MAX KLEIN BIBLE MINISTRIES
The Gospel of Matthew: Chapter One
A verse-by-verse commentary by Max Klein
In the Gospels we have four people reporting on the same events, but with different emphases. Matthew presents Jesus Christ as Messiah the King; Mark presents Jesus Christ as the Servant of the Father; Luke presents the virtue and qualifications of the humanity of Christ; John reveals Christ as the eternal Son of God. Recipients of the four gospels are also different. This explains why certain things are included in some gospels but excluded in others. Matthew was originally written to the Jews, Mark to the Romans, Luke to the gentiles and John to both Jew and gentile. The divine author of the Book of Matthew was God the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). The human author was Levi the Tax Collector who became Matthew, the Apostle.
The exact date of the writing of Matthew is unknown. However, it was written before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and before the writing of Luke and Acts. On that basis, we can estimate that the Aramaic text was written around 45 AD and the Greek text in circa 50 AD.
That Matthew was originally written in the Aramaic language of that day is documented by many of the early church fathers. Papias of Hierapolis from 70-163, an early church father said that Matthew composed the Logia in the Hebrew tongue. Irenaeus (130-200) said that Matthew issued a written gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect. Others who declared the same were Origen (185-254) and Jerome (347-419). All the Church fathers who commented on Matthew made this particular point.
This book has five different characteristics. First, there is a great emphasis on the teaching ministry of Jesus Christ such as the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7), the Temple Discourse exposing the evils of religion found in chapters 21-23, the famous Olivet Discourse which deals with the Tribulation and the 2nd Advent (chapters 24:1- 25:46). The second is the extensive quotations from the Old Testament. The third is the use of the Greek Word “tote” which occurs 90 times in Matthew, a translation of the Aramaic word ‘hayah’ (and it came to past) Having originally been written in Aramaic explains such phraseology as “which is being interpreted” in chapter 1:23 and “that is to say” in chapter 27:33. (This also reveals that Matthew didn’t think in Greek, otherwise his translation into Greek would have been different.) Fourth, Matthew, a former tax collector reveals a lot about gentiles such as the gentile women in the genealogy; the discourse on the Magi, in chapter 8; he mentions that “many would come from the east and west”, and he quotes how the gentiles were saved in chapter 12. All this would be in keeping with his connection with the gentile Romans as a tax collector and his low social status among the Jews – only the prostitutes were considered lower. The last point deals with some of the unique features of Matthew such as:
Judas’ regret over his betrayal (27:1-5)
The Jewish request that the blood of Christ be upon them and their children (27:25)
The resuscitation of the saints after the resurrection (27:52, 53)
The fabrication of the story to explain away the resurrection (28:11-15)
The first 4 chapters are chronological; chapters 5-13 are logical and topical; 14 to the end are chronological as the first four.
Βίβλος γενέσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ υἱοῦ ∆αυὶδ υἱοῦ Ἀβραάµ
The record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham [a Jewish genealogy only].
There are two genealogies in the Gospels: the one in Matthew 1, the other in Luke 3. Matthew, a Jew starts with Abraham, the Father of the Jewish race and goes up to the birth of Christ. He demonstrates that Jesus has a legal right to the throne since he is descended from David through Solomon. Luke, a gentile begins with the Lord Jesus Christ and takes the genealogy all the way back to Adam by way of Shem to demonstrate that Jesus is true humanity. Thus, Matthew presents the legal line, Christ as the Son of David (Matthew 1:1) whereas Luke presents the genetic lineage, Jesus Christ as the Son of Man (Matthew 8:20; 18:11) and the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45).
The phrase ‘Son of David’ is a title of Davidic royalty; a royal family which will last forever (2 Samuel 7:8-17; Psalm 89:20-37). At the point of His virgin birth, our Lord Jesus Christ became Jewish royalty as a direct descendant of King David of the tribe of Judah. In Hypostatic Union with his human nature in resurrection body, Jesus Christ will begin his everlasting reign at the Second Advent.
But I will not break off My unfailing love from him, Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful. Selah. (Psalm 89:33-37)
Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and his sons forever. (2 Chronicles 21:7)
“The son of Abraham" explained: Abraham sexually revived became the father of the Jewish race at 100. Sometime after his adultery with Hagar at age 86 (Genesis 16:3), Abraham lost his sexual ability. Sarah his wife at 90 was past the menopause. So, neither were capable of bearing children. Even though the situation was hopeless, Abraham believed the promise that God would provide for him a son through Sarah. As a mature believer with the ability to wield the shield of faith, God revived him sexually and restored the function of his wife’s womb. In reviving him sexually, God changed his genetic code to produce a new race and so Abraham became the first Jew in history.
As it stands written [quoting Gen 17:5]: “I have decreed you a father of many nations.” In the sight of Him [God] whom he [Abraham] believed, even God, who gave life to the [sexually] dead ones [Abraham & Sarah], and designated those things which did not exist as now existing; Who beyond hope [of sexual prosperity] believed in hope [fulfillment of God’s promise], in order that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which He had spoken [quote Gen 15:5], "So your seed [Hebrew: zerah; Greek: sperma] shall exist." And so not becoming weak in that faith, he completely understood his own body which had become [sexually] dead when he was approximately one hundred years old likewise he completely understood the deadness of Sarah's womb. [Abraham] who staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what God had promised, God was able to do." (Romans 4:17-20)
God said that he would make Abraham the father of many nations (he fathered the Jewish people and many Arab peoples). Now, Abraham became the father of the Jewish nation in the sense that he was the first Jew, not that he actually founded the Jewish nation for Moses did that. When God revived Abraham sexually, he actually changed up his genetic code. This is why the Scripture states that the Jews came from the sperm (the Hebrew word “zerah” and the Greek word “sperma.”) of Abraham. The Jews did not come from the sperm of Terah, Abraham’s father. Abraham’s father was an Akkadian, not Jewish. Abraham became the first Jew at approximately 100 years of age.
Blessed are those who lawless deeds have been forgiven [at salvation], and whose sins have been covered [at salvation]. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account. Is this blessing [pre-salvation sins forgiven at salvation], therefore, for the circumcision [for Jews only] or is it also for the uncircumcision [for the gentile as well]? For we contend that his faith [at salvation] was credited to Abraham for righteousness [imputed righteousness]. How then was it credited, while he was in circumcision [a Jew] or in uncircumcision [gentile]? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision [Abraham became a believer with imputed righteousness when he was an uncircumcised Akkadian] (Romans 4:7-10).
Abraham became a believer while he was living in Ur of the Chaldeans. At that time, he was a gentile (uncircumcised). So, circumcision was not a part of his salvation or even remotely related to it.
In fact, he received the ritual mark of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith [at approximately 100, Abraham’s spiritual life (experiential righteousness) was very strong in the faith-rest drill] while uncircumcised [while a gentile], that this same one [Abraham] might be a father [pattern] to all who believe during uncircumcision that righteousness might be credited to them (Romans 4:11).
When Abraham was in the process of circumcising himself, he was still a gentile. Abraham did not become a Jew until after he had completed his circumcision. At soon as Abraham had completed his own circumcision God revived him sexually and changed his genetic code making him the first Jew. Abraham’s genetic code was changed from an Akkadian to a Jew one nanosecond after his circumcision.
Ἀβραὰµ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰσαάκ, Ἰσαὰκ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰακώβ, Ἰακὼβ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰούδαν καὶ τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ,
Abraham was the father of Isaac; Isaac was the father of Jacob, and Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers.
As a young man, Isaac had developed great humility from his authority orientation, Genesis 22:9: “Then they [Abraham and Isaac] came to the place of which God had told him, and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac [analogous to Jesus submitting to God the Father] and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.”
Abraham was one of the greatest believers in all of history. As is true of other extremely great believers in history such as Enoch, Noah, Joseph, Moses, David etc. the son may be great as was Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5; 23-25, but not as great as his father.
Abraham placed the value on his believing son and so left Isaac his entire inheritance (Genesis 25:5). However, Isaac who loved Esau wanted to give his inheritance to his unbelieving son. Since this was not God’s will, the Lord overruled (Genesis 27:1-29).
When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. Now, Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for game, but Rebecca loved Jacob. (Genesis 25:27, 28)
Rebekah took the initiative in finding a wife for Jacob, Genesis 27:46, “Rebekah said to Isaac, I am tired of living because of the daughters of Heth [Hittites]; if Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth like these from the daughters of the land [of Canaan], what good will my life be to me?”
Jacob’s spiritual growth appears to have been quite slow, but he finally reached spiritual maturity. On that occasion, the Lord changed his name from Jacob [chiseler] to Israel [Prince of God]. (Genesis 35:9, 10)
How did Judah become the ruling tribe when he was the forth oldest son? The first born, Reuben should have received three things, namely rulership, priesthood and the double portion of blessing. However, because Reuben committed adultery with Jacob’s mistress, Bilhah (Genesis 35:22; 49:3, 4), he lost all the privileges of being the firstborn. He lost the rulership to Judah; the priesthood to Levi and the double portion of blessing to Joseph. (Joseph became two tribes namely Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:5).)
God blesses and punishes on the basis of his righteousness and justice. If a believer wants to receive the greater blessings, his spiritual life must be in harmony with God’s righteousness. When the believer is incompatible with the righteousness of God, he will be punished by the justice of God. No person can escape the justice of God.
“God makes war against the arrogant [believers], but gives grace [blessing and promotion] to the humble [believers].” (1 Peter 5:5b)
“Do not be deceived. God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
Ἰούδας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Φάρες καὶ τὸν Ζάρα ἐκ τῆς Θαµάρ, Φάρες δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἑσρώµ, Ἑσρὼµ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀράµ,
Judah the father of Perez [Pharez, Phares] and Zerah by Tamar; Perez was the father of Hezron and Hezron the father of Ram.
Genesis 38 reveals that the line of Judah began in an interesting way. Judah had three sons by his first wife, a Canaanite woman. (This marriage demonstrated that Judah had no concern for the spiritual welfare of his offspring.) The first son was Er; the second was Onan, and the third was Shelah. Er married a gentile woman by the name of Tamar but died suddenly after the marriage. As was the custom, the next eldest son was married to Tamar, but he died as well. As a result of these deaths, Judah was reluctant to marry his last son to Tamar. (Judah being quite ignorant of doctrine couldn’t figure out why his sons were dying. He thought that somehow Tamar was responsible for their deaths (v.11). Actually, Judah himself was at least partially responsible because he had not taught his sons the Word of God (One cannot teach what one does not know). As a result, they had become evil, and the Lord had executed them (vss.7-10)) under the concept of the sin unto death (1 John 5:16).
In any case, Judah told Tamar to wait while his third son matured, though he never intended to give his last son to her (vss.11, 14b). Some time later Judah’s wife died (v.12), and so Judah intended to visit a Canaanite temple-priestess at Timnah. (While the Scripture does not directly state that he had intended to fornicate, there are many points in this passage which allow us to make this conclusion (vss.12, 13, 20)). Tamar knowing that Judah never intended for her to marry his last son disguised herself as a prostitute and placed herself in his path. She didn’t approach him; he approached her, and he did so in a very casual manner as if it had not been his first time. Even after he fornicated with her, there is no indication that he felt any pangs of guilt. So, in verse 20 he very openly spoke to his friend, the Adullamite about paying the prostitute as if he and his friend had fornicated with temple prostitutes before.
Judah was a believer who was self-righteous, hypocritical and cruel. After he discovered that Tamar was pregnant, he wanted to burn her to death for her apparent illicit sex though he was her partner. (Arrogant people who condemn other people for their sins, conveniently overlook their own: Genesis 38:24). Tamar on the other hand appeared to have some humility and common sense. Even with her sexual affair, she was somewhat within her legal boundary according to Jewish custom. (Someone in the family was responsible to marry her and provide her with a male offspring.) Since Judah failed in this responsibility of providing his next son, she took matters into her own hands.
In contrast to Judah’s arrogance, hypocrisy and cruelty was the humility, grace-orientation and kindness of Joseph, the legal father of Jesus. Even though Judah was immoral himself, he desired to punish the alleged immorality in another. On the other hand, even though Joseph was very moral, he did not desire to punish what he thought was the immorality of his wife. “And Joseph her husband being a righteous man [experientially righteous in the execution of the spiritual life] and not wishing to make a public display of her [by public humiliation and stoning] wanted to secretly divorce her [Mary] (Matthew 1:19).
Ἀρὰµ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀµιναδάβ, Ἀµιναδὰβ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ναασσών, Ναασσὼν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Σαλµών,
Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadd the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Relating Judah’s line to Egypt, Judah, Perez and Hezron went to Egypt during the famine (Genesis 46:12), Ram and Amminadab were born in Egypt, and Amminadab, being alive at the Exodus departed Egypt in the Exodus with his son Nahshon (Numbers 1:7). Salmon most likely would have been born in the Sinai Peninsula after the Exodus.
Σαλµὼν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Βόες ἐκ τῆς Ῥαχάβ, Βόες δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωβὴδ ἐκ τῆς Ῥούθ, Ἰωβὴδ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰεσσαί,
Salmon, the father of Boaz whose mother was Rehab, Boaz, the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed, the father of Jesse,
Salmon was most likely one of the two spies sent out to reconnoiter the city of Jericho according to Joshua 2. This would have been the way the Lord introduced Rahab, a mature believer to her future husband, also a believer with virtue and courage.
We know that Rahab was no longer a prostitute when she met Salmon. Her great spiritual life demonstrated by her willingness to assist the spies despite the huge risk of being executed for treason gives testimony to this fact. Also, she is given the great honor of being recognized along side such great heroes as Moses, Joshua, Abraham and others in Hebrews 11. If she had remained a prostitute, she would not have had the virtue (James 2:25) and the courage to help the spies, nor the ability to walk by faith and certainly would not have been recorded in Hebrews. As an unbeliever Rahab was a prostitute; as a mature believer she an entrepreneur. Though the Scripture does not specifically state that she was a rope-maker, God the Holy Spirit, as the one who inspired Joshua, provides the reader with sufficient evidence regarding Rahab’s rope-manufacturing business. The Holy Spirit didn’t have to mention the tremendous piles of flax on her rooftop sufficient to bury two adult men from the site of potential searchers, but he did (Joshua 2:6), and he did so f or a reason. Furthermore, he reveals to the reader that the piles of flax were laid down in stages of preparation, a kind of an assembly line, “and she hid them among the stalks of flax which she had laid down in order.” The Holy Spirit wanted all to know that as a believer, she had abandoned her former illicit profession and had become an entrepreneur.
Application: Ones sinful past does not prevent one from becoming one of the greatest believers in history since the believer can recover from sin through the confession of sins. Once the sinful believer has recovered fellowship, he can begin to move in the right direction, and if the believer continues to do so he will someday reach the objectives of the spiritual life that is to achieve maximum love for the Lord Jesus Christ and to glorify God to the maximum. The only thing which prevents greatness in the spiritual life is the unwillingness to learn and execute God plan; the unwillingness to dedicate one’s life to knowing, appreciating, respecting and obeying God. Sin may temporarily distract the believer whereas ignorance completely prevents the believer from ever knowing and loving God.
Salmon and Rehab apparently had a wonderful marriage which naturally follows from two people with great integrity. From this marriage based on integrity came a son of integrity, Boaz, and like his father, married the greatest woman of his generation, Ruth, the Moabitess.
The Moabites were under a special curse (Deuteronomy 23:3-8). Since Ruth was a Moabite, she was under that curse. However, she believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and grew spiritually to the point of becoming a great believer. So, in her case, the cursing was removed and she was blessed by the Lord.
Ἰεσσαὶ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν ∆αυὶδ τὸν βασιλέα. ∆αυὶδ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Σολοµῶνα ἐκ τῆς τοῦ Οὐρίου,
...and Jesse, the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon from the wife of Uriah.
If ever anyone could be described as a male donkey, Jesse could. He was superficial, and ingratiating. When Samuel asked to see the sons of Jesse in order that he might anoint the next king, Jesse paraded all his spiritual morons before Samuel and completely ignored the only great son he had (1 Samuel 16:3-13). Just how superficial can one get! Furthermore, whenever he had an opportunity to ingratiate himself with Saul, he did so (1 Samuel 16:19-20; 17:17-19). Whenever Jesse spoke, it came out as ‘he-haw.’
David was not only the greatest king of Israel, but one the greatest believers of the Old Testament. There was however one major blotch on David’s record namely his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband (1 Kings 15:5). These two sins, the worst of the overt sins nearly led to the Sin unto Death (Psalm 32:3, 4). Finally, though he got back into fellowship with God and regained his spiritual life (Psalm 32:5). Overall, God had this to say about David, “a man after God’s own heart.” Furthermore, God the Son chose the line of David from which his humanity would descend! Do we need to say any more? (See the audio series on David by R. B. Thieme Jr.)
When Solomon inherited the throne from his father, he was an advanced believer (1 Kings 3:6-14). However, he became distracted by his many foreign wives and mistresses (1 Kings 11:1-8). (If one associates with evil people, he will become evil.) During most of his life, he searched for happiness in his many pursuits, but never found it (When the believer does not execute the Father’s plan there is no meaning in life: Ecclesiastes). Fortunately, in his old age, he came back to doctrine and the spiritual life and so found some happiness (In his old age, God the Holy Spirit had him write about his futile search for happiness in a book called Ecclesiastes).
Please note that the Scripture records Bathsheba as the wife of Uriah even though she was in the Messianic Line due to her marriage with King David. Unlike some translations which present Bathsheba as the ‘past wife’ of Uriah, a more literal translation from the Greek would read as above: ‘…Solomon, from the wife of Uriah’. The integrity of God demanded that she be recorded forever in the Scripture as the wife of Uriah the Hittite, whom David had murdered in his attempt to cover up his illicit sexual relationship.
Σολοµὼν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ῥοβοάµ, Ῥοβοὰµ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀβιά, Ἀβιὰ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀσάφ,
Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
Because of the arrogance of Rehoboam, the kingdom split into the Northern and the Southern Kingdoms. (2 Chronicles 10 tells the story of his arrogance. A man without humility, without wisdom, and so without leadership capacity). After the division, the Northern Kingdom was called Ephraim or Samaria, and the Southern Kingdom was called Judah. The arrogance of Rehoboam dovetailed with the Lord’s prophetical punishment of Solomon as found in 1 Kings 11:9-13.
Abijah was a man who understood just enough of God’s word to be dangerous, but not enough to understand well God’s plan. Was it God’s will for Abijah to unite the two kingdoms? This would have been in contradiction to the Lord’s punishment of Solomon. The righteousness of the Lord demanded that Solomon be punished. The breakup of the United Kingdom was that punishment administered by the Lord’s justice. One cannot undo what the integrity (His righteousness and justice) of the Lord sovereignly decrees. (Israel will not be completely united as one people until the 2nd Advent.) In a great battle with Jeroboam, the king of the Northern Kingdom, Abijah was victorious, but God did not permit him to reunite the kingdoms. Abijah though not much of a believer (1 Kings 15:3) was blessed by his association with David (1Kings 15:4), and by his association with the great believers of Judah (2 Chronicles 13:14-18).
Ἀσὰφ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωσαφάτ, Ἰωσαφὰτ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωράµ, Ἰωρὰµ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ὀζίαν,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram [the next four rulers are not mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy] the father of Uzziah,
Asa was an extremely great king for the first 35 years of his reign, 2 Chronicles 14 & 15 though his spiritual life was in the decline. So, in the 36th year of his reign, he made a political deal with Ben-hadad, King of Aram who lived in Damascus, 2 Chronicles 16:2. For this, he was reprimanded by Hanani, the seer, but did not repent of his actions, 2 Chronicles 16:7-10. As a result of this, the Lord punished him with a foot disease which killed him in the 41st year of his reign in verse 13. Though he began great, he eventually died the sin unto death.
Jehoshaphat started out great, 2 Chronicles 17, but then allied himself with the evil Ahab, the king of the northern kingdom and nearly got himself killed, chapter 18. He heeded the reprimand of Hanani, the seer, 2 Chronicles 19:1-3. Again, he was blessed by the Lord, 2 Chronicles 19:4-11 until he allied himself with King Ahaziah, of the northern kingdom and then King Jehoram of the Northern Kingdom. Ungar’s Bible Dictionary, (After the death of Ahaziah king of Israel, Jehoram, his successor, persuaded Jehoshaphat to join him in an expedition against Moab. The allied armies were saved by a miraculous supply of water and were afterward victorious over the enemy (2 Kings 3:4–27). Another war, and to Jehoshaphat a much more dangerous one, was kindled by this. The Moabites turned their wrath against him and induced the Ammonites, the Syrians, and the Edomites to unite with them. Jehoshaphat, believing that his help was to come from God, proclaimed a fast, and the people assembled in Jerusalem to implore divine assistance. “Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord before the new court, and he said, ‘O Lord, the God of our fathers, … O our God, wilt thou not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on Thee.’”) The Lord delivered them, 2 Chronicles 20:22, 23.
Jehoshaphat in his old age arranged a marriage between his son, Jehoram and the evil daughter of Jezebel namely, Athatlia. Jehoshaphat apparently had digressed spiritually and in his irrational desire to make a political alliance between the northern and southern kingdoms arranged this monstrosity.
One cannot unite truth with falsehood, righteousness with unrighteousness, God’s plan with religion, and by application freedom with communism. Whenever this kind of union takes place, the evil always destroys the good.
Between Jehoram and Uzziah, four rulers namely Ahaziah, Athatlia, Joash and Amaziah are not mentioned in this Jewish geneology since they introduced into the southern kingdom an evil religion. Through the marriage of Athalaia, the daughter of Jezebel, to Jehoram the Satanic religion of the Phoenicians was introduced to the Southern Kingdom. It took several generations to remove this pollution from the land.
Jehoram ruled eight years from 850-843 BC (2 Kings 8:17). During his reign, he murdered all of his younger brothers (2 Chronicles 21:1-4). (These murders were probably the idea of his wife, Athaliah.) After Jehoram died of a terrible disease, his youngest son ascended to the throne of Judah. (Athaliah probably hired some Arab terrorist to kill the other sons, namely her sons (2 Chronicles 22:1)). Ahaziah, the youngest son of Jehoram, was on the throne only one year (2 Kings 8:26) when he was mortally wounded by a bowman of King Jehu, the King of Israel (2 Kings 9:27). Athalaia then ruled 6 years (2 Kings 11:3) as regent from 842 until 836 BC. During her regency she hired some terrorist to kill her grandchildren, the remaining royal family of David, (2 Kings 11:2). Only one member of the royal family escaped namely Joash (Jehoash), the son of Ahaziah (2 Kings 11:2). At the right time he was presented to the Jewish people as the surviving member of David’s line. Athaliah was then executed and Joash was crowned king. He remained on the throne until 800 B.C. at which time Amaziah became king and ruled for 29 years until 771 BC (2 Kings 14:1,2).
Religion is the invention of Satan to counterfeit salvation and the spiritual life designed by God. Therefore, religion is the greatest enemy to the truth. Religion is man seeking to gain the approval of God through man’s worth and works. For this reason, God would not permit this period of history to be mentioned in the genealogy.
Ὀζίας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωαθάµ, Ἰωαθὰµ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀχάζ, Ἀχὰζ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἑζεκίαν,
Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah,
Uzziah started out as a great ruler over the Southern Kingdom, 2 Chronicles 26:1-15, but then he became arrogant over how the Lord had blessed him. So arrogant that he decided to usurp the rights of the high priest, 2 Chronicles 26:16. The Lord punished him with leprosy and he died as a leper, 2 Chronicles 26:19, 21. It’s not how one starts, but how one finishes the spiritual race!
The father of Hezekiah, Uzziah’s grandson, Ahaz was extremely evil, 2 Chronicles 28.
Ἑζεκίας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Μανασσῆ, Μανασσῆς δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀµώς, Ἀµὼς δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωσίαν,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Mannaseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah
The two greatest kings after David were Hezekiah and Josiah, but Hezekiah’s son, Mannaseh was evil and Josiah’s father, Amon was evil. The principle is that evil parents do not always produce evil children, and good parents do not always produce good children. So, whether a person turns out to be good or bad is not dependant upon environment or genes.
The determining factor is volition. If a person believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and then advances spiritually to the point of love for the three members of the Trinity, he will become great even though his environment is very difficult and even though most of his ancestors were worthless and some even criminals. Volition determines whether a person becomes great or not.
Ἰωσίας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰεχονίαν καὶ τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς µετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος.
And Josiah sired Jeconiah [via Jehoiakim] and his uncles [brothers] at the time of the exile to Babylon.
(Regarding the historical background for this period of history, read the 1st chapter of “Daniel” by R. B. Thieme Jr.)
The actual order is Josiah, Jehoahaz (Shallom), Jehoiakim (Eliakim) and Jeconiah (Jehoiachin, Coniah), and Zedekiah (Mattaniah).
Christ is not descended through Jeconiah:
Jeconiah, the forebear of Joseph was very evil. Since he was so evil, God decreed that the Messiah would not come down through the line of Jehoiachin (also called Jeconiah, Coniah). This line starts with David and includes Solomon, Jehoiachin, and Joseph. Since Joseph is descendant from this cursed line the Messiah cannot be genetically related to Joseph. However, Mary’s line starts with David, then Nathan and finally Mary herself. God chose this line to be the Messianic line. Thus, God had to use Mary’s twenty three chromosomes to form the biological life of the humanity of Christ-otherwise Christ would not be the Son of David.
Thus says the Lord, ‘Write this man [King Jeconiah,] down childless [no royal heir]. A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David [no more Kings from that line] or ruling again in Judah (Jeremiah 22:30).
Μετὰ δὲ τὴν µετοικεσίαν Βαβυλῶνος Ἰεχονίας ἐγέννησεν τὸν Σαλαθιήλ, Σαλαθιὴλ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ζοροβαβέλ,
After the exile to Babylon, Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
It appears that Jeconiah tried to get around the curse of Jeremiah 22:30 by adopting as his legal heir, Shealtiel, the son of Neri from the line of Nathan, Luke 3:27. Even Zerubbabel is listed in both genealogies. However, the line again separates with sons of Zerubbabel. In summary, the line of Solomon is as follows: Jeconiah, Shealtiel. Zerubbabel, Abiud down to Joseph whereas the line of Nathan is as follows: Neri, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud down to Mary.
Ζοροβαβὲλ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀβιούδ, Ἀβιοὺδ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἐλιακίµ, Ἐλιακὶµ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀζώρ,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,
Immediately, after Cyrus had conquered the Chaldeans in 539 B.C he entrusted Zerubbabel with the office of governor of Judea. In 536 BC, Zerubbabel led the first colony of captives to Jerusalem, accompanied by Joshua, the high priest, a considerable number of priests, Levites, and heads of houses of Judah and Benjamin. Arriving at Jerusalem, their first task was to rebuild the temple on its old site and to restore the daily sacrifice (Ezra 2; 3:1–3). After laying the foundation, they faced some opposition from settlers in Samaria who misrepresented this Jewish colony in the court of the Persian ruler, Cambyses. Further, delays were caused by their building homes for themselves. Finally, Haggai exhorted the Zerubbabel, Joshua, the high priest and the people regarding the finishing of the temple, Haggai 1:2-4. Thus, they got back to work and the temple was finally rebuilt in the 6th year of Darius Hystaspes in 516 B.C.
Ἀζὼρ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Σαδώκ, Σαδὼκ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀχίµ, Ἀχὶµ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἐλιούδ, Ἐλιοὺδ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἐλεάζαρ, Ἐλεάζαρ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ματθάν, Ματθὰν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰακώβ,
Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazor the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,
We know very little about Abiud to Jacob, possibly because they were neither evil nor great. We just don’t know!
Ἰακὼβ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωσὴφ τὸν ἄνδρα Μαρίας, ἐξ ἧς ἐγεννήθη Ἰησοῦς ὁ λεγόµενος Χριστός
...and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary out from whom [feminine singular] was born Jesus, the one being called Christ.
Jesus was born out from Mary, not out from Joseph. Though Joseph was the legal father of the humanity of Christ, he was not the genetic father.
“And Joseph, her husband being righteous, did not desire to make a public display of her. . .” (Matthew 1:19a). This sentence reveals the virtue of a great believer. Just ponder Joseph’s dilemma. Even though he thought that Mary had committed adultery, and so as a member of David’s royal family would not be able to stay married. Even so, he did not react sinfully. Not for a second did he get his eyes on self. There was no self-pity, no bitterness, no anger, no desire for revenge etc. His only desire and thoughts were on how to protect Mary. Joseph’s humility and virtue are on a par with the greatest of believers.
Mary was the daughter of Eli of the tribe of Judah and of the lineage of David, hence in the royal line (Luke 3:23). In circa 3 B.C. Mary, a virgin was legally married to Joseph who was living in Nazareth. At this time the angel Gabriel came to her with a message from God and announced that she was to be the mother of the humanity of Christ. Luke 1:45-49 clearly present Mary as a wonderful believer, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord. And Mary said: 'My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His servant for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. . . ' ” Luke 2:18, 19 tells us how Mary pondered God’s Word, And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds, but Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Jesus was called Christ, the anointed prince which is equivalent to Messiah in the Hebrew. The prince will become King over kings and Lord over lords at the 2nd Advent.
Πᾶσαι οὖν αἱ γενεαὶ ἀπὸ Ἀβραὰµ ἕως ∆αυὶδ γενεαὶ δεκατέσσαρες, καὶ ἀπὸ ∆αυὶδ ἕως τῆς µετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος γενεαὶ δεκατέσσαρες, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς µετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος ἕως τοῦ Χριστοῦ γενεαὶ δεκατέσσαρες
Thus, there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
Abraham to David: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Perez (Phrarez), Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David:
David to the Exile: David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Mannasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jeconiah representing his father and uncles (Jehoahaz (Shallum), Jehoiakim (Eliakim), and Zedekiah)):
From the Exile to Christ: Jeconiah, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Akim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph, Christ
The Conception of Mary and the Birth of Christ: Matthew 1:18-25
Τοῦ δὲ ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡ γέννησις οὕτως ἦν. μνηστευθείσης γὰρ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ Μαρίας τῷ ᾿Ιωσήφ, πρὶν ἢ συνελθεῖν αὐτοὺς, εὑρέθη ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα ἐκ Πνεύματος ῾Αγίου
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: His mother, Mary had been contractually married to Joseph but before [emphatic form in the Greek] they had come together [in sexual intercourse], she was found to be pregnant from the source of the Holy Spirit.
Mary was the mother of Christ’s biological life. As the mother, she provided the physical ovum which contained 23 chromosomes while God the Holy Spirit provided 23 male chromosomes. When an ovum and a sperm are united, biological life is perpetuated. Thus, as Mary’s ovum came in contact with the other 23 chromosomes provided by the Spirit, so began the biological life of Jesus.
Biological life is mortal. God created the first biological life from the dust (elements) of the soil. Biological life such as your muscles, bones, organs, nerves, etc. will upon death break down into the elements of the earth or air. Biological life came from the elements and returns to the elements. (Eccl. 3:20)
Biological life precedes human life. In the garden God created first the biological life of Adam and then breathed into his nostrils a soul. This union of biological and soul-life resulted in Adam’s human life (Genesis 2:7). After the fall, God delegated to mankind the responsibility to perpetuate the material, biological life which is formed in the womb. At birth God then creates the soul ex-nihilo and imputes it to biological life. As soon as the immortal soul-life unites with material biological life, human life begins.
Some people think that Mary was the mother of the deity of Christ, as if she were the creator of God. This is blasphemous and absurd for God is eternal and has no mother. Mary on the other hand was a descendant of Adam and thus was born a human being. The Lord Jesus Christ created Adam and his wife, and so Mary is the result of the Lord’s creation, not vice versa!
Jewish marriage took place in three stages namely, the contract, the ceremony, and the celebration. In the first stage, the marriage contract was signed by the parents of the groom and bride. After the contract had been signed and registered with the Jewish government, the couple was legally married, even though the ceremony and celebration may not take place for many months or even years. In the second stage of marriage, the ceremony, the groom, and his male friends would ride their chariots to the home of the bride’s parents (or some other designated place), and then the groom only would enter the home while his friends waited outside. At that point, there would be four people in the home for this ceremony namely the bride, her parents, and the groom. Something similar to the following scenario would take place: the bride would be positioned a couple of paces ahead of her parents. When the groom entered the room, the father would step forward beside his daughter and make the following announcement to her as he pointed to the young man, “This is your husband and has been your husband since the date of the contract.” Next, he would say to the groom, “This is your wife.” Then, the father, taking the bride by the arm, walked forward and presented her to the groom. The groom then looked at the bride, but said nothing, then looked at the father and said, “She is now my wife, and I am her husband now and forever more.” (It is interesting to note that only the father and the groom spoke during the wedding ceremony.) The groom then took the bride’s fingers and put them into the crook of his arm, and they walked out together. He put her in his chariot and his friends followed in a procession through town. He would then go either to a home which he had prepared or to his parent’s home. Waiting outside the home would be the bride’s friends, the bridesmaids who would be holding lanterns and waiting for the returning groom, bride and groomsmen (compare with the marriage feast at the 2nd Advent: Matt. 25:1-13). The groom and bride would enter the home first followed by the groomsmen and lastly the bridesmaids. Then, there would be a wedding dinner and celebration which would last from several days to several weeks. At some point during the celebration, the couple would slip away and begin their honeymoon and consummate the marriage. (Please listen to Spiritual Dynamic Series 631 by R.B. Thieme Jr. regarding this subject.)
The Virgin Conception of Mary and Joseph's reaction:
In this passage, Mary becomes pregnant apart from Joseph after being legally married to him via the contract signed by his and her parents. This was why Joseph was so concerned when he had discovered that she was pregnant. Since he knew that he did not bring about her pregnancy, he initially assumed that she had committed adultery. After he was informed in a dream by an angel of the Lord regarding the truth of this matter, he went ahead with the ceremonial phase of the marriage (Matthew 1:20).
Ιωσὴφ δὲ ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς, δίκαιος ὢν καὶ μὴ θέλων αὐτὴν παραδειγματίσαι, ἐβουλήθη λάθρᾳ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν
Joseph, her husband, being virtuous [righteous] did not desire to make a public display of her. He desired secretly to divorce her.
Joseph was not only moral, but also possessed the virtue acquired from the spiritual life. Morality was designed for the security, stability, protection and blessing of a group of people in a national entity and as such requires only human power and determination for execution. Virtue, on the other hand, relates to the inward function of the soul and comprises attributes such as grace-orientation, love for God the Father, unconditional love directed toward members of the human race and occupation with Christ.
Morality without virtue can very easily be corrupted (distorted) by arrogance resulting in a moral, but weak person. Morality combined with arrogance produces great self-righteousness. A self-righteous individual assumes that his morality equals perfection. From his imagined perch of perfection he evaluates, criticizes, judges, and maligns others. However, he is far from perfection. He understands neither God nor God’s plan; he understands neither himself nor the people whom he judges and maligns.
Believers and to some extent unbelievers can avoid this “moral degeneracy” related to the distortion of morality. With authority orientation and humility, moral unbelievers who possess some appreciation of grace can avoid much of the stench of self-righteousness. The believer on the other hand can go much further, for through the execution of the spiritual life he is able to remove self-righteousness and develop great virtue.
Joseph possessed and demonstrated this virtue obtained from the spiritual life. He didn’t get angry at Mary when he first discovered she was pregnant. He didn’t malign her. He didn’t call her “a dirty and faithless adulteress” as other men, facing a similar situation would have. He didn’t feel sorry for himself and say, “How could she do this to me?” He didn’t become bitter and demand that she be stoned to death under the requirements of the Mosaic Law, which stated that adultery was not only a sin, but also a crime:
“If there is a virgin, betrothed [contractually married] to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death. The girl because she did not cry out in the city [she consented], and the man because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus, you shall purge the evil [adultery is more than a sin] from among you.” (Deuteronomy 22:23, 24)
Because Joseph was a man of great humility, he did not feel any personal disgrace in this matter. On the contrary, he was only concerned about Mary’s feelings and security. He wanted to protect her from disgrace and personal harm. Therefore, he decided not to bring her before the Jewish court system, but to divorce her secretly. In a state of great humility and objectivity, he was able to apply grace toward his wife and so was able to avoid any subjective reaction.
Remember that God always treats us in grace. So, we should treat others in grace as well. You may say, “My friends do not deserve to be forgiven.” Did we deserve salvation? Did we deserve to be forgiven of our pre-salvation-sins by God the Father (Isaiah 44:22; Ephesians 4:32)? Do we deserve this spiritual life given to all church age believers? First Corinthians 4:7 states, “What do you have that you did not receive?”
ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐνθυμηθέντος ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου κατ᾿ ὄναρ ἐφάνη αὐτῷ λέγων· ᾿Ιωσὴφ υἱὸς Δαυΐδ, μὴ φοβηθῇς παραλαβεῖν Μαριὰμ τὴν γυναῖκά σου· τὸ γὰρ ἐν αὐτῇ γεννηθὲν ἐκ Πνεύματός ἐστιν ῾Αγίου.
While he was thinking about these things [i.e., divorcing Mary and canceling the ceremony], behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take alongside [in the marriage ceremony] Mary, your wife, for what has been conceived in her is from the source of the Holy Spirit.”
Once Joseph had the necessary information, he was able to make a rational decision. From this situation, we can learn the following principles: no one can make a correct decision if he does not have sufficient information, and secondly, no one can make a rational decision unless he removes emotion from the decision-making process. This concept can also be explained by the following simple equation:
Sufficient facts - emotion = rational decision making
In the context of the discussion of Joseph's character we should go one step further, adding virtue to this formula.
Sufficient facts - emotion + virtue = virtuous and correct decision making
The sin nature is passed down to the offspring through the male sperm. (See: Fellowship with God, Volume 2; Essay: The Perfection of Christ by Max Klein) So, if Joseph had participated in the pregnancy of Mary, Jesus would have been born with a sin nature.
Because of this [an inference from what proceeded], just as through one man [Adam], the sin nature entered into the world, and through the sin nature [came] [spiritual] death [because God imputed Adam’s Original Sin to the sin nature] so death [spiritual death] spread to the entire human race because all sinned [when Adam sinned]. (Romans 5:12)
The Greek word “ἁμαρτία / hamartia” in the singular usually should be translated “sin nature.” On the other hand, when this word is found in the plural, it should be translated “sins.” This should help explain the translation above as well as numerous other verses in Scripture.
The Unique Birth of the God-Man:
God is fair to mankind at birth and gracious in solving the problems connected with man’s entrance into this world. When the fetus, which possesses the sin nature, emerges from the womb, God does two things simultaneously. He creates a soul and unites it with biological life which results in human life. At the same time he imputes Adam’s original sin of disobedience to the genetically inherent sin nature which results in spiritual death. Because of these imputations, human life and spiritual death occur simultaneously.
God is fair in imputing Adam’s original sin to the sin nature since they belong together for it was Adam’s original sin which produced the sin nature. God not only was perfectly just in this act, but wise in making all mankind sinners at birth, and gracious in providing a solution through the cross.
Jesus not only had to be born perfect, but He also had to be genetically related to King David, in order to assume the title “Son of David” (Isaiah. 9:7; Luke 1:32; Matthew. 21:9). However, as we have already discussed, the sin nature comes down in copulation through the father. So, He could not have a genetic father for if He had had a genetic father, he would have been born as we were born, with a sin nature. This would have automatically disqualified Him from being our savior. On the other hand, He had to have a genetic mother since the Messiah had to come from the line of David. Since Mary was descended from David and Bathsheba through their youngest son, Nathan, she was qualified to be that mother.
When Jesus was born, God created a soul for him and placed it in his biological life resulting in human life. At the same time, the Son of God (the deity of Jesus Christ, possessing all the characteristics of God as the second person of the Trinity) united with the Son of David, the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ. This resulted in one person possessing two natures: the God-Man. His status as the unique God-Man meant that the Lord Jesus Christ became the mediator between righteous God and fallen man, qualified to provide the work of reconciliation for all mankind on the cross (1 Tim. 2:5; Rom. 5:11).
The Biblical Viewpoint of Life:
Some translations of this passage state that Mary was pregnant “with child.” Matthew 1:18-25 contains no expression such as “pregnant with child.” Certain translators who do not believe that there is just biological life, but also soul life in the womb, added the phrase “pregnant with child” to the translation. The Greek text uses two phrases for pregnancy in this passage; one is found in verse eighteen and the other in this verse. In verse eighteen it states that Mary was discovered “εν γαστρι εχουσα / en gastri ekousa” which literally translated means “she was having in the womb.” There is no object mentioned at all. Since the Jews understood that there was no human life in the womb, they just described pregnancy as “having in the womb [a possession in the womb].” In this verse, Matthew describes pregnancy as “that which [that substance which] was conceived in her.” The Greek expression “that which was conceived” is a neuter participle with a neuter article. In other words, this Greek expression designates the fetus as neuter. The usage of the neuter would play down the importance of the fetus and would imply that the fetus has no human life since human life has to be either male or female. Also, in this passage in describing conception and the fetus, the word “child” is never used and for a good reason. There is no human life in the womb.
τέξεται δὲ υἱὸν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦν· αὐτὸς γὰρ σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν
She will give birth to a son and you [Joseph] will call His name Jesus for He will save [Jesus is a transliteration of the Hebrew name “Joshua /Yehoshua” meaning “The Lord is (our) salvation”] His people [the Jews] from their sins [The cross: since this passage is discussing the Jews, it excludes the gentiles]
Notice the order here: first, birth; second, becoming a son; and third, giving a name. The Scripture never calls the fetus a child, a son or a daughter. Furthermore, in Scripture naming always comes after birth for the simple reason that a fetus is not a human being. King Solomon writing under the ministry of the Holy Spirit states in Ecclesiastes 3:2a, “A time to be born, and a time to die,” thus defining the boundaries of human life. At birth the soul is imputed to biological life; at death the soul departs from biological life. The Lord also emphasizes birth as the start of human life, “Jesus answered and said to him, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). In John 3:5, Jesus goes on to say, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born out from water and out from the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”
In order to spend eternity with God one must undergo two births. If a mother aborts a two-month-old fetus, there is no birth and if no birth, no soul; if no soul, no human life; if no human life, no entrance into the Kingdom of God. The first birth occurs at physical birth when the placenta breaks and amniotic fluid flows out from a broken membrane (“born of water”) and the second birth occurs at salvation when one receives a human spirit from the Holy Spirit (“born of the Spirit”), and the Father then imputes eternal life to that newly created human spirit. If human life really did occur in the womb, Christ would have created the following metaphor, “one has to be conceived again,” but he didn’t.
Identifying the Messiah:
Τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ Κυρίου διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος, ἰδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει καὶ τέξεται υἱόν, καὶ καλέσουσι τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ᾿Εμμανουήλ, ὅ ἐστι μεθερμηνευόμενον, μεθ᾿ ἡμῶν ὁ Θεός
Now this whole matter occurred in order that what was communicated by the Lord through the prophet [Isaiah] might be fulfilled saying, “Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant [literally in the Greek: “she will have in the womb”] and she shall give birth to a son and they [Jewish believers] shall call his name Immanuel” which is translated “God with us.”
The Jews were given many ways of identifying the Messiah. Two ways pertinent to this passage are as follows: He would be in the royal line of David, and He would come into this world by means of a virgin pregnancy and birth. Although David and Bathsheba had four sons, only the lines of two sons survived. Joseph was in the line of Solomon, and Mary was in the line of Nathan. Thus, their marriage brought the two existing royal lines of David together. The Jews should have realized that this royal marriage could easily have been the marriage in which the humanity of Christ would be born.
Isaiah prophesied that a virgin pregnancy would be a sign:
Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you all [the Jewish people] a miraculous sign: Behold, a virgin will be pregnant and will bear a son, and she [Mary will recognize that Jesus is the God-Man based on what Gabriel had told her in Luke 1:35, and so she will be the first to use this title] will call His person Immanuel [a title]. (Isaiah 7:14)
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word “עלמה / alma” is “virgin”; its secondary meaning is “young woman.” In this passage it is obvious that the author intended to use the primary meaning of this word, since it is not a miracle for a young woman to become pregnant. Furthermore, when Matthew translated this verse into the Greek, he used the Greek word “παρθενος /parthenos” which can only mean virgin.
Regarding the word Immanuel, ‘Im’ means ‘with’, ‘ma’ has no meaning, ‘nu’ means ‘us’ and ‘el’ means ‘God.’ In the age of Israel, the deity of Christ dwelt between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies until the time when the Ark was destroyed (Exodus 25:21-22). In the Church Age, Jesus Christ dwells in the body of every believer (Colossians 1:27). However, during Christ’s thirty-three years on the earth, he dwelt among the people, “And the Word [a title for the Son of God] became flesh and dwelt [tabernacle] among us” (John 1:14).
Διεγερθεὶς δὲ ὁ ᾿Ιωσὴφ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕπνου ἐποίησεν ὡς προσέταξεν αὐτῷ ὁ ἄγγελος Κυρίου· καὶ παρέλαβε τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ,
Joseph having awoken from the dream did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and he took alongside his wife [the marriage ceremony in the home of his wife].
Before the canon of Scripture was complete, God communicated his word through many unusual methods. In the Old Testament, The Son of God often communicated His message by appearing in different ways, which we call theophanies. ‘Theo’ means ‘God’; ‘phan’ means ‘appearance’. As a theophany, God the Son appeared as a man (Genesis 18:1-33); as a phenomena of nature (Exodus 3:2); and as the “Angel of Jehovah” (Genesis 16:7-13; Numbers 22:22-35). Before the Bible was written God also communicated through angels (Genesis 19:1-22; Luke 1:13-20; Acts 7:53); dreams (Genesis 37:5-10); visions (Daniel 2:19; Acts 16:9, 10), and trances (Acts 11:5-10). These methods were unusual but necessary because unlike now there was no completed canon of scripture.
On the appointed day of the wedding ceremony, Joseph went to the home of Mary’s parents and participated in the wedding ceremony. It is not likely that there was a celebration since Mary was showing pregnancy and Mary walking around at a party in this condition would have been poor taste and poor social etiquette.
καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκε τόν υἱόν αὐτῆς τόν πρωτότοκον, καὶ ἐκάλεσε τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦν.
But, he did not know her [did not consummate the marriage] until after she had given birth to a son and then he [Joseph] called his name Jesus [Savior].
Mary was a virgin when she conceived and remained so until after the birth of Jesus. God does everything in an orderly way. Because the uncontaminated biological life prepared for the humanity of Jesus was so important, and because it had to be crystal clear that Mary’s pregnancy did not involve Joseph, he would have to wait until after the birth of Jesus to express his love to Mary.
In conclusion of this passage, we should note that both the conception of Mary and the birth of Christ were unique, in order for God to provide for our salvation.