Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus ends this way:

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

Luke’s genealogy of Jesus goes all the way back to Adam. The family line from Abraham to Noah and Noah to Adam is offered in Genesis–Matthew would have known it–so why does he stop at Abraham?

There’s a popular project in contemporary genealogy called Descent from Antiquity. It’s the challenging task of tracing one’s family tree in an unbroken line all the way to ancient times. The farther back one can go, the more impressive the feat. It seems like the same would be true for Matthew.

Isn’t a longer line more impressive? So why did he end Jesus’ lineage with Abraham, even though the OT is clear that Abraham’s father is Terah?

Surely it’s because Abraham is the patriarch of the faith Jesus came to fulfill. It was with Abraham that God made the old covenant.

Perhaps it’s interesting that Matthew’s genealogy only goes back to the beginning of God’s chosen people (Abraham), not the beginning of all people (Adam). But then again, aren’t we all sons of Adam?

Posted by Griffin Paul Jackson

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