Matthew 1:9
And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(9) Ozias.—Ozias is, of course, the Uzziah of the Old Testament. Three names are omitted between Joram and this king—viz., Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah. Apparently the motive for the omission was simply the desire of bringing the names in each period into which the genealogy is divided to the arbitrary standard of fourteen. Possibly, however, as it was thus necessary to omit three names, the choice of these may have been determined by the fact that they belonged to the time of Athaliah’s disastrous influence in the history of the monarchy of Judah. We learn from this fact that the words “A begat B” are not to be taken literally, but are simply an expression of the fact of succession with or without intermediate links.

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. That Jotham succeeded his father Uzziah, and reigned sixteen years, agreeth with 2 Chronicles 26:23, and that Ahaz his son succeeded him, agreeth with 2 Chronicles 27:9; he also reigned sixteen years, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead, 2 Chronicles 28:27. Some here have cavilled at the truth of the history of holy writ, because it appeareth from 2 Kings 16:2 that Ahaz died at thirty-six years of age, and that Hezekiah began to reign at twenty-five years of age doth also appear from 2 Chronicles 29:1, whence it appeareth that Hezekiah must be born when his father was but eleven years of age, which they think improbable: but those who will question the truth of what we have so good a proof of as the revelation of holy writ is, are obliged not only to tell us of things in it that are improbable to their apprehensions, but either in nature impossible, or at least inconsistent with some other piece of Divine revelation. Of the latter sort, we hear of nothing objected in this case. Now though with us it be not ordinary for persons at that age to beget children, yet that it is not impossible in nature, nor more than hath happened in the world sometimes, Spanhemius hath largely proved in his Dubia Evangelica. Dub. 5, and that by no less authorities than those of Hierome amongst the ancients, and the learned Scaliger amongst the more modern writers. It is what may be. The Scripture telleth us it was so; that is enough for us, though it be not a thing very ordinary. And Ozias begat Joatham,.... Called Jotham, 2 Kings 15:7 him Ozias begat of Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok, 2 Kings 15:33.

And Joatham begat Achaz, or Ahaz, 2 Kings 15:38 to him the sign was given, and the famous prophecy of the Messiah, Isaiah 7:14.

And Achaz begat Ezekias, or Hezekiah, 2 Kings 16:20 him Ahaz begat of Abi, the daughter of Zachariah, 2 Kings 18:2. He was a very religious king, and had that singular favour from God to have fifteen years added to his days, Isaiah 38:5.

And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
Matthew 1:8
Top of Page
Top of Page