Genealogy of Jesus

Judaism has taught from the earliest times that the Messiah is pre-existent (especially in view of Mic.5:2 and Dan.7:9-18); and the claims of Jesus in the Gospels reflect this clearly.  It seems best to say that there is a hint in Prv.30:4 of the nature of the Messiah as Son,  a hint that will later be revealed in full through the incarnation of God as Baby Jesus. This solves the problem of confusion in verses like Gen.1:26 & Isa.7:14, 9:6 & Mat.1:23.

Genealogical tables in Judaism were always recorded by male descendents, never female. But Matthew inserts women! (Mt. 1:-17) His noting Joseph’s father as a “Jacob” and not “Eli or Heli” as Luke does, is best explained by the custom of brothers and uncles being used to replace men who died an untimely death in a marriage. Matthew has an interest in using the numerical significance of having 3 groups of 14, signifying his relationship as divinely royal with Abraham & David. The name David in Hebrew is only 3 letters, but in Hebrew, as in Roman numerals, some letters have a numerical significance. D 4 + w 6  + ]D* 4 =14. Matthew’s table is an obvious work of art in acrostics! Keep in mind that there were public records of genealogical tables in the Temple for readers of Matthew and Luke to compare against. Herod the Great tried to destroy them, but rumours abounded concerning their existence. This would enforce the idea of Jesus being a Davidic Messiah from God, truly a son of David with rights! And it may be the explanation for there being so many Jewish priests becoming Christians, Acts 6:7. It was important in the mind of first century disciples that Jesus have no heir, because that would ruin the idea of an eternal priesthood in Jesus which is superior to the priesthood from Abraham, who gave tithes in submission to Melchizedek, a priest forever, Gen.14:18-20 & Heb.7:1-3. Since Jesus knew this from Genesis, he would have no interest in a spouse or an heir.

Luke is concerned with showing Jesus is the Son of God since before creation and is sent for the benefit of helping all humanity have access to His heavenly family (Lk. 3:23-38). Notice there are 76 human generations plus God listed, making 77. The number 7 is always prominent in showing divine maturity, which relates to something God grows to full perfection. Christians in Christ are a part of this family. See Ephesians 3:15 & Galatians 3:26.

Both lists have this in common: A Single Mystical Generation. Matthew has only 13 in the first group of 3, but naming 3 women, Tamar, Rahab & Ruth in that group, as a mystical statement signifying that God planned on using women in His royal lineage on earth from beginning to end in Mary. Both writers want to use numerology, but show intentional anomalies reflecting the unexplainable miracle of God becoming human. The city of David, Bethlehem in Judea is prophesied to be the Messiah’s birthplace in Mic. 5:2. God was specific with Micah in clarifying which Bethlehem he was to be born in, that is Judah, not the one in the northern tribe of Zebulun. This again emphasized his lineage to King David. His birth is linked with Caesar’s census decree while Quirinius was governing Syria, Lk. 2:1-3. Luke recorded this, not for the sake of timing, but the for the sake of authenticity. The problem from our perspective is the timeframe of Quirinius governing Syria. A. W. Zumpt, of Berlin, has shown it to be probable that Quirinus was twice governor of Syria and, by striking and satisfactory arguments, fixes the time of his governorship from 4 BC to A.D. 1: the second governorship in A.D. 6-10. 

Again showing that God is not concerned with the exact calendar date, but rather He is emphasizing the fact, linking it with real secular events. From our perspective, this makes it clear that God is not concerned about which day we honor as his ‘birthday’, but rather puts more significance on the day of his resurrection.

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