First Matthew calls Jesus son of David, a title of the rightful heir to Israel's throne (as in Jer 23:5; 33:15; Ps. Sol. 17:21-23; 4QFlor). Other lines of evidence support the claim that Jesus' family stemmed from this royal lineage (for example, Rom 1:3; b. Sanhedrin 43a bar.; Euseb. H.E. 3.20; see also Meier 1991:216-19), and ancient Jewish polemicists never bothered to try to refute it. Thus Matthew opens and closes the genealogy with a title for Jesus that is significant but rare in his Gospel: Jesus Christ, that is, the messianic king (1:1, 18).
Next Matthew calls Jesus son of Abraham. This is especially significant because subsequent chapters further portray Jesus as Israel's representative, the epitome of its history (for example, 2:15; 4:2; see Kingsbury 1975:12; Longenecker 1975:141-43). As the heir of Abraham par excellence, Jesus can communicate Abraham's promised blessings to his people. (Some teachers regarded Abraham as the first Gentile convert to Judaism, which may also fit Matthew's theme.)
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.