Both the gospels of Matthew and Luke listed the family tree of Jesus. However, only David and Joseph were on both lists. These genealogies were theological statements with different parent genealogies and different audiences. Matthew, as just shown, went from Abraham to Jesus, so that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish messianic expectations. The theme of David was important, since Joseph was called the son of David. Matthew explained that there were 3 sections of 14 generations. One section went from the call of Abraham to the accession of David as king. The second grouping went from David to the Babylonian exile. The final section went from the Exile to the coming of the Messiah. Matthew also has the Magi story, where Herod’s appearance has echoes of the Old Testament with various references to Old Testament prophecies. The Gospel of Luke genealogy, on the hand, went from Jesus to Adam to God. Luke’s view was more universal. Jesus could trace his roots back to God. Luke, who had the best Greek, was writing for the gentiles of the Pauline Churches. The Son of God was a more meaningful term. Luke spoke of the Son of Adam, the second Adam, a theme that Paul also used. Jesus had both divine and human origins. This was not difficult for Greeks, since their gods were always having relations with humans in their mythical stories. Thus, there are two different genealogies for Joseph, with only one common person, David.
“The word of Yahweh
Came to Micah
In the days of Jotham,
Kings of Judah.
He saw things
As well as Jerusalem.”
In typical prophetic fashion, the word of Yahweh came to Micah. Instead of listing his father, this work mentions where he was from, the town of Moresheth, a small town southwest of Jerusalem. He prophesized during the reigns of the southern kings of Judah, King Jotham (740-736 BCE), King Ahaz (736-716 BCE), and King Hezekiah (716-687 BCE), after the time of Isaiah and right in the middle of the exile of the northern kingdom of Israel. His prophecies were about Samaria and Jerusalem, the cities and their surrounding areas. This was a pretty straight forward title with enough information about the prophet Micah.
“Thus says Yahweh.
‘What wrong did your ancestors
Find in me?
They went far from me.
They went after worthless things.
They became worthless themselves.
They did not say.
‘Where is Yahweh?
He brought us up
From the land of Egypt.
He led us in the wilderness.
He led us in a land of deserts.
He led us in a land of pits.
He led us in a land of drought.
He led us in a land of deep darkness.
He led us in a land that no one passes through.
He led us in a land where no man dwells.’
I brought you into a plentiful land.
I brought you to eat its fruits.
I brought you to eat its good things.
But when you entered,
You defiled my land.
You made my heritage an abomination.
The priests did not say.
‘Where is Yahweh?’
Those who handle the law
Did not know me.
The rulers transgressed against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal.
They went after things that do not profit.”
Jeremiah has Yahweh complain about their ancestors. Why did they go far from Yahweh, going after worthless things, so that they themselves became worthless? They seem to have forgotten that Yahweh led them out of Egypt through the desert wilderness with its pits, drought, and darkness. Very few people were able to make it through the lifeless wilderness. He brought them into a wonderful plentiful land that had many fruits to eat. However, as soon as they entered the land, they defiled it and made his heritage an abomination. The priests did not know Yahweh and follow his laws. The rulers transgressed the laws of Yahweh. The prophets used prophecies by the pagan gods of Baal. They all went after unprofitable and unproductive things.
“Samuel was beloved by his Lord.
He was a prophet of the Lord.
He established the kingdom.
He anointed rulers over his people.
By the law of the Lord
He judged the congregation.
The Lord watched over Jacob.
By his faithfulness,
He proved to be a prophet.
By his words,
He became known as a trustworthy seer.
He called upon the Lord,
The Mighty One,
When his enemies
Pressed him on every side.
He offered in sacrifice
A sucking lamb.
Then the Lord thundered from heaven.
He made his voice heard
With a mighty sound.
He subdued the leaders of the enemy
He subdued all the rulers of the Philistines.
Before the time of his eternal sleep,
Samuel bore witness before the Lord.
Samuel bore witness before his anointed.
Not so much as a pair of shoes,
Have I taken from anyone!’
No one accused him.
Even after he had fallen asleep,
He made known to the king his death.
He lifted up his voice from the ground.
He wanted to blot out
The wickedness of the people.”
Next Sirach praises Samuel, the prophet who was a judge and founder of the monarchy. There is a Hebrew biblical book called Samuel that was later divided into 2 parts. He was a beloved trustworthy faithful prophet. He called upon the Lord when the enemies surrounded him. He offered a sacrifice of a lamb. He defeated the enemies at Tyre and the Philistines. Samuel anointed 2 kings, Saul and David. He never took any property from anyone, not even a pair of shoes. Even after his death, prophecies from the grave came to the king. He continually wanted to blot out the wickedness of his people.
“When he was about to die, he called his son Tobias and the seven sons of Tobias. He gave them his command.
‘My son, take your children and hurry off to Media.
I believe the word of God that Nahum spoke about Nineveh.
All these things will take place and overtake Assyria and Nineveh.
Everything that was spoken by the prophets of Israel,
Whom God sent,
None of their words will fail.
All will come true at their appointed times.
It will be safer in Media than in Assyria and Babylon.
I know and believe that whatever God has said
Will be fulfilled
And will come true.
Not a single word of the prophecies will fail.
All our kindred,
Inhabitants of the land of Israel,
Will be scattered.
They will be taken as captives from the good land.
The whole land of Israel,
Even Samaria and Jerusalem,
Will be desolate.
The temple of God in it will be burned to the ground.
It will be desolate for a while.’”
As Tobit was about to die, he called his son Tobias and his 7 grandchildren. See the number 7 again. He told them to go to Media because there was going to be trouble in Nineveh. Tobit believed in all prophets and how valuable their prophecies were. He was a strong believer in the prophets proclaiming the word of God. He even said that not a single word of the prophecies would fail. Nahum was considered a minor prophet of the 7th century that he would have known. Nahum saw the destruction of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, but he predicted the downfall of Nineveh, which of course led to the ascent of the Persians. Tobit here also predicted the ruin of both the north and south in Israel, including Jerusalem and also the Temple itself. There would be desolation.