Matthew 1:2-3a

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Matthew 1:2
  • Matthew 1:3

In this chapter, Matthew identifies Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and the true King of Israel descending from the line of David. He sets forth these political themes with a genealogy of Jesus, starting from Abraham. Matthew also mentions details of Jesus’s miraculous birth, highlighting His divinity, even as he was born of Mary.

Matthew shares the genealogy of Jesus from Abraham to King David. And then continues through the line of kings with David’s son, Solomon.

Matthew begins Jesus’ genealogy with Abraham, the man to whom God repeatedly promised to make a great nation from and to bless all peoples on earth through his offspring. (Genesis 12:3, 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, 28:14) From Abraham Matthew continues through the other patriarchs: Isaac, son of Abraham and son of the promise; Jacob the second-born of Isaac who wrestled with God and was renamed “Israel;” and Judah one of Israel’s twelve sons.

Matthew then mentions by name the first of five remarkable women in Jesus’s lineage, Tamar. Her story is told in Genesis 38. Tamar was a Canaanite and Judah’s daughter-in-law. After Judah’s oldest son was killed for being evil in the sight of the LORD, Tamar was given to be the wife of Judah’s second son Onan, according to Jewish custom.

After God took Onan’s life for his selfish wickedness against Tamar, Judah refused to give her to his third son, as was required by custom, and sent her to live and die as an unwanted widow in her father’s house. After waiting years to be given a husband, Tamar posed as a harlot, and Judah saw her on the side of the road and slept with her. She became pregnant with twins by him, and when Judah discovered that he was the father, he declared “She is more righteous than I, in as much as I did not give her to my son, Shelah.” (Genesis 38:29)

The first born of Tamar’s twin boys was Perez.

1:2-3a Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father ofJudah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar,

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