Matthew 1:1

We are tempted to pass by the string of names with which the New Testament opens, as though it had no moral significance, as though it were only a relic of Jewish domestic annals. But even the genealogies in Genesis are eloquent in lessons on human life - its brevity, its changes, its succession, its unity in the midst of diversity; and the genealogy of our Lord has its own peculiar importance, reminding us of many facts.

I. CHRIST IS TRULY HUMAN. It will be a great mistake if we so conceive of his Divinity as in any way to diminish our idea of his humanity. He was as true a man as if he had not been more than a man. The Divinity in him overflows the humanity, fills it and surrounds it, but does not destroy it. Christ is not a demi-god - half-way between man and God. Perfectly one with his Father on the Divine side of his nature, he is equally one with us on the human.

II. CHRIST HAS CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER MEN. He does not descend out of the sky like an angel, or suddenly appear at our tent-door as the "three men" appeared to Abraham (Genesis 18:2). He comes in the line of a known household, and takes his place in the family tree. This family tree suggests kinship. A family is more than a collection of men, women, and children, more or less closely associated together like the grains of sand on the seashore. There is blood-relationship in it The solidarity of the human race makes one man to be the brother of all men. But the family relationship is even closer. Our Lord extends his own closest kinship to all who do the will of God (Matthew 12:50).

III. THE PAST LEADS UP TO CHRIST. He has his roots in the ages. Those dim, sorrowful years did not come and go in vain. They were all laying the foundation on which, in the fulness of time, God would build his glorious temple. Yet the men whose names are immortalized in this list knew not of their high destiny. We live for a future that is beyond our vision.

IV. CHRIST IS NOT ACCOUNTED FOR BY HIS ANCESTRY. Some people are proud of a noble pedigree. Yet it is possible to be the worthless scion of a glorious house, for families often degenerate. On the other hand, many of the best men have emerged out of obscurity. We may believe in "blood" to a certain extent, but heredity will not explain the most striking phenomena of human life. Most assuredly it will not explain the marvellous nature and character of Christ. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" (Job 14:4). Christ is not the product of such lives as those of his ancestors here given. His unique glory is not of this world, as a comparison of his life with his genealogy should show us.

V. CHRIST SUMS UP THE GLORIES OF THE PAST. All that is great and good in his ancestors is contained in Christ and surpassed by him.

1. The Jewish faith. Christ's pedigree goes back to Abraham, the friend of God; and in Christ Abraham's faith and piety are perfected, and the promises to Abraham are fulfilled.

2. The Jewish throne. Christ is David's heir. He inherits David's kingship anti he exceeds it, realizing in fact what David imperfectly foreshadowed in type. - W.F.A.

The book of the generation.
1. It is a proof of the reality of Christ's humanity.

2. It suggests the relation of Christ's work to the whole human race.

3. It marks the importance of the birth of Christ as a historical epoch. Let it remind us also

(1)Of the shortness of human life;

(2)Of the subserviency of persons of every class and character to the purposes of God's moral government.

(G. Brooks.)

1. A profane use for ostentation.

2. A holy use

(1)For the observing of judicial laws;

(2)For the distinguishing the church from those without;

(3)For the setting forth the pedigree of the Messiah, lest it should be thought that he were some obscure or secret person.

(R. Ward.)

The first record is the book of the generation of Jesus Christ. What does this signify?

1. A man's beginnings, a man's ancestors, have something to do with both his character and his life.

2. Christ was the sacred heir of all the ancient world.

3. The genealogy reminds us how all the past was preparing for Jesus.

4. But more than all, the generations of Jesus Christ show us the birth of the new world, and the new time, and the new institutions, which are to end in the perfect glory of the Father and the perfect blessedness of the race.

(W. H. Davison.)

1. There is much in good lineage.

2. Sin has tainted the blood of the best races of men, and frequently makes itself manifest.

3. God's grace can flow through very crooked human channels.

4. No man stands alone.

1. This table of our Lord's genealogy, inserted in the beginning of the gospel, invests the book with an air of naturalness and reality, which probably nothing else could have done so well. No man writing fiction would have ventured to preface it with a dry list of obscure names.

2. It connects Jesus and His teachings with all God's revelations and promises which had been given before. It binds up, as in one sheaf, all generations of the church in one uniform moral system.

3. The Lord's ancestral roll serves to identify Him in closer connection and sympathy with the race whom, as their God, lie came to redeem.

4. The account of those who were Christ's ancestry before His first advent suggest the anxious inquiry, whether our names are written in the Book of Life as members of His spiritual family.

(J. B. Owen, M. A.)

1. He is a man.

2. He is a Jew.

3. He is a king.

(1)God's purpose is to bless by a man;

(2)To teach by a man;

(3)To judge by a man;

(4)To rule by a man;

(5)To link earth and heaven together by a man.

(Dr. Bonar.)The text appears at first sight like a valley of dry bones without any life or fertility, or a rugged pass that leads to green pastures. Nevertheless, there are important lessons in it respecting the human race and its relation to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I. It shows THE COMMON ORIGIN OF THE RACE. St. Luke traces the ancestry of Jesus to Adam — the head of the race.

II. THE PHYSICAL CONNECTION OF THE RACE. Having sprung from a common head, there must be a physical connection between the various members.

(1)War seems doubly barbarous and unnatural.

(2)Men ought to sympathize with and promote one another's welfare apart from Christianity, etc.


IV. THE MORAL DISTINCTION OF THE RACE. What a mixture of good and bad there is in the genealogy!

(W. Edwards.)

Abia, Abihud, Abijah, Abiud, Achaz, Achim, Ahaz, Aminadab, Amminadab, Amon, Amos, Aram, Asa, Azor, Bathsheba, Boaz, Booz, David, Eleazar, Eliakim, Eliud, Emmanuel, Esrom, Ezekias, Hezekiah, Hezron, Immanuel, Isaac, Jacob, Jechonias, Jeconiah, Jehoram, Jehoshaphat, Jesse, Jesus, Joatham, Joram, Josaphat, Joseph, Josiah, Josias, Jotham, Judas, Manasseh, Manasses, Mary, Matthan, Naasson, Nahshon, Obed, Ozias, Perez, Phares, Pharez, Rachab, Rahab, Rehoboam, Roboam, Ruth, Sadoc, Salathiel, Salmon, Shealtiel, Solomon, Tamar, Thamar, Uriah, Urias, Uzziah, Zadok, Zara, Zarah, Zerah, Zerubbabel, Zorobabel
Babylon, Bethlehem
Birth, Book, Christ, David, Genealogy, Generation, Generations, Messiah, Record, Roll
1. The genealogy of Jesus from Abraham to Joseph.
18. He is miraculously conceived of the Holy Spirit by the Virgin Mary.
19. The angel satisfies the doubts of Joseph,
21. and declares the names and office of Jesus;
25. Jesus is born

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 1:1

     1351   covenant, with David
     2033   Christ, humanity
     2206   Jesus, the Christ
     2215   Christ, Son of David
     2312   Christ, as king
     5005   human race, and redemption
     5078   Abraham, significance
     5089   David, significance
     5369   kingship, divine

Matthew 1:1-17

     2535   Christ, family of
     2540   Christ, genealogy
     7230   genealogies

Matthew 1:1-20

     2078   Christ, sonship of

Genealogy of Jesus According to Matthew.
^A Matt. I. 1-17. ^a 1 The book of the generation [or genealogy] of Jesus Christ, the son of David [the Messiah was promised to David--II. Sam. vii. 16; John vii. 42], the son of Abraham. [Messiah was also promised to Abraham--Gen. xxii. 18; Gal. iii. 16.] 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judah and his brethren [mentioned here because they were the heads of the tribes for whom especially Matthew wrote his Gospel]; 3 and Judah begat Perez and Zerah [these two were twins]
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Annunciation to Joseph of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^A Matt. I. 18-25. ^a 18 Now the birth [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 enough (Eccl. ix. 5; Ps. cxxxix. 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] of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed [The Jews were usually betrothed ten or twelve months
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Nativity of Jesus the Messiah.
SUCH then was the hope of the promise made of God unto the fathers,' for which the twelve tribes, instantly serving (God) night and day,' longed - with such vividness, that they read it in almost every event and promise; with such earnestness, that it ever was the burden of their prayers; with such intensity, that many and long centuries of disappointment have not quenched it. Its light, comparatively dim in days of sunshine and calm, seemed to burn brightest in the dark and lonely nights of suffering,
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Annunciation of Jesus the Messiah, and the Birth of his Forerunner.
FROM the Temple to Nazareth! It seems indeed most fitting that the Evangelic story should have taken its beginning within the Sanctuary, and at the time of sacrifice. Despite its outward veneration for them, the Temple, its services, and specially its sacrifices, were, by an inward logical necessity, fast becoming a superfluity for Rabbinism. But the new development, passing over the intruded elements, which were, after all, of rationalistic origin, connected its beginning directly with the Old Testament
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Two means of proof--miracles and the accomplishment of prophecies--could alone, in the opinion of the contemporaries of Jesus, establish a supernatural mission. Jesus, and especially his disciples, employed these two processes of demonstration in perfect good faith. For a long time, Jesus had been convinced that the prophets had written only in reference to him. He recognized himself in their sacred oracles; he regarded himself as the mirror in which all the prophetic spirit of Israel had read the
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

The Synoptists.
(See the Lit. in § 78.) The Synoptic Problem. The fourth Gospel stands by itself and differs widely from the others in contents and style, as well as in distance of time of composition. There can be no doubt that the author, writing towards the close of the first century, must have known the three older ones. But the first three Gospels present the unique phenomenon of a most striking agreement and an equally striking disagreement both in matter and style, such as is not found among any three
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

The Perpetual virginity of Blessed Mary.
Against Helvidius. This tract appeared about a.d. 383. The question which gave occasion to it was whether the Mother of our Lord remained a Virgin after His birth. Helvidius maintained that the mention in the Gospels of the "sisters" and "brethren" of our Lord was proof that the Blessed Virgin had subsequent issue, and he supported his opinion by the writings of Tertullian and Victorinus. The outcome of his views was that virginity was ranked below matrimony. Jerome vigorously takes the other side,
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

Faustus Recurs to the Genealogical Difficulty and Insists that Even According to Matthew Jesus was not Son of God Until his Baptism. Augustin Sets Forth the Catholic view of the Relation of the Divine and the Human in the Person of Christ.
1. Faustus said: On one occasion, when addressing a large audience, I was asked by one of the crowd, Do you believe that Jesus was born of Mary? I replied, Which Jesus do you mean? for in the Hebrew it is the name of several people. One was the son of Nun, the follower of Moses; [971] another was the son of Josedech the high priest; [972] again, another is spoken of as the son of David; [973] and another is the Son of God. [974] Of which of these do you ask whether I believe him to have been
St. Augustine—writings in connection with the Manichæan controversy

The King in Exile
'And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him. 14. When he arose, he took the young child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt; 15. And was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Mary, Future Mother of Jesus, visits Elisabeth, Future Mother of John the Baptist.
(in the Hill Country of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 39-56. ^c 39 And Mary arose in these days [within a week or two after the angel appeared to her] and went into the hill country [the district of Judah lying south of Jerusalem, of which the city of Hebron was the center] with haste [she fled to those whom God had inspired, so that they could understand her condition and know her innocence--to those who were as Joseph needed to be inspired, that he might understand--Matt. i. 18-25], into a city
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Gospel of Matthew
Matthew's Gospel breaks the long silence that followed the ministry of Malachi the last of the Old Testament prophets. This silence extended for four hundred years, and during that time God was hid from Israel's view. Throughout this period there were no angelic manifestations, no prophet spake for Jehovah, and, though the Chosen People were sorely pressed, yet were there no Divine interpositions on their behalf. For four centuries God shut His people up to His written Word. Again and again had God
Arthur W. Pink—Why Four Gospels?

Christ the Mediator of the Covenant
'Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant,' &c. Heb 12:24. Jesus Christ is the sum and quintessence of the gospel; the wonder of angels; the joy and triumph of saints. The name of Christ is sweet, it is as music in the ear, honey in the mouth, and a cordial at the heart. I shall waive the context, and only speak of that which concerns our present purpose. Having discoursed of the covenant of grace, I shall speak now of the Mediator of the covenant, and the restorer of lapsed sinners, Jesus the Mediator
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Against Jovinianus.
Book I. Jovinianus, concerning whom we know little more than is to be found in the two following books, had published at Rome a Latin treatise containing all, or part of the opinions here controverted, viz. (1) "That a virgin is no better as such than a wife in the sight of God. (2) Abstinence is no better than a thankful partaking of food. (3) A person baptized with the Spirit as well as with water cannot sin. (4) All sins are equal. (5) There is but one grade of punishment and one of reward in
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 26-38. ^c 26 Now in the sixth month [this is the passage from which we learn that John was six months older than Jesus] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth [Luke alone tells us where Mary lived before the birth of Jesus. That Nazareth was an unimportant town is shown by the fact that it is mentioned nowhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, nor in Josephus, who mentions two hundred four towns and cities of Galilee. The
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL , God with us. T here is a signature of wisdom and power impressed upon the works of God, which evidently distinguishes them from the feeble imitations of men. Not only the splendour of the sun, but the glimmering light of the glow-worm proclaims His glory. The structure and growth of a blade of grass, are the effects of the same power which produced the fabric of the heavens and the earth. In His Word likewise He is
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

The Tragic Break in the Plan.
The Jerusalem Climate: the contrasting receptions, Luke 2. the music of heaven, Job 38:6, 7. Luke 2:13, 14. pick out the choruses of Revelation, the crowning book.--the after-captivity leaders, see Ezra and Nehemiah--ideals and ideas--present leaders--Herod--the high priest--the faithful few, Luke 2:25, 38. 23:51. The Bethlehem Fog: Matthew 1 and 2. Luke 2. a foggy shadow--suspicion of Mary--a stable cradle--murder of babes--star-students--senate meeting--a troubled city-flight--Galilee. The
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus

The Prophecy of Obadiah.
We need not enter into details regarding the question as to the time when the prophet wrote. By a thorough argumentation, Caspari has proved, that he occupies his right position in the Canon, and hence belongs to the earliest age of written prophecy, i.e., to the time of Jeroboam II. and Uzziah. As bearing conclusively against those who would assign to him a far later date, viz., the time of the exile, there is not only the indirect testimony borne by the place which this prophecy occupies in
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The Holy Spirit and the Incarnation of the Word. ...
The Holy Spirit and the Incarnation of the Word. We are so familiar with the part assigned in our Creeds to the Holy Spirit in connection with our Lord's birth, that the passage now to be quoted from Justin may at first sight seem very surprising. It may be well to approach it by citing some words from the learned and orthodox Waterland, who in 1734, in his book on The Trinity (c. vi: Works, III, 571: Oxford, 1843), wrote as follows in reference to a passage of St Irenæus: "I may remark by
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

A Cloud of Witnesses.
"By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a-dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when his end was nigh, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.... By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been compassed about for seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot perished not with them that were disobedient,
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

Commentary on Matthew. Introduction.
According to Eusebius (H. E. vi. 36) the Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew were written about the same time as the Contra Celsum, when Origen was over sixty years of age, and may therefore be probably assigned to the period 246-248. This statement is confirmed by internal evidence. In the portion here translated, books x.-xiv., he passes by the verses Matt. xviii. 12, 13, and refers for the exposition of them to his Homilies on Luke (book xiii. 29). Elsewhere, he refers his readers for a fuller
Origen—Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

The Disciple, -- Master, in These Days Some Learned Men and their Followers Regard Thy...
The Disciple,--Master, in these days some learned men and their followers regard Thy atonement and the redemption by blood as meaningless and futile, and say that Christ was only a great teacher and example for our spiritual life, and that salvation and eternal happiness depend on our own efforts and good deeds. The Master,--1. Never forget that spiritual and religious ideas are connected less with the head than with the heart, which is the temple of God, and when the heart is filled with the presence
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet

The Birth of Jesus.
(at Bethlehem of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke II. 1-7. ^c 1 Now it came to pass in those days [the days of the birth of John the Baptist], there went out a decree [a law] from Cæsar Augustus [Octavius, or Augustus, Cæsar was the nephew of and successor to Julius Cæsar. He took the name Augustus in compliment to his own greatness; and our month August is named for him; its old name being Sextilis], that all the world should be enrolled. [This enrollment or census was the first step
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Like one of Us.
"But a body Thou hast prepared Me."-- Heb. x. 5. The completion of the Old Testament did not finish the work that the Holy Spirit undertook for the whole Church. The Scripture may be the instrument whereby to act upon the consciousness of the sinner and to open his eyes to the beauty of the divine life, but it can not impart that life to the Church. Hence it is followed by another work of the Holy Spirit, viz., the preparation of the body of Christ. The well-known words of Psalm xl. 6, 7: "Sacrifice
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Commencement of the Legends Concerning Jesus --His Own Idea of his Supernatural Character.
Jesus returned to Galilee, having completely lost his Jewish faith, and filled with revolutionary ardor. His ideas are now expressed with perfect clearness. The innocent aphorisms of the first part of his prophetic career, in part borrowed from the Jewish rabbis anterior to him, and the beautiful moral precepts of his second period, are exchanged for a decided policy. The Law would be abolished; and it was to be abolished by him.[1] The Messiah had come, and he was the Messiah. The kingdom of God
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

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