How God Used 5 Women with Questionable Pasts in Jesus Genealogy

| Writer
2020
18 Dec
A woman walks away from the camera down a beach in thought under grey skies

Genealogies are not the most entertaining reading you can dive into. They do serve a purpose and they can reveal interesting ideas to us. Normally, they are there to legitimize an individual as an heir to a family or provide a connection to something in the past.

Matthew 1:1-17 is a genealogy of Jesus and there are a few notable issues. First, if you actually check the Biblical record, verse 17 can be disputed in its accuracy. There are actually a number of generations missing, but the intent of the author was not full accuracy, it was the idea of completion. Fourteen has a factor of seven, which in biblical numerology is related to completion and the author of Matthew was trying to show that God was in full control of the lineage of Jesus.

Additionally, it only goes back to Abraham, which serves to connect Jesus fully to his Jewish roots. In Luke 3:23-38, the genealogy goes all the way back to Adam, which would have been of more importance to Luke as he was a Gentile (non-Jewish) and needed to connect with Jesus prior to Abraham.

There is another issue in the genealogy of Matthew though and it is highly irregular considering the cultural biases that existed in the time it was written. There are five women listed in the genealogy of Jesus. This is highly unusual, especially given that the point of Matthew even listing the genealogy was to prove Jesus lineage back through David and Abraham which was done through the father’s side of a family (patrilineal)

It points out that Jesus is truly Jewish and an heir to David’s throne, fulfilling the promise that God made to King David that he would always have a descendant on the throne (2 Samuel 7:16). All this does is call out to us: why are these women listed in this genealogy? What purpose do they serve?

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