1. The Genealogy of Jesus
A reading from the beginning of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
[Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth.]
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.
[David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.
[After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar.]
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah.
Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
MT 1:1-2 [2-5a], 5b-6 [7-15a], 15b-17
The coming of Jesus is the climax of Jewish history
Matthew’s gospel begins with a narrative prologue, the first part of which is a genealogy of Jesus starting with Abraham. Yet, at the beginning of that genealogy Jesus is designated as “the son of David, the son of Abraham”. The kingly ancestor who lived about a thousand years after Abraham is named first, for this is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the royal anointed one.
Abraham is also singled out because he is the father of the nation Israel. According to the Book of Genesis, it is in Abraham’s decedents that “all the nations of the earth shall find blessing.”
Matthew suggests that there are three sets of fourteen generations, probably because fourteen is the numerical value of the Hebrew letters forming the name of David. However, the actual number of generations in each group is not clear.
God our Father, every year we rejoice as we look forward to this feast of our salvation. May we welcome Christ as our Redeemer, and meet him with confidence when he comes to be our judge, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.