Matthew 1:1-16 The genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. Although Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus, he was the legal father, being the husband of Mary. Since both the biological parent and the legal parent can trace their lines back to King David, the right of Jesus to the throne of David can’t be contested.
5 “Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth…”
Two women are mentioned here as being in the Messianic line. Both are gentiles and one had a very questionable past. Both show that God loves all people and wants all to come to repentance and to know Him. Rahab protected the spies who checked out Jericho and later chose to follow the God of the Israelites. Ruth became the wife of Boaz after her first Jewish husband died. She chose to leave her foreign gods and follow the God of her mother-in-law. If God would use them, He can use anyone who chooses to repent and follow Him.
6 “…David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah”
Another example of God using someone who had blatant sin in their past. Two actually. David and Bathsheba. Forgiveness is available for those who will repent.
17 “…fourteen generations…”
When you add up what is supplied in the list, it doesn’t equal out as fourteen. Probably one of the spots critics use to say the Bible contradicts itself. But just because we don’t understand what the writer was trying to convey doesn’t mean he was wrong or that what is presented was an error. Commentaries suggest a few solutions, but they don’t really matter. We don’t have to know to trust what is presented. Certainly it is a curious matter, and it would be interesting to fully understand which is why continued study is performed. But it is enough to know we have the truth and that we must trust it.
18 “…Mary was betrothed to Joseph…”
Promised to him. Some say this was actually a legal marriage at this point even though they had not come together to consummate the union.
18 “…child of the Holy Spirit”
The child was not created by the union of cells from Mary and a man, but by those of Mary and the Holy Spirit. God provided the part of the genetic makeup which would normally be supplied by a man. Thus Jesus would be fully human and fully God from a physical standpoint. His divinity would also be because His person was one of the parts of the Trinity, the Godhead.
19 “…Joseph her husband…”
Evidence that there was some legal aspect to their situation.
19 “…not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly”
Jewish law allowed Joseph to publicly denounce her as she had broken their agreement. It also provided for her stoning, although I’m not sure if that would have taken place at that time. With the Romans in charge, it’s hard to know what they would have gotten away with. I know that some years later the Sanhedrin stoned Stephen, yet the Romans had to crucify Christ. I’m not sure where the line is drawn. At any rate, we can see something of Joseph’s character here. Even though his promised wife has supposedly cheated on him, he prefers to resolve the matter privately without making more of a spectacle of her.
20 “…son of David…”
Evidence of the Davidic line. Commentary also brings out a good point. Reminding Joseph of his heritage would have allowed him to more fully understand what was happening. He would have been looking for the Messiah from the line of David like any good Jew. Here the angel is telling him that he is to be a part of that.
21 “…you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins”
Meaning God saves or God will save or Jehovah is salvation. A derivative like Jehoshua, Joshua and Yeshua. All forms of the same name.
22 “…which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet…”
Matthew will provide a lot of correlation between the Old Testament and the New by showing how prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus. Part of the particular viewpoint which makes his version of the gospel valuable.
23 “…they shall call His name Immanuel…”
God with us. By naming Him Jesus, the prophecy is fulfilled. Although others had used the name Jesus, Christ fulfilled the use of the name. He truly was God with us, the One to save.
25 “…did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son…”
Didn’t have sexual relations with her until after Jesus was born. He took her as wife which fulfilled the legal aspect of it, but didn’t consummate the marriage until after she had given birth. By definition, Mary was still a virgin when she and Joseph consummated their union. But she would have ceased to be one at that point. The fact of her virginity when she became pregnant with Jesus serves only to certify His divinity as not having an earthly, human father, not hers. Once Christ was born and she and Joseph had intercourse, she was no longer a virgin and was able to continue as a normal wife and mother to her other children.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.