The Gospel of Matthew
1:1-17  Unger's Bible Notes
"The Genealogy of Jesus Christ, His Right To Be King"

NOTES from Unger's Bible Dictionary [1]
(Translation - Composite)


A. His Background, 1:1-17
The book of the generations of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.

Abraham's name is best understood when looking at the Babylonian equivalent: Abu-ramu, "The Exalted Father." Abraham was of the ninth generation of the family of Shem, the son of Noah. Abraham was known as "The Friend of God" - Genesis 12. The man of "The Promise" - Genesis 15 - 16. The man of "The Covenants" - Genesis 17-21. "The Man of Faith" - Genesis 22. (see P. 12, "The Purpose").

To Abraham was born Isaac; and to Isaac, Jacob; and to Jacob, Judah and his bothers;

(Begat - The verb refers here to the father's acquisition of offspring by depositing seed, an event. Physical descent is indicated, whether from father to son, as in the case of father Abraham and son Isaac, or father via son to grandson or later physical descendant, the use of descriptive phrases such as "was born to" indicate a state not an event).

Isaac was the only son of Abraham born through Sarah (see Genesis 22 for the amazing story of the faith of both Abraham and Isaac as Abraham takes his young adult son to the mountain as an offering to the Lord).

Jacob bought his brother's birth right (from Esau) (Genesis 25:27ff), and that included the "Right to the Land." It was Jacob that God called "Israel" (Genesis 32:22 and Genesis 35:10).

Judah was Jacob's son through Leah and was his fourth son.

Judah's name is singled out from all the children of Jacob, for it is in him that the Messianic line is continued. Why did this happen? Was not Reuben the firstborn? Were there not three brothers older than Judah? It is clear that inclusion in, or exclusion from, the line of descent is not determined by age. Neither is it determined by human merit. By what then? Only by the sovereign, electing will and grace of God (Romans 9:16) (Hendrikson).

It was Judah who encouraged his brothers to sell Joseph (Genesis 37:18ff), his little brother, into slavery. The language in that part of scripture would indicate that Judah was trying to save Judah's life by selling him into slavery, as his brothers wanted to slay Joseph. This is the Judah concerning whom it is written, "You are the one your brothers will praise ... The Scepter shall not depart from Judah ... until Shiloh come" (Genesis 49:8-12).

and to Judah were born Perez and Zerah by Tamar; and to Perez was born Hezron; and to Hezron, Ram;

Perez was the illegitimate son of Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38), his daughter in-law. It was she who wanted Judah and dressed like an harlot to have an affair with him. Zerah is listed here as he was the twin brother of Perez.

Little is known about Hezron, his name is mentioned in Genesis, Ruth, and 1 Chronicles.

Ram, although listed in Ruth and 1 Chronicles, little else is known about him either.

and to Ram was born Amminadab; and to Amminadab, Nahshon; and to Nahshon, Salmon;

Amminadab was known as "The Prince of Judah," and was the Father In-law to Aaron, the brother of Moses.

Nahshon was known as "Captain of Judah's Host."

Salmon was probably a spy for the nation of Judah and was most likely one of the spies who visited Rahab the harlot, at Jericho (Joshua 1-6), as she became his wife.

and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse;

Boaz became the husband of Ruth (of the book of Ruth), after her first husband died (Ruth).

Obed is known only as the son of Boaz and the father of Jesse.

Jesse was the owner of many sheep, and a man of modest means.

and to Jesse was born David the king.

Jesse had eight sons, the youngest of which was David. David, the sheepherder was anointed by Samuel the prophet to be King over Israel.

And to David was born Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah;

Solomon's mother was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah (whom David sent into battle to be killed so he could have Bathsheba as his own). Solomon took over the kingship after David and started out good. He died in apostasy and idolatry.

and to Solomon was born Rehoboam; and to Rehoboam, Abijah; and to Abijah, Asa;

Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, began the great civil war between Judah and Israel. Not a good king.

Abijah was one of twenty-eight legitimate children of Rehoboam. He tried to re-unite the broken nation, but eventually went down the same path as Rehoboam.

Abijah's son Asa was one of the few good kings.

and to Asa was born Jehoshaphat; and to Jehoshaphat, Joram; and to Joram, Uzziah;

Jehoshaphat was known to God as "One who Sought the Lord with all his heart."

Joram is only listed as a "descendant of Eliezar."

Uzziah was the 10th King of Judah. It was Uzziah who wanted to minister in the place of the High Priest and God struck him instantly with Leprosy when he tried to burn incense at "The Altar of God."

and to Uzziah was born Jotham; and to Jotham, Ahaz; and to Ahaz, Hezekiah;

Jotham was the 11th king of Judah.

Ahaz the 12th King of Judah (during the time of Isaiah) and it was he who desecrated the Altar of the Temple with Idols in a close relationship with the pagan rites of Egypt.

Hezekiah was a godly king, as known as "The great reformer." It was Hezekiah who destroyed the Brazen Serpent of Moses because the people were worshiping it as an idol.

and to Hezekiah was born Manasseh; and to Manasseh, Amon; and to Amon, Josiah;

Manasseh was the 14th King of Judah and the one who slew Isaiah.

Amon was the 15th King of Judah.

Josiah was the 16th king of Judah and took the throne at eight years of age. Even at this young age he spearheaded a great revival in Judah and restructured the law of the land when The Law of Moses was found by his scribes, as it had been lost among the archives of the temple.

and to Josiah were born Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

Jeconiah (Jehoiakim) lost forever the right for any member of his family to sit upon the throne of David (However the hereditary right to the Land of Canaan was not lost), by burning the Word of God as written by the prophet Jeremiah.

And after the deportation to Babylon, to Jeconiah was born Shealtiel; and to Shealtiel, Zerubbabel;

In the first year of Cyrus, Zerubbabel was living in Babylon, and was recognized as prince of Judah in the captivity. He led the first colony of captives to Jerusalem, accompanied by Jeshua the high priest, a considerable number of priests, Levities, and heads of houses of Judah and Benjamin. Arriving at Jerusalem, their first care was the building of the altar on its old site and to restore the daily sacrifice (about 536 B.C.). The great work of Zerubbabel was the rebuilding of the temple. He was only able to finish the foundation before the Samaritans kept him from building (because Zerubbabel would not hire them to work) by injunctions of the court. Sixteen years went by before the exhortations of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah motivated him to return to the work. The temple was finished in 516 B.C.

Zerubbabel was not technically the son of Shealtiel, for Shealtiel died without any male descendants, leaving his wife a widow ... After Shealtiel's death his second brother, Pedaiah, fulfilled the Levirate duty (Latin - Husband's Brother, Requires a man under certain circumstances to marry or make pregnant the widow of his brother or nearest kin), and begat, in his marriage with his sister-in-law, Zerubbabel, who was now regarded, in all that related to laws of heritage, as Shealtiel's son.

and to Zerubbabel was born Abiud; and to Abiud, Eliakim; and to Eliakim, Azor;

Abiud was the great-great-grand son of Zerubbabel.

Eliakim was the son of Hilkiah and prefect of the palace of King Hezekiah. He succeeded Shebna in this office after the latter had been ejected from it as a punishment for his pride (Isaiah 22:15). He was one of the three persons sent by Hezekiah to receive the message of the invading Assyrians (II Kings 18:18).

and to Azor was born Zadok (Sadok); and to Zadok, Achim; and to Achim, Eliud;

and to Eliud was born Eleazar; and to Eleazar, Matthan; and to Matthan, Jacob;

and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

(it is interesting to note that Jacob, the Patriarch, had a son named Joseph, by Rachel, born while he was still serving Laban [Genesis 30:22-25]). Joseph: the husband of Mary and foster-father of our Lord. Aside from the gospel narratives (Matthew and Luke), the sacred writings furnish no additional information respecting Joseph. All else is apocryphal.

(The word BEGAT is not used with Joseph, as he is not the Physical Father of Jesus, the Christ. The word used here is that Jesus was BORN to Joseph.)

Therefore 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 Christ fourteen generations.

It is a striking testimony to the grace of God, and at the same time evidence of the desperate need of Israel and mankind for a Savior, that all four women mentioned (beside Mary) were disqualified from the usual and proper honor of motherhood by immorality (Tamar, Rahab, Bathsheba) or by being of heathen origin (Rahab). Even Mary had to bear the shame of misunderstanding from those who did not believe Jesus was supernaturally conceived and virgin born (John 8:41) (Mason).

Egennasen - begat - 3ed sing 1aor Act Ind
Egennatha - born - 3ed sing 1aor Pas Ind
Both from Gennao - Genomai

 [1#Unger Ref Top 
Unger, Merril F., Unger's Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago