David having nineteen sons, we may suppose them to have raised many noble families in Israel whom we never hear of in the history. But the scripture gives us an account only of the descendants of Solomon here, and of Nathan, Luke 3:31 The rest had the honour to be the sons of David; but these only had the honour to be related to the Messiah. The sons of Nathan were his fathers as man, the sons of Solomon his predecessors as king. We have here, 1. The great and celebrated names by which the line of David is drawn down to the captivity, the kings of Judah in a lineal succession, the history of whom we have had at large in the two books of Kings and shall meet with again in the second book of Chronicles. Seldom has a crown gone in a direct line from father to son for seventeen descents together, as here. This was the recompence of David’s piety. About the time of the captivity the lineal descent was interrupted, and the crown went from one brother to another and from a nephew to an uncle, which was a presage of the eclipsing of the glory of that house. 2. The less famous, and most of them very obscure, names, in which the house of David subsisted after the captivity. The only famous man of that house that we meet with at their return from captivity was Zerubbabel, elsewhere called the son of Salathiel, but appearing here to be his grandson (1 Chron. 3:17-19), which is usual in scripture. Belshazzar is called Nebuchadnezzar’s son, but was his grandson. Salathiel is said to be the son of Jeconiah because adopted by him, and because, as some think, he succeeded him in the dignity to which he was restored by Evil-merodach. Otherwise Jeconiah was written childless: he was the signet God plucked from his right hand (Jer. 22:24), and in his room Zerubbabel was placed, and therefore God saith to him (Hag. 2:23), I will make thee as a signet. The posterity of Zerubbabel here bear not the same names that they do in the genealogies (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38), but those no doubt were taken from the then herald’s office, the public registers which the priests kept of all the families of Judah, especially that of David. The last person named in this chapter is Anani, of whom bishop Patrick says that the Targum adds these words, He is the king Messiah, who is to be revealed, and some of the Jewish writers give this reason, because it is said (Dan. 7:13), the son of man came gnim gnanani—with the clouds of heaven. The reason indeed is very foreign and far-fetched; but that learned man thinks it may be made use of as an evidence that their minds were always full of the thoughts of the Messiah and that they expected it would not be very long after the days of Zerubbabel before the set time of his approach would come.
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