Re: Genealogies (was Re: personal revelations)

From: George Murphy (
Date: Thu Mar 06 2003 - 07:32:44 EST

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    Peter Ruest wrote:
    > 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
    > counted.
    > 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.

            There seem to be a number of possible explanations for Mt's 3 x 14 claim.
    It seems to me that Gundry's has the merit of suggesting what I called the theo-logic
    for his arrangement.

    George L. Murphy

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