Genealogies (was Re: personal revelations)

From: Peter Ruest (
Date: Thu Mar 06 2003 - 00:52:36 EST

  • Next message: George Murphy: "Re: Genealogies (was Re: personal revelations)"

    George Murphy wrote:
    > John Burgeson wrote:...
    > > 2) I'm not sure just what "logical error" you mean in Mt's geneaology.
    > > 14+14+14=42
    > > But there are but 41 generations listed there.
    > > Yes, I've read the ad hoc explanations. They are not persuasive.
    > This is part of what I mean by forcing the data. In his Mt commentary Gundry
    > says:
    > "To get this third fourteen Matthew probably counts Mary as well as Jospeh;
    > i.e., the one chronological generation carries two other kinds of generations within it,
    > a legal (Josph's) and a physical (Mary's)."
    > We shouldn't imagine that Mt just didn't know how to count, or that he was
    > hoping that nobody would notice that the last third of the genealogy had only 13
    > generations. It's one thing to try to figure out the theo-logic which he was using, as
    > Gundry does. It's quite another to claim that somehow Mt really does list 14 biological
    > generations so that he's historically "inerrant."
    > Shalom, George

    A more natural explanation just occurred to me. In the bible, intervals
    of times in days routinely include the starting day and the ending day,
    such as Jesus' resurrection after "three days". So we could expect
    intervals of generations to include the starting and ending names to be

    This is what we find for the first period of 14 in Mt 1:2-6, both
    Abraham and David being included, with Matthew's comment in v.17, "from
    Abraham to David". But Matthew defines the second period as terminating
    "at [epi w.gen.] the time of deportation" (v.11) and "to [eos w.gen.]
    the deportation" (v.17), and the third period as beginning "after [meta
    w.acc.] the deportation" (v.12) and "from [apo] the deportation" (v.17).
    No name is mentioned to characterize the generation separating the
    second from the third period, and the delimiter is not identical for the
    termination of the second and the beginning of the third period (epi or
    eos vs. meta or apo), indicating that the third period began _later
    than_ the the second one ended.

    Why this roundabout way of formulation? I suggest that the second period
    is to be counted as from David to Josiah, including both, which gives 14
    generations, and the third one from Jechoniah to Christ, including both,
    which gives 14 generations. In this way, David, but not Josiah or
    Jechoniah, is counted twice, accounting for the 41 rather than 42 names
    for defining generations.

    For Jechoniah, Jeremiah uses the abbreviation Coniah, presumably
    indicating that he was cut off from Yahweh or Yah (Je-), in Jer.22:24.28
    and 37:1. In 22:28-30, he prophesies that "none of his offspring shall
    succeed in sitting on the throne of David." So, we have an interruption
    in the line of biological descent from David through Joseph to Christ.
    Yet, God promised David: "I will raise up your offspring after you, who
    shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom... And
    your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your
    throne shall be established for ever" (2 Sam.7:12.17). The fullfillment
    of this promise cannot be found in anyone but Christ. But it is a
    promise of both biological descent and legal succession as king. We find
    the first, biological descent connection in the genealogy of Luke
    3:23-38, which goes through Mary, but not through Jechoniah, and the
    second, legal succession in Mat.1:2-16, which goes through Jechoniah,
    Serubbabel, and Joseph, Jesus' adoptive father. This is in beautiful
    correlation with the virginal conception of Jesus.

    By the way, Jechoniah was not Josiah's son, but his grandson (1
    Chr.3:15-16, Jehoiakim being left out), and between Joram and Uzziah
    (=Azariah), three generations (Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah) are left out (1
    Chr.3:11-12). Why Matthew chose exactly these to leave out is another
    question. But obviously, he did "manipulate" the genealogy to reach the
    3 x 14, a fact everyone could verify from the OT, so no deception is
    implied. Whether others are left out, we don't know. Even with the
    phrase "was the father of" (or "begat", egennesen), we must count with
    the possibility of missing generations in genealogies.


    Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
    <> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
    "..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)

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