We are continuing our study in the Gospel of Matthew. And we will be specifically finishing with the study of Christ genealogy.
And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manasses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias.
11 And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon.
12 And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel.
13 And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor.
14 And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud.
15 And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob.
16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations, from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations. And from David to the transmigration of Babylon, are fourteen generations: and from the transmigration of Babylon to Christ are fourteen generations.
In verse 11, we find that Saint Matthew skips Jehoiakim but includes Jechonias. Jechonias deserves our attention because God had said that none of his seed would sit on the throne.
"As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;...Thus saith the Lord: Write this man barren, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for there shall not be a man of his seed that shall sit upon the throne of David, and have power any more in Judah." (Jeremiah 22:24,30)
Coniah is actually Jeconiah, but God took the "Je" off his name because it is the prefix for Jehovah, and this man was a wicked king. Because of the sin of this man Jechonias, no one in his line could ever sit on the throne of David. You see, Joseph is in this line, but Joseph is not the natural father of Jesus. This is one of the most remarkable facts in the Scriptures, and saint Matthew is trying to make it clear to us. Joseph gave to Jesus the title, the legal title, to the throne of David because Joseph was the husband of Mary who was the one who bore Jesus. Jesus Christ is not the seed of Joseph, nor is He the seed of Jeconiah. Both Joseph and Mary had to be had to be from the line of David, and they were -through two different lines. from two different sons of David. We'll find when we get to Luke that Mary's line comes from David through his son Nathan. Joseph's line comes through the royal line through Solomon. So Joseph and Mary both had to go to Bethlehem to be enrolled for taxation because they were both from the line of David. You see how interesting and fascinating, and important these genealogies are and how much they are worth our study. Now the genealogy concludes with verse 16:
"And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."
You see that this breaks the pattern which began as far back as verse 2 where it says that Abraham begot Isaac. From then on it was just a whole lot of "begetting" and verse 16 begins by saying, "And Jacob begat Joseph." You would expect it to continue by saying that Joseph begot Jesus, but it does not say that. Instead, it says, "Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." Obviously, Matthew is making it clear that Joseph is not the father of Jesus. Although he is the husband of Mary, he is not the father of Jesus.
Saint Luke , who wrote the gospel bearing his name, was a Greek doctor. In his gospel he goes into an extended section on Obstetrics. Both gospels declare that Jesus was virgin born. Joseph was not the father, but Mary was not unfaithful to Joseph. Jesus is not an illegitimate child. This is something new; "...a woman shall compass a man" (Jeremiah 31:32)
In Verse 17 we find a statement which will explain something in the genealogies.
"So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations."
Saint Matthew puts the genealogy into groupings to give an overall view of the Old Testament history. One era extends from Abraham to David, another from David to the Babylonian captivity, and the third from the captivity in Babylon to the birth of Jesus Christ. Obviously, he has omitted some names from the genealogy in order to fit fourteen into each period. The question is, why did he do this? Apparently the number fourteen (twice seven) offered some proof concerning the accuracy of this genealogy.
Now that Matthew has shown that Joseph is not the father of Jesus, he is going to give us an explanation. Already in the Old Testament, a supernatural birth has been predicted by God. Jeremiah is talking to the nation of Israel when he says, "How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man." That's not the way it is done. That's not natural birth; it supernatural.
Listen to the Fathers of the Church concerning this verse:
"the work of the Incarnation was a new work, of which it is said (Jeremiah 31:22): "The Lord hath created a new thing upon the earth."
"Concerning Mary we read of a great miracle in the same prophecy Jeremiah 31:22 — that a woman should compass a man, and that the Father of all things should be contained in a virgin's womb."
says concerning Jeremiah 31:22, that the "new thing created in woman is the body of the Lord, conceived within the virgin without the co-operation of man."
The New virgin birth of the Lord Jesus is the "new thing" which God has done. And it is the fulfillment of Jeremiahs Prophecy.