Matthew 1

Genealogy: From Abraham to Jesus

MATT 1:1-17         LUKE 3:23-38       (also see Ruth 4:18-22 & 1Chr 3:10-19)


MATT 1:1 – The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

[book of the generation] – Jesus’ genealogy.  The purpose of this is to show how the kingly line of Judah was transferred to Jesus, making him the rightful king.  Compare this list to Luke 3:23-31 which follows Jesus genealogy through Mary’s father.  1Tim 1:4 & Titus 3:9 both say “don’t pay attention to myths or endless genealogies”.  This is not an endless genealogy and the people recorded in it are true historical figures; not myths like Hercules, for example.

[Christ] – Christos (G5547), “Anointed”.  “Christ” in the New Testament means the same as “Messiah” in the Old Testament (Dan 9:25).  One reason Jews don’t believe Jesus is the Christ is because he wasn’t anointed with oil by a prophet as David (1Sam 16:13).  Not only was He anointed, he was baptized (Matt 3:13-16) not just by any prophet, but by the greatest prophet (Matt 11:11), and by God (Acts 10:38).

[the son of David] – A descendant of David, but “Son of David” was a title that meant “Messiah”, which is the same as “Christ” (Matt 22:42).  David was promised a kingdom for his seed forever which is and will be fulfilled in Jesus (Ps 89:3-4).  Jesus was recognized as “the son of David” (Matt 9:27, 12:23, 21:9).

[David] – His story is in 1Sam 16 – 1Ki 2:10.

[Abraham] – His story is in Gen 11 – 25.

[the son of Abraham] – Descendant of Abraham over about 44 generations.



MATT 1:2 – Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;  {Similar to Luke 3:34}

[Abraham begat Isaac] – Gen 21:3.

[Isaac] – His story is in Gen 17-18, Gen 21-35.

[Isaac begat Jacob] – Gen 25:26.

[Jacob] – His story is in Gen 25-50.

[Jacob begat Judas] – Gen 29:35.

[Judas] – “Judah”, his story is in Gen 29-50.



MATT 1:3 – And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;  {Similar to Luke 3:33}

[Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar] – Recorded in Gen 38:28-29.  Judas thought Tamar was with a random prostitute (Gen 38:15).  It’s rare for a woman to be listed in a Jewish genealogy.

[Phares] – Called “Pharez” in Ruth 4:18.

[Zara] – Called “Zarah” in Gen 38:29 and “Zerah” in 1Chr 2:4.

[Thamar] – “Tamar”, her story is in Gen 38.

[Phares begat Esrom] – Called “Pharez” and “Hezron” (Ruth 4:18).

[Esrom begat Aram] – Recorded in Ruth 4:19, Aram is called “Ram”.



MATT 1:4 – And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; {Similar to Luke 3:33-34 & Ruth 4:19-20}

[begat… begat… begat…] – Recorded in Ruth 4:19-20.



MATT 1:5 – And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;  {Similar to Luke 3:32 & Ruth 4:21-22}

[begat… begat… begat…] – Recorded in Ruth 4:21-22.

[Booz … Ruth] – Boaz & Ruth’s story is the main story of the book of Ruth.

[Jesse] – Most famous for being the father of King David.  What little that is recorded of his personal acts is found in 1Sam 16-17.



MATT 1:6 – And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; {Similar to Luke 3:31}

[Jesse begat David] – Recorded in Ruth 4:22.

[David the king begat Solomon] – 2Sam 12:24.  It is at this point that Luke 3:31 follows David’s son Nathan instead of Solomon.  Nathan was David’s son (1Chr 3:5).  Luke’s list ends with Joseph as the son (in-law) of Heli (Luke 3:23).  There are 2 problems with this:  1) Nathan was not in line to the king’s throne.  Still, Jesus was “a rod out of the stem of Jesse” (Isa 11:1), and Nathan is from Jesse.  2) Heli was the father in-law of Joseph, but genealogy lists were never traced by the mother’s line, but the father’s.  Assuming that Heli had no sons but only daughters, Joseph would have taken the role of his son, especially since he lived in Nazareth after returning from Egypt (Matt 2:23).

[Solomon] – His story in 1Kings 1-11 & 2Chr 1-9.

[wife of Urias] – Bathsheba, her acts are recorded in 2 Sam 11-12 & 1Ki 1-2.  Note that her name is not listed in this genealogy.

[Urias] – “Uriah”, His story is in 2Samuel 11.



MATT 1:7 – And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; {Similar to 1Chr 3:10}

[begat… begat… begat…] – Recorded in 1Chronicles 3:10.

[Roboam] – “Rehoboam”, he is the reason Israel rebelled against the house of David, causing a separation between Judah and the rest of Israel (1Ki 11:43–1Ki 12, 1Ki 14); (2Chr 9:31–2Chr 12).

[Abia] – 1Chr 3:10 & 1Chr 6:28.  Nothing more is recorded of Abia.

[Asa] – Did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (1Ki 15:8-1Ki 16 & 2Chr 14-16).



MATT 1:8 – And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; {Similar to 1Chr 3:11}

[begat… begat… begat…] – Recorded in 1Chronicles 3:10-11.

[Josaphat] – “Jehoshaphat” (1Ki 15:24 & 1Ki 22).

[Joram] – “Jotham” (2Ki 8:16- 24).

[Ozias] – “Azariah” (1Ch 3:12) or “Uzziah” (2Ki 15:1-7).



MATT 1:9 – And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; {Similar to 1Chr 3:12-13}

[begat… begat… begat…] – Recorded in 1Chronicles 3:12-13.

[Ozias begat Joatham] – Azariah begat Joatham; not Ozias.  Ozias/Ahaziah begat Joash; Joash begat Amaziah; Amaziah begat Azariah; Azariah begat Joatham/Jotham (1Chr 3:11-12).  That means that there are 3 generations of ancestors not listed here.

Why did Matthew omit 3 generations?Matthew omitted Ahaziah, Joash, & Amaziah (1Ch 3:11-12).  All 3 men were evil kings who suffered violent deaths; Ahaziah (2Chr 22:1-9), Joash (2Chr 24:20-27), & Amaziah (2Chr 25:14-28).  This affects Matt 1:17 that claims there are 3 sets of 14 generations.

[Joatham] – “Jotham” (2Ki 15:32-38).

[Achaz] – “Ahaz” (2Ki 16).

[Ezekias] – “Hezekiah” (2Ki 18:1-2Ki 20:20).



MATT 1:10 – And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; {Similar to 1Chr 3:13-14}

[begat… begat… begat…] – Recorded in 1Chronicles 3:13-14.

[Manasses] – “Manasseh” (2Ki 21:1-18).

[Amon] – Found in these verses: 2Ki 21:18-26 & 2Ch 33:20-25.

[Josias] – “Josiah” (2Ki 22:1-2Ki 23:30) & (2Chr 33:25-2Chr 35)



MATT 1:11 – And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

[Jechonias] – Called Jeconiah (1Chr 3:16) and Chonia (Jer 22:24).  Jechonias’ name in this genealogy is one reason why Jews say Jesus couldn’t be the messiah.  Jeremiah 22:30 says, “…for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.”  Yet the messiah was to come from the seed of David who was promised an everlasting kingdom (Ps 18:50 & Ps 89:3-4).  Both Joseph and Mary came from David’s seed, but Jesus came from the seed of God.  The real problem is that the Jews don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  If they did believe, then this wouldn’t matter.

[Josias begat Jechonias] – Actually, Josiah’s 2nd son was Jehoiakim who begat Jeconiah (1Chr 3:15-16).

Why did Matthew omit Jehoiakim? – Jehoiakim (2Ki 23:34-2Ki 24:5 & 2Chr 36:4-8), also known as Eliakim (2Ki 23:34 & 2Chr 36:4), was also omitted from Matthew’s genealogy but recorded in 1Chr 3:15.  The reason he is omitted is probably that he was appointed king by Pharaoh Nechoh (2Ki 23:34) and did evil in God’s eyes (2Ki 23:37).  Then again, it could be an accident that his name wasn’t listed.



MATT 1:12 – And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; {Similar to 1Chr 3:17 & Luke 3:27}

[Jechonias begat Salathiel] – As recorded in 1Chronicles 3:17.  Luke 3:27 says Salathiel was Neri’s son, but one possible explanation for this could be that eiter Neri or Jechonias died, and so one man, either Neri or Jechonias became the adoptive father of Salathiel.

[Salathiel begat Zorobabel] – The confusing thing is that 1Chronicals 3:19 says Pedaiah was Zorobabel’s father.  All other scriptures say Salathiel begat Zorobabel (Hag 1:1; Ezra 3:2; Neh 12:1).

Who was Zerubbabel’s father? – 1Chronicles 3:19 says his father was Pedaiah, all other OT verses say it was Shealtiel (Ezra 3:2, 3:8, 5:2, Neh 12:1, Hag 1:1, 1:12, 1:14, 2:2, 2:23).  Here are the likely possibilities:

  1. Salathiel was his biological father, died, and then Pedaiah became his adoptive father.
  2. Salathiel (the elder), died before having children and therefore Pedaiah (the younger), married his elder brother’s wife and “raise up seed unto his brother” (Matt 22:24).

[Zorobabel] – “Zerubbabel”.  His story is recorded in the book of Ezra starting with chapter 2.



MATT 1:13 – And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;

[Abiud, Eliakim, Azor] – These men are not recorded elsewhere, plus nothing more is recorded for 9 generations, from Abiud to Jacob, the father of Joseph.



MATT 1:14 – And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;

[Azor, Sadoc, Achim, Eliud] – These men are not recorded elsewhere.



MATT 1:15 – And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;

[Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob] – These men are not recorded elsewhere.



MATT 1:16 – And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

[Jacob begat Joseph] – The last natural birth.  Jesus was God’s only begotten son (John 3:16).

[Joseph] – The kingly line was through Joseph; the whole genealogy boils down to him.  Why?  Because of what he could give to Jesus; son ship through David who was promised an everlasting kingdom through his son (Ps 89:3- 4).  Jesus could not have been born just into any random family.  He had to be born into David’s line.

[Mary, of whom was born Jesus] – Another reason Jews do not believe Jesus is the Christ is that kingship has never been acquired through adoption.  However, it’s impossible for the messiah to be “the mighty God” like Isaiah said he would be (Isa 9:6) and a man’s biological son.  Once again, this isn’t a problem for the person who believes that Jesus actually is the Son of God.

[who is called Christ] – God made Jesus Lord and Christ after His resurrection (Acts 2:36).



MATT 1:17 – So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

[from Abraham to David are fourteen generations] – Counting Abraham as #1 and David as #14.

[from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations] – Matthew counts Solomon as #1 and Jechonias as #14.  Note that Matt 1:8-9 omits 3 names; Ahaziah, Joash, & Amaziah (1Ch 3:11-12).  Also, Matt 1:11 omits Jehoiakim (2Ki 23:34-2Ki 24:5 & 2Chr 36:4-8).  4 missing names mean that there are 18 generations, not 14.

[from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations] – Counting Salathiel as #1, Jesus ends up being #13.  Maybe a name was accidently omitted by a copyist?

Forty two Generations – Matthew lists 41 generations: 14-14-13.  There should be 45 generations: 14-18-13.  Adding Jehoiakim’s name would solve the number problem, but there would still be 3 men omitted.  In any case, Matthew’s point was that Jesus’ genealogy was proportionate and planned.


Go back to Matthew – Owen’s Bible Study Notes

Kent Owen

Author: Kent Owen

After college I lived in China for 5 years, working as an English teacher and foreign marketing manager. Now i'm an insurance salesman, but my real passion is Christ and learning the bible.

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