Matthew 1:1

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
All Commentaries on Matthew 1:1 Go To Matthew 1

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
What Matthew publishes in order of kingly succession, Luke has set forth in order of priestly origin. While accounting for each order, both indicate the relationship of the Lord to each ancestral lineage. The order of his lineage is thus duly presented, because the association of the priestly and royal tribes that was begun through David from marriage is now confirmed out of the descent from Shealtiel to Zerubbabel. And so, while Matthew recounts his paternal origin that began in Judah, Luke teaches that his ancestry was taken from the tribe of Levi. Each in his own way demonstrates the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is both the eternal king and priest, as seen even in the fleshly origin of both of his ancestries. It does not matter that the origin of Joseph instead of Mary is recounted, for indeed there is one and the same blood relationship for the whole tribe. Moreover, both Matthew and Luke provide precedents. They name fathers in order not so much by their lineage as by their clan, since the tribe began from one individual and continues under a family of one succession and origin. Indeed, Christ has to be shown as the son of David and Abraham, so Matthew began in this way: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” It does not matter who is placed in a given order as long as the whole family is understood to derive from a single source. Joseph and Mary belonged to the same kinship line. Joseph is shown to have sprung from the line of Abraham. It is revealed that Mary came from this line, too. This system is codified in law so that, if the oldest of a family should die without sons, the next oldest brother of the same family would take the dead man’s wife in marriage. He would consider his sons as received into the family of the one who had died, and thus the order of succession remains with the firstborn, since they are considered to be the fathers of those born after them in either name or birth.
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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