Matthew 1



Matthew 1 sets the stage for the birth of Jesus by establishing his genealogy, connecting him to the covenant promises made to Abraham and David, and highlighting the miraculous nature of his conception through the Holy Spirit. The chapter underscores Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and the promised Messiah.


  1. Genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17): Matthew starts by presenting the genealogy of Jesus, emphasizing his connection to the lineage of Abraham and David. The genealogy is divided into three sets of fourteen generations each, symbolically structured to highlight key historical periods.

  2. Birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25): The narrative then shifts to the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus. Mary, engaged to Joseph, is found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph, initially troubled by this revelation, is reassured by an angel in a dream that the child is conceived by the Holy Spirit, and he is instructed to name the child Jesus, meaning "Yahweh saves." This fulfills the prophecy from the book of Isaiah.


1.1 The Geneology of Jesus Christ


"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."


The chapter opens with the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament of the Bible. It is part of the introduction to the Gospel, providing a genealogy of Jesus Christ. This verse emphasizes the lineage of Jesus, tracing it back to David and Abraham. It also establishes his lineage and fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14, which foretold that the Messiah would be a descendant of David. Let's break down the key components:


  1. "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ": Matthew begins his Gospel by presenting it as a record or account of the genealogy or ancestry of Jesus Christ. This genealogy is meant to establish Jesus' credentials and fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.

  2. "The son of David": This highlights Jesus' connection to King David. In Jewish tradition, the Messiah was expected to be a descendant of David, and Matthew emphasizes this aspect to show Jesus as the fulfillment of messianic prophecies.

  3. "The son of Abraham": This emphasizes Jesus' connection to Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites. It reinforces the idea that Jesus is the fulfillment of promises made to Abraham and his descendants.


1.2-6 From Abraham to David


"Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;"


Matthew 1:2-6 continues the genealogy of Jesus Christ, providing a list of ancestors.


Let's break down these verses:


  1. Verse 2: The genealogy begins with Abraham, the patriarch, who begat Isaac. The lineage continues through Isaac, Jacob, and Judah. Judah is mentioned along with his brethren, likely referring to his sons.

  2. Verse 3: Judah begat Phares and Zara through Thamar. This refers to the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38. Phares begat Esrom, and the genealogy continues through several generations.

  3. Verse 4: Esrom begat Aram, and the genealogy proceeds through Aminadab, Naasson, and Salmon.

  4. Verse 5: Salmon begat Booz (Boaz) through Rachab (Rahab), the harlot who helped the Israelite spies in Jericho. Booz begat Obed through Ruth, the Moabite woman. Obed begat Jesse.

  5. Verse 6: Jesse, the father of King David, is mentioned. David, the renowned king of Israel, is then mentioned in connection with Solomon. Notably, Matthew includes a reference to "her that had been the wife of Urias," which is Bathsheba. This reference highlights an episode in David's life where he committed adultery with Bathsheba, who was originally the wife of Uriah the Hittite.


These verses serve to trace the genealogy of Jesus through key figures in Israel's history, emphasizing the connection to Abraham and David. The inclusion of certain individuals, like Rahab and Ruth, highlights the diverse and sometimes unexpected backgrounds of Jesus' ancestors. The inclusion of women in the genealogy is significant because it is unusual in ancient genealogies. The mention of women like Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba, who were all included despite their less-than-ideal circumstances, underscores God's grace and the inclusivity of his salvation.


1.7-11 From David to the Babylonian Exile


"And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:"


Let's break down these verses:


  1. Verse 7: Solomon, the son of David, is mentioned as the father of Rehoboam (Roboam). Rehoboam begat Abijah (Abia), and Abijah begat Asa.

  2. Verse 8: Asa begat Jehoshaphat (Josaphat), and Jehoshaphat begat Joram. Joram begat Uzziah (Ozias).

  3. Verse 9: Uzziah begat Jotham (Joatham), and Jotham begat Ahaz (Achaz). Ahaz begat Hezekiah (Ezekias).

  4. Verse 10: Hezekiah begat Manasseh, and Manasseh begat Amon. Amon begat Josiah (Josias).

  5. Verse 11: Josiah begat Jeconiah (Jechonias) and his brothers. This verse references the time of the Babylonian exile: "about the time they were carried away to Babylon." Jeconiah is a significant figure because he was a king of Judah who was taken into captivity in Babylon. His reign marked a period of transition and hardship for Judah.


These verses continue the genealogy of Jesus, linking him to the line of David through various kings of Judah. The inclusion of historical figures reflects the unfolding narrative of Israel's history, including both the periods of prosperity and decline. The mention of the Babylonian exile serves as a historical reference point, indicating a challenging period in the history of the Jewish people


1.12-17 From The Exile To The Messiah


"And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations."


Let's break down these verses:


  1. Verse 12: After the Babylonian exile, Jechonias (Jeconiah) begat Salathiel, and Salathiel begat Zerubbabel. This lineage continues with a series of ancestors: Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Sadoc, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, and Jacob.

  2. Verse 16: Jacob begat Joseph, who is mentioned as the husband of Mary. It is clarified that Jesus was born of Mary, not Joseph. This is an important theological point, emphasizing the virgin birth of Jesus.

  3. Verse 17: Matthew concludes the genealogy with a numerical pattern. He divides the genealogy into three sets of fourteen generations each. The first set is from Abraham to David, the second from David to the Babylonian exile, and the third from the Babylonian exile to Christ.


This structure is likely intentional, emphasizing the significance of Jesus as the culmination of history and the fulfillment of God's promises. The number fourteen is symbolic, as in Hebrew gematria1, which is the practice of assigning a numerical value to a name, word or phrase by reading it as a number, or sometimes by using an alphanumerical cipher, each letter also represents a number, and the name David2 (DWD) adds up to 14 (4+6+4).


1.18-25 The Nativity of The Messiah


"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus."


  1. Verse 18: Mary, while espoused (engaged) to Joseph but before they came together in marriage, was found to be with child. The child was conceived by the Holy Spirit, emphasizing the miraculous and divine nature of Jesus' conception.

  2. Verse 19: Joseph, described as a just man, was initially troubled by Mary's pregnancy. However, he did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he planned to break off the engagement quietly.

  3. Verse 20: An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, reassuring him not to fear taking Mary as his wife because the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

  4. Verse 21: The angel reveals the significance of the child's birth, stating that Mary will give birth to a son named Jesus, and he will save his people from their sins.

  5. Verse 22: Matthew notes that these events fulfill a prophecy spoken by the Lord through a prophet. The specific prophecy is from Isaiah 7:14, which speaks of a virgin conceiving and bearing a son named Emmanuel, meaning "God with us."

  6. Verse 23: Matthew quotes the prophecy, emphasizing the fulfillment of God's plan in Jesus' birth. The name Emmanuel underscores the divine nature of Jesus, signifying that God is present among His people.

  7. Verse 24-25: Joseph, upon waking from his dream, obeys the angel's instructions, taking Mary as his wife. This demonstrates Joseph's obedience to God's guidance. The verse concludes with the affirmation that Joseph indeed names the child Jesus.