|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 2. - Abraham begat Isaac. From Abraham to David the genealogy in St. Matthew agrees with that in Luke 3. In the other two sections, from Solomon to Zerubbabel, and from Zerubbabel to Christ, there is some difficulty in accounting for the variations, which are considerable. The natural descent of each son from his father is emphasized by the repetition of the word "begat" at every stage (cf., however, ver. 8, note) till we come to Jesus, and then the phrase is varied, "Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus." Judas ( Judah, Revised Version) and his brethren. The addition of these words seems very natural here, because the twelve sons of Jacob were the fathers of the tribes of Israel, and as descended from Abraham were heirs of the promises; and although Judah was the tribe from which the Messiah was to spring, he was to be the glory of the whole of Israel. The same words, "and his brethren," are, however, found in ver. 11, where there is no such reason to account for them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Abraham begat Isaac,.... The descent of Christ from Abraham is in the line of Isaac; Abraham begat Ishmael before Isaac, and others after him, but they are not mentioned; because the Messiah was not to spring from any of them, but from Isaac, of whom it is said, "in Isaac shall thy seed be called", Genesis 21:12 and who, as he was a progenitor, so an eminent type of Christ; being Abraham's only beloved son; and particularly in the binding, sacrifice and deliverance of him.
Isaac begat Jacob. The genealogy of Christ proceeds from Isaac, in the line of Jacob. Isaac begat Esau, as well as Jacob, and they two were twins, but one was loved, and the other hated; wherefore no mention is made of Esau, he had no concern in the Messiah, nor was he to spring from him, but from Jacob, or Israel, by whose name he is sometimes called, Isaiah 49:3
Jacob begat Judas and his brethren. The lineage of Christ is carried on from Jacob in the line of Judah; the reason of which is, because it was particularly prophesied that the Messiah, Shiloh, the prince and chief ruler, should be of him, Genesis 49:10 1 Chronicles 5:2. And it is evident beyond all contradiction, that our Lord sprung from his tribe, Hebrews 7:14. The reason why the brethren of Judah, who were eleven in number, are mentioned, when the brethren of Isaac and Jacob are not, is, because though the Messiah did not spring from them, yet the promise of him was made to the twelve tribes, who all expected him, and to whom he was sent, and came. These made but one body of men, and therefore, though the Messiah came from the tribe of Judah, yet he is said to be of them all, Romans 9:4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren—Only the fourth son of Jacob is here named, as it was from his loins that Messiah was to spring (Ge 49:10).
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