So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
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Ambrose of Milan
Again, from Jeconiah to Joseph are computed twelve generations; yet he afterwards calls these also fourteen. But if you look attentively, you will beable to discover the method by which fourteen are reckoned here. Twelve are reckoned including Joseph, and Christ is the thirteenth; and history declares that there were two Joakims, that is two Jeconiahs, father and son. The Evangelist has not passed over either of these, but has named them both. Thus, adding the younger Jeconiah, fourteen generations are computed.
This particular number of generations, totaling forty, is a sign of that laborious period in which, under the discipline of Christ the King, we will continue to fight against the devil. The same number was foreshadowed in both the law and the prophets, who had already solemnized a fast of forty days for the humbling of the soul (this pattern was firmly set in the narratives of Moses and Elijah, each of whom fasted for forty days). The Gospel narrative itself then again foreshadowed this same number in the fast of the Lord himself, during his forty days of temptation by the devil. What else does this narrative show than that condition of temptation which pertains to us through all the space of this age? Christ bore this temptation in the flesh when he condescended to take upon himself our own mortality. Add to this also that after his resurrection, it was his will to remain with his disciples on the earth not longer than forty days. During this time he continued to mingle his resurrecte...
De Cons. Evan, ii, 4: Or, one of Christ’s forefathers is counted twice, because in him, Jeconiah to wit, there was made a passing off to strange nations since he was carried to Babylon. Wherever a series turns out of the right line to go in any other direction there is an angle made, and that part that is in the angle is reckoned twice. Thus here is a figure of Christ, who passes from the circumcision to the uncircumcision, and is made a cornerstone.
After having divided the whole into three periods of fourteen generations, he does not sum them all up and say, The sum of the whole is forty and two; because one of those fathers, that is Jeconiah, is reckoned twice; so that they do not amount to forty-two, as three times fourteen does, but because one is reckoned twice over, there are only forty-one generations. Matthew therefore, whose purpose was to draw out Christ’s kingly character, counts forty successions in the genealogy exclusive of Christ. This number denotes the time for which ...
Or we may say that there are three Kings overlooked, as was said above.
Or in this number is signified the sevenfold grace of the Holy Spirit. The number is made up of seven, doubled, to show that the grace of the Holy Spirit is needed both for soul and body to salvation. In the second are denoted the men under the Law; for all who are included in it were under the Law. In the third are found the men of grace; for it is finished in Christ, who was the giver of grace; and because in it was the deliverance from Babylon, signifying the deliverance from captivity that was made by Christ.
Or, the ten refers to the decalogue, the four to this life present, which passes through four seasons; or by the ten is meant the Old Testament, by the four the New.
Having enumerated the generations from Abraham to Christ, he divides them into three divisions of fourteen generations, because three times at the end of fourteen generations the state of the people of the Jews was changed. From Abraham to David they were under Judges; from David to the carrying away into Babylon under Kings; from the carrying away to Christ under the High Priests. What he would show then is this: like asever at the end of fourteen generations the state of men has changed, so there being fourteen generations completed from the carrying away to Christ, it must needs be that the state of men be changed by Christ. And so since Christ allthe Gentiles have been made under one Christ Judge, King, and Priest. And for that Judges, Kings, and Priests prefigured Christ’s dignity, their beginnings were always in a type of Christ; the first of the Judges was Joshua the son of Nave; the first of the Kings, David; the first of the Priests, Jesus son ofJosedech. That this was typical...
He has divided all the generations into three portions, to indicate that not even when their form of government was changed did they become better, but alike under an aristocracy, and under a king, and under an oligarchy, they were in the same evil ways, and whether popular leaders, or priests, or kings controlled them, it was no advantage to them in the way of virtue.
But wherefore has he in the middle portion passed over three kings, and in the last, having set down twelve generations, affirmed them to be fourteen? The former question I leave for you to examine; for neither is it needful for me to explain all things to you, lest ye should grow indolent: but the second we will explain. To me then he seems in this place to be putting in the place of a generation, both the time of the captivity, and Christ Himself, by every means connecting Him with us. And full well does he put us in mind of that captivity, making it manifest that not even when they went down there, did they become ...
He made fourteen generations, because the ten denotes the Decalogue, and the four the four books of the Gospel; whence this shows the agreement of the Lawand the Gospel. And he put the fourteen three times over, that he might she that the perfection of law, prophecy, and grace, consists in the faith of the Holy Trinity.
But if any, maintaining that it is not the same Jeconiah, but two different persons, make the number forty and two, we then shall say that the Holy Churchis signified; for this number is the product of seven, and six; (for six times seven make forty-two;) the six denotes labour, and the seven rest.
He divides the generations into three [different] conditions [of leadership], to show the Jews that although they were ruled by judges, as they were until David, and by kings, as they were until the deportation, and by priests, as they were until Christ, yet it did not benefit them at all in acquiring virtue; but they were in need of the true Judge and King and Priest, Who is Christ. For when the line of their rulers had failed, then Christ came, in accordance with the prophecy of Jacob. How can there be fourteen generations from the deportation to Babylon until Christ when only thirteen persons are mentioned? If the reckoning of ancestry through the mother could be given, we would list Mary as well, and thus complete the number. But since it cannot, how can this be resolved? Some say that he counted the deportation itself as a person [i.e. as a generation].