Matthew 1:1-17 (The Genesis of Jesus Christ, Part 1)

Mat 1:1          Note: “book” is the Greek word transliterated as biblos from which we get our word Bible.  Note: “genealogy” in this verse is the same word translated in Mat 1:18 as “birth” and is the Greek word transliterated as “genesis”; why is such a term appropriate in describing the human beginnings of the Son of God?  Is it significant that Matthew has used the exact formula found in Genesis 2:4 and 5:1 (LXX) for how Moses described “the book of the genesis of heaven and earth” and “the book of the genesis of men”? What is the significance of the name “Jesus”?  See Mat 1:21 and note: Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua which means “Jehovah is Salvation”.  What is the significance of “Christ”?  Note: “Christ” is the Greek form of Messiah, which means the anointed one and was nearly synonymous with “king”; cf. 1Sa 16:6, 24:6,10, 2Sa 22:51-23:1, Psa 2:2.  What is the significance that Jesus was the “son of David”?  See 2Ch 6:16, Luk 1:32.  What is the significance that Jesus was “the son of Abraham?”  Cf. Acts 3:25, Rom 11:1.

Mat 1:2-17   Is the purpose of Matthew’s genealogy to give a complete ancestry of Christ?  Notice for example in Mat 1:8 that (lit.) “Joram begat Uzziah” but observe from 2Ch 21-26 that he has telescoped the complete line of Joram – Ahaziah – Joash – Amaziah – Uzziah to simply Joram – Uzziah; likewise in Mat 1:11 Jehoiakim is omitted between Josiah and Jeconiah (Jehoiachin), etc…; note also that Luke’s genealogy (Luk 3:23-38)lists 42 generations between David and Jesus, whereas Matthew’s lists 28.  What then is the purpose of Matthew’s genealogy?  See Mat 1:1,17 and note that his arrangement is simply a mnemonic to communicate Jesus’ legal descent from David and Abraham.  What is the significance of the number 14?  Note: in Hebrew David is dwd which letters also stood for the numbers 4+6+4 = 14.  Is it surprising that a tax-collector would show an interest in numbers?  Why is Matthew’s genealogy different from Luke’s (see Luk 3:23-38)?  See below.  What would people’s initial reaction be to the assertion of a “virgin birth”?  See Mat 1:18-19.  How would the unbelieving Jews have sought to discredit the gospel message in this regard?  How would Matthew’s mention of Tamar (Mat 1:3), Rahab (Mat 1:5), and “her who had been the wife of Uriah” (Mat 1:6) in the genealogy of Christ have helped deflect their defamation?  See esp. Gen 38:24-26.  Why might Matthew have also mentioned Ruth?  Hint: recall that Ruth was a Gentile Moabitess and consider the historical context of the Jews rejecting the gospel and becoming increasingly antagonistic as it went forth to the Gentiles; see also Mat 8:11-12, 13:38, 15:21-28, 21:31,33-43, 28:18-20.  In light of these passages, might Matthew’s gospel be understood as an apologia to the believing Jews as to why so many of the unbelieving Jews were rejecting the gospel?  See again the outline of the gospel and cf. Paul’s anguish in Romans 9:1-5 over this rejection.  What does Matthew’s mention of the deportation to Babylon in Mat 1:11, 12 & 17 indicate about the significance of that event to the Jews?

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