Matthew 1 Commentary

Matthew 1 Commentary Bible Study

Matthew 1 Commentary Bible Study


Matthew 1:11 Deportation to Babylon
Matthew 1:12-16 Shealtiel & Zerubbabel
Matthew 1:17 Fourteen Generations
Matthew 1:18-19 Mary Betrothed to Joseph
Matthew 1:20-21 Angel of the Lord
Matthew 1:22-23 Immanuel or Emmanuel?
Matthew 1:24-25 Firstborn Son
Matthew 1 Bible Study Questions (handout)
MATTHEW 1:1  1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham:

Why does Matthew call Jesus, “Son of David, Son of Abraham”?
υιου (huiou), the original Greek word translated “Son” (Matthew 1:1), also means male descendant. The Old Testament records God declaring to Abraham that the Messiah who will save the world will be one of his descendants - “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 22:18, 26:4) - and God also declaring that the Messiah will be a descendant of King David as well: “I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth” (Jeremiah 23:5). Matthew is opening his gospel by establishing Jesus' credentials as the promised Messiah.

MATTHEW 1:2-10  2 Abraham begot Isaac, and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 And Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 And Ram begot Amminadab, and Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 And Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, and Obed begot Jesse. 6 And Jesse begot David the king, and David the king begot Solomon by her of Uriah. 7 And Solomon begot Rehoboam, and Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. 8 And Asa begot Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 9 And Uzziah begot Jotham, and Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10 And Hezekiah begot Manasseh, and Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah.

How does the genealogy above line up against the genealogy in the Old Testament?
Match the 28 highlighted names above with these 28 highlighted names in the Old Testament: “And Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him” (Genesis 21:5). “And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting” (Genesis 27:30). “The sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun” (Genesis 35:23). “And the sons of Judah: Er and Onan and Shelah and Perez and Zarah, but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul” (Genesis 46:12). “And Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab. And Amminadab begot Nashon, and Nashon begot Salmon, and Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed. And Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David (Ruth 4:19-22). “And David comforted his wife Bathsheba and went into her and lay with her. And she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the LORD loved him” (2 Samuel 12:24). 10 And Solomon’s son was Rehoboam, Abijah was his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14 Amon his son, Josiah his son. 15 And the sons of Josiah were the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. 16 And the sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son” (1 Chronicles 3:10-16).

Why does Matthew 1:8 list “Uzziah” where 1 Chronicles 2:12 lists “Azariah”?
People back then often went by more than one name. Uzziah is Azariah: “And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah... Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 26:1,3). “In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, became king. He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem” (2 Kings 15:1-2). The rest of 2 Kings 15 uses both of his names interchangeably. Uzziah may have taken on the name Azariah, or vice versa, when he became king, and/or he may have been known as Uzziah in the southern kingdom of Judah but better known as Azariah in the northern kingdom of Israel.

Why does Matthew 1:8 skip over the father, grandfather and great-grandfather of Uzziah/Azariah mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:11-12?
As mentioned above, “son” in the Jewish context also means male descendant, so it was Matthew's prerogative to mention only those whom He was inspired to mention. Having said that, the skipped “Ahaziah,” “Joash” and “Amaziah” were the first three generations of Judah's kings who descended from the marriage of King Joram of Judah to Athaliah, the wicked daughter of the famously wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of the northern kingdom of Israel. Note that Matthew also skips a generation between Josiah and Jeconiah (compare Matthew 1:11 with 1 Chronicles 3:15-16 above).

Who is “Tamar” (Matthew 1:3)?
Judah's Canaanite daughter-in-law who deceived and committed incest with her father-in-law in order to bear a son (see Genesis 38).

Who is “Rahab” (Matthew 1:5)?
A Canaanite harlot (see Joshua 2).

Who is “Ruth” (Matthew 1:5)?
A Moabite woman (see Ruth 1).

Who is “her of Uriah” (Matthew 1:6)?
Uriah's “wife Bathsheba” (2 Samuel 12:24), who committed adultery with King David.

What is remarkable about these four women being named in the genealogy of Jesus?
Jewish genealogies were patrilineal - i.e., they traced only male descendants - and customarily did not mention women, especially those who were foreigners and/or known for their sins.

So why did Jesus have them included in His genealogy?
He came to save sinners of both genders and of all races.