Matthew 1:8
And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
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Matthew 1:8. And Joram begat Ozias — By Ozias, Uzziah is intended, and it is certain from the history of the Kings and Chronicles that he was the son of Amaziah, 2 Chronicles 26:1; Amaziah, of Joash, ch. Matthew 24:27; Joash, of Ahaziah, ch. Matthew 22:11; and Ahaziah, of Jehoram. But, according to the language of the Hebrews, the children of children are reputed the sons or daughters, not only of their immediate parents, but of their ancestors, and these ancestors are said to beget those who are removed some generations from them. Thus Isaiah says to Hezekiah, Of thy sons which thou shalt beget shall they take away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon: which prediction was not fulfilled until the days of Jeconiah, long after the days of Hezekiah. But it will be asked, why these three in particular are left out of the catalogue? The best answer to this question seems to be, that the evangelist followed the Jewish tables in writing this list, and that he found them left out in these. But if he himself, though he found them in the tables, omitted their names, it must, as Dr. Doddridge observes, have been “by some peculiar divine direction, that the sin of Jehoram is thus animadverted upon, even to the fourth generation, his intermediate descendants being thus blotted out of the records of Christ’s family, and overlooked as if they had never been.”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.

7-8. And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; 8. And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias—or Uzziah. Three kings are here omitted—Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah (1Ch 3:11, 12). Some omissions behooved to be made, to compress the whole into three fourteens (Mt 1:17). The reason why these, rather than other names, are omitted, must be sought in religious considerations—either in the connection of those kings with the house of Ahab (as Lightfoot, Ebrard, and Alford view it); in their slender right to be regarded as true links in the theocratic chain (as Lange takes it); or in some similar disqualification. Jehoshaphat, here called

Josaphat, in the Greek, (they having no letter to express the Hebrew h by), was the son of Asa, a good son of a good father, 2 Chronicles 17:1,2; he reigned twenty-five years, 1 Kings 22:42. Jehoram, here called

Joram, succeeded him in his kingdom: he slew his brethren; he walked in the ways of Ahab. 2 Chronicles 21:4,6; he reigned but eight years, lived and died wickedly, and was buried infamously, 2 Chronicles 21:19,20. But here ariseth another difficulty from what is said,

Joram begat Ozias. It is certain that he did not beget him immediately, for Uzziah was the fourth from Joram. Jehoram or Joram begat Ahaziah, he was his youngest son; he lived but one year as king, 2 Chronicles 22:1,2; then Athaliah usurped the kingdom for six years, not counting her usurpation. Joash the son of Ahaziah reigned forty years, 2 Chronicles 24:1. He dies, and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead, 2 Kings 12:21. He was the father of Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:1, called Azariah, 2 Kings 14:21. So that when it is said, that Joram begat Ozias, we must only understand that Uzziah lineally descended from Joram: thus, Matthew 1:1, Christ is called the Son of David, the son of Abraham. Thus the Jews said: We have Abraham to our father; and Elisabeth is said to be of the daughters of Aaron, Luke 1:5. But it is a greater question why the evangelist leaves out Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, who were all three lawful princes, and rightly descended from the family of David. To pass by various conjectures, the best account I find given of it is this.

1. It is manifest the evangelist had a design to divide all the generations from Abraham to Christ into three periods. The first of which should contain the growing state of the Jewish commonwealth, till it came at the height, which was in David’s time. The second should contain its flourishing state; which was from David’s time till the first carrying into captivity. The third should contain its declining state, from the first carrying them into captivity to the coming of Christ.

2. He designed to reduce all the generations in each period to fourteen; this appeareth from Matthew 1:17. Now although the first period contained exactly fourteen descents or generations, yet in the second there was manifestly seventeen, so as the evangelist was obliged to leave out three to bring them to the number of fourteen: now though it be a little too curious to inquire why the evangelist chose to leave out these three, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, rather than any other three, yet there is a probable good account of it given by learned men, who have waded into these speculations. Ahaziah was the son of Jehoram by Athaliah the daughter of Ahab, 2 Chronicles 21:6; Joash her grandchild; Amaziah her great grandchild. Now God had cursed the house of Ahab, and threatened to root out all his house, 1 Kings 21:21. This (as is supposed) made the evangelist, who was necessitated to leave out three to bring the generations to fourteen, rather to choose to leave out these princes, who were of Ahab’s half blood, than any others. If any say, Why then did he not leave out more? Besides that he was not obliged any other way, (than as he would keep to his number to leave out these), he knew God’s threatenings of children for the sins of parents usually terminate in the third and fourth generation. And Asa begat Josaphat,.... Called Jehoshaphat, 1 Kings 15:24 whom Asa begat of Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi, 1 Kings 22:42. He also was a very good prince.

And Josaphat begat Joram; called Jehoram, 1 Kings 22:50 to whom his father gave the kingdom, because he was the firstborn, 2 Chronicles 21:3.

And Joram begat Ozias; called Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:1 and Azariah, 2 Kings 15:1. He was not the immediate son of Joram; there were three kings between them, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, which are here omitted; either because of the curse denounced on Ahab's family, into which Joram married, whose idolatry was punished to the third or fourth generation; or because these were princes of no good character; or because their names were not in the Jewish registers. Nor does this omission at all affect the design of the Evangelist, which is to show that Jesus, the true Messiah, is of the house of David; nor ought the Jews to complain of it, as they do (a) since such omissions are to be met with in the Old Testament, particularly in Ezra 7:2 where six generations are omitted at once; and which is taken notice of by one of their own genealogical writers, whose words are these (b);

"we see in the genealogy of Ezra that he hath skipped over seven generations (perhaps it should be "six" and not "seven", since six are only omitted) from Ahitub to Ahitub.''

Nor is it any objection that Joram is said to beget Ozias, which he may be said to do in the like sense, as has been before observed of Hezekiah, Isaiah 39:7.

(a) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emunab, par. 2. p. 390. (b) Juchasin, fol. 10. 2.

And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
Matthew 1:8. ἸορὰμὈζίαν] Three kings, Ahaziah, Joaz, and Amazia, are wanting between these (2 Kings 8:24; 1 Chronicles 3:11; 2 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 22:11; 2 Chronicles 24:27). The common opinion is that of Jerome, that the omission was made for the sake of obtaining an equal division of the names, in order not to go beyond the three Tesseradecades. Such omissions were nothing unusual: 1 Chronicles 8:1; Genesis 46:21. See Surenhusius, βιβλ. καταλλ. p. 97. Lightfoot, Hor. p. 181. On the same phenomenon in the Book of Enoch, see Ewald in the Kieler Monatschrift, 1852, p. 520 f. The evangelist accepted the genealogical list without alteration, just as he found it; and the cause of that omission cannot be pointed out, but probably was only, and that without special design, the similarity of those names, in which way the omission also which occurs in Matthew 1:11 is to be explained. Ebrard and Riggenbach, erroneously introducing the point of view of theocratic illegality (comp. Lange), are of opinion that Matthew omitted the three kings for this reason, that Joram, on account of his marriage with the daughter of Jezebel, and of his conduct, had deserved that his posterity should be exterminated down to the fourth generation (so already some of the Fathers, Maldonatus, Spanheim, Lightfoot); that Matthew accordingly declared the descendants of the heathen Jezebel, down to the fourth generation, unworthy of succeeding to the theocratic throne. This breaks down at once before the simple ἐγέννησε. The omissions are generally not to be regarded as consciously made, otherwise they would conflict with Matthew 1:17 (πᾶσαι), and would amount to a falsification.8. Joram begat Ozias (Uzziah)] The names of Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah are here omitted; see note, Matthew 1:17.Matthew 1:8. Ἰωρὰμ δὲ ἐγέννησε τὸν Ὀζίαν, but Joram begat Josiah) Ahaziah (who is the same as the Joahaz of 2 Chronicles 21:17; 2 Chronicles 22:1), Joash, and Amaziah (mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:11-12), are here passed over: so that the word ἐγέννησε (begat) must be understood mediately[9] instead of immediately: as frequently happens with the word ΥἹΌς (son), as in the first verse of this chapter, where our Lord is called the Son of David, who was His remote ancestor. In like manner Joram is here said to have begotten Josiah, who was his great-grandson,—that is to say, he was his progenitor. Thus, by referring to 1 Chronicles 6:7-9, we find, that six generations are left out in Ezra 7:3, between Azariah and Meraioth. St Matthew omitted the three kings in question, not because he was ignorant of their having existed (since the whole context proves his familiar acquaintance with his subject), but because they were well known to all: nor did he do so with any fraudulent intention, since, by increasing the number of generations, he would have confirmed the notion that the Messiah must have already appeared. Nor did he omit them on account of their impiety, for he has mentioned other impious men, as e.g. Jechonias, and him with especial consideration, and he has passed over several pious ones. But, as in describing roads and ways, it is necessary to be especially careful with regard to those points where they branch off in different directions, whereas a straight road may be found without any such direction, so does St Matthew in this genealogy point out with particular care those who have had brothers, and who, in contradistinction to them, have propagated the stem of the Messiah. He has indeed carried this so far that, having a reason[10] for not naming Jehoiakim, he has assigned his brothers to his only son; whilst he has passed over, without inconvenience, Joash, who was the only link[11] in his generation, together with his father and son. Furthermore, as in geography the distances of places from each other are, without any violence to truth, described sometimes by longer, sometimes by shorter stages,—so is it with the successive steps of generations in a pedigree; nor is the practice of Hebrew genealogists an exception to the general custom in this matter. The writers of the New Testament are accustomed also rather to imply than assert circumstances already well known on the authority of the Old Testament, and not liable to be mistaken, employing a brevity as congenial to the ardour of the Spirit, as desirable on other grounds.—See Gnomon on Acts 7:16. Oziah was previously called Azariah, but by the omission of one Hebrew letter (ר, R) his name becomes Oziah.

[9] i.e., There being mediate or intervening persons.—ED

[10] See Jeremiah 22:30.—(I. B.)

[11] In the original, “qui unica sui temporis scintilla fuerat.”—(I. B.)

“The only spark in his generation to prevent the line being extinguished.”—ED.Verse 8. - And Joram begat Ozias ( Uzziah, Revised Version). Between Joram and Uzziah the pedigree omits three names - Ahaziah immediately succeeded Joram (2 Kings 8:24), and was followed by his son Joash (2 Kings 12:1), and he by his son Amaziah (2 Kings 14:1). These were probably left out, that the number of generations might be reduced to fourteen. It is not likely that St. Matthew omitted them, but that they were absent from the form which he used. If we seek for a reason why these precise names are omitted, we may probably find it in the fact of their being descended from Jezebel; while the language of the second commandment would suggest that to the fourth generation the children' of that race would suffer for the sins of their parents. To the Jewish compiler of this genealogy no argument more forcible for the removal of these names could have been suggested. It will be seen that the word "begat" in these verses does not signify always the direct succession of son to father.
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