This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of King David and of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (their mother was Tamar). Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram.
Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon.
Salmon was the father of Boaz (his mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed (his mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse.
Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (his mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah).
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam was the father of Abijah. Abijah was the father of Asaph.
Asaph was the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram. Jehoram was the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah was the father of Jotham. Jotham was the father of Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh. Manasseh was the father of Amos. Amos was the father of Josiah.
Josiah was the father of Jehoiachin and his brothers (born at the time of the exile to Babylon).
After the Babylonian exile: Jehoiachin was the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud. Abiud was the father of Eliakim. Eliakim was the father of Azor.
Azor was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Akim. Akim was the father of Eliud.
Eliud was the father of Eleazar. Eleazar was the father of Matthan. Matthan was the father of Jacob.
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary was the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to King David, and fourteen from David's time to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.
Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
Joseph, her fiance, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly.
As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit.
And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
All of this happened to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet:
"Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us)."
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded. He brought Mary home to be his wife,
but she remained a virgin until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.
Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,
"Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him."
Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of Jerusalem.
He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law. "Where did the prophets say the Messiah would be born?" he asked them.
"In Bethlehem," they said, "for this is what the prophet wrote:
'O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village in Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.' "
Then Herod sent a private message to the wise men, asking them to come see him. At this meeting he learned the exact time when they first saw the star.
Then he told them, "Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!"
After this interview the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!
They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
But when it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up and flee to Egypt with the child and his mother," the angel said. "Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to try to kill the child."
That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother,
and they stayed there until Herod's death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: "I called my Son out of Egypt."
Herod was furious when he learned that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, because the wise men had told him the star first appeared to them about two years earlier.
Herod's brutal action fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah:
"A cry of anguish is heard in Ramah -- weeping and mourning unrestrained. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted -- for they are dead."
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and told him,
"Get up and take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead."
So Joseph returned immediately to Israel with Jesus and his mother.
But when he learned that the new ruler was Herod's son Archelaus, he was afraid. Then, in another dream, he was warned to go to Galilee.
So they went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophets concerning the Messiah: "He will be called a Nazarene."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)