grew to earn the blessing he had stolen and he had 12 sons. The would become the 12 tribes of Israel. Judah was the eldest son of Jacob’s union with his first wife Leah. Jacob’s 12 sons would fight and argue particularly about Joseph (one who dreamed he was destined for greatness). Though the brothers would want to kill Joseph, Judah would ask them to deal kindly with him and simply sell him to slave traders. In this story we receive the themes of betrayal and mercy.
Vs. 3 – Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the Father of Hezron and Hezron the father of Ram, Genesis 38:29 Tamar is a woman who gives birth to twins and there is unusual striving of the twin that is to be second born. Again the theme of unlikely authority or order is going to come out of the life of Jesus. Remember Jesus says: “the last shall be first and the first shall be last”? 9
Vs. 3 – Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the Father of Hezron and Hezron the father of Ram, Hezronis the third son of Reuben the first born to Leah and Jacob. Again what may be significant here is that Jacob’s union with Leah was not his first choice. He loved a woman named Rachel more. The theme we receive is one of “less than ideal” circumstances that give way to powerful people and realities. Jesus will walk among and attend to the poor, sick and isolated as well as those who are tyrants and in search of power. ….Less than idea circumstances. 10
Vs. 3 – Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the Father of Hezron and Hezron the father of Aram, Aram is a name for a larger group of people known as semites. What is notable is that they are not Jewish. In the lineage of Jesus are gentiles or non-Jews. 11
Vs. 4: Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Amminadab is one of four individuals listed in the bible. In this case a Judean - (1 Chronicles 2:10, Ruth 4:19-20) 12 A work of art by Michelangelo.
13 Vs. 4: Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Nahshon was a chief of the tribe of Judah in the wilderness after the Exodus. This man helped Moses to conduct a census of able bodied fighting men prior to leaving Sinai Number 1:7. There was a marriage between Aaron and Nashon’s sister constituted a covenant between the house of David (a royal line) and the house of Aaron (a priestly line). Followers of Jesus would understand him to be both a king and priest for God’s people. A work of art by Michelangelo.
Vs. 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse. Matthew is the first one to insert Rahab into the Davidic line, for there is no indication of this in the Old Testament. There is very little information on Salmon. But the name does appear in 1 Chr.2:11 and in both genealogies of the gospels The name possibly means “mantle” 14 A work of art by Michelangelo.
Vs. 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse The importance of Rahab is she like Tamar was a Gentile. There is indication here that the genealogy is compressed. Rahab belongs to the time of the conquest (Joshua 2-6) while Boaz lived amost 200 years later (Ruth 2-4). Rahab is also a daring prostitute. The foreshadowing here, is the role of daring women in the life and ministry of Jesus. 15
Vs. 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse Ruth and Boaz share a unique story that parallels the narrative of Mary and Joseph in the gospel stories of Jesus Birth. Ruth is a widowed woman and Boaz has no primary obligation to her. But after Ruth makes herself known to him (in a number of ways ) he sees that she is in need of protection and provision and so claims her as his responsibility. Boaz fathered Obed but in the name of Mahlon to the Moabite Ruth. The theme of a man adopting circumstances beyond what is expected is here. Joseph will live into this for Jesus. 16
Vs. 6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife. Before David becomes king, Jesse is the father who sends David to the front lines to fight Goliath. Many of the Isrealite troops have been intimidated by Goliath. Jesse is worried about David’s older brother’s fate and sends him with gifts for the general so that his boys will be favored by the general. David going to the front lines with his sling shot and rock by which he had protected his sheep. When David offered to fight Goliath, caused the Israelite King Saul to try to fit David with armor. The armor did not fit David. And he went into battle as he was. Here we get the theme of Shepherd for Jesus and his fighting some of the greatest spiritual battles with love, compassion and wisdom. 17
Vs. 6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife. Solomon is the offspring of David and Bathsheba though Bathsheba was the wife of another man Uriah. After their liaison, David wanted Uriah to appear to be the father of the child to be born. So David tries many ways in 2 Samuel to get Uriah to go home but unsuccessfully because Uriah is committed to fighting the King’s war. So David has Uriah sent into battle and isolated there so that the enemy can kill him. 18
Vs. 7 – Solomon the father of Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa Solomon was the third king of Israel known for his wisdom and kingdom building power. He inherited the kingdom that David administrated and turned it into a more complex nation. 19
Vs. 7 – Solomon the father of Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa. Rehoboam ruled the southern kingdom of Judah after the Isrealite nation split into northern and southern states. He failed to win the support of the Northern Isrealites. Theme here might be that there would be discord and disunity stemming from the life and ministry of Jesus. 20
Vs. 7 – Solomon the father of Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa Abijah found in 1 Kings 14:1 fell ill by the word of a prophet Ahijah. The son was ill because of the misdeeds of his father and of all Rehoboam’s children, Abijah was the only one to be buried with ceremony. All his other children were eaten by dogs upon their death. The foreshadowing here might be of Jesus’ own burial by faithful people where the Roman empire would have him die with shame and dishonor. 21 A work of art by Michelangelo.
Vs. 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Asa was the king of Judah for 41 years. He was a reformer whose acts included Expelling male cult prostitutes from the land Removing idols Deposing his own family members for making idols Brought votive offerings into the temple 22
Vs. 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Jehoshaphat one of three people in the Old Testament. Of the three he is another King of Judah assuming the throne at age 35 and having a 25 year reign. His reign was noted for building alliances between nations and making religious policy for the people. 23
Vs. 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Jehoram or Joram One of 6 people in the bible For our case, another King of Judah Information can be found in 1 Kings 22:51; 2 Kings 8:16-24; 2 Chronicles 21 24
Vs. 9: Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Uzziah was another Judean King was known for building an infrastructure of bridges, road ways and was able to control caravaan routes A theme here might be of journey. In Jesus’ life and ministry people found a new way to structure and journey together that improved life. 25
Vs. 9: Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Jotham is one of three people in the bible. He was a ruler who led the way to prosperity for Judah but was afflicted with leprosy that disabled his reign. Can you imagine how this might work thematically? 26 A royal seal of Jotham
Vs. 9: Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Ahaz is one of two people mentioned in the bible. His fuller name is Jehoahaz During his reign, Israel falls to the Babylonians and Judah becomes a vassal of Assyria. There is not a lot of agreement in scripture about the effects of his reign 27
Vs. 10: Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah Hezekiah was known for religious reform and for trying to break free from the occupation by Assyria. Manasseh inherits from his father a small vassal state within the Assyrian empiral system. Known as a religious apostate and the decline of traditional and national religion. A foreshadowing might be the way in which Jesus reinterprets his Jewish faith was understood to be non-national and non-traditional but with greater attention to essentials. 28
Vs. 10: Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah Amon is one of three people mentioned in the Bible. However, within Matthew’s genealogy, he was the youngest son of Manasseh. His reign was cut short by an assasignation plot carried out during a palace revolt by his courtiers 29
Vs. 11 Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time fo the deportation to Babylon Josiah’s reign was lauded as a great leader due to his reforms which included: the purge of the temple The destruction of high places in Jerusalem and Judah The desecration of sanctuaries in the old Northern Kingdom Celebration of Passover *source Anchor Bible Dictionary volume 3 30
Jechoniah is an alternate name for Jehoahaz. In scripture, the prophet Jeremiah declares that Jechoniah will be considered childless and none of his descendants shall inherit the Davidic throne. (New Interpreter’s Bible vol. VIII pg. 130) There is not historical evidence for brothers. So this statement has really confused scholars. It may be that at this point in the genealogy history is compressed in order to indicate the fall of the Kingdom and the end of the Davidic line. 31 Vs. 11 Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time fo the deportation to Babylon The artist Peter Clare http://www.peterclare.co.uk/chapters1and2.htm
Vs. 11 Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time fo the deportation to Babylon 32 The deportation to Babylon is a time when the leaders of the Isrealite were removed from Jerusalem and taken into the significant areas of Babylonia. The effect of removing the leaders disabled the rebellious spirit of the Israelite people and the effect of “retraining” these leaders with the virtues and traditions of the Babylonian culture would confuse the leadership itself.
Vs. 12 and after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel Salathiel – alternate form of Shealtiel. Cited as father of Zerubbabel in Ezra 3:2; Neh. 12:1 and Hag. 1:1 except in 1 Chronicles where he appears as his uncle. (The Inter.Dictionary of the Bible vol. 4 pg. 310) Zerubbabel – A Babylonian Jew who journeyed to Palastine after the Exile and served as governor of Judah. (Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 6,pg. 1084). 33
Vs. 13 – And Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor Abiud – not the son of Zerubbabel and at this point the genealogy no longer depends upon Old Testament. (New Interpreter’s Bible vol. VIII pg. 130) Eliakim –name is composed of two parts: “el” meaning God from Canaanite culture and verb “raise up or establish”. Again post-exile is the point. Azor – in both genealogies of Jesus but nowhere else in the Bible. 34
Vs. 14 – and Azor the father of Zadok and Zadok the father of Achim and Achim the Father of Eliud, Zadok – One of the two priests at Jerusalem during the reign of King David. When the kingdom was united. There is strong line of Jerusalem priests from Zadok. Achim – A shortened form of the name of Zadok’s son Ahimaaz. Eliud – a tie in to the house of David and Solomon for Joseph. 35
Vs. 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, Eleazar – the name means “God has helped” - likely a reference to the high priest that was designated as Aaron’s heir in the Old Testament. This continues the priestly genealogy. Matthan – name appears in 2 Chronicles 23:17 and in Jeremiah 38:1. Jacob – a common name of the day. Not to mention a patriarch’s name. 36
Vs. 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. Joseph – mentioned in Matthew, Luke and John but not in Mark. His origin and his character are of the utmost importance to the biblical narrative. Mary – mentioned by name in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and Acts – she also figures into the gospel of John. 37
Messiah – anointed In the Hebrew bible, the word “anointed” was something that was done to kings. Perhaps this is why Christians have over-identified this word with an individual who would serve as a future deliverer for God. The Jewish notion of this word has a wider range of meaning. The Jewish use indicates a marked change in history which is not brought about by an individual but by God. 38
Vs. 17 – so all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations. 14 generations – 7 is a number of completeness and perfection. Multiples of this number indicate the same. Some examples of 7 in the Old Testament: the first creation story in Genesis, written during or just after the Babylonian Exile, has seven days; Noah took every clean beast and every bird by sevens, and in seven days it rained; Jacob served seven years for Leah and seven years for Rachel; Egypt had seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. The New Testament has the seven loaves and fishes; seven devils exorcised from Mary Magdalene; forgiveness seventy times seven. Also, Revelation has seven churches and many symbols are seven fold, usually because of the 7 angels (archangels).Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_significance_of_the_number_seven_in_the_Bible#ixzz17tmD0fgY 39
The Genealogies Side by Side 40
A branch of theological work out of the Gospel of Matthew. 41