Matthew chapter 1

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

2Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. 3Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar). Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. 4Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. 5Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse. 6Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). 7Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam was the father of Abijah. Abijah was the father of Asa. 8Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram. Jehoram was the father of Uzziah. 9Uzziah was the father of Jotham. Jotham was the father of Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah. 10Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh. Manasseh was the father of Amon. Amon was the father of Josiah. 11Josiah was the father of Jehoiachin and his brothers (born at the time of the exile to Babylon). 12After the Babylonian exile: Jehoiachin was the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel. 13Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud. Abiud was the father of Eliakim. Eliakim was the father of Azor. 14Azor was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Akim. Akim was the father of Eliud. 15Eliud was the father of Eleazar. Eleazar was the father of Matthan. Matthan was the father of Jacob. 16Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
King James Version

New King James Version

What does Matthew chapter 1 mean?

Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve original disciples. He was a tax collector, meaning he would have been despised by many fellow Jews for working with the occupying Roman government. Matthew does not hide the fact that he belonged to the category of "tax collectors and sinners" when Jesus called him to "follow me" (Matthew 9:9–13). Matthew became an apostle who received from Jesus the commission to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19–20).

This telling of the life of Jesus—the Gospel of Matthew—was one of the ways he fulfilled that command from Jesus. Matthew keeps his Jewish brothers and sisters firmly in mind as he writes, demonstrating how Jesus is the fulfillment of many prophecies about the promised Messiah.

To that end, Matthew begins by showing that Jesus is both a son of Abraham—a true Hebrew—and the legal and legitimate heir to the throne of Israel's great King David. That mattered because all faithful Jewish people would have been aware of God's promise to David that his descendants would sit on Israel's throne forever (2 Samuel 7:12–13). Matthew's genealogy does not include every "link" in the chain of generations from Abraham to Jesus. Instead, he groups those mentioned into three sets of 14 ancestors: Abraham to King David; David to Josiah and the deportation of Israel to Babylon; and Jechoniah to Jesus (Matthew 1:1–17).

Matthew mentions some unlikely names in his genealogy. This includes five women, several people famous for immorality, and more than one unfaithful king. Matthew's book never hides the sins of Israel's past, choosing to emphasize instead that Jesus came to save Israel from sin.

Having established Jesus' legal right to be Israel's king, Matthew transitions to telling the story of His birth. Luke, in his Gospel, tells that story mostly from Mary's point of view. Matthew looks at it through the eyes of Joseph, Mary's husband.

Joseph discovers that the woman he is betrothed to marry is pregnant, presumably by another man. Betrothal in Jesus' day was far more binding than engagement in modern times. Joseph and Mary were considered legally married, even though they had not yet lived together or had sex. Since Mary was found to be pregnant, Joseph was legally free to divorce her, though he wanted to do so as quietly as possible to avoid needlessly shaming her (Matthew 1:18–19).

God intervened in Joseph's plan, however. He sent an angel to visit Joseph in a dream. The angel told Joseph that Mary was still a virgin and the child was from God's Holy Spirit. God wanted Joseph to go through with the marriage and name the baby "Jesus," which means "Yahweh saves," because He would save His people from their sins. Matthew connects this moment to the fulfillment of a prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 that a virgin would give birth to a son who will be called Immanuel, "God with us" (Matthew 1:20–23).

In a great display of faith, Joseph obeyed God and took Mary home as his wife right away. He didn't consummate the marriage, however, until after Jesus was born (Matthew 1:24–25).
What is the Gospel?
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