Explanation of the genealogy of Jesus (Mt 1:17-1:17)

“Thus,

All the generations

From Abraham

To David

Were fourteen generations.

All the generations

From David

To the deportation to Babylon

Were fourteen generations.

All the generations

From the deportation to Babylon

To the Christ

Were fourteen generations.”

 

Πᾶσαι οὖν αἱ γενεαὶ ἀπὸ Ἀβραὰμ ἕως Δαυεὶδ γενεαὶ δεκατέσσαρες, καὶ ἀπὸ Δαυεὶδ ἕως τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος γενεαὶ δεκατέσσαρες, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος ἕως τοῦ Χριστοῦ γενεαὶ δεκατέσσαρες.

 

Matthew then explained his genealogy. He had a fascination with the number 14 (δεκατέσσαρες). The first group from Abraham to David (ἀπὸ Ἀβραὰμ ἕως Δαυεὶδ) was 14 generations (γενεαὶ δεκατέσσαρες). The second group from David to the deportation to Babylon (ἀπὸ Δαυεὶδ ἕως τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος) was 14 generations (γενεαὶ δεκατέσσαρες). Then the final group from the Babylonian captivity to the Christ (ἀπὸ τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος ἕως τοῦ Χριστοῦ) was 14 generations (γενεαὶ δεκατέσσαρες). 14 was the numerical value of the 3 consonant Hebrew letters of David (Dalet Vav Dalet). 14 was also double 7, or a lucky number. To make this work, Matthew had to drop a number of kings from David to the captivity. Finally, he was one short with only 13 between the captivity and Joseph.

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