David’s Son

Today, the importance of the genealogy has been lost to most of the world. During the time that Jesus came into the world, these records of past lineage were the only method whereby a man could prove that he had the right to certain offices of service or authority. In order to serve in the Temple as a priest of God, a man had to prove that he was descended from Aaron. If a person would come to Jerusalem and claim that they are the promised Messiah, he must be able to prove from his genealogy that he was descended from Abraham and David.

The reason that this was necessary is because of the prophecies of the Messiah that were written early in the history of Israel and the Jews. God wanted His people to be able to recognize the One that He promised, when He arrived on the earth. For this reason, the Messiah must be able to demonstrate that He is a descendant of David, and Abraham, and from the tribe of Judah.

In this chapter, we see that the book of 2 Samuel contains a prophecy that was given to David, by Samuel, to inform and encourage David that a future descendant of his, would be the greatest King the world has ever known. His rule and reign would never end. He would be the Messiah; the One whom God had determined to rule over all the kingdoms of men.

The Messiah will come from the seed of David.

2 Samuel 7:12 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.”

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 1:1 “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David…”

The Genealogy of Jesus

As Matthew begins his eyewitness account of the life of Jesus, he gives us the Lord’s genealogy through Joseph’s Line, from Abraham through David:

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. (Bathsheba) 7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. 8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. 11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. 12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. 14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. 15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations. Matthew 1:1-17

If you examine Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus Christ, you will find that he has included four women.

This is very unusual because during this time, the names of women were never included in a genealogy. Why did the Lord make a special effort to include the names of these four women?

Tamar: A prostitute. She was Judah’s daughter-in-law from his first son, Er, who died leaving Tamar a widow. Tamar then marries Judah’s second son, Onan. He refused to consummate the marriage and he also dies, leaving Tamar without any children.

Judah sent Tamar back to her home village because he did not want the responsibility of providing a husband for her, even though it was his duty to do so.

While on the way to Timnah to shear his sheep, Judah meets a young woman who he believes is a prostitute. Unknown to Judah, the young woman that he had solicited—is his daughter-in-law Tamar. During this time, prostitutes covered their faces to conceal their identity. As a result of this encounter, Tamar becomes pregnant with Judah’s baby. Realizing afterwards that he had not done what was right in finding a husband for Tamar, Judah finally admitted that she is more righteous than he (Genesis 38:26).

Rahab: A pagan prostitute from Cana. As Joshua sent out two spies to scout the land of Cana before sending in an army, these two men were housed by Rahab. As a result of her assistance, Joshua ordered that she be protected from harm when they came later to attack Jericho. Later, Rahab married Salmon and became the mother of Boaz who is the great grandfather of David, the king of Israel.

Ruth: A woman from the town of Moab, the nation that began after Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. The Moabites were bitter enemies of Israel. Ruth’s Hebrew husband, Mahlon, died—leaving Ruth without a son. Ruth moved to Israel with her mother-in-law, Naomi. She married Boaz, Rahab’s son. She became the mother of Obed, making her David’s great grandmother.

Bathsheba: The wife of Uriah, the Hittite. King David committed adultery with Bathsheba. David then murdered her husband Uriah in an effort to cover up his sin. Bathsheba later marries David and gives birth to a son who dies soon after birth. Her second child by David is Solomon, the next king of Israel. Solomon is known as the wisest and wealthiest man who has ever lived.

Insignificant to the world, important to God

Due to cultural prejudice, no Hebrew man would include the name of a woman in his genealogy. Jesus came into the world to make God accessible to all people. Loving women and men equally, Jesus included four women in His line—whom the world considered of little value: a prostitute, a pagan Canaanite, a hated Moabitess, and an adulterous woman. The fact that other significant women from Jesus descendants could have been included here: Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel, it is clear that these four women who had shaded pasts, seem to have been chosen specifically to emphasize the importance of Jesus message.

Jesus came into the world to save sinners, men as well as women. Every person has the right to come to Jesus and receive the forgiveness of their sins. Any woman who has been used, abused, cast away, or forgotten, is greatly loved by Jesus. The Lord selected these women because they represent those whom the world considers worthless. It is the desire of the Lord that women everywhere know that they are a treasure to Him, and that He has the power to give any woman a new life; regardless of the mistakes she has made or the way that the world has treated her.

You might feel ashamed of the way you have lived your life so far. You may be overcome with anger or sorrow because of what people have done to you. Jesus can take all of your shame away and cause you to feel as though none of these terrible things had ever happened. If you will surrender your life to Jesus, He will remove all the record of wrong from your life and make you perfect in His sight. He will take away the shame of sinful acts committed against you and make you His beautiful treasure.

All four of these women, though they had terrible, pain-filled lives, went on to become great women of God. As they brought all their sorrow and failures to the Lord, He gave them new lives and caused each one to be instruments that were greatly used to bring many others into the kingdom of God. The lesson that we learn from the inclusion of these women in Jesus’ line of descendants is that women are equal to men in the kingdom of God; they are valuable, precious, and a cherished treasure to Him.

When most people read the genealogies found in the Bible, they don’t pay much attention to their text. Jesus said that not one jot or tittle of the Bible is insignificant. These seemingly boring parts of scripture are very often, where the most exciting details are found. It is by a careful and prayerful study of the Word of God that we find the deep and hidden treasures which many people miss.

Of great personal significance for you and I in this incredible story of Jesus’ genealogy is the fact that the Lord already knows about all the events of our life. Everything that will take place throughout our days, are already known to the Lord, before we were born. His promise is that He will make everything, ultimately; turn out for our good. Our lives have a specific plan and purpose that God is fulfilling for us every day that we are here on the earth. Nothing happens that is outside of His power and control.

Mary’s genealogy

As Matthew gives us the details of Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph, Luke reveals that Jesus is qualified to be the Messiah, through Mary’s family line, described in Luke Chapter 3.

Mary’s genealogy is in reverse, with Jesus being named first, going all the way back to Adam:

23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, Heli was Mary’s Father 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. Luke 3:23-38

Because Jesus’ genealogy can be traced all the way back to Adam, we understand that He is able to save all human beings who come to Him. Jesus died for every person that has been born on the earth since the first man, Adam.

Notice that Abraham and David’s names are listed in Mary’s line, qualifying Jesus to be the Savior of the World. If Jesus could not prove that He was descended from both Abraham and David, He could not be the Messiah, regardless of the other prophecies that He has fulfilled.

The Importance of Jesus Genealogy

According to the Gospel of Matthew: Through Joseph’s genealogy, Jesus came from Abraham and David. The Messiah must come from the seed of Abraham and be from the house of David. This genealogy in Matthew, showing that Jesus came through Joseph’s line, proves that Jesus has the Legal right to the throne of David.

Mary’s genealogy in the Gospel of Luke, traces Jesus’ line all the way back to Adam, validating that He was qualified to be the Second Adam and Savior of all men. Mary’s genealogy proves that Jesus has the Physical right to be the Messiah.

Although Joseph was not the physical father of Jesus, He did convey to Jesus the legal right to the throne as the Messiah. Joseph, as his stepfather, was descended from David and Abraham.

If you carefully examine Joseph’s Genealogy, which is given by Matthew, you will see a man by the name of Jeconiah.

In the Book of Jeremiah 22:30, the Lord pronounces a “curse” upon the entire line of Jeconiah:

Jeremiah 22:30 Thus says the LORD: “Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.”

In other words: No descendent of Jeconiah could ever be the Messiah.

This presents a huge problem for the Lord in that the Messiah must come from the line of David. Jeconiah is from the line of David down to Joseph, who is the stepfather of Jesus.

If Joseph had been the birth father of Jesus, then Jesus would have been disqualified from sitting on the throne of David, because He is descended from the line of Jeconiah, in whom, no one from his line could sit on the throne of David.

In Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, we see this man called “Jeconiah.”

Matthew 1:11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.

In the Book of Jeremiah, Jeconiah was the king of Israel. He was such an evil king that the Lord cursed his entire line of descendants. As a result of this curse none of Jeconiah’s future descendants could be the King of Israel.

Jeremiah 22:24-30 “As I live,” says the LORD, “though Coniah (nickname for Jeconiah) the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off;” Thus says the LORD: “Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.”

This presented a problem for the future fulfillment of prophecies that concern the Messiah who come from one of the descendants of Jeconiah. We notice that Jesus is from Jeconiah’s line in Matthew 1:11 of this chapter.

Matthew 1:11,16 Josiah begot Jeconiah… 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

The genealogy that Matthew presents to us, is for Joseph, Jesus’ stepfather. According to this curse placed by God, upon all of those who come from Jeconiah, neither Joseph nor any of his sons could sit on the the throne as the king of Israel. This would disqualify Jesus as the Messiah, except for one important fact: Joseph is not Jesus’ biological father; Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.[1]

In this prophecy, we see how important the virgin birth of Jesus truly is. Had Joseph been the source of Mary’s conception, it would be impossible for Jesus to fulfill of all the prophecies of the Messiah. The precision and detail to which God made certain that Jesus is uniquely qualified as the Savior, is truly amazing.

It is certain that the reason the Lord created this scenario in which Jeconiah’s line is cursed—preventing Joseph or one of his son’s from being qualified to be the Messiah, is to show us the great power of the Lord to fulfill His word.

1. The Messiah must prove that He is descended from Abraham and David; God makes prophecies that require this.
2. God curses the line of Jeconiah because of his evil; no descendent can be the King of Israel (the Messiah).
3. God chooses a line of descendants for the Messiah that includes Jeconiah, and Joseph, leading to Jesus.
4. Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit, not by Joseph.
5. Joseph conveys the legal right for Jesus to be the Messiah as His stepfather, while avoiding the curse that comes from the bloodline of Jeconiah.
6. Mary’s line of descendants, also comes through Abraham and David, but not through Jeconiah.
7. Mary’s conception of Jesus is by the Holy Spirit, allowing Jesus to be born without inheriting the sin of Adam, as well as following a line of descendants that excludes Jeconiah.

Now that is extreme engineering!

We should understand that all of the prophecies of the Messiah were specifically engineered by God to fit only Jesus and no other person. The plan and purpose that Jesus was following throughout His entire life was determined by God before He made the heavens or the earth.

Acts 15:18 Known to God from eternity are all His works.

Impossible circumstances

Long before God ever called anyone that is listed in the Messiah’s line, He knew about Jeconiah and the fact that his descendants would be cursed. The Lord wanted all of the events that surrounded His Son’s life to be extraordinary and unique. He built into the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection impossible circumstances to ensure that we would easily be able to identify Him as the Messiah and the only one in whom we are to place our trust.

• God would become a man.
• Born of a virgin
• Jeconiah’s line cursed
• Born in poverty, raised in obscurity
• Under the threat of death, from birth
• Ministry proven by miracles
• Crucified
• Raised from the dead

Very often, the Lord will cause an event to appear impossible and hopeless—just so that He can display His mighty power.

This incredible event is stated, once more: Joseph was not Jesus’ Biological father. He was born of the Holy Spirit; therefore, His Father was God. Jesus received His legal right to the throne of David through Joseph’s line. However, He received the physical right to be the Messiah by blood, through Mary’s Line. Jesus is not a part of the cursed line of Jeconiah; He is eternal, having His origin from eternity.


One can imagine the jubilation in satan’s camp when God pronounced this curse upon Jeconiah’s line. Satan must have thought that God had made a fatal error in cursing this line because it would mean that everyone from the line of Jeconiah was disqualified as the Messiah, including Jesus.

Except for this fact: David had two sons, Nathan and Solomon.

Joseph came from Solomon’s line, from where Jeconiah was cursed and no son could ever be the Messiah.

Mary came from Nathan’s line, from where Jesus was qualified to sit on David’s throne.

This is why the Holy Spirit presents to us, two Genealogies in both Matthew and Luke, so that we can see that Jesus is qualified to be the Messiah—because He is from the Tribe of Judah, from where Genesis 49:10 states the ruler must come.

Jesus is also qualified to be the Messiah because He is descended from Adam, Abraham, and David.

For the sake of clarity, so that you have a visual reference of Jesus’ Genealogy, I included the complete lineage of Mary’s line from Luke’s genealogy as well as Joseph’s line from Matthew’s genealogy.

A few things to notice about these genealogies: See the chart below for the reference numbers described in the following text.

• The subject of this prophecy, describes the Messiah coming from the tribe of Judah. Notice number 25 in Mary’s genealogy.
• The Messiah will be a descendant of Abraham. Notice number 1 in Joseph’s genealogy and number 22 in Mary’s genealogy: Jesus is from Abraham’s line.
• The Messiah is able to save all men because He is descended from Adam. Mary’s genealogy goes all the way back to Adam. (See number 75 in the chart below: Mary’s father Heli) Mary’s name is included from this genealogy, this was customary, as women during this time, were not included in genealogies; only the male of each family from which property rights were passed to the next generation, were a part of the majority of genealogies.
• The Messiah, Jesus, is qualified to sit on the throne of His father David because number 14 in Joseph’s genealogy shows Jesus is His descendant; number 35 in Mary’s genealogy reveals that Jesus is in David’s house and lineage.
• Joseph is Jesus’ stepfather. This is important because in Joseph’s line of descendants number 28 is Jeconiah. No descendant of Jeconiah could sit on the throne of David and be the Messiah. Jesus received the physical right to sit on David’s throne from His mother, as seen through Mary’s genealogy.
• Mary’s genealogy of Jesus shows a very interesting person if we are watching for Jesus’ return in the Rapture. Notice Enoch, number 8, who walked in fellowship with God, and so God took him.
• Number 9 in Mary’s genealogy shows Methuselah who was the last person before the great flood arrived, when everyone except Noah and his family died. This judgment was preceded by the Rapture of Enoch—just prior to the judgment of the flood. This illustrates for us, how the church of Jesus Christ will be Raptured, just before the seven-year Tribulation-judgement, begins.

[2]

Matthew 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

[3]

Abraham is the father of Isaac, and Isaac brought forth Jacob who is the father of the twelve tribes. One of the twelve was Judah who brought forth the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Messiah is referred to as The Son of David because David is the fourteenth that was descended from Abraham. Forty-two descendants later, Jesus is born to Mary, a direct descendant of King David.

Jesus is qualified to be the Messiah because His genealogy proves that He is The Son of David and the Son of Abraham.

In 70 A.D., when Titus came into Jerusalem and destroyed the city; the Roman soldiers burned the Temple to the ground. All of the genealogical records that recorded who was descended from who, were destroyed. After 70 A.D., no one could prove that they were qualified to be the Savior.[4] This was the Lord’s way of making it clear to the world that His Messiah had already come, no others need apply.

“The Jewish genealogical records continued to be kept till near the destruction of Jerusalem. But there can be little doubt that the registers of the Jewish tribes and families perished at the destruction of Jerusalem, and not before.” —Smith’s Bible Dictionary

“Under Herod I. all genealogical rolls kept in the Temple were destroyed.” —Sachs, “Beiträge,” ii. 157

“The Rabbis affirm that after the (Babylonian) Captivity the Jews were most careful in keeping their pedigrees.[5] Since, however, the period of their destruction as a nation by the Romans, all their tables of descent seem to be lost, and now they are utterly unable to trace the pedigree of any one who might lay claim to be their promised Messiah.”[6] —The McClintock & Strong Cyclopedia, the most thorough Bible encyclopedia ever published

This proves that the text of Matthew and Luke was already written and had been distributed by the early Christian church, before 70 A.D., when all the genealogical records were destroyed. Matthew and Luke could not have known about Jesus genealogy unless they had seen these records in the archives of the Temple. They must have seen these records before they were destroyed by Titus in 70 A.D. Jesus died in 32 A.D, the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., this is just 28 years later. The claim that the gospels of Jesus Christ were written at too great a distance from the time when these events took place, is wrong. The existence of this genealogical record of Jesus, from Matthew and Luke, in their gospels, proves that they men wrote these words within 28 years of the death of Jesus Christ.

Today, no person can prove whether or not they are in the line of descendants that qualifies them to be the Messiah. Only Jesus met all of the requirements, specifically as the Bible required. No other person in the history of the world has met these demands, except Jesus.[7]

Sidebar: The reader will find that many Jews who do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, assert that the official genealogies of the Jews were not kept in the Temple. Although many Jews who were living in Israel at the time the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., kept the genealogies of their family, at their homes; these were not recognized as official records. The genealogies that were officially recognized and the only records that matter, were certainly kept in the archives of the Temple itself.

“The problem with this argument is that it is based on a fallacy. The assertion that all genealogical records of the Jewish people were destroyed with the destruction of the Second Temple around 70 C.E. is untrue and unfounded. No such event ever occurred in Jewish history, and there exists neither a credible historian nor any other reliable ancient source to support this claim. The genealogies of the twelve tribes of Israel were not stored in the Temple and, therefore, they could not have been destroyed with it.” —Uri Yosef

The facts are: many historians do uphold the certainty that the primary records for the lineage of all Jews, that were considered accurate and reliable—certified by the leading Priests; were kept within the walls of the Temple that Titus burned in 70 A.D. The genealogies that were kept by Jews who lived outside of Jerusalem, to validate the lineage of their descendants, was not a complete and accurate record that was recognized by the administrators of the Temple. It is these certified Temple records that would validate the genealogy of any person who would claim to be the Messiah, not the private records of citizens who maintained their own copy. This would be similar to you and I, having birth records, or photo copies of our ancestors genealogies in our home. These records would not be recognized as official, for the purpose of validating the lineage of a person. Any personal records that were kept by a family of Jews in their home, would have to be compared to the official records that were stored at the Temple. Only the official records of the Temple could be used to prove a genealogy, for the purpose of validating the Messiah. These Temple documents were unquestionably destroyed in the destruction of the Temple at 70 A.D.

Why does this matter today?

The facts of this genealogy are important because there have been several churches, religious organizations, and individuals, who have claimed over the years that their leader was the Messiah or the Savior of the world. Amongst the many problems with their claims is the fact that they cannot prove that they have fulfilled this prophecy. The Messiah must be descended from the line of David.

If a person claims to be the Messiah, ask them:

• Are you born of a virgin?
• Are you without sin?
• Are you descended from the line of David?
• Did you fulfill all (more than 400) of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah?

If the answer to any of the above is “no,” then no matter what a person might claim about themselves, they are not the Messiah.

The Father intended that we understand by these hundreds of prophecies, that there is only one person who is qualified as the Messiah: Jesus Christ, the Son of David.

Just 48 prophecies prove Jesus is the Messiah

Scientist and Mathematician Peter Stoner computed that the odds of any one person fulfilling just 48 of these Old Testament prophecies is 10168.[8] This number is more than two times the estimated number of atoms in the known universe (1080), including some 300 Sextillion stars (300,000 Trillion).[9]

Jesus has the exclusive right to be called “Messiah” because He met all the strict requirements set forth in the Old Testament.

What will you do with this information?

Sadly, even though this book presents a great deal of evidence for the true identity of the Messiah, many who read all or a portion of this book will not ever surrender their life to Jesus Christ. The problem is not insufficient evidence to believe, but an unwilling heart and mind, regardless the evidence that is presented.

To the honest and sincere seeker, the facts that are presented in this book are more than sufficient to make a reasonable decision to accept Jesus’ claim as your Savior.


[1] Luke 1:30-35 And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. 34 And Mary said to the angel, How will this be, since I am a virgin? 35 And the angel answered her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy— the Son of God. (ESV)
[2] Illustration by Rob Robinson
[3] Illustration by Rob Robinson
[4] 1. Smith’s Bible Dictionary: Genealogy
In Hebrew the term for genealogy or pedigree is “the book of the generations;” and because the oldest histories were usually drawn up on a genealogical basis, the expression often extended to the whole history, as is the case with the Gospel of St. Matthew, where “the book of the generation of Jesus Christ” includes the whole history contained in that Gospel. The promise of the land of Canaan to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob successively, and the separation of the Israelites from the Gentile world; the expectation of Messiah as to spring from the tribe of Judah; the exclusively hereditary priesthood of Aaron with its dignity and emoluments; the long succession of kings in the line of David; and the whole division and occupations of the land upon genealogical principles by the tribes, occupation of the land upon genealogical principles by the tribes, families and houses of fathers, gave a deeper importance to the science of genealogy among the Jews than perhaps any other nation. When Zerubbabel brought back the captivity from Babylon, one of his first cares seems to have been to take a census of those that returned, and to settle them according to their genealogies. Passing on to the time of the birth of Christ, we have a striking incidental proof of the continuance of the Jewish genealogical economy in the fact that when Augustus ordered the census of the empire to be taken, the Jews in the province of Syria immediately went each one to his own city. The Jewish genealogical records continued to be kept till near the destruction of Jerusalem. But there can be little doubt that the registers of the Jewish tribes and families perished at the destruction of Jerusalem, and not before. It remains to be said that just notions of the nature of the Jewish genealogical records are of great importance with a view to the right interpretation of Scripture. Let it only be remembered that these records have respect to political and territorial divisions as much as to strictly genealogical descent, and it will at once be seen how erroneous a conclusion it may be that all who are called “sons” of such or such a patriarch or chief father must necessarily be his very children. Of any one family or house became extinct, some other would succeed to its place, called after its own chief father. Hence of course a census of any tribe drawn up at a later period would exhibit different divisions from one drawn up at an earlier. The same principle must be borne in mind in interpreting any particular genealogy Again, when a pedigree was abbreviated, it would naturally specify such generations as would indicates from what chief houses the person descended. Females are named in genealogies when there is anything remarkable about them, or when any right or property is transmitted through them. See (Genesis 11:29; 22:23; 25:1-4; 35:22-26; Exodus 6:23; Numbers 26:33)
2. Under Herod I. all genealogical rolls kept in the Temple were destroyed (Sachs, “Beiträge,” ii. 157). The loss of official genealogies was deeply deplored as a calamity, more especially because of their importance for the understanding of the books of Chronicles (Pes. 62b; B. B. 109). How prolific these Biblical books were in provoking genealogical conceits is shown by the statement that 900 camel-loads of commentary existed on I Chron. viii. 37 to ix. 44 (Pes. 62b). Much mischief must have been done by this speculation on family origins and pedigrees; at least the provision requiring caution in instruction in genealogy and limiting the hours for it (Pes. 76) would seem to indicate as much. Family pride is rebuked also in the familiar saying that a “mamzer” (bastard), if learned in the Law, outranked an ignorant high priest (Hor. 11); in fact, the priestly insistence upon purity of pedigree was fully counterbalanced by the demand for knowledge, which, through Phariseeism (nobility of learning) as opposed to Sadduceeism (priestly nobility), gradually succeeded in developing a new aristocracy, that of the mind, in the place of the old one (Ẓadoḳite) of blood. Many stories preserve the memory of the struggle for recognition of the one or the other claim to distinction which agitated learned and unlearned Israel in the early Christian centuries (Ḳid. 70a, 71a, b).
3.Of spurious genealogies, specimens of which Sprenger (“Das Leben und die Lehre Mohammad”) adduces, Jewish literature has a goodly number to show (Seder ‘Olam Zuṭa; Zunz, “G. V.” 2d ed., 1892, pp; 142 et seq. ; Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, Asher’s ed., ii. 6 et seq.). Yet this is not proof that all the pedigrees current among Jews were of this class (Zunz, “Analekten,” No. 15, p. 46). The tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, according to Midr. R. to Num. xiii., preserved while in Egypt their “yiḥus” (genealogy) to prove the purity and legitimacy of their descent. Upon this yiḥus the Jews have always laid great stress, as have also the Gentiles (Yeb. 62a; Yer. Yeb. ii. 4a). Marriage was invalidated if any deception regarding one’s yiḥus was discovered, even if the actual rank was higher than the assumed (Yer. Ḳid. ii. 62c). Silence when taunted with low origin creates the presumption that the person taunted is of high stock (Ḳid. 71b). , the “chain of genealogies,” is spoken of (Gen. R. lxxxii.), and the word has passed into literature to designate historical annals.
Sources: Bibliography: Hamburger, R. B. T. ii., Jewish Encyclopedia dot com.
[5] Babyl. Gemar. Gloss. fol. xiv, 2
[6] McClintock & Strong Cyclopedia, Talmud: 3.771; emp.WJ
[7] R.K. Harrison observed that: “Records of descent were an extremely important part of Hebrew tradition from the very beginning…” (Bromiley, 2.425). Noted scholar Joachim Jeremias has discussed at length the necessity of preserving the genealogical heritage of the post-exile Jews. Note the following.
1.In view of a special lineage that Jehovah had chosen, through whom the promised Messiah would descend, the Hebrews were prohibited from contracting marriages with Gentiles (Deuteronomy 7:1-3; Ezra 10:2)—though there were rare exceptions, e.g., Ruth, Rahab and Bathsheba. Due to Israel’s dispersal among the nations, Jews who made pilgrimages back to Jerusalem, and wished to marry, were “required to have the genealogy of their future wife checked according to [the] requirements” (69). How could this be if no written records were available?
2.Under the Old Testament law, the offices of the priests and Levites were hereditary. This position could be obtained in no other way than by inheritance. It was extremely important, therefore, that the “purity of the line” remain intact. Accordingly, “great care was taken in tracing genealogy.” “[I]f a priest could not prove his legitimate descent, he lost his rights to priestly office, both for himself and for his descendants, and [also] to priestly revenues” (214). Induction into the priesthood was not a matter of “orality” alone!
3.During the time of Christ’s earthly sojourn, certain families of Hebrew nobility were granted the privilege of “carrying wood to the Temple on certain days; this fact shows that the genealogical tradition was well preserved among the lay nobility.” An Israelite woman “who wished to marry into a priest’s family had to produce her genealogy for five generations (p. 216; M. Kidd. iv.4)…” (Jeremias, 276).
Source: Wayne Jackson, the Christian Courier:Jackson, Wayne. “The Importance of Messianic Genealogy.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: February 18, 2016. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1556-importance-of-messianic-genealogy-the
[8] Science Speaks. by Peter W. Stoner, revised and HTML formatted by Don W. Stoner. Retrieved 2007-02-09
[9] Pieter van Dokkum – Chairman, and Professor, Astronomy & Physics/Chairman, Department of Astronomy, Yale University.