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Matthew 1


The Genealogy of Jesus Christ The Genealogy of Jesus Christ Jesus' Royal Descent The Family Record of Jesus Christ The Ancestry of Jesus
1:1 1:1-17 1:1 1:1 1:1-16
1:2-6a   1:2-6a 1:2-6a (2-6)
1:6b-11   1:6b-11 1:6b-11 (6b-11)
1:12-16   1:12-16 1:12-16 (12-16)
1:17   1:17 1:17 1:17
The Birth of Jesus Christ Christ Born to Mary Jesus' Birth The Birth of Jesus Christ Joseph Adopts Jesus As his Son
1:18-25 1:18-25 1:18-25 1:18-21 1:18-25
      1:22-23 (23)

* Although they are not inspired, paragraph divisions are the key to understanding and following the original author's intent. Each modern translation has divided and summarized the paragraphs. Every paragraph has one central topic, truth, or thought. Each version encapsulates that topic in its own distinct way. As you read the text, ask yourself which translation fits your understanding of the subject and verse divisions.
 In every chapter we must read the Bible first and try to identify its subjects (paragraphs), then compare our understanding with the modern versions. Only when we understand the original author's intent by following his logic and presentation can we truly understand the Bible. Only the original author is inspired—readers have no right to change or modify the message. Bible readers do have the responsibility of applying the inspired truth to their day and their lives.
  Note that all technical terms and abbreviations are explained fully in the following documents: Brief Definitions of Greek Grammatical StructureTextual Criticism, and Glossary.

READING CYCLE THREE (from "A Guide to Good Bible Reading")


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.



A. The lists of ancestors found in Matt. 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38 do not agree. There are two major theories for the discrepancies:

1. Matthew wrote primarily to a Jewish audience and recorded Joseph's lineage to satisfy Jewish legal practices, while Luke wrote to Gentiles and recorded Mary's lineage (Luther). Both trace Jesus back to David, but Luke goes further, all the way back to Adam (probably because he was writing for Gentiles).

2. Matthew recorded the lineage of the kings of Judah succeeding David (or after the Exile, those who would have succeeded), while Luke recorded the actual ancestors.


B. This lineage would serve the purpose of proving Jesus' tribal identity and showing the fulfillment of prophecy (cf. Gen. 49:8-12 and 2 Samuel 7). Fulfilled prophecy (cf. Matt. 1:22; 2:15,17,23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4; 27:9,35) is strong evidence for a supernatural Bible and for God's control of history and time.


C. Verse 17 gives the key to understanding why some ancestors are not listed. The author was using a numerically structured, three-tiered "fourteen generation" approach to Jesus' lineage.


D. In these opening birth narratives there are four OT quotes (cf. Matt. 1:23; 2:6,15,18) which involve different types of prophesy.

1. Matt. 1:23 ― Isa. 7:14 is a multiple fulfillment prophecy. A child was born in Isaiah's day, cf. Matt. 1:15-16; however the Hebrew word in Matt. 1:14 is not "virgin" (bethoolah, cf. BDB 143), but "young woman of marriageable age" (almah, cf. BDB 761 II). I believe in only one virgin birth-Jesus!

2. Matt. 2:6 ― Micah 5:2 is a marvelous, very specific prophecy written 750 years before the event it describes. The place of Jesus' birth was not something He could alter or effect. This kind of predictive prophecy confirms (a) God's knowledge (and His control) of history and (b) the inspiration and uniqueness of the Bible. No other world religion's holy book has predictive prophecy!

3. Matt. 2:15 ― Hosea 11:1 and Matt. 2:18 ― Jeremiah 31:15 are both typological prophecies. Something that happened in the life of Israel reoccurs in the life of Jesus and the NT author understands it as a prophetic sign.


E. Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (p. 175), makes a great comment about how Matthew's genealogy is structured.

1. the Patriarchs - first fourteen names

2. Israelite kings - second fourteen names

3. unknown ancestors - third fourteen names

This genealogy is highly structured and selective. It is uncertain why.

1. literary technique (mnemonic)

2. numerical symbolism

a. 7 x 2; Luke lists 77 ancestors

b. the letters of David's Hebrew name add up to 14

3. well known or godly ancestors only

4. women/men; Gentiles/Jews (purposeful inclusion)



 1The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:


NASB"The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah,"
NKJV"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ"
NRSV"an account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah"
TEV"This is the family record of Jesus Christ"
NJB"roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ"

The genealogy (cf. Gen. 5:1 or "account," cf. Gen. 2:4) is illustrative of God's hand in history fulfilling His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David. The NT is the fulfillment of the OT. In some cultures the use of genealogy is evidence for a trustworthy history.

▣ "the son of David" This was a title for the promised Messiah that emphasized His Jewish royal line from the tribe of Judah (cf. Gen. 49:8-12). He was of the seed of woman, Gen. 3:15; the seed of Abraham, Gen. 22:18; the seed of Judah, Gen. 49:10 and the seed of David, 2 Sam. 7:12-14, 16. This phrase was a common Messianic designation in Matthew (cf. Matt. 9:27; 12:33; 15:22; 20:30-31; 21:9,15; 22:42).

▣ "the son of Abraham" Luke's genealogy takes the line back to Adam. Luke was written for Gentiles, so it emphasizes the common human ancestry (cf. Gen. 12:3; 22:18). Matthew was written for Jews, so it focuses on the beginning of the Jewish family, Abram. In Matthew's genealogy "Abraham" and " David" are highlighted by its numerical design (i.e., three groups of 14).

 2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron the father of Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6Jesse was the father of David the king.

1:2 "Judah" Judah was one of Jacob's children (cf. Gen. 49:10; Deut. 33:7). Verses 2-6 follow the genealogy of 1 Chr. 1-3 in a limited sense.

1:3 "Perez and Zerah" Perez and Zerah were twins (cf. Gen. 38:27-30). The Messianic line came through Perez. This section of the genealogy (Matt. 1:3-5) follows Ruth 4:18-22.

▣ "Tamar" Tamar was Judah's daughter-in-law who became pregnant by him (cf. Gen. 38:12ff). It was very unusual to include women in Jewish genealogical lists. Several are included here in Matthew to emphasize that the lineage of the Messiah was not based on nationality or meritorious effort. Three of the women listed-Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth-were Gentiles and the fourth, Bathsheba, was married to a Hittite. The Gentiles, even women, are included for an inclusive theological impact!

1:5 "Rahab" Rahab was the Canaanite prostitute who helped the spies (cf. Jos. 2:13; 6:17,23,25). In Jewish and Christian tradition Rahab was an example of the power of repentance (cf. Heb. 11:31; James 2:25).

▣ "Ruth" Ruth was a Moabitess (cf. Ruth 1). Moabites were forbidden from entering the congregation of Israel (cf. Deut. 23:3).

She exemplified the faith of Gentiles and women and God's inclusive love. She was the grandmother of King David.

1:6 "who had been the wife of Uriah" This referred to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon (cf. 2 Samuel 11 and 12), who, like Rahab and Ruth, was not Jewish.

 6bDavid was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. 7Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. 8Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. 9Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah was the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

1:7-11 This section (with some differences) follows 1 Chr. 3:10-15.



This Judean king was named Asa in 1 Kgs. 15:9 and 1 Chr. 3:10. "Asa" is found in MSS L and W and fits the context. The early uncial Greek manuscripts א, B, and C surprisingly have "Asaph." This was the name of a choir director of David (cf. Psalm 50,73,83). Most textual critics assume that this is an ancient copyist error, or just a variant spelling of the name of the king.

1:8 Three Judean kings between Joram and Uzziah are omitted (1) Ahaziah (cf. 2 Kgs. 8,9; 2 Chr. 22); (2) Joash (cf. 2 Kgs. 11:2; 12:19-21; 2 Chr. 24); and (3) Amaziah (cf. 2 Kgs. 14; 2 Chr. 25).

 The reason for their omission is uncertain. Two theories are: (1) Joram was married to and influenced by his wife, Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel and, therefore, his sin of idolatry was transmitted to the third generation (cf. Deut. 5:9) or (2) Matthew is structuring the genealogy into three sections of 14 ancestors each (Matt. 1:17). This would be the middle section.

1:9 "Uzziah was born to Jotham" In 2 Kgs. 15:1-7 and 1 Chr. 3:12 Uzziah is called Azariah. He was a godly king who was struck with leprosy because he offered a sacrifice in a wrong manner.

1:10 "Hezekiah" Hezekiah was one of the five godly kings of Judah (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, Hezekiah, and Josiah). His life is recorded in 2 Kgs. 18-20, 2 Chr. 29-32, and Isa. 36-39.

▣ "Manasseh" He was the son of Hezekiah. Manasseh was reputed to be the most evil king in Judah's history (cf. 2 Kgs. 21:2-7). He also reigned the longest, fifty-five years (cf. 2 Kgs. 21; 2 Chr. 33).

▣ "Amon" He was the son of Manasseh and father of Josiah (cf. 2 Kgs. 21:18-19,23-25; 1 Chr. 3:14; 2 Chr. 33:20-25). Some early uncial Greek manuscripts, א, Bc, and C, have the name, "Amos." This manuscript problem is much like Matt. 1:7.

▣ "Josiah" Another godly king of Judah, Josiah was eight years old when he became king (cf. 2 Kgs. 22-23; 2 Chr. 34,35). Many scholars believe that the righteous father, the wicked son of the righteous father, and the righteous son of the wicked father in Ezekiel (cf. Ezek. 18:5-9, 10-13, 14-18) were direct references to Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Josiah.

1:11 "Jeconiah" He was also called Coniah (cf. Jer. 22:24) and Jehoiachin (cf. 2 Kings 24-25). The next to last Davidic king before the Babylonian captivity, Jeconiah was either 8 years old when he ascended the throne (cf. 2 Chr. 36:9) or 18 years old (cf. 2 Kgs. 24:8) and reigned only three months (cf. 1 Chr. 3:16-17; Jer. 24:1; 29:2). Ezekiel dates his prophecies from the year of this king's exile by Nebuchadnezzar II in 597 b.c. (cf. Ezek. 1:1,2; 8:1; 20:1; 24:1; 26:1; 29:1; 30:20; 31:1; 32:1,17; 33:21; 40:1).

▣ "deportation to Babylon" This deportation occurred under Nebuchadnezzar II. Jerusalem was captured by the army of Babylon several times-in 605, 597, 586, and 582 b.c. Several different deportations occurred.

1. deportation of Daniel and his three friends in 605 b.c.

2. the deportation of Jehoiachin, Ezekiel, and ten thousand soldiers and craftsmen in 597 b.c. (cf. 1 Kgs. 24:10-17)

3. the deportation of most of the remaining population (the city of Jerusalem was destroyed) in 587/586 b.c., 2 Kings 25

4. the final invasion and deportation of Judah in 582 b.c. in retaliation for the killing of Nebuchadnezzar's appointed governor, Gedeliah, and his Babylonian honor guard


 12After the deportation to Babylon, Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. 13Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. 14Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. 15Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. 16Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

1:12 "and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel" Zerubbabel was the leader of the Jews in the second return from Babylonian exile, the first return being under Sheshbazzar (cf. Ezra 1:8; 5:14). He was of the line of David (cf. Ezra 2-6). In 1 Chr. 3:16-19, his father is listed as Pedaiah and his grandfather as Shealtiel. Hebrew familial terms were fluid and could refer to several different categories of relatives. In this case, Shealtiel was an uncle. This confusion could be explained if Shealtiel adopted Zerubbabel after his father Pedaiah died (cf. Ezra 3:8; 5:2; Neh. 12:1; Hag. 1:1).

These two names also appear in the Lucan genealogy, but in a much later period.

1:13-15 The names from Zerubbabel's son Abihud to Jacob are unknown from OT sources.

1:14 "Zadok" This was not the faithful priest of David's day (cf. 2 Sam. 20:25; 1 Chr. 16:39) because Matthew's Zadok is of the tribe of Judah, not Levi.

1:16 "Joseph the husband of Mary" "Begot," which is so prominent in this listing of the other fathers, is left out! Joseph is named as the legal father and his lineage given because this was what the Jews of the first century legally required and recognized. But he was not the true biological father. Jesus was virgin born of the Spirit of God (cf. Matt. 1:23-25; Luke 1:34-35).

▣ "who is called the Messiah" "Christ" (NKJV) was the Greek translation of the Hebrew term Messiah (BDB 603, cf. 1 Sam. 2:10,35; 2 Sam. 22:51; Ps. 2:2 18:51; 89:38,51; 132:10,17; Dan. 9:24,25), meaning "an anointed one." Jesus was YHWH's special Servant (cf. Isa. 7:14; 9:1-7; 11:1-5; 52:13-53:12), the Coming One, who would establish the new age of righteousness (cf. Isaiah 61, 65-66). See Special Topic at Matt. 8:20.

 17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

1:17 "generations" This was not a complete historical genealogy. The Hebrew term "generations" was ambiguous and could have meant grandfather or great-great-grandfather or ancestor.

▣ "from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations" There are three sections of fourteen ancestors listed (1) Abraham to David, ( 2) David to the Exile, and (3) the Exile to Jesus. Only thirteen names are listed in the third section, so possibly Jehoiachin is counted in both the second and third sections. The number pattern implies that some names were left out (cf. 1 Chr. 1-3). Some commentators believe that these structured lists of fourteen are based on the numerical value of the consonants of David's name in Hebrew (daleth, 4 + waw, 6 + daleth, 4 = 14).

 18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, wanted to send her away secretly. 20But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23" Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us." 24And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife,25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

1:18 "the birth" There is a Greek manuscript variant between "beginning" [genesis] and "birth" [gennasis]. The term genesis was probably original (cf. MSS P1, א, B, C; UBS4 rated it B). While both terms can mean "birth," the first had wider connotations (creation, generation, i.e., "the new Genesis in Jesus as the second Adam, cf. Rom. 5:12-21) and could have meant "begotten." It has been supposed that later scribes changed the first term to "birth" deliberately to counteract later Christological (gnostic) heresies (cf. The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture by Bart P. Ehrman, pp. 75-77).

▣ "betrothed to Joseph" Betrothal was a legally binding Jewish custom, usually lasting about a year before marriage. The parties lived separately but were considered contractually married. Only death or divorce could break the betrothal arrangement.

NASB"she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit"
NKJV"she was found with child of the Holy Spirit"
NRSV"she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit"
TEV"she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit"
NJB"she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit"

This refers to the virgin birth, which was not a sexual experience for Mary or the Spirit. This was a prophetic fulfillment of Gen. 3:15 (" And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel"), and in a multiple fulfillment sense, of Isa. 7:14 (" Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel"). Surprisingly, no apostolic sermons in Acts or the Epistles mention this, possibly because it could have been confused with Greco-Roman mythology (the Mount Olympus gods often took human women and bore children by them).

1:19 "being a righteous man" A "righteous man" meant a lawful man by the standards of the Mosaic Law and the oral traditions of his day. It does not imply sinlessness; Noah and Job were righteous in the same sense (cf. Gen. 6:9 and Job 1:1).

▣ "to send her away secretly" Joseph could have accomplished this through two legal procedures: (1) open renunciation in court or (2) the presentation of a written bill of divorce in front of two witnesses (cf. Deuteronomy 24). Mary had not shared the vision concerning her pregnancy with Joseph. OT Law demanded the death penalty for sexual unfaithfulness (cf. Deut. 22:20-21,23-24).

1:20 Joseph was informed about the pregnancy of his betrothed wife by an angelic messenger. In Luke 1:26 the angel is identified as Gabriel (cf. Matt. 1:19; Dan. 8:16; 9:21).

The word "dream" (onar) occurs five times in the first two chapters of Matthew (cf. Matt. 1:20; 2:12,13,19,22), but not again until 27:19 and no where else in the NT.

" an angel of the Lord" This phrase is used two ways in the OT.

1. an angel (cf. Gen. 24:7,40; Exod. 23:20-23; 32:34; Num. 22:22; Jdgs. 5:23; 1 Sam. 24:16; 1 Chr. 21:15ff; Zech. 1:28)

2. as a way of referring to YHWH (cf. Gen. 16:7-13; 22:11-15; 31:11,13; 48:15-16; Exod. 3:2,4; 13:21; 14:19; Jdgs. 2:1; 6:22-24; 13:3-23; Zech. 3:1-2

Matthew uses the phrase often (cf. Matt. 1:20,24; 2:13,19; 28:2), but always in the sense of #1 above. The NT does not use sense #2 except Acts 8:26 and 29, where, "an angel of the Lord" is paralleled to the Holy Spirit.

1:21 "you shall call His name Jesus" This name (Hebrew, Joshua) meant "YHWH saves," " YHWH brings salvation," or "YHWH is Savior" (some verb must be supplied, cf. Luke 1:31). See SPECIAL TOPIC: THE NAME OF THE LORD at Matt. 18:20.

The name YHWH means

1. This is the name which reflects deity as the covenant making God; God as savior, redeemer! Humans break covenants, but God is loyal to His word, promise, covenant (cf. Ps. 103).

This name is first mentioned in combination with Elohim in Gen. 2:4. There are not two creation accounts in Genesis 1-2, but two emphases: (1) God as the creator of the universe (the physical) and (2) God as the special creator of humanity. Genesis 2:4 begins the special revelation about the privileged position and purpose of mankind, as well as the problem of sin and rebellion associated with the unique position.

2. In Gen. 4:26 it is said "men began to call upon the name of the Lord" (YHWH). However, Exod. 6:3 implies that early covenant people (the Patriarchs and their families) knew God only as El-Shaddai. The name YHWH is explained only one time in Exod. 3:13-16, esp. Matt. 1:14. However, the writings of Moses often interpret words by popular word plays, not etymologies (cf. Gen. 17:5; 27:36; 29:13-35). There have been several theories as to the meaning of this name (taken from IDB, vol. 2, pp. 409-11).

a. from an Arabic root, "to show fervent love"

b. from an Arabic root "to blow" (YHWH as storm God)

c. from a Ugaritic (Canaanite) root "to speak"

d. following a Phoenician inscription, a causative participle meaning "the One who sustains," or "the One who establishes"

e. from the Hebrew Qal form "the One who is," or "the One who is present" (in future sense, "the One who will be")

f. from the Hebrew Hiphil form "the One who causes to be"

g. from the Hebrew root "to live" (e.g., Gen. 3:20), meaning "the ever-living, only-living One"

h. from the context of Exod. 3:13-16 a play on the imperfect form used in a perfect sense, "I shall continue to be what I used to be" or "I shall continue to be what I have always been" (cf. J. Wash Watts, A Survey of Syntax in the Old Testament, p. 67

The full name YHWH is often expressed in abbreviation or possibly an original form.

(1) Yah (e.g., Hallelu - yah)

(2) Yahu (names, e.g., Isaiah)

(3) Yo (names, e.g., Joel)

3. In later Judaism this covenant name became so holy (the tetragrammaton) that Jews were afraid to say it lest they break the command of Exod. 20:7; Deut. 5:11; 6:13. So they substituted the Hebrew term for "owner," "master," " husband," "lord" -adon or adonai (my lord). When they came to YHWH in their reading of OT texts they pronounced "lord." This is why YHWH is written Lord in English translations.

4. As with El, often YHWH is combined with other terms to emphasize certain characteristics of the Covenant God of Israel. While there are many possible combinations of terms, here are some.

a. YHWH - Yireh (YHWH will provide), Gen. 22:14

b. YHWH - Rophekha (YHWH is your healer), Exod. 15:26

c. YHWH - Nissi (YHWH is my banner), Exod. 17:15

d. YHWH - Meqaddishkem (YHWH the One who sanctifies you), Exod. 31:13

e. YHWH - Shalom (YHWH is Peace), Jdgs. 6:24

 f. YHWH - Sabbaoth (YHWH of hosts), 1 Sam. 1:3,11; 4:4; 15:2; often in the Prophets)

g. YHWH - Ro'I (YHWH is my shepherd), Ps. 23:1

h. YHWH - Sidqenu (YHWH is our righteousness), Jer. 23:6

i. YHWH - Shammah (YHWH is there), Ezek. 48:35



▣ "for He will save His people from their sin" Jesus came for three distinct purposes.

1. to fully reveal the Father

2. to give humans an example to follow

3. to redeem mankind from sin

Genesis 3 affected all life on this planet (cf. Rom. 8:20-23). Jesus came to die in our place (cf. Mark 10:45; John 1:29; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 2:6-11; Isaiah 53). The promise of Gen. 3:15 is fulfilled in Him!

1:23 Matthew uses the fulfillment of OT prophecy as a major evidence for Jewish people to believe in Jesus as the promised Messiah.

1. Matt. 1:22 ― Isa. 7:14

2. Matt. 2:15 ― Hos. 11:1 and Exod. 4:22-23

3. Matt. 2:23 ― possibly Isa. 11:1

4. Matt. 3:15 ― "fulfill all righteousness"

5. Matt. 4:14 ― Isa. 9:1,2

6. Matt. 5:17 ― ". . .but to fulfill"

7. Matt. 8:17 ― Isa. 53:4

8. Matt. 12:17 ― Isa. 42:1,2,3,4

9. Matt. 13:14 ― Isa. 6:9,10

10. Matt. 13:35 ― Ps. 78:2

11. Matt. 21:4 ― Isa. 62:11 or Zech. 9:9

12. Matt. 27:9 ― Zech. 11:12,13


▣ "virgin" This is a quotation of Isa. 7:14 from the Septuagint. In Isaiah the Hebrew word used was almah (BDB 761 II), meaning a "chaste young woman of marriageable age." There was a special birth in Ahaz's day (cf. Isa. 7:15-16). Only one virgin birth has ever occurred, not two; therefore, the historical fulfillment in Isaiah's day was a sign to Ahaz, but not an impregnation by the Holy Spirit. This is an example of a multiple fulfillment of prophecy. The sign to Ahaz was the child's name. See my commentary of Isaiah 1-39 online at

NRSV, TEV"Emmanuel"

Immanuel meant "God with us" (BDB 769). This shows that the OT passage pointed beyond its own day. Isaiah 7-12 (the Syro-Ephramitic War) ultimately referred to incarnate Deity, Jesus of Nazareth (cf. John 1:1; 5:18; 10:33; 14:9-10; Phil. 2:6). However, it must be remembered that the Jews did not expect the Messiah to be divine. They would have seen the powerful names from Isa. 9:6 as metaphors. It is not until the NT that the Messiah as God Incarnate was clearly revealed.

1:24-25 These verses reaffirm a truly supernatural virgin birth. They also imply that the couple had a normal married life after the birth of Jesus. The Textus Receptus, following the Greek uncial manuscripts C and D*, K, W add "her firstborn son," implying other children.


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. Why does Matthew have such a lengthy genealogy?

2. Why is Luke's genealogy different from Matthew's?

3. Did Isaiah predict a virgin birth in his own time?


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