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Matthew 1:17

Matthew 1:17

So all the generations from Abraham
The Evangelist having traced the genealogy of Christ from Abraham, which he divides into "three" parts, because of the threefold state of the Jews, "first" under Patriarchs, Prophets, and Judges, "next" under Kings, and "then" under Princes and Priests, gives the sum of each part under its distinct head; "so all the generations", that is, the degrees of generation, or the persons generated from Abraham to David, both being included, "are fourteen generations"; as there were, and no more, and are as follow, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Phares, Esrom, Aram, Amminadab, Naasson, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David.

And from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen
Here David who closed the first division must be excluded this, and it must be observed, that the Evangelist does not say as before, that "all" the generations from David to the captivity were fourteen, for there were seventeen, three kings being omitted by him at once; but, the generations he thought fit to mention, in order to reduce them to a like number as before, and which were sufficient for his purpose, were fourteen; and may be reckoned in this order, Solomon, Roboam, Abia, Asa, Josaphat, Joram, Ozias, Joatham, Achaz, Ezekias, Manasses, Amon, Josias, Jechonias, or Jehoiachin.

And from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen
This must be understood as before; for there might be more generations in this interval, but these were enough to answer the design of the Evangelist; and which he thought proper to mention, and may be numbered in this manner; Jechonias, or Jehoiachin, Salathiel, Zorobabel, Abiud, Ehakim, Azor, Sadoc, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph, Christ. This way of reckoning by generations was used by other nations as well as the Jews F21, particularly the Grecians; so


F23 Pausanias says,

``From Tharypus to Pyrrhus the son of Achilles, (pente andrwn) (kai deka eisi geneai) , were fifteen generations of men.''

And Herodotus F24 speaking of those who had reigned in Babylon, says, among them were two women, one whose name was Semiramis, who reigned before the other (genehsi pente) , five generations; many other instances of the like kind might be given.

F21 Vid. Pirke Abot. c. 5. sect. 2.
F23 Attica sive l. 1. c. 10. p. 19.
F24 Clio. l. 1. c. 184. p. 74.