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1 Chron. i. 27. Gen. xxi. 3.
1 Chron. i. 28.
1 Chron. i. 34.
Gen. xxix. 35. Judas
1 Chron. ii. 1.
1 Chron. ii. 4.
1 Chron, ii. 5.
Ruth iv. 19.
1 Chron. ii. 9.
1 Chron. ii. 10. Ruth iv. 20. 1 Chron. ii. 10.
Gen. xi. 26.
Gen. xxv. 26.
Amininadab Ruthiv. 19.
1 Chron. ii. 10.
Ruth iv. 20.
The difficulty which strikes us in the examination of Luke's genealogy is the introduction of Cairan between Arphaxad and Salah, in which instance he is supposed to have followed the Septuagint, which was the version most commonly received by the Jews. This will appear the more probable, if we admit that he only transcribed such a genealogy of Christ, as he found already drawn up and acknowledged among kis relations. Concerning Matthew we remark,
1. The genealogy as given by Matthew commences with the following words, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. The werd book here may be very well rendered a table of genealogy. He proposes to prove that Jesus Christ was the son of David and of Abraham, and he therefore enumerates so many of his ancestors as may be necessary to ascertain that point.
2. The brethren of Judas are mentioned in this genealogy, because, though they were not Messiah's progenitors, they were on an equal footing with Judas, in respect of religious privileges. To them belonged the promises, and their posterity had the law given to them It was otherwise with Ishmael and Esau, though the one was the son of Abraham, and the other of Isaac. They and their posterity were expressly excluded from the privileges of the covenant, for which reason they are not mentioned in Messiah's genealogy.
3. Zarah is mentioned, not because he was the twin brother of Pharez, our Lord's progenitor; for if that had been a reason for assigning him this honour, Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, ought to have obtained it likewise; but he is mentioned to prevent any mistake. For unless Zara had been spoken of, considering the infamy of Pharez's birth, we might have been apt to imagine, that not the Pharez whom Judas begat in incest, but another son of Judas, called Pharez, was our Lord's progenitor, it being no uncommon thing among the Jews to have several children of the same name. Wherefore, to put the matter beyond doubt, Thamar, as well as Zarah, is mentioned in the genealogy. It is, perhaps, for a like reason, that in this genealogy, when Solomon is spoken of, his mother Bathsheba is mentioned, not by her own name, but by her relation to her former husband, verse 6, David, the king, begat Solomon, of her that was the wife of Uriah.
4. Theophylact was of opinion, that Rahab, mentioned in this genealogy, was not the harlot of Jericho; and his opinion has been embraced by several modern commentators, for the following reasons. First, Because her name is written differently by the LXX, and by the apostles, viz. Raab, not Rachab, as in Matthew. Second, In every passage where Rahab of Jericho is mentioned, she is distinguished by the epithet of the harlot; whereas the woman mentioned in the genealogy has no such name given her. Third, Because the Israelites were expressly discharged from entering into affinity with any of the nations who inhabited Canaan, [Deut. vii. 1.] Fourth, On supposition that Rahab of Jericho was the mother of Boos, and wife of Salmon, she must have borne Booz when she was eighty years old, a thing not very probable in that age of the world, when the period of human life was so much shortened. But to the first and second arguments it is replied, that nothing can be concluded with certainty from the orthography of the name, or from the epithet of harlot, such differences occurring often in histories both sacred and profane. To the third the answer is, that Rahab, though originally a heathen, may have been a proselyte, as Ruth the Moabitess, whom Booz married, and Maacah the daughter of the king of Geshur, whom David married, are supposed to have been. To the fourth argument it is replied, that Booz may have been not Salmon's immmediate son by Rahab, but his grandson, or great-grandson; which consideration derives some strength from other omissions observed in the same genealogy.
5. David has the title of king given him because he was the first king of his family, and because he had the kingdom entailed upon his children; in which respect he had greatly the advantage of Saul, from whose family the kingdom was taken away almost as soon as it was conferred.
6. The Jechonias who is mentioned in the eleventh verse, is understood to be Jehoiakim the immediate son of Josias, called Jechonias, not by Matthew only, but by the author also of the third of Esdras, first chapter and thirty-fourth verse. Josiah is said to have begotten Jechoniah and his brethren about the time of the captivity, although it was more than forty years before it, as is plain from Jehoiakim's age. He was thirty-six years old when he died, [2 Kings, xxiii. 36.] eight years before the captivity, for so long his son Jehoiakim reigned after his death, [2 Kings, xxiv. 12.] It is plain, therefore, that the preposition epi does not signify here precisely at that time; but, as usual, it comprehends a period of some considerable length. The brethren of Jechonias or Jehoiakim are mentioned in the genealogy, because all of them, except Shallum, filled the throne, though Jechonias alone had the right, being the elder brother. 7. It is observable that Matthew omits three of the kings of Judah-Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah. This might be done either for the sake of making the numbers more easily to be remembered, as such omissions are common in Jewish genealogies, or, as has been insinuated, because these three princes had a defective title to the crown.
On comparing the two genealogies with one another, we perceive two difficulties of a similar kind. The first ascribes two different descents to Salathiel, the father of Zorobabel; Matthew making him the son of Jechonias, and Luke the son of Neri. This may be obviated by considering the Salathiels as two different persons; one of whom having heard of the fame of that Zorobabel, the son of Salathiel, who was a great instrument of providence in restoring the Jews, might confer a similar name upon his son, in hopes that he might copy from the example of such an illustrious name-sake. The second difficulty concerns the father of Joseph, who is called Jacob by Matthew. and Heli by Luke. The most received opinion is, that Jacob was the father of Joseph, and Heli his father-in-law, by his marriage with Mary the daughter of Heli, and mother of our Lord.
Nearly related to Mary, though of the family of Aaron, were two personages illustrious for their piety; a priest named Zacharias, and his wife, whose name was Elizabeth. Though they had long walked in a very strict conformity with the institutions of Moses, they remained destitute of one of those blessings, which that dispensation promised to the obedient; for they had no offspring, nor the least expectations of any, being both very old.
And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office, in the order of his course; According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. Because some parts of the sacred service were more honourable than others, both the priests and Levites divided the whole among them by lot. The Jews tell us, that there were three priests employed about the service of the incense; one, who carried away the ashes left on the altar at the preceding sacrifice; another, who brought a pan of burning coals from the altar of sacrifice, and having placed it in the golden altar departed; a third, who went in with the incense, sprinkled it on the burning coals, and while the smoke ascended made intercession for the people. This was the part that fell to Zacharias, and the most honourable in the whole 'service. From the whole multitude of the people being mentioned as praying without at this time, it is concluded, that it was at some great festival, a circumstance which duly attended to strengthen the credibility of the facts reported by the evangelist. Zacharias' tarrying in the temple beyond the usual time, must thus have been