What does Luke 3:29 mean?
ESV: the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
NIV: the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
NASB: the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
CSB: son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi,
NLT: Er was the son of Joshua. Joshua was the son of Eliezer. Eliezer was the son of Jorim. Jorim was the son of Matthat. Matthat was the son of Levi.
KJV: Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi,
NKJV: the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
Verse Commentary:
Famous people inspire popular names. This is why many people in western culture are given names that are seen in Scripture: Matthew, Mark, Paul, Stephen, Simon, Mary, Martha, and so forth. Other than Zerubbabel (Luke 3:27), all the famous names included so far in Luke's genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:23) belong to different people than their more well-known Old Testament namesakes.

Here, as well, names like Joshua and Eliezer are not references to the contemporaries of Moses (Exodus 17:9; 18:4), nor is the Levi mentioned here the son of Jacob (Genesis 29:34). Matthat, as well, shares a name with one of his descendants (Luke 3:24).
Verse Context:
Luke 3:23–38 traces the earthly ancestry of Jesus, apparently focusing on direct family lines. That is, Luke might be following literal birth, rather than by legal means such as adoption. Scholars differ on the precise meaning of these lines, but a common interpretation is that Luke is establishing Mary's ancestry. This establishes Jesus' physical relationship to His ancestor David (2 Samuel 7:12–16). Matthew's genealogy shows Joseph's descent from David, making his adoptive son, Jesus, a legal member of that line.
Chapter Summary:
The early part of Luke's gospel shifts back and forth between the histories of Jesus and John the Baptist. Chapter 3 starts with historical and prophetic context about John. It then depicts some of John's interactions with local religious leaders. Luke gives only a brief description of Jesus' baptism. He also touches on John's criticism of Herod the Tetrarch, which would eventually result in John's execution (Matthew 14:10–12). The chapter ends with a genealogy of Christ.
Chapter Context:
Chapters 1 and 2 provided early history for both John the Baptist and Jesus. Chapter 3 establishes John's preaching ministry and its connection to Jesus Christ. The chapter ends with a genealogy which some believe runs through Mary's side of the family. Chapter 4 transitions from Jesus' baptism into His public ministry, by describing His fasting in the wilderness and temptation by Satan.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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