Chapter 1, Part 1, Preface

Sometimes the question is asked, "Why are there four gospels?" The answer is that God has given us four different pictures of Christ. Now all four pictures are in perfect harmony. The 4th Chapter of the book of Revelations speaks to us about four beasts. These four beasts were described thusly: Rev. 4:7 "And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle." In the sign language used in the book of Revelation and found throughout the bible, the lion is often used as a figure of a king. Similarly, the calf or ox is used as a figure of a beast of burden or laborer. The third beast represents a man and the fourth beast is a figure of the spiritual. There are four pictures of Christ that answer to the four beasts in Revelation Chapter 4. Matthew gives us a picture of Christ as a King in his Kingdom. The book of Mark gives us a picture of Christ in his labors. The book of Luke gives us a picture of the man Christ Jesus. The book of John gives us a picture of Christ in his deity.

There are more references to Christ as a king in the book of Matthew and more references to the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven in the book of Matthew than there are in the other three gospels combined. It is with this understanding that the gospel of Matthew gives us a view of Christ the king in his kingdom that we study the book of Matthew.

Chapter 1 Part 1

Matt. 1:1 "The book of the generation of Jesus Christů"

While there are numerous genealogies presented in the scriptures, only twice do we read about "the book of the generationů" In addition to Matt. 1:1 we read in Gen. 5:1, "This is the book of the generations of Adam." This invites us to compare Adam with Christ. Genesis chapter 5 is the obituary column of the bible. Everyone in that genealogy, with the exception of Enoch, is concluded with the statement "and he died." The emphasis in the book of the generations of Adam is on death. When Adam transgressed in the Garden of Eden he brought sin into the world, and death by sin and according to Romans chapter 5 verse 12 death passed upon all men. In contrast, the book of the generation of Jesus Christ speaks to us of life.

According to Rom. 5:14 Adam is the figure of Christ: "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." There are numerous similarities and contrasts between Adam and Christ of which we list seven:

1. Adam was in a Garden when he transgressed the law of God and brought the curse of the law of sin and death upon all mankind. Christ was buried in a garden after he became sin for us and redeemed his elect from the curse of the law and arose the third day in a garden victorious over death.
2. Adam went into a deep sleep and had a rib taken from him from which his bride was made. Christ went into the deep sleep of death and had his rib pierced in order to redeem his bride to him.
3. Adam represented all mankind when he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil bringing the curse of the law upon all mankind. Christ represented all the elect when he suffered and died on the cross to redeem his people from their sins.
4. Adam had all the trees of the garden in which he could freely eat but one and yet transgressed by eating of that one tree. Jesus when tempted of Satan had fasted for forty days and nights and refused to break the commandment of God in order to satisfy his hunger.
5. Adam was made in the likeness of God. Jesus was made in the likeness of man.
6. Adam willfully sinned to be with his bride. Jesus refused to sin, but became sin for his bride in order to have her with him.
7. By the one disobedience of Adam, many were made sinners. By the obedience of one (Christ) many were made righteous.

Chapter 1 Part 2

Matt. 1:1 "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

The reference to Jesus Christ being the son of David, the son of Abraham calls our attention to the fulfilled promises God made to Abraham and David. It calls our attention to the fact that Jesus Christ was promised to be the seed of Abraham and the seed of David. He was also the fulfillment of the promise made to David that of his sons would God raise up a King that would sit on an everlasting throne in an everlasting kingdom.

First, God made several promises to Abraham concerning his seed:

1. Gen. 12:1 "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." This promise was further expounded unto us in Acts 3:25 "Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed."
2. Gen. 13:14 "And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered."
3. 16 "And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

Abraham's seed is identified for us in Gal. 3:16 "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Thus the promises concerning the seed of Abraham were promises made concerning Jesus Christ!

We make the following observations concerning the promises made to Abraham and his seed:

1. The seed of Abraham was promised to be multiplied as the dust of the earth, as the sand upon the seashore and as the stars of heaven. One thing all three of these (dust, sand, stars) have in common is that they are numberless. You cannot put a number on them. Likewise, Rev. 7:9 speaks of the seed of Abraham (Jesus Christ): "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
2. All families of the earth, all kindreds of the earth, and all nations of the earth are said to be blessed in Abraham's seed (Jesus Christ).
3. Abraham's seed (Jesus Christ) was to possess the gate of his enemies. To possess the gate of one's enemies means to have the victory over those enemies. Jesus Christ gained the victory over sin, death, hell, Satan, and the grave and he gave that victory to us.

The promises made to Abraham and his seed were also confirmed in Isaac and in Jacob as the following verses show:

1. Gen. 26:1 "And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. 2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."
2. Gen. 28:10 "And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

God also promised to David and alluded to in Abraham of a coming King that would sit upon an everlasting throne:

1. God promised to David in 2 Sam. 7:12: "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever." That God had reference to Christ and not to Solomon as the seed in which he would establish this everlasting kingdom is brought out to us in Acts 2:29 "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." Solomon sat on the throne as King of Israel while David was yet alive. David was dead and buried as according to the promise that God made to him when Christ, the Son of David, sat upon the everlasting throne of David in the Kingdom of God.
2. The promise of a king was also alluded to in the promises made to Abraham:
Gen. 17:6 "And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee." Gen. 17:16 "And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her."
3. The promise of Christ, the king was to come through the tribe of Judah according to the following: Gen. 49:9 "Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes."

Chapter 1 Part 3  The Roadblock

Matt. 1:11 "And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:"

Beginning with David and down to Jechonias the genealogy follows the line of the Kings. It is to this kingly line that Jesus Christ was promised to come and reign on the throne of David in an everlasting kingdom. From Jechonias down to Joseph there was no king sitting on the throne of David, even though this was the kingly line. There is a reason why no one from Jechonias unto Joseph sat upon the throne of Israel. It was because of a curse that God had placed upon the seed of Jechonias: Jere. 22:28 "Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? 29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD. 30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah."

In the Old Testament, Jeconiah's name was sometime called Coniah. God placed a curse upon the seed of Jeconias. None of his seed could ever sit upon the throne of David and rule in Judah. Joseph, the husband of Mary was of the seed of Coniah. None of Joseph's seed could sit and rule upon the throne of David because of the curse placed upon the seed of Jeconias.

Let us summarize the things promised of God concerning the one who was to reign on the everlasting throne of David in an everlasting kingdom. First, he was to be the seed of David. Second, he was to be the son of David and have right to the throne of David. Third, the throne of David descended through Solomon. Fourth, he was not to be the seed of Coniah or Jeconiah. This raises and interesting question, how could Christ be the seed of David and a son according to the Kingly line through Solomon and not be a seed of Jeconiah? How could this roadblock be overcome? The answer comes through another promise of God.

God promised concerning the serpent and the woman in the Garden of Eden after the transgression: Gen. 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." This promise involved the woman's seed bruising the head of the serpent's seed. Throughout the scriptures we read of different men's seed. Only in the Garden do we read of a woman's seed. The scriptural use of the word seed is to imply the germ that comes from the man to fertilize the woman's egg. To have a woman's seed is to say that the man's seed is absent. Of course, this points to the virgin birth. That Christ would be conceived in the womb of a virgin is prophesied in Is. 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

We might ask ourselves, "How does the virgin birth overcome the roadblock requiring that Christ be of the seed of David and be the son of David through the kingly line of Solomon and yet not be of the seed of Jeconiah?" To answer this question we need to look at the genealogy given to us in the third chapter of the book of Luke.

According to Matthew Chapter 1, we read that Jacob begat Joseph. In Luke Chapter 3, we read that Joseph is the son of Heli. Now Joseph can not have two biological fathers. It is apparent that Jacob is the biological father of Joseph. The genealogy in Luke chapter 3 also differs from the one in Matthew chapter 1 in that David begat Solomon in Matthew chapter 1 and Nathan is the son of David in Luke chapter 3. Of course David had several sons including both Solomon and Nathan. Solomon is the son of the kingly line, whereas Nathan is not of the kingly line. Being of the lineage of Nathan does not qualify one to sit upon the throne of David.

Joseph is the son of Heli because he is the husband of Mary. Heli is the biological father of Mary. Joseph is Heli's son-in-law. The term son-in-law simply means that he is a legal son because of his marriage to Mary.

Now let us see if we can answer the question of how that Christ could be the seed of David and the son of David through the kingly line through Solomon and yet not the seed of Jeconiah. Christ is the seed of Mary through the virgin birth who conceived of the Holy Ghost. Mary is the seed of David through Nathan. Thus, Christ is the seed of David. Second, Luke chapter 3 tells us that Christ, "being as was supposed the son of Joseph." Now Jesus Christ was not the biological seed of Joseph, but he was legally the son of Joseph because Joseph was the husband of Mary. Thus, Christ was legally the son of David through the lineage of Solomon. Christ was not the seed of Jeconiah, however, as he was not the seed of Joseph. Therefore, Christ fulfilled all the requirements to be the promised Son of David who would sit upon the throne of David in an everlasting Kingdom. He alone could fulfill those requirements as he was born of the virgin.

Chapter 1 Part 4  The Women

In the genealogy listed in Matthew chapter 1 there are four women that are mentioned either by name or by reference. Obviously, there is significance to these particular women being mentioned as there is a mother to all that are begotten in the chapter.

These four women are:

1. Thamar: "And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar"
2. Rachab: "And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab"
3. Ruth: "And Booz begat Obed of Ruth"
4. The wife of Urias: "And David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias"

Thamar was Judah's daughter in law and had been married first to Judah's oldest son and then to the middle son. After Judah's two oldest sons had done wickedly in the eyes of God and God had slain them, Thamar had been promised to the youngest of Judah's sons. However, when Judah had failed to keep his promise, Thamar disguised herself as a harlot and went out to meet Judah. They agreed to have sexual relations for a price that Judah was to pay and for which he gave Thamar a token. Thamar conceived and had twins which were Phares and Zara.

Rachab was a harlot of Jericho who had hidden the spies of Israel who had come to search out the land prior to Israel invading Jericho. In order to save her own life and that of her family she entered into a covenant with the spies. Later Rachab married Salmon and begat Booz.

Ruth was a Moabitess and was married to one of the sons of Naomi. When her husband died and Naomi's husband died, she journeyed with Naomi to the land of Israel and ultimately married Booz and beget Obed.

During the time of war David had spied a beautiful woman bathing and sent for her. This woman was the wife of Uriah the Hittite. David committed adultery with her and she conceived with child. To cover up his sin David had Uriah the Hittite killed in battle and then married Bathsheba his wife.

All of the above illustrate the wickedness in man and the wickedness of the genealogy presented here. First, Thamar acted as a harlot and committed incest with her father-in-law. Second, Rachab was a harlot and was of the people that God told the children of Israel they were not to take for wives. Third, Ruth was a Moabite, though she was a godly woman, yet no seed of the Moabites were to come unto the congregation until the tenth generation. Fourth, David committed both the sin of adultery and of murder in the matter of Urijah and his wife. This also illustrates the mercy of God in forgiving the sins of his people. Also, this illustrates that the stream leading up to the conception of Christ was a polluted stream, yet God through the virgin birth was able to bring forth a child who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.