Judah and Perez (Lk 3:33-3:33)

“The son of Amminadab,

The son of Admin,

The son of Arni,

The son of Hezron,

The son of Perez,

The son of Judah.”

 

τοῦ Ἀμιναδὰβ τοῦ Ἀδμεὶν τοῦ Ἀρνεὶ τοῦ Ἐσρὼμ τοῦ Φαρὲς τοῦ Ἰούδα

 

The two genealogies of Matthew and Luke are almost the same from Judah to Amminadab.  Luke listed them as Nahshon, the son of Amminadab (τοῦ Ἀμιναδὰβ), the son of Admin (τοῦ Ἀδμεὶν), the son of Arni (τοῦ Ἀρνεὶ), the son of Hezron (τοῦ Ἐσρὼμ), the son of Perez (τοῦ Φαρὲς), the son of Judah (τοῦ Ἰούδα).  Clearly, Judah had become the dominant tribe by the time of Jesus.  The story of the children for Judah is a very interesting tale as portrayed in Genesis, chapter 38.  Judah married a Canaanite woman named Bathshuah in Adullam.  They had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah.  Then the story got more complicated.  Judah found a lady named Tamar to be a wife for his first-born wicked son Er, whom Yahweh put to death.  Then Judah sent Onan, his second son, to produce children for his brother from Tamar, Er’s wife.  However, Onan spilled his semen on the ground, so that he would not have any children.  Thus, Yahweh put him to death also.  Judah then told Tamar to live as a widow in her father’s house, until his youngest son Shelah was older and able to marry her.  Tamar, in the meantime, saw that Shelah had grown up, but was not being offered in marriage to her.  She decided to throw off her widow garments, put a veil on, and sit on the road from Adullam to Timnah.  Now Judah, whose wife Bathshuah had died, was on this same road and thought that she was a prostitute, because her face was covered.  He gave her his signature ring and the cord as a pledge that he would pay her later for her sexual favors.  They had sex and she conceived by him.  Three months later, Judah found out that his daughter-in-law Tamar was pregnant as a result of prostitution.  He wanted her immediately burned, but she told Judah that the owner of a ring and cord made her pregnant.  Judah admitted that she was right.  Tamar then had twins from this pregnancy, Perez and Zerah, who disputed about who was the first out of the womb.  Interesting enough, the line of Judah would have died out without this prostitute episode.  Thus, the sacred lineage of Judah goes through a father-in-law having paid sex with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, who was a Canaanite.  According to Genesis, chapter 46:12, Perez, the son of Judah, had 2 sons, Hezron and Hamul. who went with Jacob to Egypt.  From 1 Chronicles, chapter 2:9-17, we learn about the linage of Hezron.  He had 3 sons, Jerahmeel, Aram, and Chelubai.  This Aram, Arni, or Ram was the father of Aminadab or Amminadab.  Luke added an Admin who is not found elsewhere or maybe another name for Ram.  Amminadab had a daughter, Elisheba, who married Aaron, the brother of Moses, in Exodus, chapter 6:23.  Amminadab was the father of Nahshon, the brother-in-law of Aaron and Moses.

Common relatives in the Babylonian captivity (Lk 3:27-3:27)

“The son of Joanan,

The son of Rhesa,

The son of Zerubbabel,

The son of Shealtiel,

The son of Neri.”

 

τοῦ Ἰωανὰν τοῦ Ῥησὰ τοῦ Ζοροβάβελ τοῦ Σαλαθιὴλ τοῦ Νηρεὶ

 

Finally, we find 2 common names from Matthew, chapter 1:12, when he was describing people during the Babylonian captivity.  Here Matthew and Luke have an agreement on 2 people, Zerubbabel and Shealtiel.  These 2 individuals can be found in 1 Chronicles, chapter 3:10-20, after the Israelites from Judah and Jerusalem were deported to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Salathiel (Σαλαθιήλ).  Jechoniah was the son of King Jehoiakim and grandson of King Josiah who had ruled Judah in 598 BCE.  Jechoniah was exiled for 37 years as indicated in 2 Kings, chapter 25.  Salathiel or Shealtiel was his oldest son, but he had at least 5 other brothers.  According to 1 Chronicles, Salathiel had no children, so that his brother Pedaiah was the father of Zerubbabel (Ζοροβαβέλ), not him.  Zerubbabel was the leader of the tribe of Judah at the time of their return from captivity, as his name appears over 25 times in the scriptural writings.  The Persian king appointed Zerubbabel the governor of Judah, where he rebuilt the Jerusalem Temple.  He also had a Persian name of Sheshbazzar as described in 1 Esdras, chapters 1-3.  Here Luke said, without any comment, that the son of Joanan (τοῦ Ἰωανὰν), the son of Rhesa (τοῦ Ῥησὰ), the son of Zerubbabel (τοῦ Ζοροβάβελ), the son of Shealtiel (τοῦ Σαλαθιὴλ), the son of Neri (τοῦ Νηρεὶ).

The ancestors of Jesus (Lk 3:24-3:24)

“Heli was

The son of Matthat,

The son of Levi,

The son of Melchi,

The son of Jannai,

The son of Joseph.”

 

τοῦ Ματθὰτ τοῦ Λευεὶ τοῦ Μελχεὶ τοῦ Ἰανναὶ τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ

 

Luke said that Jesus’ grandfather was Heli.  From then on there is a major difference in the genealogies of Matthew and Luke.  A simple solution to this problem would be to say that Luke has presented the genealogy of Mary, not Joseph.  The father of Mary was Heli.  However, that does not explain where the names came from.  The end of the genealogy of Matthew, chapter 1:15, is Joseph with his father Jacob.  Most of the people mentioned in the genealogy of Matthew could be found in other biblical works.  However, where Matthew got these last 9 generations of names was unclear.  He must have had some source, since he was so meticulous following 1 Chronicles.  Zerubbabel was Abiud’s father.  Abiud was the father of Eliakim, while he was the father of Azor.  He, in turn was the father of Zadok, whose son was Achim.  His son was Eliud.  Eliud’s son was Eleazar whose son was Matthan.  Matthan was the father of Jacob, the father of Joseph.  None of those names are here as Luke said that Heli was the son of Matthat (τοῦ Ματθὰτ), the son of Levi (τοῦ Λευεὶ), the son of Melchi (τοῦ Μελχεὶ), the son of Jannai (τοῦ Ἰανναὶ), the son of Joseph (τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ).

Zechariah the priest (Lk 1:5-1:5)

“In the days

Of King Herod

Of Judea,

There was a priest

Named Zechariah.

He belonged to

The priestly order

Of Abijah.

His wife was

A descendant

Of Aaron.

Her name

Was Elizabeth.”

 

Ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Ἡρῴδου βασιλέως τῆς Ἰουδαίας ἱερεύς τις ὀνόματι Ζαχαρίας ἐξ ἐφημερίας Ἀβιά, καὶ γυνὴ αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν θυγατέρων Ἀαρών, καὶ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτῆς Ἐλεισάβετ.

 

The first person that Luke introduced was Zechariah.  None of the other gospel writers mentioned Zechariah.  However, Luke placed him within a historical context.  This all this took place during the reign of King Herod of Judea (Ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Ἡρῴδου βασιλέως τῆς Ἰουδαίας).  Matthew, chapter 2:1-12, had mentioned King Herod and the intriguing story of the Magi.  King Herod the Great (74 BCE-1 CE) was the Roman client king of Judea.  In fact, the Roman Senate named him King of the Jews in 40 BCE.  He built many things during his reign, including expanding the Second Temple in Jerusalem.  At his death, his kingdom was divided among his children.  There was a prophet and book of Zechariah, chapter 1:1, who lived around 520 BCE.  However, this Zechariah here (τις ὀνόματι Ζαχαρίας) was a priest (ἱερεύς), probably in Jerusalem.  He belonged to the priestly division of Abijah (ἐξ ἐφημερίας Ἀβιά), which was the 8th of the 24 divisions of priests that served in the Temple as laid out in 1 Chronicles, chapter 24:7-19.  His wife was also a daughter or descendant of Aaron (καὶ γυνὴ αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν θυγατέρων Ἀαρών), a Levite or part of the priestly class.  She was called Elizabeth (καὶ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτῆς Ἐλεισάβετ).  Thus, the action of his gospel begins with the unique story of the Jerusalem Temple priest Zachariah and his Levite wife Elizabeth.  Some biblical scholars think that this infancy story, like the infancy story of Matthew, chapter 1:18-2:23, are later additions.  They are here, so I will deal with it.

The prophet (Mk 8:28-8:28)

“They answered him.

‘John the Baptist!’

Others say.

‘Elijah!’

Still others.

‘One of the prophets.’”

 

οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν, καὶ ἄλλοι Ἡλείαν, ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν.

 

This same response can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:14, and Luke, chapter 9:19, but there are slight differences.  Matthew is the only one who explicitly mentioned Jeremiah, who was a Judean prophet active from 626 BCE to 587 BCE, around the time of the destruction of the Temple.  Mark and Luke only had the more generic term of one of the prophets, rather than any individual prophet.  Mark said that the disciples responded to him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες) that some people said he was John the Baptist (ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν).  Others said Elijah (καὶ ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν).  This Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israel prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  Finally, other people said that he was one of the many prophets (ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν).  No one called him the Messiah or Christ.

Jesus and Elijah (Mk 6:15-6:15)

But others said.

‘He is Elijah.’

Still others said.

‘He is a prophet,

Like one of the prophets.”

 

ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἡλείας ἐστίν· ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον ὅτι προφήτης ὡς εἷς τῶν προφητῶν.

 

There is nothing like this in Matthew, but in Luke, chapter 9:8, there is something similar, almost word for word.  But others said (ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον) that Jesus was Elijah (ὅτι Ἡλείας ἐστίν).  Still others said (ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον) that he was a prophet, like the former prophets (ὅτι προφήτης ὡς εἷς τῶν προφητῶν).  Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israelite prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  There was no doubt that the role of Elijah dominated late Jewish thought at the time of Jesus, with his name appearing around John the Baptist, the transfiguration, and the death of Jesus.  The prophets were the holy men of the Old Testament who brought the word of Yahweh to his people.

The response of the disciples (Mt 16:14-16:14)

“They said.

‘Some say

John the Baptist!

But others say

Elijah!

Still others say

Jeremiah!

Or others say

One of the prophets!’”

 

οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Οἱ μὲν Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν, ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν, ἕτεροι δὲ Ἱερεμίαν ἢ ἕνα τῶν προφητῶν.

 

This same response can be found in Mark, chapter 8:28, and Luke, chapter 9:19, but there are slight differences.  Matthew is the only one who explicitly mention Jeremiah, who was a Judean prophet active from 626 BCE to 587 BCE, around the time of the destruction of the Temple.  You can find out more about him in the Book of Jeremiah, one of the 3 major prophetic books of the Old Testament.  Mark and Luke only had the more generic as here, “one of the prophets.”  The disciples responded (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν) that some people said John the Baptist (Οἱ μὲν Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν) was the Son of Man.  Others said Elijah (ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν) was the Son of Man.  This Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israel prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  Still others said that Jeremiah (ἕτεροι δὲ Ἱερεμίαν) was the Son of Man.  Finally, other people said that one of the many prophets (ἢ ἕνα τῶν προφητῶν) was the Son of Man.  No one mentioned Jesus.