1The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

2Abraham became the father of Isaac. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Jacob became the father of Judah and his brothers. 3Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron. Hezron became the father of Ram. 4Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon. Nahshon became the father of Salmon. 5Salmon became the father of Boaz by Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed by Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse. 6Jesse became the father of King David. David the king became the father of Solomon by her who had been Uriah’s wife. 7Solomon became the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam became the father of Abijah. Abijah became the father of Asa. 8Asa became the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat became the father of Joram. Joram became the father of Uzziah. 9Uzziah became the father of Jotham. Jotham became the father of Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Hezekiah. 10Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh. Manasseh became the father of Amon. Amon became the father of Josiah. 11Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12After the exile to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel. 13Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim. Eliakim became the father of Azor. 14Azor became the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim. Achim became the father of Eliud. 15Eliud became the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan. Matthan became the father of Jacob. 16Jacob became the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, from whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the exile to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ, fourteen generations.

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: After his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. 20But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take to yourself Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21She shall give birth to a son. You shall name him Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”

22Now all this has happened that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,

23“Behold, the virgin shall be with child,

and shall give birth to a son.

They shall call his name Immanuel,”

which is, being interpreted, “God with us.”

24Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife to himself; 25and didn’t know her sexually until she had given birth to her firstborn son. He named him Jesus.

Matthew's Focus on the Gentile World

Topical study | Matt 1:1 | Hershel Wayne House

The gospel according to Matthew has often been considered as a work that was written from a Jewish perspective and addressed to a Jewish audience, which is largely true. The initial verse connects Jesus as the son of David and Abraham, and the following genealogy that connects Jesus to these patriarchs gives us the first clue. 

The listing of the genealogies, reference to fulfillments of Old Testament passages, and the mission of the disciples to the house of Israel in Matt 10, lends support to this thesis.  Other tell-tale signs such as the use of the term "kingdom of heaven," rather than "kingdom of God," and the lone statement of Jesus, among the four gospels, which says "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" adds additional support. One finds in the Gospel more uses of "son of David" than the combined usage of the designation in the other gospels. Unlike Mark's gospel, which explains Jewish customs (e.g. Mark 7:2-4), Matthew gives various customs without any explanation (such as references to phylacteries and tassels (Mark 23:5), or the temple tax (Mark 17:24-27).

It is like the primary focus of Matthew  to explain to His Jewish readers, probably at Antioch, why the earthly Davidic reign did not begin with the coming of Jesus the Messiah, as the Jews had anticipated from Old Testament prophecies.

Yet, in spite of this obvious Jewish emphasis, Matthew also has an unusual Gentile foci. This is not unexpected since 1:1 introduces David the King and the patriarch Abraham, reflecting Yahweh's covenant with Abraham. The Abrahamic covenant is made up of three parts. First, it unconditionally guarantees that the land given to Abraham is conveyed to his physical descendants through Isaac and Jacob (Israel). Second, the kingdom rule of David and his posterity is confirmed, ultimately to be realized with the coming of Messiah Jesus, who will reign after His return to earth. Last of all is the promise that through this covenant the Gentiles would be blessed, what is often called the New Covenant.

After the introduction of the connection of Jesus the Messiah with King David and the patriarch Abraham, Matthew provides a genealogy from these two important ancestors of the Messiah Yeshua, that includes several Gentile women, namely Tamar, Ruth, and Bathsheba.

The introduction of several Gentile women into the genealogy is totally unexpected. The woman Tamar, in the story of Judah, is given first in 1:3. The woman of Jericho who protected the spies Joshua and Caleb was Rahab (1:5) who was married to Salmon, were the parents of Boaz, who in turn was the man who married the Moabite woman, Ruth. They became the great grandparents of David the King of Israel. Last of all is Bathsheba, married to Uriah the Hittite, and eventually became the mother of king Solomon, and finally ancestor of Mary the mother of Jesus, through Nathan son of Solomon.

Another indication  of his emphasis on the Gentile world is the coming of the Magi from Persia, found in chapter two of Matthew. It is uncertain what caused the Magi to pay attention to this mysterious star that led them to Jerusalem to worship the Jewish King of Kings.

Another example is that in Matthew's gospel (15:21-28) Jesus is approached by a Syro-Phonecian woman that asked for Him to heal her daughter that is demon-possessed. Due to her great faith (v 28), though she was not a Jew, to whom he said He was sent (v. 24), nonetheless He answered her prayer.

An important feature that is unique to Matthew is the statement by Jesus at Caesarea Philippi (Panias), in a Gentile area, that He was going to build His church (ἐκκλησία, ekklesia), a word that is never found in the other gospels. The reference to the church is found in Matthew 16 (founding of the new assembly of believers) and Matthew 18 (discipline of church members). This new body of believers began with the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, that anticipates the growth of the new fellowship of believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit and what becomes known as the body of Christ. This was a clear departure from the synagogue in Israel, as the believers in Jesus spread throughout the world.

Last all is the Great Commission to the Gentile world in Matthew 28. Early in the book Jesus gives His disciples a commission to the house of Israel (Matthew 10, especially vv 5-6), specifically telling them not to go to the Gentiles, yet in Matthew 28:19-20 He commands them to go to the nations (ἔθνη), a common designation for the non-Jewish world. This may also help us to understand why the command to baptize these nations in the name of the Trinity, since the Gentiles had not been instructed regarding true God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. On the other hand, the places that baptism is mentioned in the Acts it is always in the name of Jesus, since the Jews or Jewish proselytes were already instructed regarding the Father and the Spirit from the Father. Identification with Jesus the Messiah was the focus.