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Matthew Chapter 1

Memory verses for this week:   James 5:7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 

Introduction:  We begin a new study this week on the book of Matthew.  The writer of this account is Matthew, sometimes referred to as Levi.  He was a publican and tax collector by trade.   We see the call of Levi to follow Christ in chapter 2 of Mark. 

Mark 2:14  And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. 

When these men wrote these books of the bible, they were guided by the Holy Spirit to pen the very words of God.   While the writings of course included their view and happenings that surrounded them, a greater writer (the Holy Spirit) guided the hands of each man as God allowed us to have four separate and unique accounts of the gospel.  Some things are mentioned in all four accounts, while some are contained in only one of the accounts.   God had a reason for every word that was penned. 

2 Pet 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.


I.  The Genealogy in Matthew

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

Mat 1:2  Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;

Mat 1:3  And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

Mat 1:4  And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

Mat 1:5  And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

Mat 1:6  And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

In the book of Matthew, God chose to show us the genealogy of Joseph.    Since we know Joseph was not actually Christ’s father since Jesus was the son of God, this lineage really does not have to do with the blood line of Christ except to prove that the family did come through the tribe of Judah.   We have a complete lineage of Mary recorded in Luke Chapter 3:23-38 which traces beyond even Abraham… it goes all the way back to Adam.   Matthew proves that Jesus is the Son of David and of Abraham, and also traces him back through the royal line of Solomon.   You find that Mary’s lineage comes through the line of Nathan.   Some have suggested that Matthew’s account gives a list of those standing the legal line of descent from David, whereas the Luke account gives the actual names of ancestry generation after generation.   For whatever reason, God had a special reason to record these two lines of names.   One of the unusual things about Matthew’s account is how that four women are named, and the typical ancestry line was given only by the name of man.  I think we can conclude these four bear special recognition.  


1.  Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah who deceived him and conceived Pharez and Zarah through the deception.

Gen 38:13  And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.

Gen 38:14  And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.

Gen 38:15  When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.


Gen 38:27  And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.

Gen 38:28  And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.

Gen 38:29  And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.

Gen 38:30  And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.

It is important to note the Pharez could not enter into the congregation of the Lord until the tenth generation due to being an illegitimate child.  

2.  Rachab – This was the harlot of Jericho who helped hide the spies.  The Old Testament does not record her marriage to Salmon, but we know she went with the Jews after they overthrew the city of Jericho.  She apparently was a woman of great faith as she is included in the book of the faithful, Hebrews Chapter 11.

Heb 11:31  By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.


3.  Ruth -  Ruth was a great woman, and time doesn’t permit us to delve deeply into her background.  But we have her life story recorded in the book of Ruth.   Ruth had faith in the God of Naomi, her mother-in-law and stuck with her after her husband died.   They returned to Bethlehem and Ruth proved to be a great woman of faith.


4. Bathsheba -  We have a complete record of Bathsheba in I Samuel Chapter 11.  She was the wife of Uriah the Hittite that David had moved to the front of the battle that he might be killed after David found that Bathsheba was with child after his adultery with her.   The story was tragic after this, and the baby lost it’s life and the sword never departed from David’s house after this.   God did bless David with Solomon being born from Bathsheba.    I think from all these mentioned thus far, we can see how God can use all kinds of people in His work.   Praise God that not many mighty are chosen, but the weak and willing vessels are the ones who do God’s work.

1 Cor 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1 Cor 1:25  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Cor 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

1 Cor 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1 Cor 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1 Cor 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.


Mat 1:7  And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;


Mat 1:8  And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;

Mat 1:9  And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;

Mat 1:10  And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

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

Mat 1:12  And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;

Mat 1:13  And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;

Mat 1:14  And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;

Mat 1:15  And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;

Mat 1:16  And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Mat 1:17  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.

As I mentioned earlier, the two genealogies we have in Matthew and Luke are traced from the two sons of David, Solomon and Nathan.  Solomon’s descendents were barred from the throne of Israel to prosper from the days of Coniah. 

Jer 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?

Jer 22:29  O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

Jer 22:30  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.


Verse 17 speaks of there being three sets of fourteen generations, the first being From Abraham to David.  This might be called the age of the patriarchs and judges.

The second set ranged from David unto the carrying away unto Babylonian captivity.  This is known as the age of the kings.   The last set was from the captivity unto Christ.  No official title was given to this period, but it sure was a period that ended with the birth of the greatest person who has ever lived on earth, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


II.  Conception and Birth of Jesus Christ

Mat 1:18  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.

Mary and Joseph were what we refer today as being engaged to be married.  The difference back then was that being espoused was a very serious matter, and it was a binding arrangement much more so than our current engagements are today.   When Mary became pregnant at this time, it was a difficult situation.   The angel appeared to Joseph explaining what was to happen (verse 20), but to others there would be the appearance of evil.   Some might talk of her being with child prior to the marriage, and most importantly, it could destroy Joseph’s confidence in Mary.    But Joseph was a just man as we read in verse 19 and decided to put her away privily.   He could have taken her before the courts of law and had her judged and punished.   He could have put her away with a bill of divorcement before witnesses.   But rather than do that, he chose to put her away privily.

J. Vernon McGee said this about Joseph and Mary.

The Mosaic Law was very specific at this point. It said that a woman who was guilty of being unfaithful should be stoned to death—that was the extreme penalty. But this man Joseph was a remarkable man. We devote a great deal of attention to Mary, and rightly so. Protestants should not let themselves be deterred from giving Mary a great deal of credit. She was a remarkable person. Remember that she was the one whom God chose to be the mother of our Lord, and God makes no mistakes. He picked the right girl. While all of this is true, we need to remember that God also chose Joseph. God made no mistake in choosing him either. A hot-headed man would immediately have had her stoned to death or would have made her a public example by exposing her. But Joseph was not that kind of man. He was a gentle person. He was in love with her, and he did not want to hurt her in any way, although he felt that she had been unfaithful to him. [i]

Mat 1:19  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

Mat 1:20  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.

Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

While Joseph was pondering the situation, God sent a heavenly messenger to Joseph in a dream.  He tells Joseph to not fear to take Mary to be his wife and that what might seem impossible with man, was possible with God.   That the baby had been conceived of the Holy Ghost.   And the angel goes so far as to tell Joseph what to name the baby… “thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. “  The name Jesus means “Savior.”

Matthew Henry said this about Joseph and Mary:

He is here informed concerning that holy thing with which his espoused wife was now pregnant. That which is conceived in her is of a divine original. He is so far from being in danger of sharing in an impurity by marrying her, that he will thereby share in the highest dignity he is capable of. Two things he is told,

(1.) That she had conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost; not by the power of nature. The Holy Spirit, who produced the world, now produced the Saviour of the world, and prepared him a body, as was promised him, when he said, Lo, I come, Heb. 10:5. Hence he is said to be made of a woman (Gal. 4:4), and yet to be that second Adam that is the Lord from heaven, 1 Co. 15:47. He is the Son of God, and yet so far partakes of the substance of his mother as to be called the fruit of her womb, Lu. 1:42. It was requisite that is conception should be otherwise than by ordinary generation, that so, so though he partook of the human nature, yet he might escape the corruption and pollution of it, and not be conceived and shapen in iniquity. Histories tell us of some who vainly pretended to have conceived by a divine power, as the mother of Alexander; but none ever really did so, except the mother of our Lord. His name in this, as in other things, is Wonderful. We do not read that the virgin Mary did herself proclaim the honour done to her; but she hid it in her heart, and therefore God sent an angel to attest it. Those who seek not their own glory shall have the honour that comes from God; it is reserved for the humble. [ii]

Mat 1:22  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Mat 1:23  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.

We see that this was a fulfillment of prophecy.   When my good friend Brother Tony Grand and I traveled to Abilene a few weeks ago, we discussed how that the whole bible, all 66 books, are really about Jesus Christ.  All of those Old Testament blood offerings could not clear one sin, but they pointed to a greater who could.  Jesus Christ is the one sacrifice that God honors and He removes our sins when we know Christ as our Lord and Savior.   The prophets foretold that a virgin would conceive and bring forth a Son.  They even identified the exact city where Christ would be born.

Isa 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.

Emmanuel means “God with us.”

Micah 5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Mat 1:24  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

Mat 1:25  And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Joseph is obedient to the angel of the Lord.  All of us should be so quick to respond affirmatively when God directs us.   Obedience is perhaps the most needful things we need have among the people of God.   When we are obedient, God rewards us with great blessings.  The sinner needs to first obey the call of God and repent and come to Christ for salvation.

We see that Joseph did what was right, and did make Mary his wife.  And it is very clear, that he did not know his wife until after Christ was born.  Jesus was the first born Son of God and was virgin born.   He was the only begotten Son of God.

Satan hates the doctrine of Christ being the virgin born Son of God.  But W.A. Criswell in the Believer’s Bible made this comment.

There is no question that “virgin” is the correct translation. It is true to Matthew’s text and its Greek/Hebrew source. “Virgin” translates the Greek parthenos found in the Greek/Hebrew in Is. 7:14, there used to render the Hebrew >almah. There is no example where it can be demonstrated that >almah refers to a young woman who is not a virgin (cf. Gen. 24:43; Song 1:3; 6:8). Furthermore, the Greek word most often rendered “girl,” “maiden,” or “a young woman” (neanis) is not used by Matthew. Instead, he is precise in his use of parthenos, which is translated “virgin,” “maiden,” “pure,” or “chaste” even in classical Greek literature.   [iii]



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 Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 

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[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[ii]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

[iii]W.A. Criswell, Believer’s study Bible [computer file], electronic ed. , Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991 by the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies.