Matthew Chapter 1 Genealogy of Christ

“The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham” Matthew 1:1

Three Point Outline of Matthew 1

  • The genealogy of Christ, 1.1-17.
  • The virgin conception in Mary and the Lord’s explanation, 1.18-23.
  • Joseph obeys the Lord, 1.24-25.


  • To document the proof of ancestry, lineage, descent and therefore, the correct position of the person in question for purposes such as inheritance, honor, rights, privileges.
  • Genealogies are the basic family register and establish descent from a particular ancestor or ancestors.
  • Genealogies are true, factual,  unless context indicates otherwise. We know this by comparison to other ancient genealogical records that are historically accurate.
  • There are two kinds of genealogy, ascending and descending. Matthew 1 is an ascending genealogy.
    • Ascending. X son of Y. John Quincy Adams was the son John Adams. Youngest first.
    • Descending. X begat Y. John Adams begat John Quincy Adams. Oldest first.
  • Genealogies do not need to include every member of the intermediate line. These are abbreviated genealogies.
  • Genealogies may be recorded in a pattern with a certain number of descendants in each segment of the genealogy (Matthew 1.17).
  • The purpose of a genealogy is to document the proof of ancestry from the origin of the line to the person under discussion. Every individual need not be included, but only those necessary to establish descending relationship. The author may legitimately abridge a genealogy to establish a point or to make it simpler. Matthew is correct in the factual material for his purpose which is to document the ancestry of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, from Abraham.
  • In Matthew 1, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah are missing between Joram and Uzziah, and  Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim are missing between Josiah and Jeconiah (Jehoiachin).

Three sections in this genealogy

  • Theocratic. Abraham to David
  • Monarchy. David to Babylon
  • Hierarchy, or organized in levels and systems. Babylon to Jesus

Abraham was the start

  • The Hebrew nation is the unifying center of God’s Redemptive Program. Abraham was the Father of this Hebrew nation and the recipient of the basic covenant (Abrahamic Covenant). It was at the point of Abraham that the seed promise of Genesis 3.15 historically became visible and specific. Therefore, the Messiah must be a direct descendant of Abraham. Genesis 3.15;12.1-3; Galatians 3.16.

Judah was the king tribe

  • Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob. Judah was picked to be the preeminent and ruling tribe (rulership blessing). Genesis 49.10; Hebrews 7.14; Revelation 5.5; 1 Chronicles 2.1-15; 1 Chronicles 3.

David was the first Messianic king

  • David was the recipient of the Rulership Covenant (Davidic Covenant). This covenant established the eternal rulership in the family of David of the tribe of Judah. David was Israel’s greatest king. 2 Samuel 7.12-16; Romans 1.3; 15.12; Revelation 5.5; 22.16.

Four women are included

  • They are Tamar (Genesis 38), Rahab (Joshua 2), Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), and Ruth (Ruth).
  • Rahab and Ruth were Gentiles.
  • Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba were involved in immorality.
  • All four demonstrate God’s grace to people. He probably included them to make grace stand out to the readers.

Matthew 1.16 and 1.18-23, “by whom, ex h~

  • The genealogy of Matthew 1 indicates physical relationship to the male, except for Jesus Christ. His physical relationship is to Mary, not to Joseph. The cause of the conception was the Holy Spirit. The humanity of Jesus Christ came from Mary.
  • The relative pronoun is feminine singular and refers to Mary, not to Joseph.

Matthew 1.17, groups of 14 to help remember the list

  • The points of division are all important historical persons and events. This also aids the understanding and memory.
  • The Hebrew people are able to relate to the genealogy and therefore to its purpose.
  • Some suggest that the number 14 comes from the numeral value of David’s Hebrew name  dvd, D=4, V=6, D=4, making the total 14.

Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth

  • The Doctrine of the Virgin Birth states that the humanity of Jesus Christ came from a human mother, Mary, but that he had no human father. God the Holy Spirit caused Mary to produce the humanity of the Child. Matthew states this in Chapter 1.20.
  • The central Scriptures are Isaiah 7.14; Matthew 1.18, 20, 23, 25; Luke 1.35. The Greek word is parthenos  parqeno~. The Hebrew word is almah.
  • Who is involved? God the Holy Spirit; Mary, a virgin woman engaged to Joseph: Jesus, the one born.
  • When did it happen? About 5-4 BC
  • Where did it happen? In Bethlehem of Judea.
  • Why was it necessary?
    • To fulfill the sign of the prophecy.
    • To bring about and to explain the hypostatic union.
    • To cause the humanity of Jesus Christ to be holy. His nature was not sinful.
    • To qualify Jesus Christ for His cross work.

Names in Matthew

  • Christ. Greek, BAG2 886. The Anointed One, the Messiah. Hebrew, BDB 603. Anointed. In the Hebrew it refers to one anointed for an office or task. It is the Messianic title for the Son of God. Also see DNTT 2.334; TWOT 1.530.
  • Jesus. Greek, BAG2 373. A common name among the Jews. Joshua and Jesus. Hebrew, BDB 221 Yahweh is salvation. See DNTT 2.330.
  • Immanuel. Greek, BAG2 255. Defined in Matthew 1.23 “God with us.” Quotes Isaiah 7.14. Preposition meaning “with”+ the first common plural pronominal suffix “us” + meaning “God.”

Chapter 1 and the book

  • Matthew chapter 1 documents the lineage of Jesus Christ, proving that He was descended from Abraham, Judah, David. This is the Old Testament Messianic line. Chapter 1 then specifically qualifies Him as The One within this line by presenting Him as Jesus Christ, the virgin born Immanuel of the Old Testament prophecy.

Summary of Doctrine in Chapter 1

  • Jesus was qualified by birth to be the king of Israel and the Savior of the world.
  • Genealogies are important records of lineage and history in order to verify rights and privileges.
  • Joseph acted honorably in a situation that he did not understand.
  • God was Jesus’ father and Mary was his mother. The doctrine of Virgin conception or birth guaranteed that he was qualified by nature to be our Savior. The doctrine called “hypostatic union” explains Jesus two natures yet He is one person.
  • God worked through prominent sinners who responded to His grace (Tamar, Rahab, Bathsheba) and through Gentiles (Rahab and Ruth).
  • Jesus is the Savior of Israel and of the whole world. Savior means to save us from the penalty of our sins.
  • Old Testament prophecy was meant to be literally fulfilled and it was with regard to Jesus’ birth.
  • Joseph obeyed God’s word once he knew what God wanted him to do.

So What? Some applications for us.

  • We can be confident that Jesus is the one and only Savior. He is the mediator between God and man, because He is God and man (1 Timothy 2.5).
  • We should make the main point of the gospel what it is—salvation from sin—instead of the shoring up of some failure in life. Fixing life is a by-product of salvation.
  • We should treat people graciously and honorable like Joseph did Mary.
  • Like Joseph and Mary, we should obey God’s word once we know what it is.

 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21