Matthew 1:6
And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
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(6) The wife of Urias.—Once again we have the mention of a woman who at least played a memorable part in the history of Israel. As this is the last of such names in the genealogy, it may be well to deal with the question whether any special purpose can be traced in the selection, beyond that of noting points of interest. Nothing can carry us beyond probable conjectures; but, within those limits, it is at least suggestive that all the names are those of women who, either as of heathen origin (Bathsheba, like her husband, was probably a Hittite), or by personal guilt, were as those whom the strict judgment of the Pharisee excluded from his fellowship. St. Matthew may have meant men to draw the inference that, as these women were not excluded from the honour of being in the Messiah’s line of ancestry, so others like them would not be shut out from fellowship with His kingdom.

Matthew 1:6. And Jesse begat David the king — David has the title of king given him in this genealogy, because he was the first king of his family, and because he had the kingdom entailed upon his children; in which respect he had greatly the advantage of Saul, from whose family the kingdom was taken away almost as soon as it was conferred. It is true, ten of the twelve tribes revolted from David’s grandson. Nevertheless, the promise of God remained sure, for whereas an end was soon put to the kingdom of the ten tribes, the empire of the two which adhered to David’s family was of much longer duration, not to mention that the tribe of Judah, out of which the Messiah was to spring, was one of those two that continued in their allegiance to his house. This kingdom also was a type of the kingdom of Christ, which indeed might be said to be begun by him. For to him the promise of the Messiah was made, and of his seed the Messiah was to be raised up, to possess his throne, and establish it for ever. Ezekiel 37:25. And David begat Solomon of her that had been the wife, &c. — In the original it is, of her of Urias; εκ της του Ουριου. Though David, in this unhappy affair, acted in a way most unworthy of his character, yet God, on his deep repentance, not only graciously forgave him, but entailed the promise on his seed by this very woman. An amazing instance this of his boundless mercy!1:1-17 Concerning this genealogy of our Saviour, observe the chief intention. It is not a needless genealogy. It is not a vain-glorious one, as those of great men often are. It proves that our Lord Jesus is of the nation and family out of which the Messiah was to arise. The promise of the blessing was made to Abraham and his seed; of the dominion, to David and his seed. It was promised to Abraham that Christ should descend from him, Ge 12:3; 22:18; and to David that he should descend from him, 2Sa 7:12; Ps 89:3, &c.; 132:11; and, therefore, unless Jesus is a son of David, and a son of Abraham, he is not the Messiah. Now this is here proved from well-known records. When the Son of God was pleased to take our nature, he came near to us, in our fallen, wretched condition; but he was perfectly free from sin: and while we read the names in his genealogy, we should not forget how low the Lord of glory stooped to save the human race.These verses contain the genealogy of Jesus. Luke also Luke 3 gives a genealogy of the Messiah. No two passages of Scripture have caused more difficulty than these, and various attempts have been made to explain them. There are two sources of difficulty in these catalogues.

1. Many names that are found in the Old Testament are here omitted; and,

2. The tables of Matthew and Luke appear in many points to be different.

From Adam to Abraham Matthew has mentioned no names, and Luke only has given the record. From Abraham to David the two tables are alike. Of course there is no difficulty in reconciling these two parts of the tables. The difficulty lies in that part of the genealogy from David to Christ. There they are entirely different. They are manifestly different lines. Not only are the names different, but Luke has mentioned, in this part of the genealogy, no less than 42 names, while Matthew has recorded only 27 names.

Various ways have been proposed to explain this difficulty, but it must be admitted that none of them is perfectly satisfactory. It does not comport with the design of these notes to enter minutely into an explanation of the perplexities of these passages. All that can be done is to suggest the various ways in which attempts have been made to explain them.

1. It is remarked that in nothing are mistakes more likely to occur than in such tables. From the similarity of names, and the different names by which the same person is often called, and from many other causes, errors would be more likely to creep into genealogical tables than in other writings. Some of the difficulties may have possibly occurred from this cause.

2. Most interpreters have supposed that Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph, and Luke that of Mary. They were both descended from David, but in different lines. This solution derives some plausibility from the fact that the promise was made to David, and as Jesus was not the son of Joseph, it was important to show that Mary was also descended from him. But though this solution is plausible, and may be true, yet it wants evidence. It cannot, however, be proved that this was not the design of Luke.

3. It has been said also that Joseph was the legal son and heir of Heli, though the real son of Jacob, and that thus the two lines terminated in him. This was the explanation suggested by most of the Christian fathers, and on the whole is the most satisfactory. It was a law of the Jews that if a man died without children, his brother should marry his widow. Thus the two lines might have been intermingled, According to this solution, which was first proposed by Africanus, Matthan, descended from Solomon, married Estha, of whom was born Jacob. After Matthan's death, Matthat being of the same tribe, but of another family, married his widow, and of this marriage Heli was born. Jacob and Heli were therefore children of the same mother. Heli dying without children, his brother Jacob married his widow, and begat Joseph, who was thus the legal son of Heli. This is agreeable to the account in the two evangelists. Matthew says that Jacob begat Joseph; Luke says that Joseph was the son of Heli, i. e., was his legal heir, or was reckoned in law to be his son. This can be seen by the plan on the next page, showing the nature of the connection.

Though these solutions may not seem to be entirely satisfactory, yet there are two additional considerations which should set the matter at rest, and lead to the conclusion that the narratives are not really inconsistent.

1. No difficulty was ever found, or alleged, in regard to them, by any of the early enemies of Christianity. There is no evidence that they ever adduced them as containing a contradiction. Many of those enemies were acute, learned, and able; and they show by their writings that they were not indisposed to detect all the errors that could possibly be found in the sacred narrative. Now it is to be remembered that the Jews were fully competent to show that these tables were incorrect, if they were really so; and it is clear that they were fully disposed, if possible, to do it. The fact, therefore, that it is not done, is clear evidence that they thought it to be correct. The same may be said of the acute pagans who wrote against Christianity. None of them have called in question the correctness of these tables. This is full proof that, in a time when it was easy to understand these tables, they were believed to be correct.

2. The evangelists are not responsible for the correctness of these tables. They are responsible only for what was their real and professed object to do. What was that object? It was to prove to the satisfaction of the Jews that Jesus was descended from David, and therefore that there was no argument from his ancestry that he was not the promised Messiah. Now to make this out, it was not necessary, nor would it have conduced to their argument, to have formed a new table of genealogy. All that could be done was to go to the family records - to the public tables, and copy them as they were actually kept, and show that, according to the records of the nation, Jesus was descended from David. This, among the Jews, would be full and decided testimony in the case. And this was doubtless done. In the same way, the records of a family among us, as they are kept by the family, are proof in courts of justice now of the birth, names, etc., of individuals. Nor is it necessary or proper for a court to call them in question or to attempt to correct them. So, the tables here are good evidence to the only point that the writers wished to establish: that is, to show to the Jews that Jesus of Nazareth was descended from David. The only inquiry which can now be fairly made is whether they copied those tables correctly. It is clear that no man can prove that they did not so copy them, and therefore that no one can adduce them as an argument against the correctness of the New Testament.

3-6. And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4. And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 5. And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6. And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her of Urias—Four women are here introduced; two of them Gentiles by birth—Rachab and Ruth; and three of them with a blot at their names in the Old Testament—Thamar, Rachab, and Bath-sheba. This feature in the present genealogy—herein differing from that given by Luke—comes well from him who styles himself in his list of the Twelve, what none of the other lists do, "Matthew the publican"; as if thereby to hold forth, at the very outset, the unsearchable riches of that grace which could not only fetch in "them that are afar off," but teach down even to "publicans and harlots," and raise them to "sit with the princes of his people." David is here twice emphatically styled "David the king," as not only the first of that royal line from which Messiah was to descend, but the one king of all that line from which the throne that Messiah was to occupy took its name—"the throne of David." The angel Gabriel, in announcing Him to His virgin-mother, calls it "the throne of David His father," sinking all the intermediate kings of that line, as having no importance save as links to connect the first and the last king of Israel as father and son. It will be observed that Rachab is here represented as the great-grandmother of David (see Ru 4:20-22; 1Ch 2:11-15)—a thing not beyond possibility indeed, but extremely improbable, there being about four centuries between them. There can hardly be a doubt that one or two intermediate links are omitted.Ver. 5,6. This agreeth with Ruth 4:22 1 Samuel 16:1,13. Here now ariseth the first difficulty we meet with in this genealogy, and it rather an appearance of a difficulty than a real one.

Salmon being the son of Aminadab, who was the prince of the children of Judah in Moses’s time, Salmon cannot be imagined to have lived later than in the times of Joshua.

Boaz seemeth to have lived in Eli’s time, which (if chronologers count right) was three hundred years after: here are but four men named to take up these years, Salmon, Booz, Obed, Jesse.

Answer. The world according to chronologers, wanted but five of two thousand five hundred years old, when the Israelites (under the conduct of Joshua) entered into Canaan: we will suppose Salmon to have then been a young man. Eli is by them said to have lived about the two thousand eight hundred and tenth. So that the distance is three hundred and fifteen years. David is said to have been born in the two thousand eight hundred and sixtieth. So as from Salmon to David are three hundred and sixty-five years. Admit Salmon, Boaz, Obed, and Jesse to have each of them lived a hundred years, or upward, in admitting this, if we consider the age and vigour of persons in that age of the world. Moses (though a man spent with travels and battles) lived one hundred and twenty years, Deu 34:7. Caleb at eighty-five years was strong and as fit for war as ever, Joshua 4:11,12. If we allow these four men the life of Moses they might live four hundred and eighty years, which might allow to each of them fifteen or sixteen years apiece for the concurrency of their lives with their parents, yet three hundred and sixty-five years might be well allowed for all their time: nor is it unreasonable for us to suppose, that God might allow those whom he intended thus to dignify a something longer life than the ordinary sort of men lived in that age of the world. So as the thing being neither naturally impossible (for in our age we see particular persons live upward of a hundred years) nor morally improbable, and directly affirmed in three or four texts, they must have a great mind to quarrel with a Divine revelation who question the truth of it upon such a pretence; especially considering that the lives of men in our declining and debauched age of the world, are no measures by which we can guess at the lives of extraordinary persons who lived near three thousand years ago.

David the king: possibly that term is added to distinguish the David here intended from others of the same name; or because he was the first king of the tribe of Judah, to whom the sceptre of Israel was promised, Genesis 49:10; or the first king not given to the Israelites in wrath, as Saul was upon their murmuring against Samuel: or to show that Christ descended from that family, to whom the promise of the Messias was made, Jeremiah 23:5, and a kingdom established for ever, Psalm 89:36,37. Thus our evangelist hath given us the names in his first period of fourteen generations: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judas, Phares, Esrom, Aram, Aminadab, Naasson, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David.

Solomon was not the eldest child of David by Bathsheba; that died, 2 Samuel 12:22,23. He was born after David had taken Bathsheba (who had been the wife of Uriah) for his wife, 2 Samuel 12:25, compared with 2 Samuel 11:27.

Ver. 5,6. This agreeth with Ruth 4:22 1 Samuel 16:1,13. Here now ariseth the first difficulty we meet with in this genealogy, and it rather an appearance of a difficulty than a real one. And Jesse begat David the king,.... The descent of the Messiah runs in the line of David, the youngest of Jesse's sons, who was despised by his brethren, and overlooked and neglected by his father; but God chose him, and anointed him to be king, and set him on the throne of Israel; hence he is called "David the king"; as also because he was the first king that was of the tribe of Judah, and in the genealogy of Christ, and was an eminent type of the king Messiah, who is sometimes called by the same name, Ezekiel 34:24 and who was to be his son, as Jesus is, and also right heir to his throne and kingdom.

And David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; which was Bathsheba, though not named; either because she was well known, or because of the sin she had been guilty of, which would easily be revived by mentioning her name: our translators have rightly supplied, "that had been", and not as the Vulgate Latin, which supplies it, "that was the wife of Urias", for Solomon was begotten of her, not while she was the wife of Uriah, but when she was the wife of David.

And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
Matthew 1:6. Τὸν Δαυεὶδ τὸν βασιλέα] Although an apposition with the article follows the proper name, yet Δαυείδ also takes the article, not for the sake of uniformity with the preceding name (de Wette), but in order to designate David demonstratively, as already marked out in Matthew 1:1. In Matthew 1:16, also, the article before Ἰωσήφ, which is accompanied by an apposition, has, in keeping with the deep significance of his paternal relation to Jesus, demonstrative power (Kühner, II. p. 520).

The τὸν βασιλέα also, and the subsequent emphatic repetition of ὁ βασιλεύς, are a distinction for David, with whom the Messiah’s genealogy entered upon the kingly dignity.

τῆς τοῦ Οὐρίου] Such methods of expression by the simple genitive suppose the nature of the relationship in question to be known, as here it is that of wife. Comp. Hectoris Andromache, Luther’s Katharina, and the like. See Kühner, II. p. 285 f. Winer, p. 178 [E. T. p. 237].Matthew 1:6-10, ἐκ τῆς τοῦ Οὐρίου, vide above. The chief feature in this second division of the genealogical table is the omission of three kings between Joram and Uzziah (Matthew 1:8), viz., Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah. How is the omission to be explained? By inadvertence, or by intention, and if the latter, in what view? Jerome favoured the second alternative, and suggested two reasons for the intentional omission—a wish to bring out the number fourteen (Matthew 1:17) in the second part of the genealogy, and a desire to brand the kings passed over with the stamp of theocratic illegality. In effect, manipulation with a presentable excuse. But the excuse would justify other omissions, e.g., Ahaz and Manasseh, who, were as great offenders as any. One can, indeed, imagine the evangelist desiring to exemplify the severity of the Gospel as well as its grace in the construction of the list—to say in effect: God resisteth the proud, but He giveth grace to the lowly, and even the low. The hypothesis of manipulation in the interest of symbolic numbers can stand on its own basis without any pretext. It is not to be supposed that the evangelist was at all concerned to make sure that no link in the line was omitted. His one concern would be to make sure that no name appeared that did not belong to the line. He can hardly have imagined that his list was complete from beginning to end. Thus Nahshon (Matthew 1:4) was the head of the tribe of Judah at the Exodus (Numbers 1:7), yet between Hezron and him only two names occur—four names for 400 years. Each name or generation represents a century, in accordance with Genesis 15:13-16. The genealogist may have had this passage in view, but he must have known that the actual succession embraced more links than four (vide Schanz on Matthew 1:4). The hypothesis of inadvertence or error in consulting the text of the O. T., favoured by some modern commentators, is not to be summarily negatived on the ground of an a priori theory of inerrancy. It is possible that in reading 1 Chronicles 3:11 in the Sept[1] the eye leapt from Ὀχοζίας to Ὀζίας, and so led to omission of it and the two following names. (Ἀζαρίας, not Ὀζίας, is the reading in Sept[2], but Weiss assumes that the latter, Azariah’s original name, must have stood in the copy used by the constructor of the genealogy.) The explanation, however, is conjectural. No certainty, indeed, is attainable on the matter. As a curiosity in the history of exegesis may be mentioned Chrysostom’s mode of dealing with this point. Having propounded several problems regarding the genealogy, the omission of the three kings included, he leaves this one unsolved on the plea that he must not explain everything to his hearers lest they become listless (ἵνα μὴ ἀναπέσητε, Hom. iv.). Schanz praises the prudence of the sly Greek orator.

[1] Septuagint.

[2] Septuagint.6. David the king] A special hint of Christ the King, of whom David was the type.

It is at this point that St Luke’s genealogy branches off. According to natural descent Joseph was a descendant of Nathan, not of Solomon. The genealogies meet again in the names of Zorobabel and Salathiel. See below, Matthew 1:12.Matthew 1:6. Δαυὶδ δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς, but David the King) The appellation ὁ βασιλεὺς (the King), has been omitted by some early editors, but wrongly.[8] The kingship of David is twice mentioned here, as is the Babylonian captivity afterwards. The same title is understood, though not expressed, after the names of Solomon and his successors, as far as Matthew 1:11. David is, however, called especially the King, not only because he is the first king mentioned in this pedigree, but also because his throne is promised to the Messiah.—See Luke 1:32.

[8] B, the best MSS. of Vulg., the Memph. and Theb. and Syr. Versions omit ὁ βασιλεύς. But Δac agree with Rec. Text and Beng. in retaining the words.—ED.Verse 6. - David the king. The mention of David's royal position seems made here because at this point the line of the Messiah first becomes connected with the royal house. At the time when Saul was made king the people chose to have him in opposition to the Divine will; but giving them next as king a man after his own heart, God uses the offence of his people so that it shall become a channel of blessing, and from this king Christ himself shall be born. Of her that had been the wife of Urias. It is not easy to see why Bathsheba is spoken of thus indirectly, as her own name was certainly better known, and is more frequently mentioned in the Old Testament than Uriah's. The phrase seems to call attention most pointedly to David's sin. and that too in a sentence where his kingly dignity has just been markedly emphasized. The way in which God dealt with David and his sin is very parallel to that in which he dealt with the Israelites after their choice of Saul. David's first child, like the Israelites' first king, finds not God's blessing; but the second child is the pledge of peace with God (Solomon) - is Jedidiah, "the beloved of the Lord," as David the second king was the man after God's own heart. She that had been the wife of Uriah, after David's repentance becomes Solomon's mother. Up to this point the genealogies in St. Matthew and St. Luke have entirely accorded, but with the mention of Solomon we come upon a variation, which continues till the union of the two forms of the pedigree in Salathiel ( Shealtiel, Revised Ver-zion), the father of Zerubbabel. In St. Matthew the line which is followed is the succession of the kings of Judah from Solomon to Jehoiachin ( Jechonias) . St. Luke mentions, after David, his son Nathan (of whom we find a notice in 1 Chronicles 3:5; 2 Samuel 5:14), and then passes on through a series of nineteen names, none of which is found in other parts of Scripture as belonging to the race of David. We have nothing, therefore, with which to compare them; but in number they correspond very nearly with the known descendants in the line of Solo,non, so that, although we cannot verify the names, the list bears upon its face the appearance of being derived from some duly kept record of the pedigree of Nathan, the son of David. David the king (τὸν Δαυεὶδ τὸν βασιλέα, "the David, the king")

Both words are thus emphasized: the David from whom Christ, if he were the Messiah, must have descended; the king with whom the Messiah's genealogy entered upon the kingly dignity. In this genealogy, where the generations are divided symmetrically into three sets of fourteen, the evangelist seems to connect the last of each set with a critical epoch in the history of Israel: the first reaching from the origin of the race to the commencement of the monarchy ("David the king"); the second, from the commencement of the monarchy to the captivity in Babylon; the third and last, from the captivity to the coming of "the Christ." The same emphatic or demonstrative use of the article occurs with the name of Joseph (Matthew 1:16), marking his peculiar relation to Jesus as the husband of Mary: the Joseph, the husband of Mary.

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