Redeemed Day 15 The Face Of Redemption: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) What is important about the five women listed in the genealogy of Jesus?

Is there significance to the fact that there are 14 generations from Abraham to David, from David to the exile to Babylon, and from the exile to Jesus?

3) Why is it important to notice the genealogy of the Messiah?

Matthew 1:1-17

1 An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
2 Abraham fathered Isaac,
Isaac fathered Jacob,
Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar,
Perez fathered Hezron,
Hezron fathered Aram,
4 Aram fathered Amminadab,
Amminadab fathered Nahshon,
Nahshon fathered Salmon,
5 Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab,
Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth,
Obed fathered Jesse,
6 and Jesse fathered King David.
From David to the Babylonian Exile
David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon fathered Rehoboam,
Rehoboam fathered Abijah,
Abijah fathered Asa,
8 Asa fathered Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat fathered Joram,
Joram fathered Uzziah,
9 Uzziah fathered Jotham,
Jotham fathered Ahaz,
Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah fathered Manasseh,
Manasseh fathered Amon,
Amon fathered Josiah,
11 and Josiah fathered Jeconiah and his brothers
at the time of the exile to Babylon.
From the Exile to the Messiah
12 After the exile to Babylon
Jeconiah fathered Shealtiel,
Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel fathered Abiud,
Abiud fathered Eliakim,
Eliakim fathered Azor,
14 Azor fathered Zadok,
Zadok fathered Achim,
Achim fathered Eliud,
15 Eliud fathered Eleazar,
Eleazar fathered Matthan,
Matthan fathered Jacob,
16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Messiah. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Messiah, fourteen generations.

Original Intent

1) What is important about the five women listed in the genealogy of Jesus?
Matthew 1:1-17 lists the lineage of Christ Jesus, the Messiah. Messiah is the Jewish title for the One who would come to save God’s people. He was promised to come from God from the very beginning of time in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned. Author Subby Szterskzy explains, “In the ancient world, genealogies served a vital function, confirming the legal status of important persons.”  Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, however, is not typical of the day. According to writer Bert Newton, “The normal pattern traces an exclusively male lineage, as was the custom in the highly patriarchal society of the first-century Mediterranean world.” Matthew, however, lists five different women who were part of Jesus’ family.  The first one, Tamar, procured the provision promised to her by her father in law, Judah, by tricking him into impregnating her.  When her pregnancy was discovered, Judah acknowledged she was more righteous than he. Author Nell Sunukjian asserts, “Matthew acknowledges Tamar’s rights by including her in the Messiah’s genealogy. The Lion of the tribe of Judah needed this determined woman to form his earthly genealogy.”  The second woman, the prostitute Rahab, was a woman full of faith in God.  Author Bert Newton suggests, “Matthew here prepares the reader for the kind of people Jesus will locate Himself among, sinners and outcasts, the people from whom the kingdom of God will emerge.” Ruth, a Moabite woman, is another woman in Christ’s lineage. Subby Szterskzy  writes that Ruth’s “place in the Lord’s ancestry speaks volumes about God’s kindness in redeeming outsiders, and the joy which that redemption brings.”  Bathsheba is another woman in Christ’s heritage, but she is referred to as “Uriah’s wife.”  Author Jennifer Stasak believes “We can learn from Bathsheba that faith is often a result of ordinary people obeying God in spite of their circumstances. Her story teaches us that our lives will not always go according to plan. Unexpected circumstances will arrive, but God is constantly and sovereignly working through those in order to bring about plans that are bigger than us.” Jesus’s mother, Mary, is listed a bit differently than the other women.  We read, Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Messiah.”  This time Joseph is not listed as the father of Jesus, but Mary is listed as the mother. It was an extraordinary way to end a genealogy of that time, resting on the shoulders of a woman, but it was the perfect way to herald the Son of God, born of woman but fully Divine. God used all five of these imperfect, broken, faithful women to bring forth His Son and reveal to everyone that He came to redeem people like his family member, all outcasts and sinners, all in need of a Savior.

Is there significance to the fact that there are 14 generations from Abraham to David, from David to the exile to Babylon, and from the exile to Jesus?
Matthew 1:17 states that the genealogy list in the preceding verses cover the 14 generations from Abraham to David, the 14 generations from David to the Babylonian exile, and the 14 generations from the exile to the Messiah. However, according to author R. C. Sproul, this covers “a span of about five hundred years versus the two thousand years that really intervened. It is common for biblical writers to omit names in ancestry lists. . .”   Sproul also notes that “David is spelled dwd in Hebrew consonants, which is equivalent to the number fourteen (four plus six plus four). Thus, Matthew’s focus on fourteen generations also emphasizes Jesus’ kingly role as the Son of David.” Another reason for the sets of 14s, according to author John Walvoord, was to provide “literary symmetry.”   Walvoord also points out “a further problem appears because the last section has actually only thirteen names. Complicated explanations are not wanting. Suggested answers include a textual omission of Jehoiakim or the possibility that Jesus is considered the fourteenth.”  Citing a simpler explanation, David Guzik reasons “Matthew made it clear that this genealogy is not complete. There were not actually 14 generations between the landmarks he indicates, but Matthew edited the list down to make it easy to remember and memorize.”  While Matthew’s history does not record every ancestor from Abraham to Jesus, it does cover the most important fathers (and some of the mothers, which is rare for a Jewish lineage.) However, his account does differ from the lineage of Jesus we find in the book of Luke. After the two lines get to David, they diverge.  Many scholars conclude, as John Kitto does, that “one of these genealogies is that of Joseph, and the other that of his wife Mary,—both lines being preserved to show definitely, that Jesus was, in the most full and perfect sense, a descendant of David; not only by law in the royal line of kings through his reputed father, but by direct personal descent through his mother.”  It is fascinating to see how God was planning for the redemption story of Jesus even back in the days of Abraham, setting in motion the generations that would produce the Son of David, Lion of Judah, King of all Kings!

3) Why is it important to notice the genealogy of the Messiah?
Matthew takes great care to describe for us the lineage of the Messiah in Matthew 1:1-17.  Luke does the same thing, tracing the line from King David’s son, Nathan, rather than from Solomon as Matthew does. Subby Szterskzy explains, “the genealogy of Jesus forms an integral part of His nativity story. It establishes His credentials as the heir of David, and therefore as the true king of Israel, and of the entire world.” Old Testament prophecies foretold how the Messiah would be the “seed of David.” It was imperative to be able to trace the line of anyone thought to be the Messiah back to the line of King David. Some scholars argue that Luke’s genealogy shows Mary’s relationship to the Davidic line. If this is true, then both New Testament genealogies show how Jesus is part of the Messianic line through each parent, though there is some belief that Joseph could not be a true heir to the throne because he was an heir of Jeconiah, and no descendant of his could sit on the throne of Israel.  This is perfectly fitting, according to author Arnold Fruchtenbaum, who notes that “Since he was to have no human father, his nationality and his tribal identity would come entirely from his mother. True, this is contrary to the norm, but so is a virgin birth. With the Messiah, things would be different.” Everything about the Messiah was unexpected, even though the prophecies foretold His virgin birth, His sacrificial death, and the proof to His claim to the throne. People were looking for a mighty King and a government in their midst who would save them from their circumstances, not a humble Savior who would save them from their sins.

Everyday Application

1) What is important about the five women listed in the genealogy of Jesus?
My kitchen window is lined with blue mason jars, most of which belonged to my two grandmothers and my great-grandmother.  Seeing them every day makes me think about the food they canned for our families and how they were likely taught the skill by their own mothers.  When I put up tomatoes or apple sauce in jars I inherited from them, I feel a deep connection to my past and remember all the good times in their kitchens and around their tables. It makes me agree with the psalmist that I have a beautiful inheritance! Jesus also had important women in His family tree. (Matthew 1:1-17) These women were not who you might expect to find in the Messiah’s lineage.  As author Nell Sunukjian points out, “One might suppose the women in Jesus’ genealogy should have all been the finest Jewish women, but they weren’t. Most weren’t even Jewish at all.” Sunukjian goes on to explain the women in Jesus’ family “were women just like us: ordinary, tarnished by sin, unlikely to shape the course of history. They are in the Savior’s genealogy to give us hope, and to foreshadow the kind of people Jesus the Messiah came to save.”  It is very encouraging to me that Jesus’ lineage included imperfect, ordinary women who made mistakes, were misunderstood, were brave in the face of adversity, and faithful to God’s call. It is a beautiful part of God’s story that He redeemed these women who would become a part of the Redeemer’s heritage.  I love how He inscribed their life stories into the permanent record of the ancestry of Christ.  He didn’t need to include them as very few other ancestral lines mention women.  As writer C. Jeanne Serrão notes, “Even where society did not encourage the inclusion of females in genealogies, the faith of these women was so strong they burst out of the confines of socially accepted silence. God is able to take those who appear insignificant, unlikely to succeed, and transform them into important witnesses to the power of God!” I am so thankful for the inclusion of these women in the history of Jesus, because their lives bear witness to the redemptive love of God.

2) Is there significance to the fact that there are 14 generations from Abraham to David, from David to the exile to Babylon, and from the exile to Jesus?
Learning about your family tree today is a pretty simple task for many people.  You can easily find records online, and research genealogists can track down ancestors when your own sleuthing hits a dead end.  Of course, there are DNA tests to help you pinpoint the part of the world where your ancestors originated. I remember my grandmother pouring over a machine-typed, hand-bound book of ancestors some dutiful cousin painstakingly compiled and printed. It started with two people a few hundred years ago and ended with my generation a hundred or so pages later. Genealogy was even more important to people in ancient times, even though keeping and maintaining records was laborious.  Author Ray Pritchard explains that Jewish leaders kept good records of genealogy to know what land belonged to which tribes and who could be a priest or sit on the throne.  Even though meticulous genealogy records were kept, it was not uncommon to skip some unnecessary information.  Spiros Zodhiates comments how “Matthew divides the genealogy of Jesus into three divisions (with various omissions, since Jewish genealogies generally listed only prominent individuals). . .The intervening fourteen generations in each period are loosely and purposefully calculated to reach the time when [Jesus] entered verifiable history. This may have been arranged for the purpose of easy memorization, since few books were available at that time.” The information about heritage many people have at their fingertips today was difficult to organize for Jewish leaders, but vital to tribal business and, most importantly, to determining the claims of the Messiah, who would come from David’s line.  This paper trail from Abraham to Mary and Joseph is fascinating because it leads us to the promised Savior!

3) Why is it important to notice the genealogy of the Messiah?
I am admittedly a skim reader of the “begat” portions of Scripture. I see all those lines delineating who is whose son, and I lose interest immediately. They may be necessary, but they don’t inspire me when I spend time in God’s Word. However, I’ve learned how the Lord can speak to us even through genealogies. When we look at the family tree of Jesus, we see people and stories similar to our own.  As writer Jennifer Stasak explains, “Jesus came from a family filled with unlikely people, including outcasts and harlots. Through this, Jesus tells us He celebrates and loves the unlikely people — ones He can turn into unlikely heroes. After all, they’re His family.”  The reality of Jesus’ lineage of broken people (prostitutes, adulterers, outcasts, outsiders) gives me hope for myself and my own line of misfits and square pegs. God planned the heritage of His Son, and He purposefully included people in need of a Savior.  Jesus’ relatives were not perfect and did not have it all together.  They had the same problems and made the same mistakes we all do.  Yet, God chose them to give humanity to the Son of Man.  In much the same way, God chooses us to be His beloved children and carry out His will.  He calls us not to be perfect, but willing to obey His voice and become more like Him. Pastor John Piper notes that “even in the genealogies God weaves His grace. He loves to redeem sinners. He loves to produce something beautiful out of sordid family backgrounds. He loves to make foreigners His children. He loves to reconcile His enemies.” I never expected to find inspiration in biblical family lines, but it is there! I am encouraged that God uses broken people like the ones in Jesus’ heritage and that nothing about our lives or our stories is too insignificant for God to notice or use!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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