The son of David (Lk 3:31-3:31)

“The son of Melea,

The son of Menna,

The son of Mattatha,

The son of Nathan,

The son of David.”

 

τοῦ Μελεὰ τοῦ Μεννὰ τοῦ Ματταθὰ τοῦ Ναθὰμ τοῦ Δαυεὶδ

 

Once again, these genealogies of Matthew and Luke converge with the name of David.  However, they both have different sons of David for their lineage.  Matthew, chapter 1:6-8, has Solomon, while Luke has Nathan.  King David had 6 sons while living in Hebron for a little over 7 years, based on 2 Samuel, chapter 3.  Each son had a different mother.  After King David moved to Jerusalem, he had some more wives and concubines.  Altogether, David had at least 20 named children, as indicated in 2 Samuel, chapter 13.  Shimea or Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon (Σολομῶνα), were the 4 sons of him and Bathsheba.  Solomon followed David to the throne as king, because of the intrigues of his mother Bathsheba, as found in 1 Kings, chapters 1-2.  I Chronicles, chapter 3, lists the kings of Judah, based on 1 Kings and 2 Kings.  Based on those 2 books, there was no disruption in the lineage of David via Solomon to all the kings of Judah before the Exile, since there were no revolutions in the southern kingdom of Judah.  However, Luke’s Nathan never became a king.  Luke listed the genealogy as the son of Melea (τοῦ Μελεὰ), the son of Menna (τοῦ Μεννὰ), the son of Mattatha (τοῦ Ματταθὰ), the son of Nathan (τοῦ Ματταθὰ), the son of David (τοῦ Δαυεὶδ).

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Prologue

This Gospel of Matthew has a prologue with five parts that echo the book of Genesis.  First, there was the genealogy of Jesus via Joseph that began with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Then this genealogy went through the twin sons of Judah and the descendants of Perez.  Then it went from Ruth to King David.  Then there was the kings of Judah from Solomon to the gap and up to and including the Babylonian captivity.  Finally, there were the unknown names in this genealogy that led up to Joseph and his father.  Matthew then explained the genealogy of Jesus, since there were differences of this genealogy with that of the Gospel of Luke.

The second part of this prologue was the virgin birth of Jesus.  First of all, there was the conception of Jesus from Joseph’s point of view, not Mary’s.  Joseph wanted to divorce Mary for being pregnant until an angel in a dream told him that Jesus would be a special child that fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah.  After waking up from his dream, there was the virgin birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

The third part of this prologue was the visit of the Magi.  They brought their questions to Herod the Judean Roman king, who was annoyed and frightened.  He found out that Bethlehem was described by the prophet Micah as the place where the Messiah would be born.  Herod summoned the Magi and sent them to Bethlehem.  The Magi followed the star and found Mary with the child at the so-called Epiphany.  However, they went home another route so that they did not go back to King Herod.

The fourth part was the flight into Egypt, as Joseph had another dream.  They went to Egypt to fulfill another prophecy that the Messiah would come out of Egypt.  Meanwhile, King Herod killed all the under two-year old boys in the Bethlehem area as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah.

Finally, the fifth part of the prologue was the return of Jesus to Nazareth when Joseph had a third dream.  He was told to return to Israel, or more specifically to Galilee in a place called Nazareth.  Thus, this prologue gave the unique perspective of Joseph.

The kings of Judah from Solomon to the gap (Mt 1:7-1:8)

“Solomon was

The father of Rehoboam.

Rehoboam was

The father of Abijah.

Abijah was

The father of Asaph.

Asaph was

The father of Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat was

The father of Joram.”

 

Σολομὼν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ῥοβοάμ, Ῥοβοὰμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀβιά, Ἀβιὰ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀσάφ, Ἀσὰφ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωσαφάτ, Ἰωσαφὰτ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωράμ.

I Chronicles, chapter 3 lists the kings of Judah, based on 1 Kings and 2 Kings.  Based on those 2 books, there was no disruption in the lineage of David via Solomon to all the kings of Judah before the Exile, since there were no revolutions in the southern kingdom of Judah.  The son of Solomon (Σολομὼν) was Rehoboam (Ῥοβοάμ) who ruled from about 931-913 BCE.  His son Abijah (Ἀβιά,) or Abijam ruled from about 913-911 BCE.  His son Asaph (Ἀσάφ) or Asa ruled from about 911-870 BCE.  His son Jehoshaphat (Ἰωσαφάτ) ruled from about 870-848 BCE.  His son Joram (Ἰωράμ) or Jehoram ruled from about 848-841 BCE.  The Greek text used the term “begat” (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between these 5 men.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”  Now there was a gap in this genealogy from 841-781 BCE, since there was no mention of Ahaziah, Azariah or Jehoahaz who only ruled for less than a year in 741 BCE.  Actually, his mother Athaliah, ruled for about 6 years until her grandson Joash or Jehoash ruled from about 835-796 BCE.  Joash’s son, Amaziah ruled from about 796-781 BCE.  Perhaps this gap in the chronology of the kings was done to keep the numbers down to 14.

The title of Hosea (Hos 1:1-1:1)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to Hosea,

The son of Beeri.

This was in the days

Of King Uzziah,

Of King Jotham,

Of King Ahaz,

Of King Hezekiah,

Kings of Judah.

This was in the days

Of King Jeroboam.

The son of Joash,

The king of Israel.”

Hosea was a prophet during the last days of the kingdom of Israel in the 8th century BCE. He also was the earliest Israelite written prophet that we know of. This work of Hosea is considered the first of the 12 minor prophets. In a classic prophetic phrase, the word of Yahweh came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, who may have been a prophet himself. At that time, the kings of Judah were King Uzziah (781-740 BCE), King Jotham (740-736 BCE), King Ahaz (736-716 BCE), and King Hezekiah (716-687 BCE), spanning nearly 100 years. Meanwhile, the king of Israel mentioned here was only King Jeroboam II (783-743 BCE), the son of King Joash (798-783 BCE). That would eliminate all the Judean kings after King Uzziah. The last 4 kings of Israel were King Menahem, (743-738 BCE), King Pekahiah (738-737 BCE), King Pekah (737-732 BCE), and King Hoshea (732-724 BCE), but they were not mentioned here.

My Understanding of 2 Chronicles

Obviously, this book follows 1 Chronicles. Most of the information here is based on the 2 books of Kings. Basically this book tells the story of King Solomon and all his wonderful deeds with the emphasis on the building of the Temple. Upon his death, the breakup of Israel into Judah and Israel occurred. However, instead of following both kingdoms as in 2 Kings, this book concentrates on Judah only. The only mention about Israel was when there was an intersection of actions between the two kingdoms. 2 Chronicles is obviously a post-exilic book.

King Solomon established his kingdom. God then appeared to King Solomon to grant him his wish to be wise. King Solomon began preparations for building the Temple. He worked with King Huram of Tyre to get wood, labor, and other materials. The Temple was to be built where King David had built an altar. In fact, the Temple was not that big, about the quarter size of an American football field. However, it had gold ornamentation lining all over it with the most holy place with the gold cherubim. In front of the Temple was a square bronze altar. Off to the side was a bronze sea, or mini-swimming pool, with ten bronze basins. King Solomon finished the Temple with many bronze and golden works. Finally, he brought all the treasures to the Temple.

Once completed, there was a great assembly in Jerusalem. They celebrated the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant. Yahweh took possession of his Temple as the glory of Yahweh appeared in the Temple. There were great sacrifices at the feast of the dedication of the Temple. They consecrated the Temple courts during this festival that lasted eight days. Nevertheless, Yahweh warned about the future destruction of the Temple.

The great prayer of King Solomon followed as he blessed the people. He spoke to them from a bronze square platform. This was a personal prayer of King Solomon, his prayer for the new Temple, for sinners, for defeated Israelites, and for rain. He had a special prayer for bad times, foreigners, and in the time of war. He even prayed for exiled sinners as he concluded his great prayer.

King Solomon rebuilt many cities using slave labor. He was a great builder.  The Egyptian Pharaoh’s daughter was the wife of King Solomon. The king himself would offer Temple sacrifices. The Queen of Sheba visited him with many gifts. She had heard of his great wisdom, which far exceeded her expectations. He in turn gave her gifts. King Solomon had a lot of gold including all gold drinking cups, as he was extremely wealthy. He made a couple of hundred gold shields. He sat on a golden ivory throne. He had a fleet of ships that brought him gold. Everyone gave him presents for his great wisdom. He ruled from the Euphrates River to Egypt, until he died without any fanfare.

At the death of King Solomon, his forty-one year old son Rehoboam succeeded him without any dispute among Solomon’s children. However, there was a major split among the Israelites, since Yahweh was not pleased with King Solomon. At a meeting at Shechem, King Rehoboam told Jeroboam, chosen by the prophet Ahijah to rule over Israel except for Judah, that he needed three days to make a decision. After consulting with the older counselors and the young counselors, King Rehoboam took the advice of the young ones who said to be tough with these Israelites. The response of northern Israel was swift. They killed the leader that King Rehoboam sent to oversee them.

King Rehoboam then went back to Jerusalem to gather a great army from Judah and Benjamin. However, Yahweh said that he wanted this separation between Judah and Israel to remain because of the sins of his father King Solomon. This separation of Judah from the rest of Israel remained in place until after the captivity of Babylon. Thus King Rehoboam failed to put down the northern revolt. Instead he fortified the cities in Judah. He reorganized the priests and Levites. However, he too was unfaithful to Yahweh, so that the king of Egypt attacked him. He took the King Solomon treasures from Jerusalem, but the city was saved, a major theme of this work.

King Abijah, unlike his father King Rehoboam, went to war with the king of Israel in the north, King Jeroboam. King Abijah defended Yahweh worship and had a victorious battle over King Jeroboam. Nevertheless, there was no reunion of Judah and Israel.

King Asa, the son of King Abijah ruled for forty-one years and once again fortified the cities in Judah. He suffered an invasion from Zerah the Ethiopian in the south. Despite great odds against him, the great prayer of King Asa meant that Yahweh defeated the Ethiopians. The prophecy of Azariah told about the downfall of Judah. The monotheistic worship of Yahweh was established in Judah with a death threat to those who did not worship Yahweh. However, Queen mother Maacah was opposed to Yahweh worship. Then King Asa had a dispute with King Baasha of Israel. Finally, Hanani the prophet came to see King Asa before he died.

King Jehoshaphat, the son of King Asa, ruled Judah for twenty-two years. He had a great concern for the law of Yahweh as he sent missionaries to instruct the people. He also grew stronger with a great army as he made an alliance with King Ahab of Israel. Then there was the classic scene with the prophets of Jezebel versus the prophet of Yahweh, Micaiah. After this, the two kings went out to fight the Arameans at Ramoth-gilead, where King Ahab died. King Jehoshaphat returned safe to Jerusalem, where he set up judges in Judah and Jerusalem. He was then attacked from the southeast. However, King Jehoshaphat sought the help of Yahweh with a prayer against the invaders. Yahweh responded via a prophet on how to attack the invaders. The king was successful and returned with the booty and spoils of the battle.

After his death, King Jehoram, his son, took over. Then, he promptly killed his brothers. Meanwhile southern Edom had revolted. God punished King Jehoram with a terrible bowel disease before he died.

King Ahaziah succeeded his father. He joined with King Jehoram of Israel to do battle, but was killed by the Israelite King Jehu.

With the death of King Ahaziah, Queen Athaliah killed all the other heirs to the throne, including her own children. The clergy rose up against Queen Athaliah. They stole one of the young heirs named Joash and made him king at the age of seven. Led by the priest Jehoiada, they killed the queen.

King Joash led a reform and reorganization of the Temple worship. He restored the Temple via money collections for the Temple. However, after the death of the priest Jehoiada, King Joash allowed idol worship. In fact, King Joash killed the son of the priest Jehoiada. He too had a war with the Arameans before he died.

King Amaziah killed the murders of this father. He assembled a great army and led a successful Edomite campaign. Then the northern Ephraimites attacked the border towns of Judah. King Amaziah worshiped foreign gods. He also exchanged words with the king of Israel. Then Israel attacked and defeated Judah as King Amaziah died.

His son, King Uzziah ruled for forty-one years. He was a fighter, a builder, and a farmer. He had a great army but he was struck with leprosy because he himself went into the Temple rather than let his priests offer the sacrifices. His son King Jotham ruled while he was still alive. He had to be buried in a separate place because of his leprosy. King Jotham, his son, was also a builder and a fighter as he defeated the Ammonites, but he only ruled by himself for four years.

While King Ahaz, the son of King Jotham, was ruling, there was a northern invasion by Israel. The prophet Oded warned King Ahaz. After the defeat, the men of Ephraim took sympathy on the men of Judah and released them from the Israelite captivity. King Ahaz was also under attack from Assyria. Finally the unfaithful King Ahaz died.

The restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple took place under King Hezekiah, who ruled for twenty-nine years. He re-opened the Temple. He gave a stirring speech to the Levites so that they then began the sanctification of the Temple. Once it was ready, the sacrifices and celebrations at the Temple began. They had a huge Passover celebration. King Hezekiah even invited the northern tribes to come but they refused. He set about to reform the worship and the clergy as he reinstituted tithing. He set up storage place for the gifts in the Temple. He took a census to find out how many priests and Levites there were. He obviously was successful and wealthy. However, he was invaded by King Sennacherib of Assyria, who insulted Yahweh. When King Hezekiah prayed, his prayers were heard as the Assyrians were defeated. The Assyrian king went home and was killed by his sons. King Hezekiah got sick, so the prophet Isaiah came to help him. Finally King Hezekiah died with great honors.

After the death of King Hezekiah, his son King Manasseh ruled for forty-five years. He destroyed most of his father’s great work by desecrating the Temple in Jerusalem. After he was captured by the Babylonians, he humbly turned to Yahweh. For some unknown reason, he was then released from captivity and restored the Yahweh worship. At his death, King Amon, his son, ruled for two years, but he was an evil king.

Finally King Josiah, at the age eight, began to rule Judah for thirty-nine years. He brought about many religious reforms including the restoration of the Temple. During this process of repairing the Temple, the high priest Hilkiah discovered the lost Book of the Law, probably Deuteronomy. King Josiah read the book and wanted to know what it meant. He sent his men to the female prophet Huldah. She responded that there should be a renewal of the covenant. Thus they had a great Passover feast like the one King Hezekiah had.

Then King Neco of Egypt invaded Judah and killed King Josiah in battle. King Neco then established a series of kings of Judah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah until they rebelled. Then he would send them off to captivity. The whole country was unfaithful. Finally, the Babylonian captivity came about with the capture and destruction of Jerusalem. This captivity lasted until King Cyrus of Persia sent them back to rebuild the Temple. The end of 2 Chronicles is the same as the beginning of Ezra, which had led many to believe it was the same author.