In Matthew 1.11 the genealogy of Jesus ends at the Babylonian exile (ἐπὶ τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος). In v. 12 it seems to resume after the exile (Μετὰ δὲ τὴν μετοικεσίαν Βαβυλῶνος). I know that it has been postulated that Matthew frames his genealogy in three sets of fourteen generations because the numerology of dalet-vav-dalet (for David) equals fourteen when added together and it is proposed that Matthew wanted his audience to recognize the symbolism (of course, this encounters the hurdle of the gospel being written in Greek, not Hebrew).
Did the three sets necessitate the ignoring of the generation in Babylon? Why ignore them or do you think it could still be interpreted as including them?
Compare [Matthew 1:6-16] with the source genealogy [1 Chronicles 3] (remembering that there is a slight change of spelling directly from the Hebrew vs from the Greek):
Matthew arrives at Joram but then skips to Uzziah. This genealogy is thought to derive from the Septuagint which was a Greek translation of the Hebrew. In Hebrew, father is אב (‘ab H1), but so is grand-father, great-grand-father etc. So אב (‘ab H1) would be any male relative further back in the genealogy. This reading (in Hebrew) is legitimate as long as Joram was indeed an ancestor of Uzziah; and conveniently leaves the genealogy at 14, twice 7, equal to David’s name (D=4 and V=6 thus DVD = 4+6+4=14). The legitimacy of this genealogy is lost in the translation to the Greek, and would not be
imperfect in Hebrew/Aramaic.
However, [1 Chron 3] which is more historically precise, records the missing pieces;
Joram (or Jehoram) begat Ahaziah ( or Ahaziah) [1 Chron 3;11]
Ahaziah begat Joash (or Jehoash) [1 Chron 3:11]
Joash begat Amaziah [1 Chron 3:12]
Amaziah begat Azariah (Uzziah) [1 Chron 3:12]
Personally, having a genealogy of 14 is plausible (as a motivation), but if there is a problem with the Matthew genealogy, it is that we are reading it from the Greek rather than from the original Hebrew/Aramaic where it would appear legitimate.
Yes, adding the missing names to Matthew is legitimate.
Matthew frames his genealogy so that the present generation (the one reading his gospel) sees that they themselves are currently under the Babylonian exile. His point is that the exile isn’t yet complete, but is ongoing.
Furthermore, don’t focus so much on the three fourteens as you should on the six sets of seven–building anticipation for the seventh seven, Christ, the fulfillment of all God plans to do for Israel.
Christ is then established (in Matthew’s framework) as the new Moses who will lead God’s people on their new Exodus out from exile.
@JM: What is the purpose for framing his genealogy in such a way that it seems to skip the exile if the point is that exile continues? Or do you think he includes the generations of the exile?
Maybe I’m missing something, but there’s no break in the begettings between v.11 and v.12, so there’s no special exile generation that’s being ignored.
Stephen: That is part of what I am asking. Does Matthew’s language insinuate his second category goes until the exile and his third category begins after the exile or does he include the exile generation?
To be more clear does ἐπὶ τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος indicate that he was ending this section at the beginning of the exile or does it include the entire time of the exile?
The key to understanding the sections of the genealogy is Matt 1:17. That’s where he lays out his logic, so follow what it says.
There are fourteen generations from David to the exile. Count out fourteen names, starting with David; this set ends with Josiah. There are fourteen generations from the exile to Christ. Count out fourteen names, so that you end up with Christ; this set began with Jechoniah.
I see what your saying. Jeconiah functions as the obvious sign that Matthew is speaking of the beginning of the exile, not the exile itself. It seems rather obvious now!
I confess, I was a little confused by your original post as well 🙂 –but that being clarified, the exile (for Matthew) seems to be in continuous effect (as per my first comment). There are other evidences that point to this in the early chapters of Matthew as well.
I wrote it early in the morning! 🙂
And you’re right, it would make better sense of your construct to see section three (of five/six) as part of the continual exile.
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