“Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.” -Matthew 1:5-6
Matthew begins his recounting of the life of Jesus by linking Him to the father of the Jewish nation, Abraham. This would have been crucial, as this account was written primarily for Jewish readers. This family connection not only links Jesus to Israel in general, but more importantly to the amazing promise given to Abraham concerning the future of the Jewish people. This promise foretold that from the family of King David, which came from the tribe of Judah, would come the promised Messiah. Matthew will go on to use more evidence from the Old Testament scriptures than any other New Testament book to prove that Jesus is the actual fulfillment of the ancient prophetic promises concerning a Messiah, who would bring salvation and God’s kingdom to all the world.
Matthew also identifies people in the genealogy of Jesus who prepare us for the revolutionary life and teachings of Jesus. Matthew includes women in this genealogy, which was not common. Matthew reveals some who were remembered who had sinful pasts. These women committed sins similar to the sins Jesus openly forgave in His public ministry—but His forgiveness angered many of the religious leaders of His day.
Rahab, who had been a harlot, is on of these women found in this genealogy (Matt. 1:5, Heb. 11:31, Joshua 2:1). Bathsheba is also indirectly listed, as the mother of Solomon. But she adulterously conceived Solomon with David, while she was married to Uriah. Tragic sins, but sins Jesus would be identified with as forgiving when He called people to repent and begin new lives of faith in God. As we begin this amazing account of Christ’s life, may we be prepared to remove our own prejudices and religious blinders concerning Christ and His message. It is only then that the blessings Jesus promised to the entire world will become a personal reality to you.
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king.
David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. 8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. 11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. 14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. 15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.