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Birth of Jesus

The Genealogy of Jesus


Matthew 1:1-17
Luke 3:23-38

Key Differences

Close examination the names in the genealogy rather than glancing over them find that this is a completely different list of names.

Additional Commentary

Although it is difficult to decipher, these two differing genealogies are not both of Joseph.  It appears that the one in Matthew traces the lineage of Joseph while Luke records that of Mary.  This is confusing, especially since Luke does not clearly state that it is Mary's genealogy, only that Joseph was thought to be the father even though Luke's readers would know that Joseph was not Jesus' real father.

The differences in genealogies are important.  Both trace their heritage through David, who is key to the fulfillment of prophecy.  Joseph's lineage goes to David through his son Solomon.  Mary goes to David through Nathan however.

While David was promised that his heir would sit on the throne forever, Solomon was never given such a promise.  Although many promises were passed on the Solomon, this one was not.  Because of Solomon's disobedience this promise is not fulfilled through him.  Later, the kingly line is cursed.  In Jeremiah 22 Coniah is cursed and 2 Kings 24 Jehoichin is mentioned.  This is the person known as Jeconiah in Matthew 1:11.  (People go by multiple names are some names end up changing between the translation from Hebrew to Greek.)  Solomon's line has been cursed and no physical descendant will reign on David's throne through Solomon even though he still had the legal claim to it.

This is why Mary's lineage is so important.  Mary too was a descendant of David, thus Jesus was.  A descendant of David would reign on his throne in accordance with prophecy.  Jesus is Mary's flesh and blood as well as David's, but He does not have the cursed bloodline of Solomon.  However, because Joseph legally adopted Jesus by naming him, the legal right to the throne was given to Jesus.

This allows God to fulfill the prophecy that David's heir would sit on his throne forever and allows God's curse on Solomon's line to stand as well.  Only God could cause this to happen.

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