The Clear Word 

A Ministry Of Mid-State Ministries  

 

MATTHEW CHAPTER ONE

 

MATTHEW 1:1


The genealogies of Matthew Chapter 1 gives us the answer to a very important question.  That being, what is the times laps of a Biblical Generation?
 
In the Old Testament, Numbers 32:13 & Psalms 95:10, have led many to believe that a Biblical Generation is forty years in duration. 
 
Numbers 32:13...And the LORD's anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.
 
Psalms 95:10...Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
 
These two verses do not discuss generations.  These two verses discuss life spans. 
 
However, Matthew Chapter 1 may give us new insight which would make a generational calculation much more accurate.
 
Notice that in Matthew 1:1 & 2, that the genealogical count of years begins with Abraham.  And that in Matthew 1:18, the genealogical count ends with the birth of Jesus Christ.
 
When doing the calculation of years, we see that from Abraham to Jesus is a total of two thousand, one hundred, sixty one years.
 
Then in Matthew 1:17 that the genealogical distance from Abraham to Jesus is broken down to three sets of fourteen for a total of forty two generations.  When one takes the two thousand, one hundred, sixty one years from Abraham to Jesus, and divides it by the forty two generations from Abraham to Jesus, you will come to fifty one years, six months, or round it off to fifty two years. 
 
Upon using the fifty two year calculation, you will find that more of you Biblical/Theological calculations should prove more accurate.
 
BEGAT: The English word begat comes from the Greek word gennaw/gennao.  It means to procreate, as a father or sire; to generate; to produce; as, poverty can beget crime.
 
The purpose of the genealogy in Matthew is because, since Matthew wants to present Jesus as the King of the Jews, a king must have a royal bloodline genealogy in order to prove his rightful assent to the throne.
 
In verse 1, the English word book comes from the Greek word bibloV/biblos.  It has to do with an important manuscript. A manuscript of great value.  In this case, it would be the manuscript with contains the real genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ proving Him to be the rightful King of Israel.  Making Him the true Messiah.
 
One of the humorous pitfalls of being a research theologian and philosopher of theology, is that we always are asking why?  And in most cases, it is about why some Bible character did the blunderbuss things that they did?  However, in this case, my question is about why God a certain Greek word to describe the English word generations?
 
It would seem more logical, in the consistency of Greek text, that God would have chosen the Greek word genealogia/genealogia. It means tracing ones royal roots through family manuscripts and genealogies.  However, in the case of Matthew 1:1, God has chosen the Greek word  genesia/genesia.. This Greek word has to do with tracing ones genealogy through the birthdays of the family members in question.
 
Why would God do it this way?  Is there a correct answer to this question?  The answer is not only yes, but the answer is found in verse 17.  We will cover this when getting to verse 17.  Rest assured, there is a very beautiful reason why God chose the wording which He did.
 
Then verse 1 finishes with the start of the genealogical trace of Jesus Christ, that through the line of David, Jesus' genealogy goes all the way back to Abraham.


DAVID:  The name David means Beloved.  David was the eighth and youngest son of Jesse, a citizen of Bethlehem. His father seems to have been a man in humble life. His mother's name is not recorded. Some think she was the Nahash of II Samuel 17:25. As to his personal appearance, we only know that he was red-haired, with beautiful eyes and a fair face as per I Samuel 16:12 & 17:42.

His early occupation was that of tending his father's sheep on the uplands of Judah. From what we know of his after history, doubtless he frequently beguiled his time, when thus engaged, with his shepherd's flute, while he drank in the many lessons taught him by the varied scenes spread around him. His first recorded exploits were his encounters with the wild beasts of the field. He mentions that with his own unaided hand he slew a lion and also a bear, when they came out against his flock, beating them to death in open conflict with his club as in I Samuel 17:34-35. 

While David, in the freshness of ruddy youth, was thus engaged with his flocks, Samuel paid an unexpected visit to Bethlehem, having been guided thither by divine direction in I Samuel 16:1-13.   There he offered up sacrifice, and called the elders of Israel and Jesse's family to the sacrificial meal. Among all who appeared before him he failed to discover the one he sought. David was sent for, and the prophet immediately recognized him as the chosen of God, chosen to succeed Saul, who was now departing from the ways of God, on the throne of the kingdom. He accordingly, in anticipation, poured on his head the anointing oil. David went back again to his shepherd life, but "the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward," and "the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul" in I Samuel 16:13-14.  


Not long after this David was sent for to soothe with his harp the troubled spirit of Saul, who suffered from a strange melancholy dejection. He played before the king so skilfully that Saul was greatly cheered, and began to entertain great affection for the young shepherd. After this he went home to Bethlehem. But he soon again came into prominence. The armies of the Philistines and of Israel were in battle array in the valley of Elah, some 16 miles south-west of Bethlehem; and David was sent by his father with provisions for his three brothers, who were then fighting on the side of the king. On his arrival in the camp of Israel, David, now about twenty years of age,  was made aware of the state of matters when the champion of the Philistines, Goliath of Gath, came forth to defy Israel. David took his sling, and with a well-trained aim threw a stone "out of the brook," which struck the giant's forehead, so that he fell senseless to the ground. David then ran and slew him, and cut off his head with his own sword in I Samuel 17.  The result was a great victory to the Israelites, who pursued the Philistines to the gates of Gath and Ekron.


David's popularity consequent on this heroic exploit awakened Saul's jealousy in I Samuel 18:6-16,  which he showed in various ways. He conceived a bitter hatred toward him, and by various stratagems sought his death in I Samuel 18-30.  The deep-laid plots of the enraged king, who could not fail to observe that David "prospered exceedingly," all proved futile, and only endeared the young hero the more to the people, and very specially to Jonathan, Saul's son, between whom and David a life-long warm friendship was formed.


A fugitive. To escape from the vengeance of Saul, David fled to Ramah in I Samuel 19:12-18, to Samuel, who received him, and he dwelt among the sons of the prophets, who were there under Samuel's training. It is supposed by some that the sixth, seventh, and eleventh Psalms were composed by him at this time. This place was only 3 miles from the residence of Saul, who soon discovered whither the fugitive had gone, and tried ineffectually to bring him back. Jonathan made a fruitless effort to bring his father to a better state of mind toward David in I Samuel 20,  who, being made aware of the fact, saw no hope of safety but in flight to a distance. We accordingly find him first at Nob in 21:1-9.and then at Gath, the chief city of the Philistines. The king of the Philistines would not admit him into his service, as he expected that he would, and David accordingly now betook himself to the stronghold of Adullam 22:1-4 & I Chronicles 12:8-18.  Here in a short time 400 men gathered around him and acknowledged him as their leader. It was at this time that David, amid the harassment and perils of his position, cried, "Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem;" when three of his heroes broke through the lines of the Philistines and brought him the water for which he longed in II Samuel 23:13-17,  but which he would not drink.


In his rage at the failure of all his efforts to seize David, Saul gave orders for the massacre of the entire priestly family at Nob, "persons who wore a linen ephod", to the number of eighty-five persons, who were put to death by Doeg the Edomite. The sad tidings of the massacre were brought to David by Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, the only one who escaped.


Hearing that Keilah, a town on the western frontier, was harassed by the Philistines, David with his men relieved it in I Samuel 23:1-14, and then, for fear of Saul, he fled to the strongholds in the "hill country" of Judah. While encamped there, in the forest in the district of Ziph, he was visited by Jonathan, who spoke to him words of encouragement in 23:16-18.  The two now parted never to meet again. Saul continued his pursuit of David, who narrowly escaped from him at this time, and fled to the crags and ravines of Engedi, on the western shore of the Dead Sea in I Samuel 23:29.  Here Saul, who still pursued him with his army, narrowly escaped, through the generous forbearance of David, and was greatly affected by what David had done for him. He returned home from pursuing him, and David betook himself to Maon, where, with his 600 men, he maintained himself by contributions gathered from the district. Here occurred the incident connected with Nabal and his wife Abigail in I Samuel 25,  whom David married after Nabal's death.


Saul again went forth in I Samuel 26  in pursuit of David, who had hid himself "in the hill Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon," in the wilderness of Ziph, and was a second time spared through his forbearance. He returned home, professing shame and penitence for the way in which he had treated David, and predicting his elevation to the throne.


Fighting against Israel. Harassed by the necessity of moving from place to place through fear of Saul, David once more sought refuge among the Philistines in I Samuel 27.  He was welcomed by the king, who assigned him Ziklag as his residence. Here David lived among his followers for some time as an independent chief engaged in frequent war with the Amalekites and other tribes on the south of Judah.

Achish summoned David with his men to join his army against Saul; but the lords of the Philistines were suspicious of David's loyalty, and therefore he was sent back to Ziklag, which he found to his dismay may had been pillaged and burnt during his brief absence. David pursued after the raiders, the Amalekites, and completely routed them. On his return to Ziklag tidings reached him of Saul's death in II Samuel 1. An Amalekite brought Saul's crown and bracelet and laid them at his feet. David and his men rent their clothes and mourned for Saul, who had been defeated in battle near Mount Gilboa. David composed a beautiful elegy, the most beautiful of all extant Hebrew odes, a "lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son" in II Samuel 1:18-27.  It bore the title of "The Bow," and was to be taught to the children, that the memory of Saul and Jonathan might be preserved among them. "Behold, it is written in the book of Jasher."


David king over Judah. David and his men now set out for Hebron under divine direction in II Samuel 2:1-4. There they were cordially welcomed, and he was at once anointed as king. He was now about thirty years of age.


But his title to the throne was not undisputed. Abner took Ish-bosheth, Saul's only remaining son, over the Jordan to Mahanaim, and there crowned him as king. Then began a civil war in Israel. The first encounter between the two opposing armies, led on the one side by Abner, and on the other by Joab, took place at the pool of Gibeon. It resulted in the defeat of Abner. Other encounters, however, between Israel and Judah followed in II Samuel 3:1-5, but still success was on the side of David. For the space of seven and a half years David reigned in Hebron. Abner now sided with David, and sought to promote his advancement; but was treacherously put to death by Joab in revenge for his having slain his brother Asahel at Gibeon in 3:22-39.  This was greatly to David's regret. He mourned for the death of Abner. Shortly after this Ish-bosheth was also treacherously put to death by two Canaanites of Beeroth; and there being now no rival, David was anointed king over all Israel in 4:1-12.  

David king over all Israel in II Samuel 5:1-5 & I Chronicles 11:1-3.  The elders of Israel now repaired to Hebron and offered allegiance to David in name of all the people, among whom the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. He was anointed king over all Israel, and sought out a new seat of government, more suitable than Hebron, as the capital of his empire. At this time there was a Jebusite fortress, "the stronghold", on the hill of Zion, called also Jebus. This David took from the Jebusites, and made it Israel's capital, and established here his residence, and afterwards built for himself a palace by the aid of Tyrian tradesmen. The Philistines, who had for some time observed a kind of truce, now made war against David; but were defeated in battle at a place afterwards called, in remembrance of the victory, Baal-perazim. Again they invaded the land, and were a second time routed by him. He thus delivered Israel from their enemies.


David now resolved to bring up the ark of the covenant to his new capital in II Samuel 6.  It was in the house of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim, about 7 miles from Jerusalem, where it had been for many years, from the time when the Philistines had sent it home in I Samuel 6 & 7. In consequence of the death of Uzzah (for it was a divine ordinance that only the Levites should handle the ark, Numbers 4, who had put forth his hand to steady the ark when the cart in which it was being conveyed shook by reason of the roughness of the road, David stayed the procession, and conveyed the ark into the house of Obed-edom, a Philistine from Gath. After three months David brought the ark from the house of Obed-edom up to Jerusalem.  Here it was placed in a new tent or tabernacle which David erected for the purpose. About seventy years had passed since it had stood in the tabernacle at Shiloh. The old tabernacle was now at Gibeah, at which Zadok ministered. David now, in I Chronicles 16, carefully set in order all the ritual of divine worship at Jerusalem, along with Abiathar the high priest. A new religious era began. The service of praise was for the first time introduced into public worship. Zion became henceforth "God's holy hill."


David's wars. David now entered on a series of conquests which greatly extended and strengthened his kingdom in II Samuel 8.  In a few years the whole territory from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt, and from Gaza on the west to Thapsacus on the east, was under his sway in II Samuel 8:3-13.

David's fall. He had now reached the height of his glory. He ruled over a vast empire, and his capital was enriched with the spoils of many lands. But in the midst of all this success he fell, and his character became stained with the sin of adultery in II Samuel 11:2-27. It has been noted as characteristic of the Bible that while his military triumphs are recorded in a few verses, the sad story of his fall is given in detail, a story full of warning, and therefore recorded. This crime, in the attempt to conceal it, led to anoter. He was guilty of murder. Uriah, whom he had foully wronged, an officer of the Gibborim, the corps of heros, 23:39, was, by his order, "set in the front of the hottest battle" at the siege of Rabbah, in order that he might be put to death. Nathan the prophet, II Samuel 7:1-17 & 12:1-23, was sent by God to bring home his crimes to the conscience of the guilty monarch. He became a true penitent. He bitterly bewailed his sins before God. The thirty-second and fifty-first Psalms reveal the deep struggles of his soul, and his spiritual recovery.


Bathsheba became his wife after Uriah's death. Her first-born son died, according to the word of the prophet. She gave birth to a second son, whom David called Solomon, and who ultimately succeeded him on the throne, II Samuel 12:24-25.


Peace. After the successful termination of all his wars, David formed the idea of building a temple for the ark of God. This he was not permitted to carry into execution, because he had been a man of war. God, however, sent Nathan to him with a gracious message, II Samuel 7:1-16.  On receiving it he went into the sanctuary, the tent where the ark was, and sat before the Lord, and poured out his heart in words of devout thanksgiving (18-29). The building of the temple was reserved for his son Solomon, who would be a man of peace , I Chronicles 22:9 & 28:3.


A cloudy evening. Hitherto David's carrer had been one of great prosperity and success. Now cloudy and dark days came. His eldest son Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel, was guilty of a great and shameful crime, II Samuel 13.  This was the beginning of the disasters of his later years. After two years Absalom terribly avenged the crime against Tamar, and put Amnon to death. This brought sore trouble to David's heart. Absalom, afraid of the consequences of his guilt, fled to Geshur beyond Jordan, where he remained for three years, when he was brought back through the intrigue of Joab, II Samuel 14.


After this there fell upon the land the calamity of three years' famine, II Samuel 21:1-14.  This was soon after followed by a pestilence, brought upon the land as a punishment for David's sinful pride in numbering the people, II Samuel 24,  in which no fewer than 70,000 perished in the space of three days.

Rebellion of Absalom. The personal respect for David was sadly lowered by the incident of Bathsheba. There was a strong popular sentiment against the taking of the census, and the outburst of the plague in connection with it deepened the feeling of jealously that had begun to manifest itself among some of the tribes against David. Absalom, taking full advantage of this state of things, gradually gained over the people, and at length openly rebelled against his father, and usurped the throne. Ahithophel was Absalom's chief counsellor. The revolt began in Hebron, the capital of Judah. Absalom was there proclaimed king. David was now in imminent danger, and he left Jerusalem, II Samuel 15:13-20, and once more became a fugitive. It was a momentous day in Israel. The incidents of it are recorded with a fulness of detail greater than of any other day in Old Testament history. David fled with his followers to Mahanarm, on the east of Jordan. An unnatural civil war broke out. After a few weeks the rival armies were mustered and organized. They met in hostile array at the wood of Ephraim, II Samuel 18:1-8,  Absalom's army was defeated, and himself put to death by the hand of Joab (9-18). The tidings of the death of his rebellious son filled the heart of David with the most poignant grief. He "went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept," giving utterance to the heart-broken cry, "Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" Peace was now restored, and David returned to Jerusalem and resumed the direction of affairs. An unhappy dispute arose between the men of Judah and the men of Israel, 19:41-43. Sheba, a Benjamite, headed a revolt of the men of Israel. He was pursued to Abelbeth-maachah, and was there put to death, and so the revolt came to an end.


After the suppression of the rebellion of Absalom and that of Sheba, ten comparatively peaceful years of David's life passed away. During those years he seems to have been principally engaged in accumulating treasures of every kind for the great temple at Jerusalem, which it was reserved to his successor to build, I Chronicles 22:28-29, a house which was to be "exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries," 22:5.  The exciting and laborious life he had spent, and the dangers and trials through which he had passed, had left him an enfeebled man, prematurely old. It became apparent that his life was now drawing to its close. A new palace conspiracy broke out as to who should be his successor. Joab favoured Adonijah. The chiefs of his party met at the "Fuller's spring," in the valley of Kidron, to proclaim him king; but Nathan hastened on a decision on the part of David in favour of Solomon, and so the aim of Adonijah's party failed. Solomon was brought to Jerusalem, and was anointed king and seated on his father's throne, I Kings 1:11-53. David's last words are a grand utterance, revealing his unfailing faith in God, and his joyful confidence in his gracious covenant promises, II Samuel 23:1-7. 


After a reign of forty years and six months, II Samuel 5:5 & I Chronicles 3:4,  David died, 1015 B.C., at the age of seventy years, "and was buried in the city of David." His tomb is still pointed out on Mount Zion.


Both in his prophetical and in his regal character David was a type of the Messiah, I Samuel 16:13. The book of Psalms commonly bears the title of the "Psalms of David," from the circumstance that he was the largest contributor, about eighty psalms,  to the collection.


"The greatness of David was felt when he was gone. He had lived in harmony with both the priesthood and the prophets; a sure sign that the spirit of his government had been throughly loyal to the higher aims of the theocracy. The nation had not been oppressed by him, but had been left in the free enjoyment of its ancient liberties. As far as his power went he had striven to act justly to all, II Samuel 8:15.  His weak indulgence to his sons, and his own great sin besides, had been bitterly atoned, and were forgotten at his death in the remembrance of his long-tried worth. He had reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem and seven and a half at Hebron, II Samuel 5:5.  Israel at his accession had reached the lowest point of national depression; its new-born unity rudely dissolved; its territory assailed by the Philistines. But he had left it an imperial power, with dominions like those of Egypt or Assyria. The sceptre of Solomon was already, before his father's death, owned from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and from the Orontes to the Red Sea.



ABRAHAM: The name Abraham means father of a multitude.   Till the age of seventy, Abram sojourned among his kindred in his native country of Chaldea which today is called Kuwait.   He then, with his father and his family and household, left the city of Ur in which he had hitherto dwelt and went some three hundred miles north to Haran, where he abode fifteen years. The cause of his migration was a call from God, Acts 7:2-4. There is no mention of this first call in the Old Testament; it is implied, however, in Genesis 12. While they tarried at Haran, Terah, Abram's father, died at the age of 205 years. Abram now received a second and more definite call, accompanied by a promise from God in Genesis 12:1-2; whereupon he took his departure, taking his nephew Lot with him, "not knowing whither he went" Hebrews 11:8.  He trusted implicitly to the guidance of Him who had called him. Abram now, with a large household of probably a thousand souls, entered on a migratory life, and dwelt in tents. Passing along the valley of the Jabbok, in the land of Canaan, he formed his first encampment at Sichem in Genesis 12:6, in the vale or oak-grove of Moreh, between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south. Here he received the great promise, "I will make of thee a great nation," Genesis 12:2-7. This promise comprehended not only temporal but also spiritual blessings. It implied that he was the chosen ancestor of the great Deliverer whose coming had been long ago predicted in Genesis 3:15. Soon after this, for some reason not mentioned, he removed his tent to the mountain district between Bethel, then called Luz, and Ai, towns about two miles apart, where he built an altar to "Jehovah." He again moved into the southern tract of Palestine, called by the Hebrews the Negeb; and was at length, on account of a famine, compelled to go down into Egypt. This took place in the time of the Hyksos, a Semitic race which now held the Egyptians in bondage. Here occurred that case of deception on the part of Abram which exposed him to the rebuke of Pharaoh Genesis12:18. Sarai was restored to him; and Pharaoh loaded him with presents, recommending him to withdraw from the country. He returned to Canaan richer than when he left it, "in cattle, in silver, and in gold" Genesis 12:8;13:2 & Psalms105:13- 14.

The whole party then moved northward, and returned to their previous station near Bethel. Here disputes arose between Lot's shepherds and those of Abram about water and pasturage. Abram generously gave Lot his choice of the pasture-ground.  He chose the well-watered plain in which Sodom was situated, and removed thither; and thus the uncle and nephew were separated. Immediately after this Abram was cheered by a repetition of the promises already made to him, and then removed to the plain or "oak-grove" of Mamre, which is in Hebron. He finally settled here, pitching his tent under a famous oak or terebinth tree, called "the oak of Mamre" Genesis 13:18. This was his third resting-place in the land. Some fourteen years before this, while Abram was still in Chaldea, Palestine had been invaded by Chedorlaomer, King of Elam, who brought under tribute to him the five cities in the plain to which Lot had removed. This tribute was felt by the inhabitants of these cities to be a heavy burden, and after twelve years they revolted. This brought upon them the vengeance of Chedorlaomer, who had in league with him four other kings. He ravaged the whole country, plundering the towns, and carrying the inhabitants away as slaves. Among those thus treated was Lot. Hearing of the disaster that had fallen on his nephew, Abram immediately gathered from his own household a band of three hundred eighteen armed men, and being joined by the Amoritish chiefs Mamre, Aner, and Eshcol, he pursued after Chedorlaomer, and overtook him near the springs of the Jordan. They attacked and routed his army, and pursued it over the range of Anti-Libanus as far as to Hobah, near Damascus, and then returned, bringing back all the spoils that had been carried away.

Returning by way of Salem/Jerusalem, the king of that place, Melchizedek, came forth to meet them with refreshments. To him Abram presented a tenth of the spoils, in recognition of his character as a priest of the most high God Genesis 14:18-20. In a recently-discovered tablet, dated in the reign of the grandfather of Amraphel Genesis 14:1, one of the witnesses is called "the Amorite, the son of Abiramu," or Abram. Having returned to his home at Mamre, the promises already made to him by God were repeated and enlarged Genesis 13:14. "The word of the Lord," an expression occurring here for the first time, "came to him" Genesis15:1. He now understood better the future that lay before the nation that was to spring from him. Sarai, now seventy-five years old, in her impatience, persuaded Abram to take Hagar, her Egyptian maid, as a concubine, intending that whatever child might be born should be reckoned as her own. Ishmael was accordingly thus brought up, and was regarded as the heir of these promises in Genesis16. When Ishmael was thirteen years old, God again revealed yet more explicitly and fully his gracious purpose; and in token of the sure fulfilment of that purpose the patriarch's name was now changed from Abram to Abraham in Genesis17:4-5, and the rite of circumcision was instituted as a sign of the covenant. It was then announced that the heir to these covenant promises would be the son of Sarai, though she was now ninety years old; and it was directed that his name should be Isaac. At the same time, in commemoration of the promises, Sarai's name was changed to Sarah. On that memorable day of God's thus revealing his design, Abraham and his son Ishmael and all the males of his house were circumcised Genesis17. Three months after this, as Abraham sat in his tent door, he saw three men approaching. They accepted his proffered hospitality, and, seated under an oak-tree, partook of the fare which Abraham and Sarah provided. One of the three visitants was none other than the Lord, and the other two were angels in the guise of men.

 The Lord renewed on this occasion his promise of a son by Sarah, who was rebuked for her unbelief. Abraham accompanied the three as they proceeded on their journey. The two angels went on toward Sodom; while the Lord tarried behind and talked with Abraham, making known to him the destruction that was about to fall on that guilty city. The patriarch interceded earnestly in behalf of the doomed city. But as not even ten righteous persons were found in it, for whose sake the city would have been spared, the threatened destruction fell upon it; and early next morning Abraham saw the smoke of the fire that consumed it as the "smoke of a furnace" in Genesis19:1-28. After fifteen years' residence at Mamre, Abraham moved southward, and pitched his tent among the Philistines, near to Gerar. Here occurred that sad instance of prevarication on his part in his relation to Abimelech the King Genesis 20.
 
Soon after this event, the patriarch left the vicinity of Gerar, and moved down the fertile valley about 25 miles to Beer-sheba. It was probably here that Isaac was born, Abraham being now an hundred years old. A feeling of jealousy now arose between Sarah and Hagar, whose son, Ishmael, was no longer to be regarded as Abraham's heir. Sarah insisted that both Hagar and her son should be sent away. This was done, although it was a hard trial to Abraham in Genesis 21:12).
 
At this point there is a blank in the patriarch's history of perhaps twenty-five years. These years of peace and happiness were spent at Beer-sheba. The next time we see him his faith is put to a severe test by the command that suddenly came to him to go and offer up Isaac, the heir of all the promises, as a sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah. His faith stood the test in Hebrews 11:17-19. He proceeded in a spirit of unhesitating obedience to carry out the command; and when about to slay his son, whom he had laid on the altar, his uplifted hand was arrested by the angel of Jehovah, and a ram, which was entangled in a thicket near at hand, was seized and offered in his stead. From this circumstance that place was called Jehovah-jireh, i.e., "The Lord will provide." The promises made to Abraham were again confirmed (and this was the last recorded word of God to the patriarch); and he descended the mount with his son, and returned to his home at Beer-sheba in Genesis 22:19, where he resided for some years, and then moved northward to Hebron. Some years after this Sarah died at Hebron, being one hundred twenty seven years old. Abraham acquired now the needful possession of a burying-place, the cave of Machpelah, by purchase from the owner of it, Ephron the Hittite in Genesis 23); and there he buried Sarah. His next care was to provide a wife for Isaac, and for this purpose he sent his steward, Eliezer, to Haran in Acts 7:2, where his brother Nahor and his family resided in Genesis11:31. The result was that Rebekah, the daughter of Nahor's son Bethuel, became the wife of Isaac in Genesis 24).

Abraham then himself took to wife Keturah, who became the mother of six sons, whose descendants were afterwards known as the "children of the east" Judges 6:3, and later as "Saracens." At length all his wanderings came to an end. At the age of one hundred seventy five years, one hundred years after he had first entered the land of Canaan, he died, and was buried in the old family burying-place at Machpelah in Genesis 25:7-10. The history of Abraham made a wide and deep impression on the ancient world, and references to it are interwoven in the religious traditions of almost all Eastern nations. He is called "the friend of God" in James 2:23, "faithful Abraham" in Galatians 3:9), "the father of us all" in Romans 4:16.



MATTHEW 1:2



ISAAC:  The name Isaac means Laughter.

Isaac was the only son of Abraham by Sarah. He was the longest lived of the three patriarchs, Genesis 21:1-3.  He was circumcised when eight days old (4-7); and when he was probably two years old a great feast was held in connection with his being weaned.


The next memorable event in his life is that connected with the command of God given to Abraham to offer him up as a sacrifice on a mountain in the land of Moriah, Genesis 22.  When he was forty years of age Rebekah was chosen for his wife, Genesis 24. After the death and burial of his father he took up his residence at Beer-lahai-roi, Genesis 25:7-11,  where his two sons, Esau and Jacob, were born (21-26), the former of whom seems to have been his favourite son, Genesis 27 & 28. 

In consequence of a famine, Genesis 26:1, Isaac went to Gerar, where he practised deception as to his relation to Rebekah, imitating the conduct of his father in Egypt Genesis 12:12-20, and in Gerar, 20:2. The Philistine king rebuked him for his prevarication.


After sojourning for some time in the land of the Philistines, he returned to Beersheba, where God gave him fresh assurance of covenant blessing, and where Abimelech entered into a covenant of peace with him.


The next chief event in his life was the blessing of his sons, Genesis 27:1.  He died at Mamre, "being old and full of days," 35:27-29, one hundred and eighty years old, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah.


In the New Testament reference is made to his having been "offered up" by his father, Hebrews 11:17 & James 2:21, and to his blessing his sons, Hebrews 11:20.  As the child of promise, he is contrasted with Ishmael, Romans 9:7-10; Galatians 4:28 & Hebrews 11:18.


Isaac is "at once a counterpart of his father in simple devoutness and purity of life, and a contrast in his passive weakness of character, which in part, at least, may have sprung from his relations to his mother and wife. After the expulsion of Ishmael and Hagar, Isaac had no competitor, and grew up in the shade of Sarah's tent, moulded into feminine softness by habitual submission to her strong, loving will." His life was so quiet and uneventful that it was spent "within the circle of a few miles; so guileless that he let Jacob overreach him rather than disbelieve his assurance; so tender that his mother's death was the poignant sorrow of years; so patient and gentle that peace with his neighbours was dearer than even such a coveted possession as a well of living water dug by his own men; so grandly obedient that he put his life at his father's disposal; so firm in his reliance on God that his greatest concern through life was to honour the divine promise given to his race."


JACOB:  The name Jacob means one who follows on another's heels; supplanter, Genesis 25:26; 27:36 & Hosea 12:2-4.  Jacob was the second born of the twin sons of Isaac by Rebekah. He was born probably at Lahai-roi, when his father was fifty-nine and Abraham one hundred and fifty-nine years old. Like his father, he was of a quiet and gentle disposition, and when he grew up followed the life of a shepherd, while his brother Esau became an enterprising hunter. His dealing with Esau, however, showed much mean selfishness and cunning, Genesis 25:29-34.


When Isaac was about 160 years of age, Jacob and his mother conspired to deceive the aged patriarch, Genesis 27,  with the view of procuring the transfer of the birthright to himself. The birthright secured to him who possessed it, first, superior rank in his family, Genesis 49:3, second, a double portion of the paternal inheritance, Deuteronomy 21:17, third,  the priestly office in the family, Numbers 8:17-19, then fourth,  the promise of the Seed in which all nations of the earth were to be blessed, Genesis 22:18.


Soon after his acquisition of his father's blessing, Genesis 27, Jacob became conscious of his guilt; and afraid of the anger of Esau, at the suggestion of Rebekah Isaac sent him away to Haran, 400 miles or more, to find a wife among his cousins, the family of Laban, the Syrian (28). There he met with Rachel (29). Laban would not consent to give him his daughter in marriage till he had served seven years; but to Jacob these years "seemed but a few days, for the love he had to her." But when the seven years were expired, Laban craftily deceived Jacob, and gave him his daughter Leah. Other seven years of service had to be completed probably before he obtained the beloved Rachel. But "life-long sorrow, disgrace, and trials, in the retributive providence of God, followed as a consequence of this double union."


At the close of the fourteen years of service, Jacob desired to return to his parents, but at the entreaty of Laban he tarried yet six years with him, tending his flocks, 31:41. He then set out with his family and property "to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan," Genesis 31.  Laban was angry when he heard that Jacob had set out on his journey, and pursued after him, overtaking him in seven days. The meeting was of a painful kind. After much recrimination and reproach directed against Jacob, Laban is at length pacified, and taking an affectionate farewell of his daughters, returns to his home in Padanaram. And now all connection of the Israelites with Mesopotamia is at an end.


Soon after parting with Laban he is met by a company of angels, as if to greet him on his return and welcome him back to the Land of Promise, 32:1-2.  He called the name of the place Mahanaim, i.e., "the double camp," probably his own camp and that of the angels. The vision of angels was the counterpart of that he had formerly seen at Bethel, when, twenty years before, the weary, solitary traveller, on his way to Padan-aram, saw the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached to heaven, 28:12.


He now hears with dismay of the approach of his brother Esau with a band of 400 men to meet him. In great agony of mind he prepares for the worst. He feels that he must now depend only on God, and he betakes himself to him in earnest prayer, and sends on before him a munificent present to Esau, "a present to my lord Esau from thy servant Jacob." Jacob's family were then transported across the Jabbok; but he himself remained behind, spending the night in communion with God. While thus engaged, there appeared one in the form of a man who wrestled with him. In this mysterious contest Jacob prevailed, and as a memorial of it his name was changed to Israel (wrestler with God); and the place where this occured he called Peniel, "for", said he, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved," 32:25-31.


After this anxious night, Jacob went on his way, halting, mysteriously weakened by the conflict, but strong in the assurance of the divine favour. Esau came forth and met him; but his spirit of revenge was appeased, and the brothers met as friends, and during the remainder of their lives they maintained friendly relations. After a brief sojourn at Succoth, Jacob moved forward and pitched his tent near Shechem, 33:18; but at length, under divine directions, he moved to Bethel, where he made an altar unto God, 35:6-7, and where God appeared to him and renewed the Abrahamic covenant. While journeying from Bethel to Ephrath (the Canaanitish name of Bethlehem), Rachel died in giving birth to her second son Benjamin, 35:16-20,  fifteen or sixteen years after the birth of Joseph. He then reached the old family residence at Mamre, to wait on the dying bed of his father Isaac. The complete reconciliation between Esau and Jacob was shown by their uniting in the burial of the patriarch, 35:27-29. 


Jacob was soon after this deeply grieved by the loss of his beloved son Joseph through the jealousy of his brothers, 37:33.  Then follows the story of the famine, and the successive goings down into Egypt to buy corn, which led to the discovery of the long-lost Joseph, and the patriarch's going down with all his household, numbering about seventy souls, Exodus 1:5; Deuteronomy 10L22 & Acts 7:14,  to sojourn in the land of Goshen. Here Jacob, "after being strangely tossed about on a very rough ocean, found at last a tranquil harbour, where all the best affections of his nature were gently exercised and largely unfolded," Genesis 48. At length the end of his checkered course draws nigh, and he summons his sons to his bedside that he may bless them. Among his last words he repeats the story of Rachel's death, although forty years had passed away since that event took place, as tenderly as if it had happened only yesterday; and when "he had made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost," 49:33. His body was embalmed and carried with great pomp into the land of Canaan, and buried beside his wife Leah in the cave of Machpelah, according to his dying charge. There, probably, his embalmed body remains to this day, 50:1-13. 


The history of Jacob is referred to by the prophets Hosea, 12:3-12, and Malachi 1:2.  In Micah 1:5, the name is a poetic synonym for Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes. There are, besides the mention of his name along with those of the other patriarchs, distinct references to events of his life in Paul's epistles, Romans 9:11-13; Hebrews 12:16 & 11:21. See references to his vision at Bethel and his possession of land at Shechem in John 1:51 & 4:5-12.   Also, to the famine which was the occasion of his going down into Egypt in Acts 7:12. 




JUDAS/JUDAH:  The name Judah means praise.  Judah was the fourth son of Jacob by Leah. The name originated in Leah's words of praise to the Lord on account of his birth: "Now will I praise [Hebrews odeh] Jehovah, and she called his name Yehudah," Genesis 29:35. 

It was Judah that interposed in behalf of Joseph, so that his life was spared, Genesis 37:26-27.  He took a lead in the affairs of the family, and "prevailed above his brethren," Genesis 43:3-10; 44:14-34; 46:28 & I Chronicles 5:2.  


Soon after the sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites, Judah went to reside at Adullam, where he married a woman of Canaan.  After the death of his wife Shuah, he returned to his father's house, and there exercised much influence over the patriarch, taking a principal part in the events which led to the whole family at length going down into Egypt. We hear nothing more of him till he received his father's blessing, Genesis 49:8-12.


BRETHREN/BROTHER:  The English word brethren/brother comes from the Greek word adefoV/adephos: in this particular application, this would be a reference to physical, blood kin relatives.




MATTHEW 1:3

PHARES/PHAREZ:  The name Pharez means breach.  He was  the elder of the twin sons of Judah, Genesis 38:29.  From him the royal line of David he sprang, Ruth 4:18-22.  "The chief of all the captains of the host" was of the children of Perez, I Chronicles 27:3 & Matthew 1:3. Please note Luke 3:33. 
 
ZARA/ZARAH: No information available.
 
THARMAR:  No information available.
 
ESROM/HEZRON:  No information available.
 

ARAM:  Aram was the son of Shem, Genesis 10:22.  According to Genesis 22:21,  Aram was a grandson of Nahor. In Matthew 1:3-4 & Luke 3:33,  Aram is the Greek form of Ram, the father of Amminadab, I Chronicles 2:21.  


The name Aram means high, or highlands, and as the name of a country denotes that elevated region extending from the northeast of Palestine to the Euphrates. It corresponded generally with the Syria and Mesopotamia of the Greeks and Romans. In Genesis 25:20 & 31:20-24; & Deuteronomy 26:5,  the word "Syrian" is properly "Aramean."   Damascus became, at length,  the capital of the several smaller kingdoms comprehended under the designation "Aram" or "Syria."




MATTHEW 1:4

AMMINADAB:  The name Amminadab means kindred of the prince. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon, who was chief of the tribe of Judah in Numbers 1:7; 2:3; 7:12-17 & 10:14. His daughter Elisheba was married to Aaron in Exodus 6:23.
 
NAHSHON/NAASSON:  Nahshon/Naason was a sorcerer and the son of Aminadab, and prince of the children of Judah at the time of the first numbering of the tribes in the wilderness in Exodus 6:23. His sister Elisheba was the wife of Aaron. He died in the wilderness in Number 26:64-65. His name occurs in the Greek form Naasson in the genealogy of Christ.
 
SALMON:  Salmon was the son of Nashon in Ruth 4:20. It is possible he is the same as Salma in I Chronicles 2:51.




MATTHEW 1:5

BOOZ/BOAZ:  Boaz was the husband of Ruth, a wealthy Bethlehemite. By the "levirate law" the duty devolved on him of marrying Ruth the Moabitess in Ruth 4:1-13. He was a kinsman of Mahlon, her first husband.
 
RACHAB:  Rachab is the New Testament Greek version of the Old Testament name Rahab.
 
OBED:  The name Obed means one who worships God by serving God.  Obed was a son of Boaz and Ruth in Ruth 4:21, 22.  Obed was also the grandfather of David.
 
JESSE: The name Jesse can mean firm or a gift.  He was a son of Obed, the son of Boaz and Ruth in Ruth 4:17-22.  He was the father of eight sons, the youngest of whom was David in I Samuel17:12. The phrase "stem of Jesse" is used for the family of David in Isaiah11:1, and "root of Jesse" for the Messiah in Isaiah 11:10 & Revelation 5:5.
 
Jesse was a man apparently of wealth and position at Bethlehem as per I Samuel17:17 20; Psalms 78:71. The last reference to him is of David's procuring for him an asylum with the king of Moab in I Samuel 22:3.




MATTHEW 1:6

JESSE:  The name Jesse can mean firm or a gift.  He was a son of Obed, the son of Boaz and Ruth in Ruth 4:17-22.  He was the father of eight sons, the youngest of whom was David in I Samuel17:12. The phrase "stem of Jesse" is used for the family of David in Isaiah11:1, and "root of Jesse" for the Messiah in Isaiah 11:10 & Revelation 5:5.
 
Jesse was a man apparently of wealth and position at Bethlehem as per I Samuel17:17 20; Psalms 78:71. The last reference to him is of David's procuring for him an asylum with the king of Moab in I Samuel 22:3.
 
SOLOMON: The name Solomon means peaceful.  Solomon was David's second son by Bathsheba.  Solomon was their the first after their legal marriage in II Samuel12. He was probably born about B.C. 1035 in I Chronicles 22:5 & 29:1. He succeeded his father on the throne in early manhood, probably about sixteen/eighteen years of age. Nathan, to whom his education was intrusted, called him Jedidiah which means "beloved of the Lord" in II Samuel12:24-25.
 
He was the first king of Israel "born in the purple." His father chose him as his successor, passing over the claims of his elder sons: "Assuredly Solomon my son shall reign after me." His history is recorded in I Kings 1-11 and II Chronicles 1-9. His elevation to the throne took place before his father's death, and was hastened on mainly by Nathan and Bathsheba, in consequence of the rebellion of Adonijah in I Kings 1:5-40.
 
During his long reign of forty years the Hebrew monarchy gained its highest splendor. This period has well been called the "Augustan age" of the Jewish annals. The first half of his reign was, however, by far the brighter and more prosperous.  The latter half was clouded by the idolatries into which he fell, mainly from his heathen intermarriages in I Kings 11:1-8; 14:21-31.
 
Before his death David gave parting instructions to his son in I Kings 2:1-9 & I Chronicles 22:7-28. As soon as he had settled himself in his kingdom, and arranged the affairs of his extensive empire, he entered into an alliance with Egypt by the marriage of the daughter of Pharaoh in I Kings 3:1, of whom, however, nothing further is recorded. He surrounded himself with all the luxuries and the external grandeur of an Eastern monarch, and his government prospered. He entered into an alliance with Hiram, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings.
 
For some years before his death David was engaged in the active work of collecting materials in I Chronicles 29:6-9 & II Chronicles 2:3-7,  for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent abode for the ark of the covenant. He was not permitted to build the house of God in I Chronicles 22:8. That honor was reserved to his son Solomon.
 
After the completion of the temple, Solomon engaged in the erection of many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem and in other parts of his kingdom. For the long space of thirteen years he was engaged in the erection of a royal palace on Ophel in I Kings 7:1-12.  It was 100 cubits long, 50 broad, and 30 high. Its lofty roof was supported by forty-five cedar pillars, so that the hall was like a forest of cedar wood, and hence probably it received the name of "The House of the Forest of Lebanon." In front of this "house" was another building, which was called the Porch of Pillars, and in front of this again was the "Hall of Judgment," or Throne-room in I Kings 7:7; 10:18-20 & II Chronicles 9:17-19), "the King's Gate," where he administered justice and gave audience to his people. This palace was a building of great magnificence and beauty. A portion of it was set apart as the residence of the queen consort, the daughter of Pharaoh. From the palace there was a private staircase of red and scented sandal wood which led up to the temple. Solomon also constructed great works for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city in Ecclesiastes 2:4-6. He then built Millo for the defence of the city, completing a line of ramparts around it in I Kings 9:15-24 & 11:27.
 
He erected also many other fortifications for the defence of his kingdom at various points where it was exposed to the assault of enemies in I Kings 9:15-19 & II Chronicles 8:2-6. Among his great undertakings must also be mentioned the building of Tadmor in the wilderness as a commercial depot, as well as a military outpost.
 
During his reign, Palestine enjoyed great commercial prosperity. Extensive traffic was carried on by land with Tyre and Egypt and Arabia, and by sea with Spain and India and the coasts of Africa, by which Solomon accumulated vast stores of wealth and of the produce of all nations in I Kings 9:26-28; 10:11-12; II Chronicles 8:17-18 & 9:21.
 
This was the "golden age" of Israel. The royal magnificence and splendor of Solomon's court were unrivaled. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, an evidence at once of his pride, his wealth, and his sensuality. The maintenance of his household involved immense expenditure. The provision required for one day was "thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow-deer, and fatted fowl" in I Kings 4:22-23. 
 
Solomon's reign was not only a period of great material prosperity, but was equally remarkable for its intellectual activity. He was the leader of his people also in this uprising amongst them of new intellectual life. "He spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes" in I Kings 4:32-33. His fame was spread abroad through all lands, and men came from far and near "to hear the wisdom of Solomon." Among others thus attracted to Jerusalem was "the queen of the south" in Matthew12:42,  the queen of Sheba, a country in Arabia Felix. "Deep, indeed, must have been her yearning, and great his fame, which induced a secluded Arabian queen to break through the immemorial custom of her dreamy land, and to put forth the energy required for braving the burdens and perils of so long a journey across a wilderness. Yet this she undertook, and carried it out with safety." in I Kings 10:1-13 & II Chronicles 9:1-12.
 
She was filled with amazement by all she saw and heard: "there was no more spirit in her." After an interchange of presents she returned to her native land. But that golden age of Jewish history passed away. The bright day of Solomon's glory ended in clouds and darkness. His decline and fall from his high estate is a sad record. Chief among the causes of his decline were his polygamy and his great wealth. "As he grew older he spent more of his time among his favorites. The idle king living among these one thousand women, with all their mischievous attendants, filled the palaces and pleasure houses which he had built in I Kings 11:3, learned first to tolerate and then to imitate their heathenish ways. He did not, indeed, cease to believe in the God of Israel with his mind. He did not cease to offer the usual sacrifices in the temple at the great feasts. But his heart was not right with God; his worship became merely formal; his soul, left empty by the dying out of true religious fervour, sought to be filled with any religious excitement which offered itself. Now for the first time a worship was publicly set up amongst the people of the Lord which was not simply irregular or forbidden, like that of Gideon in Judges 8:27, or the Danites in Judges18:30-31. But was downright idolatrous." in I Kings 11:7& II Kings 23:13.
 
This brought upon him the divine displeasure. His enemies prevailed against him in I Kings 11:14-40.  And one judgment after another fell upon the land. And now the end of all came, and he died, after a reign of forty years, and was buried in the city of David, and "with him was buried the short-lived glory and unity of Israel." "He leaves behind him but one weak and worthless son, to dismember his kingdom and disgrace his name." "The kingdom of Solomon," says Rawlinson, "is one of the most striking facts in the Biblical history.
 
A petty nation, which for hundreds of years has with difficulty maintained a separate existence in the midst of warlike tribes, each of which has in turn exercised dominion over it and oppressed it, is suddenly raised by the genius of a soldier-monarch to glory and greatness. An empire is established which extends from the Euphrates to the borders of Egypt, a distance of four hundred and fifty miles.  And this empire, rapidly constructed, enters almost immediately on a period of peace which lasts for half a century. Wealth, grandeur, architectural magnificence, artistic excellence, commercial enterprise, a position of dignity among the great nations of the earth, are enjoyed during this space, at the end of which there is a sudden collapse. The ruling nation is split in twain, the subject-races fall off, the pre-eminence lately gained being wholly lost, the scene of struggle, strife, oppression, recovery, inglorious submission, and desperate effort, re-commences."
 
URIAH:  One of King David's top military leaders.  One of King David's strongest and mightiest warriors.  One of King David's dearest and closest friends.  The husband to the wife which David stole and impregnated.  The one whom King David had killed in battle to cover up the adulterous affair and impregnation.




MATTHEW 1:7

ROBOAM/REHOBOAM: The name Rehoboam means he enlarges the people.  He was the successor of Solomon on the throne, and apparently his only son. He was the son of Naamah "the Ammonitess," some well-known Ammonitish princess in I Kings 14:21 & II Chronicles12:13.
 
He was forty-one years old when he ascended the throne, and he reigned seventeen years from B.C. 975-958.
 
 Although he was acknowledged at once as the rightful heir to the throne, yet there was a strongly felt desire to modify the character of the government. The burden of taxation to which they had been subjected during Solomon's reign was very oppressive, and therefore the people assembled at Shechem and demanded from the king an alleviation of their burdens. He went to meet them at Shechem, and heard their demands for relief in I Kings 12:4.  After three days, having consulted with a younger generation of courtiers that had grown up around him, instead of following the advice of elders, he answered the people haughtily in verses 6-15.  "The king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the Lord" This brought matters speedily to a crisis. The terrible cry was heard "What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: To your tents, O Israel: Now see to thine own house, David" Please note here I Kings 12:16.  And now at once the kingdom was rent in twain.
 
Rehoboam was appalled, and tried concessions, but it was too late.  The tribe of Judah, Rehoboam's own tribe, alone remained faithful to him. Benjamin was reckoned along with Judah and these two tribes formed the southern kingdom, with Jerusalem as its capital; while the northern ten tribes formed themselves into a separate kingdom, choosing Jeroboam as their king. Rehoboam tried to win back the revolted ten tribes by making war against them, but he was prevented by the prophet Shemaiah II Chronicles11:1-4) from fulfilling his purpose.
 
In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign, Shishak, one of the kings of Egypt of the Assyrian dynasty, stirred up, no doubt, by Jeroboam his son-in-law, made war against him. Jerusalem submitted to the invader, who plundered the temple and virtually reduced the kingdom to the position of a vassal of Egypt in I Kings 14:25-26 & II Chronicles12:5-9.  A remarkable memorial of this invasion has been discovered at Karnac, in Upper Egypt, in certain sculptures on the walls of a small temple there. These sculptures represent the king, Shishak, holding in his hand a train of prisoners and other figures, with the names of the captured towns of Judah, the towns which Rehoboam had fortified in II Chronicles11:5-12.   The kingdom of Judah, under Rehoboam, sank more and more in moral and spiritual decay. "There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days." At length, in the fifty-eighth year of his age, Rehoboam "slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David" in I Kings 14:31.  He was succeeded by his son Abijah.
 
ABIA/ABIJAH:  Abijah was the son of Rehoboam, whom he succeeded on the throne of Judah in I Chronicles 3:10.   He is also called Abijam in I Kings 14:31 & 15:1-8. 
 
He began his three years' reign in II Chronicles12:16 &13:1-2, with a strenuous but unsuccessful effort to bring back the ten tribes to their allegiance.
 
His address to "Jeroboam and all Israel," before encountering them in battle, is worthy of being specially noticed in II Chronicles13:5-12.  It was a very bloody battle, no fewer than half a million of the army of Israel having perished on the field.
 
He is described as having walked "in all the sins of his father" in I Kings 15:3 & II Chronicles11:20-22.   It is said in I Kings 15:2, that "his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom;" but in II Chronicles13:2 we read, "his mother's name was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah."
 
The explanation is that Maachah is just a variation of the name Michaiah, and that Abishalom is probably the same as Absalom, the son of David. It is probable that "Uriel of Gibeah" married Tamar, the daughter of Absalom in II Samuel14:27, and by her had Maachah. The word "daughter" in I Kings 15:2 will thus, as it frequently elsewhere does, mean grand-daughter.
 
ASA:  Asa was the son of Abijah and grandson of Rehoboam.  He was the third king of Judah. He was zealous in maintaining the true worship of God and in rooting all idolatry, with its accompanying immoralities, out of the land in I Kings 15:8-14.  
 
The Lord gave him and his land rest and prosperity. It is recorded of him, however, that in his old age, when afflicted, he "sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians."  He died in the forty-first year of his reign, greatly honoured by his people in II Chronicles16:1-13, and was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat.




MATTHEW 1:8

JEHOSH/JEHOSHAPHAT:  Jehoshaphat was the son and successor of Asa, king of Judah. After fortifying his kingdom against Israel in II Chronicles17:1-2, he set himself to cleanse the land of idolatry in I Kings 22:43.   In the third year of his reign he sent out priests and Levites over the land to instruct the people in the law in II Chronicles17:7-9.  He enjoyed a great measure of peace and prosperity, the blessing of God resting on the people "in their basket and their store." The great mistake of his reign was his entering into an alliance with Ahab, the king of Israel, which involved him in much disgrace and brought disaster on his kingdom in I Kings 22:1-33.
 
Escaping from the bloody battle of Ramoth-gilead, the prophet Jehu in II Chronicles 19:1-3, reproached him for the course he had been pursuing, whereupon he entered with rigor on his former course of opposition to all idolatry, and of deepening interest in the worship of God and in the righteous government of the people in II Chronicles 19:4-11. 
 
Again he entered into an alliance with Ahaziah, the king of Israel, for the purpose of carrying on maritime commerce with Ophir. But the fleet that was then equipped at Ezion-gaber was speedily wrecked. A new fleet was fitted out without the co-operation of the king of Israel, and although it was successful, the trade was not prosecuted in II Chronicles 20:35-37 & I Kings 22:48-49. 
 
He subsequently joined Jehoram, king of Israel, in a war against the Moabites, who were under tribute to Israel. This war was successful. The Moabites were subdued; but the dreadful act of Mesha in offering his own son a sacrifice on the walls of Kir-haresheth in the sight of the armies of Israel filled him with horror and he withdrew and returned to his own land in II Kings 3:4-27.
 
The last most notable event of his reign was that recorded in II Chronicles 20. The Moabites formed a great and powerful confederacy with the surrounding nations and came against Jehoshaphat. The allied forces were encamped at Engedi. The king and his people were filled with alarm and betook themselves to God in prayer. The king prayed in the court of the temple, "O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us." Amid the silence that followed, the voice of Jahaziel the Levite was heard announcing that on the morrow all this great host would be overthrown. So it was, for they argued among themselves and slew one another, leaving to the people of Judah only to gather the rich spoils of the slain. This was recognized as a great deliverance wrought for them by God in B.C. 890.
 
Soon after this Jehoshaphat died, after a reign of twenty-five years being sixty years of age.  He was succeeded by his son Jehoram in I Kings 22:50.  He had this testimony, that "he sought the Lord with all his heart" in II Chronicles 22:9.  The kingdom of Judah was never more prosperous than under his reign.
 
JORAM/JEHORAM: Joram, or in some spellings Jehoram, was the son/successor of Jehoshaphat.  Eventually, he ascended to the throne of Judah in II Kings 8:24.
 
UZZIAH: Uzziah is a name which means the Lord is my strength. He became king of Judah in II Kings 14:21 & II Chronicles 26:1.
 
His long reign of about fifty-two years was "the most prosperous excepting that of Jehosaphat since the time of Solomon." He was a vigorous and able ruler and "his name spread abroad, even to the entering in of Egypt"in II Chronicles 26:8-14.
 
In the earlier part of his reign, under the influence of Zechariah, he was faithful to Jehovah, and "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord" in II Kings 15:3 & II Chronicles 26:4-5.  However, toward the close of his long life "his heart was lifted up to his destruction," and he wantonly invaded the priest's office in II Chronicles 26:16 by entering the sanctuary proceeded to offer incense on the golden altar.
 
Azariah the high priest saw the tendency of such a daring act on the part of the king, and with a band of eighty priests he withstood him in II Chronilces 26:17, saying, "It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense." Uzziah was suddenly struck with leprosy while in the act of offering incense and he was driven from the temple and compelled to reside in "a several house" to the day of his death II Kings 15:5-27 & II Chronicles 26:3.
 
He was buried in a separate grave "in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings" in II Kings 15:7 & II Chronicles 26:2. "That lonely grave in the royal necropolis would eloquently testify to coming generations that all earthly monarchy must bow before the inviolable order of the divine will, and that no interference could be tolerated with that unfolding of the purposes of God, which, in the fulness of time, would reveal the Christ, the true High Priest and King for evermore"




MATTHEW 1:9

JOTHAM:  He was the son and successor of Uzziah on the throne of Judah. As during his last years, Uzziah was excluded from public life on account of his leprosy.  His son, then twenty-five years of age, administered for seven years the affairs of the kingdom in his father's stead in II Chronicles 26:21-23 & 27:1.  After his father's death he became sole monarch, and reigned for sixteen years from B.C. 759-743.   He ruled in the fear of God, and his reign was prosperous. He was contemporary with the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, by whose ministrations he profited. He was buried in the sepulcher of the kings and was  greatly lamented by the people in II Kings 15:38 & II Chronicles 27:7-9.

AHAZ: Ahaz was the son and successor of Jotham, king of Judah in II Kings 16; Isaiah 7-9 & II Chronicles 28.  He gave himself up to a life of wickedness and idolatry. Notwithstanding the remonstrances and warnings of Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, he appealed for help against Rezin, king of Damascus, and Pekah, king of Israel, who threatened Jerusalem, to Tiglath-pileser, the king of Assyria, to the great injury of his kingdom and his own humiliating subjection to the Assyrians in II Kings 16:7-9 & 15:29. He also introduced among his people many heathen and idolatrous customs in II Kings 23:12;  Isaiah 8:19 & 38:8;  He died at the age of thirty-five years, after reigning sixteen years B.C. 740-724.  He was succeeded by his son Hezekiah. Because of his wickedness he was "not brought into the sepulcher of the kings."
 
EZEKIAS/HEZEKIAH:  The name Hezekiah means whom Jehovah has strengthened.  He was the son of Ahaz in II Kings 18:1 & II Chronicles 29:1,  whom he succeeded on the throne of the kingdom of Judah. He reigned twenty-nine years during the dates of B.C. 726-697. 
 
The history of this king is contained in II Kings 18:20; II Chronicles 29-32 & Isaiah. 36-39.  He is spoken of as a great and good king. In public life he followed the example of his great-grandfather Uzziah. He set himself to abolish idolatry from his kingdom, and among other things, which he did to this end, he destroyed the "brazen serpent," which had been removed to Jerusalem, and had become an object of idolatrous worship in Numbers 21:9.  A great reformation was wrought in the kingdom of Judah in his day in II Kings 18:4 & II Chronicles 29:3-36.  On the death of Sargon and the accession of his son Sennacherib to the throne of Assyria, Hezekiah refused to pay the tribute which his father had paid, and "rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not," but entered into a league with Egypt in Isaiah 30; 31 & 36:6-9.  This led to the invasion of Judah by Sennacherib in II Kings 18:13-16, who took forty cities, and besieged Jerusalem with mounds. Hezekiah yielded to the demands of the Assyrian king, and agreed to pay him three hundred talents of silver and thirty of gold.   But Sennacherib dealt treacherously with Hezekiah in Isaiah 33:1.  and a second time within two years invaded his kingdom in II Kings 18:17; II Chronicles 32:9 & Isaiah 36.   This invasion issued in the destruction of Sennacherib's army. Hezekiah prayed to God, and "that night the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians 185,000 men." Sennacherib fled with the shattered remnant of his forces to Nineveh, where, seventeen years after, he was assassinated by his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer in II Kings 19:37.




MATTHEW 1:10

MANASSEH: The name Manasseh means one who makes to forget. "God hath made me forget" in Genesis 41:51.  He was the elder of the two sons of Joseph. He and his brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons in Genesis 48:1.   There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian in I Chronicles7:14;  and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that his grandchildren were "brought up upon Joseph's knees" in Genesis 50:23.
 
The tribe of Manasseh was associated with that of Ephraim and Benjamin during the wanderings in the wilderness. They encamped on the west side of the tabernacle. According to the census taken at Sinai, this tribe then numbered 32,200 in Numbers 1:10-35 & 2:20-21.  Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to 52,700 in Numbers 26:34-37,  and it was at this time the most distinguished of all the tribes. The half of this tribe, along with Reuben and Gad, had their territory assigned them by Moses on the east of the Jordan in Joshua13:7-14;  but it was left for Joshua to define the limits of each tribe. This territory on the east of Jordan was more valuable and of larger extent than all that was allotted to the nine and a half tribes in the land of Palestine. It is sometimes called "the land of Gilead," and is also spoken of as "on the other side of Jordan." The portion given to the half tribe of Manasseh was the largest on the east of Jordan. It embraced the whole of Bashan. It was bounded on the south by Mahanaim, and extended north to the foot of Lebanon. Argob, with its sixty cities, that "ocean of basaltic rocks and boulders tossed about in the wildest confusion," lay in the midst of this territory. The whole "land of Gilead" having been conquered, the two and a half tribes left their wives and families in the fortified cities there, and accompanied the other tribes across the Jordan, and took part with them in the wars of conquest. The allotment of the land having been completed, Joshua dismissed the two and a half tribes, commending them for their heroic service in Joshua 22:1-34.  Thus, dismissed, they returned over Jordan to their own inheritance.
 
On the west of Jordan the other half of the tribe of Manasseh was associated with Ephraim, and they had their portion in the very center of Palestine, an area of about thirteen hundred square miles, the most valuable part of the whole country, abounding in springs of water. Manasseh's portion was immediately to the north of that of Ephraim in Joshua16. Thus, the western Manasseh defended the passes of Esdraelon as the eastern kept the passes of the Hauran.
 
The only son and successor of Hezekiah on the throne of Judah. He was twelve years old when he began to reign in II Kings 21:1, and he reigned fifty-five years during the dates of B.C. 698-643.  Though he reigned so long, yet comparatively little is known of this king. His reign was a continuation of that of Ahaz, both in religion and national polity. He early fell under the influence of the heathen court circle, and his reign was characterized by a sad relapse into idolatry with all its vices, showing that the reformation under his father had been to a large extent only superficial in Isaiah 7:10 & II Kings 21:10-15.  A systematic and persistent attempt was made, and all too successfully, to banish the worship of Jehovah out of the land. Amid this wide-spread idolatry there were not wanting, however, faithful prophets such as  Isaiah and Micah, who lifted up their voice in reproof and in warning. But their fidelity only aroused bitter hatred, and a period of cruel persecution against all the friends of the old religion began. "The days of Alva in Holland, of Charles IX. in France, or of the Covenanters under Charles II. in Scotland, were anticipated in the Jewish capital. The streets were red with blood." There is an old Jewish tradition that Isaiah was put to death at this time in II Kings 21:16; 24:3-4 & Jeremiah 2:30,  having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree. Psalms 49, 73, 77, 140 & 141 seem to express the feelings of the pious amid the fiery trials of this great persecution.
 
Manasseh has been called the "Nero of Palestine." Esarhaddon, Sennacherib's successor on the Assyrian throne, who had his residence in Babylon for thirteen years, and who was the only Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon,  took Manasseh prisoner during the dates of B.C. 681 to Babylon. Such captive kings were usually treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. This is referred to in II Chronicles 33:11.
 
The severity of Manasseh's imprisonment brought him to repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his kingdom in II Chronicles 33:11-13.  He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and enjoined the people to worship Jehovah; but there was no thorough reformation. After a lengthened reign extending through fifty-five years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died, and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the "garden of his own house" in II Kings 21:17-18 & II Chronicles 33:20, and not in the city of David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon. In Judges 18:30, the correct reading is "Moses," and not "Manasseh." The name "Manasseh" is supposed to have been introduced by some transcriber to avoid the scandal of naming the grandson of Moses the great lawgiver as the founder of an idolatrous religion.
 
AMON:  The name Amon means builder.  He was the governor of Samaria in the time of Ahab and the prophet Micaiah was committed to his custody in I Kings 22:26 & II Chronicles 18:25. 
 
Also, Amon was the son of Manasseh, and fourteenth king of Judah. He restored idolatry, and set up the images which his father had cast down. Zephaniah 1:4 & 3:4-11,  refers to the moral depravity prevailing in this king's reign. He was assassinated in II Kings 21:18-26 & II Chronicles 33:20-25 by his own servants, who conspired against him.
 
JOSIAH: The name Josiah means healed by Jehovah, or Jehovah will support. He was the son of Amon, and his successor on the throne of Judah in II Kings 22:1 & II Chronicles 34:1. His history is contained in II Kings 22-23. He stands foremost among all the kings of the line of David for unswerving loyalty to Jehovah.  He "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father." He ascended the throne at the early age of eight years and it appears that not till eight years afterwards did he begin "to seek after the God of David his father." At that age he devoted himself to God. He distinguished himself by beginning a war of extermination against the prevailing idolatry, which had practically been the state religion for some seventy years in II Chronicles 34:3; Jeremiah 25:3-29.
 
In the eighteenth year of his reign he proceeded to repair and beautify the temple which due to time and violence had become sorely dilapidated in II Kings 22:3- 6; 23:23 & II Chronicles34:11.  While this work was being carried on, Hilkiah, the high priest, discovered a roll, which was probably the original copy of the law, the entire Pentateuch, written by Moses. When this book was read to him, the king was alarmed by the things it contained, and sent for Huldah, the "prophetess," for her counsel. She spoke to him words of encouragement, telling him that he would be gathered to his fathers in peace before the threatened days of judgment came. Josiah immediately gathered the people together, and engaged them in a renewal of their ancient national covenant with God. The Passover was then celebrated, as in the days of his great predecessor, Hezekiah, with unusual magnificence. Nevertheless, "the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah" in II Kings 22:3-20; 23:21-27 & II Chronicles 35:1-19.
 
During the progress of this great religious revolution Jeremiah helped it on by his earnest exhortations. Soon after this, Pharaoh-Necho II, king of Egypt, in an expedition against the king of Assyria, with the view of gaining possession of Carchemish, sought a passage through the territory of Judah for his army. This Josiah refused to permit. He had probably entered into some new alliance with the king of Assyria, and faithful to his word he sought to oppose the progress of Necho. The army of Judah went out and encountered that of Egypt at Megiddo, on the verge of the plain of Esdraelon. Josiah went into the field in disguise, and was fatally wounded by a random arrow. His attendants conveyed him toward Jerusalem, but had only reached Hadadrimmon, a few miles south of Megiddo, when he died in II Kings 23:28-30 &vII Chronicles35:20-27, after a reign of thirty-one years. He was buried with the greatest honors in fulfilment of Huldah's prophecy in II Kings 22:20 & Jeremiah 34:5.
 
Jeremiah composed a funeral elegy on this the best of the kings of Israel in Lamentations 4:20 & II Chronicles 35:25. The outburst of national grief on account of his death became proverbial Zechariah 12:11 & Revelatoin16:16.




MATTHEW 1:11

JECONIAH/CONIAH: Jeconiah, preparation, or stability, of the Lord.  Jeconiah is called Coniah in Jeremiah 22:24-30.  There a curse is pronounced upon him.  There it is predicted that none of his seed should proper sitting upon David's throne.  Had our Lord been the natural son of Joseph, who was descended from Jeconiah/Coniah, He could never reign in power and righteousness because of the curse.  But Christ came through Mary's line, not Joseph's.  As the adopted son of Joseph, the curse upon Coniah's seed did not affect Him.



MATTHEW 1:12

SHEALTIEL/SALATHIEL: The name(s) Shealtiel/Salathiel, means asked for of God, father of Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:2-8 & Nehemiah12:1.  He was the son of Jeconiah in I Chronicles 3:17 & Matthew1:12.  He is  also called the son of Neri in Luke 3:27.  The probable explanation of the apparent discrepancy is that he was the son of Neri, the descendant of Nathan, and thus heir to the throne of David on the death of Jeconiah in Jeremiah 22:30.
 
ZERUBBABEL:  The name Zerubbabel means the seed of Babylon.  Zerubbabel was the son of Salathiel or Shealtiel  He is also known by the Persian name of Sheshbazzar in Ezra 1:8, 11.  In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, he led the first band of Jews, numbering 42,360 in Ezra 2:64. Exclusive of a large number of servants who returned from captivity at the close of the seventy years. In the second year after the Return, he erected an altar and laid the foundation of the temple on the ruins of that which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter 1.  All through the work he occupied a prominent place, inasmuch as he was a descendant of the royal line of David.



MATTHEW 1:13

ABIUD: the name Abiud, means father of praise.
 
ELIAKIM: The name Eliakim means resurrection of God
 
AZOR: The name Azor can mean either  a helper or a court.



MATTHEW 1:14

SADOC: No particular information available.
 
ACHIM: The name Achim can mean preparing, revenging or confirming.
 
ELIUD: The name Eliud means God is my praise.




MATTHEW 1:15

ELEAZAR: The name Eleazar means God has helped.
 
MATTHAN/MATTAN: The son of Eleazar, and father of Jacob who was the father of Joseph the husband of the Virgin Mary.
 
JACOB: No particular information on this Jacob available.




MATTHEW 1:16

JOSEPH:  The foster-father of our Lord in Matthew 1:16 & Luke 3:23.  He lived at Nazareth in Galilee as per Luke 2:4. He is called a "just man." He was by trade a carpenter Matthew 13:55. He is last mentioned in connection with the journey to Jerusalem, when Jesus was twelve years old. It is probable that he died before Jesus entered on his public ministry. This is concluded from the fact that Mary only was present at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. His name does not appear in connection with the scenes of the crucifixion along with that of Mary as per John 19:25.
 
In Matthew chapter 1, the English word begat appears in excess of thirty five times.  The English word begat comes from the Greek word gennao/gennaw.  It means to be the biological father or the male counterpart in the act of procreating.
 
Please notice in verse 17, three sets of fourteen generations.  The first set of fourteen would be Abraham to King David.  The second set of fourteen would be Kind David to Josiah.  And the third and last set of fourteen generations would be Josiah to Joseph the foster father of Jesus.




 MATTHEW 1:18

[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.

In the description of the divine nativity, the wording is very careful in order to keep all characters involved in their proper places of perspective. 
 
The English word birth comes from the Greek word gennesis/gennhsiV.  This has to do with a live, physical, human birth as we would understand it in the natural vernacular. 
 
The English word espoused comes from the Greek word mnesteuo/mnhsteuw.  This particular Greek word answers an age old question.  Was Joseph and Mary married at this time or just engaged.  The use of this Greek word indicates they were only engaged and that intimate martial union has not taken place at this time. 
 
The English word before comes from the Greek word prin/ prin.  Quite simply, prior to the event in question.  In this case,  the span of time between the betrothal ceremony at the temple, and the actual consummation of the marriage.
 
The English phrase come together comes from the Greek word sunercomai/sunerchomai.  It means the act of coming together for conjugal purposes.  As to consummate a marriage.  Therefore, it would seem that the time of the marriage and consummation was getting close and Joseph needed to know what was going on.
 
The English word found comes from the Greek word euriskw/heurisko. In this case, she was found to be already pregnant before the time of marriage and consummation.  However, Holy Spirit was the father of her unborn baby not a normal, natural, mortal man.
 
Luke 1:35, gives us even more information about the conception of Christ.  In this verse, Holy Spirit came upon her, and the very power of the very God overshadowed her.  It was due to the power of God Himself that Mary conceived.  And according to Luke 1:35, the conceived child which she was carrying was Holy in the sight of God.
 
Therefore, in Matthew 1:18, after the betrothal ceremony, and, before the act of the wedding and consummation, it was discovered that Mary was pregnant.  However, the Bible is very careful to make sure the reader understands that it is Holy Spirit who is the father of Jesus not Joseph or a natural mortal man.
 
This is in direct fulfillment of the prophecy found in Isaiah 7:14...Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
 
As per the wording of Matthew 1:18, the actual marriage of Joseph and Mary would have had to be complete.  For the Greek wording would indicate that Joseph was approaching Mary for the purpose of sexual intercourse.
 
In the Greek New Testament, the virgin birth is not presented on the level of the mythical, but on the level of historical fact.
 
The virgin birth proves GOD the FATHER can create anything.
 
As per the SCRIPTURES, Joseph could have either divorced Mary, or even had her executed as per Deuteronomy 22:13-21.
 
John 1:14...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
 
Notice the smooth transition from the genealogy of JESUS to the actual historical account of His birth.
 
Just as HOLY SPIRIT was instrumental in the creation in Genesis 1, HOLY SPIRIT  again is instrumental in the creation of the body which will house the Messiah. 
 
Between engagement and marriage can be a period of just over a year.  However, the legal position of the fiancee' remains constant.  And engagement in this society was as binding as the actual marriage itself.  But, consummatio matrimonii at this particular time had not occurred. 
 
Here in Matthew 1:18,  the  Greek  word   sunercomai/sunerchomai has to do with that of marital intimacy.   Meaning, that Mary was still a virgin when her wedding time came about.
 
In the Hebrew society, an engagement was as enforceable as the actual marriage itself.  In the event that one/both of the parties wanted out of this marriage, a bill of divorcement would be required.




MATTHEW 1:19

[19] Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

 
In Matthew 1:19, the English word husband comes from the Greek word aner/anhr.  It means that according to the local religious/governmental practices of that region, the man and the woman in question are, in fact by the letter of the law, legally married.  As is the wording of the Greek New Testament.  Even though Joseph and Mary were only betrothed, in the eyes of the government and the temple they were for all practical intents and purposes, in fact married.  Then Joseph found out about Jesus just as he and Mary were about to have the wedding and consummate the marriage.  Please notice, that as per Jewish laws, Joseph is already being referred to as aner/anhr. 
 
In verse 19, Joseph decided on a very quiet divorce as per the Law of God in Deuteronomy 24:1.  Mind you, Joseph could have opted for a very public/messy divorce, or he could have even had Mary judicially executed.  Instead, he chooses a quiet/discreet divorce.In verse 20, the Bible uses the word thought.  In my opinion, and I stress my opinion, it was while Joseph agonized on these things.  At this time he was feeling a very deep sickening hurt and agony.  He was feeling betrayal, love and anger all at the same time.  However, he had decided that in the long run, a quite, discreet little divorce would probably be the best interest to all parties concerned.
Please note here Numbers 5:11-22.
 
Deuteronomy 24:1-4...When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.




MATTHEW 1:20

[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.

 
While Joseph was going through the process of getting Mary out of his life, one night while sleeping, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph and tells him not to fear to take Mary as his wife.  For the child she is carrying has been conceived by Holy Spirit.
 
There are those who say that the Bible never does say that Joseph is of the house of David.  Look at Matthew 1:20.  It does say that Joseph is of the house of David.
 
There are times, when in order for GOD to get us into the position which He would need for us to be in, He will give us an instruction which, on the surface, appears ludicrous.  For Joseph, it would appear that he is aiding and abating an unfaithful adulteress.  However, when GOD steps in, suddenly Joseph's fears turns to calm.  And he now knows that he has stepped into the will and plan of GOD Himself.
 
It is quite possible that Matthew 1:20 is an epiphany.  An epiphany is a pre-Bethlehem appearance of Jesus Christ. 
 
Genesis 18 is an epiphany of Jesus Christ.  He is the one who came to Sarah to tell her she would be having a baby in the next year and to announce to Abraham the destruction of Sodom. 
 
When you compare Exodus 3:14 with John 18:5-8, Moses, without a doubt, has an epiphany of Jesus Christ at the burning bush event. Then Moses has yet another epiphany of Jesus Christ in Exodus 33:18-23.
 
You see another epiphany of Jesus in the form of the Shekinah Glory of God in Exodus 40:33-38; I Kings 8:10-11;  II Chronicles 5:13-14; II Chronicles 7:1-3 & Ezekiel 1-3.  Compare these verse with Mark 9:2-4: Luke 9:29-31 & Revelation 1:12-16.
 
I JOHN 3:1-3... Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
 
In this verse Jesus announces three things to Joseph:
[1] Joseph is the Son of David
[2] Not to be afraid to take unto himself Mary to be his wife
[3] The baby she is carrying was conceived by Holy Spirit




MATTHEW 1:21

[21] And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
 
The fact that Jesus came to the earth, this time, to bring mankind into right standing with God, is what finally caused Him to be rejected by Israel in Luke 21:24.
 
Israel did not want spiritual help.  They wanted political and military help in that they wanted to be free from Rome.  And since that was not the reason which Jesus came to the earth, He was rejected by the Nation of Israel in John 1:11-13.
 
JESUS: The name Jesus can also mean Joshua, the son of Nun as per Acts 7:45 & Hebrews 4:8.  Note also Colossians 4:11.
Jesus, the proper as Christ, is the official, name of our Lord.  To distinguish him from others so called, he is spoken of as "Jesus of Nazareth" as in John 18:7, and "Jesus the son of Joseph" as in John 6:42.
Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which was originally Hoshea in Numbers 13: & 16.  But changed by Moses into Jehoshua in Numbers 13:16 & In Chronicles 7:27. After the Exile, it assumed the form Jeshua, whence the Greek form Jesus. It was given to our Lord to denote the object of his mission, to save in Matthew 1:21. 

The life of Jesus on earth may be divided into two great periods.  First, that of his private life, till he was about thirty years of age.  Then secondly,  that of his public life, which lasted about three years.

In the "fulness of time" he was born at Bethlehem, in the reign of the emperor Augustus, of Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter in Matthew 1:1;  Luke 3:23 & John 7:42.  His birth was announced to the shepherds in Luke 2:8-20. Wise men from the east came to Bethlehem to see him who was born "King of the Jews," bringing gifts with them in Matthew 2:1-12.  Herod's cruel jealousy led to Joseph's flight into Egypt with Mary and the infant Jesus, where they tarried till the death of this king  in Matthew 2:13-23.  After this,  they returned and settled in Nazareth, in Lower Galilee as per Matthews 2:23; Luke 4:16 & John 1:46.. At the age of twelve years he went up to Jerusalem to the Passover with his parents. There, in the temple, "in the midst of the doctors," all that heard him were "astonished at his understanding and answers" as per Luke 2:41.

Eighteen years pass, of which we have no record beyond this, that he returned to Nazareth and "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" in Luke 2:52.

He entered on his public ministry when he was about thirty years of age. It is generally reckoned to have extended to about three years. "Each of these years had peculiar features of its own.
The first year may be called the year of obscurity, both because the records of it which we possess are very scanty, and because he seems during it to have been only slowly emerging into public notice. It was spent for the most part in Judea.

The second year was the year of public favor, during which the country had become thoroughly aware of him; his activity was incessant, and his frame rang through the length and breadth of the land. It was almost wholly passed in Galilee.

The third was the year of opposition, when the public favor ebbed away. His enemies multiplied and assailed him with more and more pertinacity, and at last he fell a victim to their hatred. The first six months of this final year were passed in Galilee, and the last six in other parts of the land."
The only reliable sources of information regarding the life of Christ on earth are the Gospels, which present in historical detail the words and the work of Christ in so many different aspects.

The name Jesus, itself, means Savior; the name of the Son of God as announced by the angel to his parents; the personal name of Our Lord, in distinction from Christ, his official appellation.
 
SIN:  Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God, Romans 4:15 & I John 3:4,  in the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission, Romans 6:12-17 & 7:5-25.  It is "not a mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system of things, but an offence against a personal lawgiver and moral governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is, first, intrinsically vile and polluting and that second,  that it justly deserves punishment, and calls down the righteous wrath of God. Hence sin carries with it two inalienable characters, first,  ill-desert, guilt (reatus); and second pollution (macula)."
 
The moral character of a man's actions is determined by the moral state of his heart. The disposition to sin, or the habit of the soul that leads to the sinful act, is itself also sin, Romans 6:12-17; Galatians 5:17 & James 1:14-15.

The origin of sin is a mystery, and must for ever remain such to us. It is plain that for some reason God has permitted sin to enter this world, and that is all we know. His permitting it, however, in no way makes God the author of sin.

Adam's sin, Genesis 3:1-6, consisted in his yielding to the assaults of temptation and eating the forbidden fruit. It involved in it, first,  the sin of unbelief, virtually making God a liar; and second,  the guilt of disobedience to a positive command. By this sin he became an apostate from God, a rebel in arms against his Creator. He lost the favour of God and communion with him; his whole nature became depraved, and he incurred the penalty involved in the covenant of works.

Original sin. "Our first parents being the root of all mankind, the guilt of their sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature were conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation." Adam was constituted by God the federal head and representative of all his posterity, as he was also their natural head, and therefore when he fell they fell with him, Romans 5:12-21 & I Corinthians 15:22-45.  His probation was their probation, and his fall their fall. Because of Adam's first sin all his posterity came into the world in a state of sin and condemnation, first, a state of moral corruption, and second,  of guilt, as having judicially imputed to them the guilt of Adam's first sin.

"Original sin" is frequently and properly used to denote only the moral corruption of their whole nature inherited by all men from Adam. This inherited moral corruption consists in, first, the loss of original righteousness; and second,  the presence of a constant proneness to evil, which is the root and origin of all actual sin. It is called "sin," Romans 6:12-17 & 7:5-17;  the "flesh" Galatians 5:17-24,  "lust" James 1:14-15,  the "body of sin"  Romans 6:6, "ignorance," "blindness of heart," "alienation from the life of God" Ephesians 4:18-19.  It influences and depraves the whole man, and its tendency is still downward to deeper and deeper corruption, there remaining no recuperative element in the soul. It is a total depravity, and it is also universally inherited by all the natural descendants of Adam Romans 3:10-23; 5:12-21 & 8:7.  Pelagians deny original sin, and regard man as by nature morally and spiritually well; semi-Pelagians regard him as morally sick; Augustinians, or, as they are also called, Calvinists, regard man as described above, spiritually dead Ephesians 2:1 & I John 3:14.  





MATTHEW 1:22

[22] Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

 
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus made it very clear that He did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets.  But Jesus came to fulfill and finish the Law and the Prophets. Please note here  II Peter 1:21.
 
II PETER 1:21...For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
 
We see that it is the will of God that one of the ways in which he has spoken to His people  is by the Holy Prophets.
 
II Peter 1:21 gives to us the argument that all Scripture is teleological in nature.  In that the teleological argument is a philosophical doctrine which argues that all things gives evidence that there was an intelligent designer who designed all things with a specific purpose in mind at the moment of design.  That without an intelligent designer, nothing can exist.
 
In the Gospels, the Psalms and the Prophets are quoted quite heavily and frequently.  This gives evidence that the Heavenly Father Himself is firmly regarded as the One who speaks in Scripture.  The point being, that this insight is not a theory which denies or excludes the human authors.  Meaning, these men are not introduced merely indirectly as intermediaries, but directly as the true hands of what is said. 
 
One of the numerous purposes of the life of Jesus, was to fulfil the Prophetic Manuscripts which are spoken with Divine authority, and which can be called directly the Word of God.  In Biblical thinking is quite incompatible with the concept of God that the event should lag behind God's Word.  That the full measure of fulfilment should must needs be reached.  God fulfils His Word by full actualisation.
 
The Old Testament Prophets are the mouth of God through which He speaks to mankind.
 
ISAIAH 7:14...Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.





MATTHEW 1:23

[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.

 
The name Emmanuel/Immanuel literally means the literal God the Father is living with us.
 
In the original Isaiah manuscript, it did not say "a virgin will conceive," but that "the" virgin will conceive."  Denoting a certain preselected female for this event.
 
Here you have the very God, the Heavenly Father, stepping into the events and affairs of man in the fleshly form of one Jesus Christ.



MATTHEW 1:24

[24] Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

 
In verses 20 & 21 Joseph is given the definitive instruction to take unto himself Mary to be his wife.  In verse 21 Joseph is told to call His name Jesus.
 
Verses 24 & 25 is a very interesting study in responding to an instruction and the reaction to that instruction. 




MATTHEW 1:25

[25] And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
 
Notice the wording of verse 25.  Two specific statements stand out about verse 25.  First they did not consummate their marriage until after the birth of Jesus.  This is in conjunction to Isaiah 7:14.  Then secondly, as per the instructions of verse 21, Joseph and Mary name the baby Jesus.
 
The wording of this verse confirms that Jesus was the first of many children which Joseph and Mary will parent.
 
1. Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea as per: Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1 & Luke 2:4-7.
 
2.  Jesus was to be born of a virgin as per: Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18 & Luke 1:26-35.