Matthew 1 Commentary (Concise)
Matthew 1 Bible Commentary
Matthew 1 is the opening chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, which begins with a genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. This chapter provides a detailed account of the lineage of Jesus Christ, tracing his ancestry from Abraham through David to Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. In this commentary, we will examine the key themes and events in Matthew 1.
The chapter opens with the genealogy of Jesus Christ, which Matthew presents in three sets of fourteen generations. This genealogy establishes Jesus’ Jewish heritage and lineage, connecting him to Abraham and David, and thereby fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament. The genealogy also underscores the importance of Joseph’s role in Jesus’ earthly lineage, despite the fact that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father.
After the genealogy, Matthew provides an account of the events leading up to Jesus’ birth. He writes that Mary was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit, and that Joseph, her betrothed, had decided to divorce her quietly. However, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, assuring him that Mary’s pregnancy was a result of divine intervention and instructing him to take Mary as his wife.
The account of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is then presented, with the shepherds being visited by angels and told of the Messiah’s birth. This account emphasizes the miraculous nature of Jesus’ birth and the divine purpose behind his coming.
One of the key themes in Matthew 1 is the concept of fulfillment. Throughout the chapter, Matthew emphasizes how Jesus’ birth, life, and ministry fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. This is evident in the genealogy, which connects Jesus to the promises made to Abraham and David, and in the account of his birth, which fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14.
Another important theme in Matthew 1 is the role of women in salvation history. The chapter includes the names of several women in the genealogy, including Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba (who is referred to as Uriah’s wife). These women were all outsiders in some way – Tamar was a Canaanite, Rahab was a prostitute, Ruth was a Moabite, and Bathsheba was married to a Hittite. Yet they played important roles in God’s plan of salvation, serving as examples of faith and obedience.
The inclusion of these women in the genealogy is significant because it challenges the patriarchal norms of the time and underscores the importance of women in salvation history. It also demonstrates that God’s plan of salvation is not limited by human categories and expectations.
In addition to these themes, Matthew 1 also provides a powerful testimony to the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ. The genealogy traces Jesus’ lineage back to Abraham and David, establishing his human identity and connection to the Jewish people. At the same time, the account of his birth emphasizes his divine nature, with the Holy Spirit playing a central role in his conception and birth.
Matthew 1 sets the stage for the rest of the Gospel by establishing the identity and purpose of Jesus Christ. Through the genealogy and the account of his birth, Matthew emphasizes the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, the importance of women in salvation history, and the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ. These themes will continue to be developed throughout the rest of the Gospel, as Matthew presents a comprehensive picture of the life, teachings, and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 1 King James Version
1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; 8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; 9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; 10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; 11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; 13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; 16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.