1:1 The book of the generation1 of Jesus Christ, the son of David2, the son of Abraham3. GENEALOGY OF JESUS ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. Matthew 1:1-17
The book of the generation. Or genealogy.
Of Jesus Christ, the son of David. The Messiah was promised to
David (2 Samuel
The son of Abraham. Messiah was also promised to Abraham (Genesis
1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat
Jacob; and Jacob begat Judah and his brethren1;
And Jacob begat Judah and his brethren. Mentioned here because they
were the heads of the tribes for whom especially wrote his Gospel.
1:3 and Judah begat Perez
and Zerah1 of Tamar2;
and Perez begat Hezron; and Hezron begat Ram;
Perez and Zerah. These two were twins.
Of Tamar. She was the incestuous daughter-in-law of Judah.
1:5 and Salmon begat Boaz of Rahab1;
and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth2; and
Obed begat Jesse;
Rahab. She had been a heathen and a harlot of Jericho.
Ruth. She was a heathen Moabitess.
1:6 and Jesse begat David1
the king. And David begat Solomon of her [that had been
the wife] of Uriah2;
These fourteen were patriarchs. The second fourteen were all kings.
David. We may count David twice, first as a patriarch, second as
one of the kings; and thus make up the full number of the second fourteen.
Her [that had been the wife] of Uriah. The adulteress Bathsheba.
1:7 and Solomon1
begat Rehoboam2; and Rehoboam
begat Abijah3; and Abijah begat Asa4;
Solomon. A wise but sinful king.
Rehoboam. A foolish king, from whose kingdom of twelve tribes God
cut off ten tribes.
Abijah. A sinful king, like his father Rehoboam.
Asa. A godly king who reformed his kingdom of Judah.
1:8 and Asa begat Jehoshaphat1;
and Jehoshaphat begat Joram2; and
Joram begat3 Uzziah4;
Jehoshaphat. A good king, much like his father Asa; but he
displeased God somewhat by being too friendly with Ahab, the wicked king of
Joram. Married Athaliah, the wicked daughter of Ahab, and followed
Ahab in all his ungodly practices.
And Joram begat. Joram begat Ahaziah, and Ahaziah begat Joash, and
Joash begat Amaziah; and Amaziah begat Uzziah. The names of Ahaziah, Joash,
and Amaziah were probably omitted for the sake of symmetry, but may have
been dropped because they were wicked descendants of Ahab unto the fourth
Uzziah. He was a good king, but smitten with leprosy for
presumptuously entering the temple.
1:9 and Uzziah begat Jotham1;
and Jotham begat Ahaz2; and Ahaz
Jotham. A good king like Uzziah, his father.
Ahaz. One of Judah's worst kings.
Hezekiah. A royal, godly king, like David.
1:10 and Hezekiah begat Manasseh1;
and Manasseh begat Amon2; and
Amon begat Josiah3;
Manasseh. An evil king, like Ahaz, but, being punished of God, he
Amon. An evil king like his father Manasseh; who waxed worse and
worse till his people conspired against him and slew him.
Josiah. A good king, much like Hezekiah.
1:11 and Josiah
begat1 Jechoniah and his brethren2,
at the time3 of
the carrying away to Babylon4.
And Josiah begat. Josiah begat Jehoiakim, and Jehoiakim begat
Jechoniah and his brethren. So far as is known, Jechoniah had no
literal brothers. We may, therefore, take the word "brethren" as
meaning his royal kindred; viz.: his father Jehoiakim, and his uncles,
Jehoahaz and Zedekiah, the three sons of Josiah.
At the time. Probably about 599 B.C.
Of the carrying away to Babylon. Into captivity.
1:12 And after the carrying away to
Babylon, Jechoniah1 begat Shealtiel2;
and Shealtiel begat Zerubbabel3;
Jechoniah. If we do not count David twice, as above indicated (as a
patriarch and a king), we must count Jechoniah twice (as a king who became a
citizen). But if we count Jehoiakim as properly included in the phrase
"his brethren" at Matthew
1:11, we need count no one twice.
Shealtiel. Luke calls Shealtiel the son of Neri (Luke
3:27). Jechoniah may have been the natural, and Neri the legal, father
of Shealtiel (Deuteronomy
22:24). Or Luke's Shealtiel and Zerubbabel may have been different
persons from the Shealtiel and Zerubbabel of Matthew.
Zerubbabel. The governor of Jerusalem, who rebuilt the temple, as
told by Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah.
1:16 and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of
Mary, of whom was born Jesus1, who
is called Christ2.
Jesus. The name Jesus means Savior.
Who is called Christ. The word "Christ" is a title. It
means the anointed One. Prophets, priests, and kings were anointed; Jesus
was all three.
1:17 So all the generations from Abraham
unto David are fourteen generations1;
and from David unto the carrying away to Babylon fourteen generations; and from
the carrying away to Babylon unto the Christ fourteen generations.
Fourteen generations. The Jews, to whom Matthew wrote his Gospel,
were extremely fond of such groupings and divisions as this.
1:18 Now the birth
of Jesus Christ was on this wise1: When
his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph2, before
they came together3 she was found
with child of the Holy Spirit4.
ANNUNCIATION TO JOSEPH OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS. (At Nazareth, B.C. 5.) Matthew
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. The birth of Jesus
is to handled with reverential awe. We are not to probe into its mysteries
with presumptuous curiosity. The birth of common persons is mysterious
139:13-16), and we do not well, therefore, if we seek to be wise above
what is written as to the birth of the Son of God.
When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph. The Jews were
usually betrothed ten or twelve months prior to the marriage. So sacred was
this relationship that unfaithfulness to it was deemed adultery, and was
punishable by death--death by stoning (Deuteronomy
8:5). Those betrothed were regarded as husband and wife, and could only
be separated by divorcement. Hebrew betrothals set the world a good example.
Hasty marriage is too often followed by hasty repentance.
"No woman of Israel was married unless she had been first
Before they came together. Before Joseph brought his bride to his
own house. An espoused maiden lived in her father's house until the
marriage, as is our own custom.
She was found with child of the Holy Spirit. The two evangelists
(Matthew and Luke) which give the earthly genealogy of Jesus are each
careful to mention his miraculous conception through the Holy Spirit.
1:35. All the New Testament writers recognized Jesus as at once both
human and divine. Christ's "physical" nature was begotten of the
Holy Spirit, but the Christian's "spiritual" nature is begotten of
1:13). The act of the Holy Spirit in this case indicates that he is a
personality, and not a mere influence, as some are disposed to imagine.
Influences do not create physical bodies.
1:19 And Joseph her husband, being a
righteous man, and not willing to make her a public
example2, was minded to put her
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous [man]. As a righteous man
he could not complete his marriage, and thus stain his family name. As a
merciful man he did not wish to openly disgrace the one to whom he was so
fondly attached. He wished to act justly toward his own reputation, and
mercifully toward the reputation of Mary.
And not willing to make her a public example. He did not wish to
expose her to the shame of a public trial before the court, nor to punish
her as the law permitted.
Was minded to put her away privily. The law of Moses gave the
husband the power of divorce (Deuteronomy
24:1). The bill or writing certifying the divorce usually stated the
cause, and was handed to the wife in the presence of witnesses. Joseph
evidently intended to omit stating any cause in the bill, that there might
be no record to convict her of shame. The law of divorce applied to
betrothed as well as to married persons. In his kindness Joseph anticipates
the special teaching of Christ and the general instruction of Paul (Matthew
6:1). How different the conduct of the innocent Joseph from that of
guilty Judah (Genesis
38:24). Judah needed some one to point out his unfitness (John
1:20 But when he
thought on these things1, behold, an
angel of the Lord appeared unto him2 in
a dream3, saying, Joseph4,
thou son of David5, fear
not to take unto thee Mary thy wife6: for that which is
conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
But when he thought on these things. God guides the thoughtful, not
An angel of the Lord appeared unto him. The Lord looks after the
good name of those who honor his name, and he serves those who serve him (1 Samuel
12:26). The suffering of both Mary and Joseph must have been very
extreme at this time--one being forced to suspect the chief object of his
affections, and the other being compelled to rest under the unjust
suspicions of loved ones, because of a condition which God alone could
explain. But God does explain where we cannot understand without his
revelation, and where we absolutely need to know.
In a dream. A mode of communication frequently used by God (Genesis
41:1; 1 Kings
4:13-15). It is difficult to say how men determined between ordinary and
divine dreams, but doubtless the latter came with a glory and vividness
which gave assurance of their supernatural nature. Matthew mentions four
divine dreams, viz.: (1) this one; (2) the second one given to Joseph (Matthew
2:13); (3) the dream of the Magi (Matthew
2:12); (4) the dream of Pilate's wife (Matthew
Saying, Joseph. We are known to angels, and they address us by name
27:24). Much more does the Lord know our names (John
Thou son of David. The name of David was calculated to waken the
memories of God's promises, and helped to prepare Joseph to receive the
wonderful news that Messiah was about to be born, for Messiah was the
promised heir of David.
Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife. Have no fear as to Mary's
virtue and purity. Fear no disgrace in taking her. Joseph feared as a son of
David that his marriage would sully his genealogy. But it was that which
gave point and purpose to an otherwise barren and uninteresting record. He
feared as a man lest he should share Mary's apparent disgrace; but he had
infinitely more reason to fear his unworthiness to share with her the
exalted responsibilities of parentage to our Lord. Also see Luke
1:21 And she shall
bring forth a son1; and thou
shalt call his name JESUS2; for
it is he that shall save his people from their sins3.
She shall bring forth a son. The angel does not say "shall
bear thee a son", as he said to Zacharias (Luke
And thou shalt call his name JESUS. Joseph was to take the position
of a legal father to the child and name it. The name means "Salvation
of Jehovah" or "Jehovah is the Savior". Would we could all
bear our names, such as Christian, pastor, magistrate, father, mother,
child, etc., as Jesus bore that wonderful and responsible name of Savior.
For it is he that shall save his people from their sins. Thus from
before his very birth-hour the nature of Christ's salvation is fully set
forth. He came to save from the guilt of sin by having shed his blood, his
may be remitted or washed clean. He saves from the power of sin by bestowing
the gift of the Spirit, who regenerates, comforts, and strengthens, and
ultimately he saves from the punishment of sin by giving us a resurrection
from the dead, and an abundant entrance into the home of glory. That is no
salvation at all which fails to free us from this triple bondage of sin.
1:22 Now all this
is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord1
through the prophet2, saying3,
Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken by the Lord. It was not fulfilled because predicted, but was
rather predicted because sure to take place. Prophecies are fulfilled in
four ways, namely: (1) When a thing clearly predicted comes to pass. (2)
When that which has been pictured in type and shadow is at last shown forth
in substance and reality. (3) When an event which has been described in
language more elevated and elaborate than it demands is followed by another
similar event to which the said language is more perfectly suited. (4) When
parabolic or figurative language may be applied to some subsequent event.
The prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled after the third fashion, which was
spoken by the Lord. In innumerable passages the divine origin and
inspiration of the Scriptures are clearly and unmistakably set forth. The
same Spirit which foretold through the lips of the prophet now interprets
the foretelling through the lips of the angel.
Through the prophet. See Isaiah
7:14. Isaiah's name is not given. The ancients were studious readers,
and had few books, so that there was little need to cite authors by name.
Saying. About the year 740 B.C. While Ahaz was king of Judah, his
land was threatened with an invasion by the united armies of Syria and
Israel. Isaiah came to frightened Ahaz, promised divine aid, and told Ahaz
to seek from God a sign confirming this promise. This Ahaz refused to do;
whereupon Isaiah replied that God would grant a sign anyway. The sign was
that a virgin should have a son, and before the son reached the age of
discretion, the kingdoms of Syria and Israel should be destroyed. The sign
given Ahaz was one of deliverance, and prefigured the birth of Christ, the
great Deliverer, in four ways: (1) A virgin bearing a child. (2) A male
12:5). (3) The divinely ordered naming of the child. (4) The
significance of the name given. Jesus fulfilled in his ministry man
predictions; but many more such as this one were fulfilled upon him without
1:23 Behold, the
virgin shall be with child1, and shall bring forth a son, And
they shall call his name2 Immanuel;
which is, being interpreted, God with us3.
Behold, the virgin shall be with child. The Sonship of Jesus
demands a miraculous birth. If we doubt the miracle of his conception, we
can never solve the perplexing problem of his marvelous life and death.
And they shall call his name. Rather, title; under the head of
"name" the titles of Jesus are also set forth at (Isaiah
Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us. Nature shows
God above us; the Law shows God against us; but the Gospel shows God with
us, and for us. The blessing of the church militant is Christ, God with us;
that of the church triumphant is Christ, us with God. In this world Jesus
walked "with us" in human form (John
1:14); and because he did so, we, in the world to come, shall walk
"with him" in divine form (1 John
3:2; 1 Corinthians
15:49). In a personal sense Jesus may fitly be called "God with
us", for he was God and man united in one body.
1:24 And Joseph arose from his sleep, and
did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took
unto him his wife2;
And Joseph . . . did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. Joseph
followed the instructions, though contrary to his first inclination. Blessed
are they who permit God to guide them. As Joseph appears to have acted at
once upon the angel's instruction, the marriage must have taken place
several months prior to the birth of Jesus.
And took unto him his wife. Thus becoming the legally recognized
father of Jesus, and though he bestowed upon Jesus but a humble name, he
nevertheless rescued him from the reproach of an illegitimate birth (Matthew
1:25 and knew her
not till she had brought forth a son1: and
he called his name JESUS2.
And knew her not till she had brought forth a son. Romish teachers
contend for the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, that she may be
regarded as an object of worship. This doctrine cannot be proved by
Scripture. But there are weightier reasons than this which forbid us to
worship her; namely, it cannot be proven from Scripture either that she was
"divine" or that she was "sinless". Moreover, the fact
that she entered the marital state at all, shows that she was perfectly
human, and comported herself as such.
And he called his name JESUS. Two Old Testament heroes bore the
name Jesus under the form of Joshua. One was captain of Israel for the
conquest of Canaan (Joshua
1:1,12), the other was high priest of Israel for rebuilding the Temple (Zechariah
6:11,12). Christ was both the Captain of our salvation and the High
Priest of our profession.