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.
There is a problem with Jesus' heirship through Joseph because of a curse of God on one of the kings of Israel. Consequently, his legal lineage provided for Jesus' right to the Davidic throne, but not by flesh. Mary, however, came from the physical line of David.
THE CURSE OF JEHOIAKIM
An unusual curse in Jeremiah 36:1-32 gives new insight into the virgin birth of Jesus. Jehoiakim was a king of Israel. He angered God by burning a scroll that Jeremiah the prophet wrote. God cursed Jehoiakim by indicating that none of his children would sit on the throne of David (Jeremiah 36:29-31). And although Jehoiakim had children, scripture shows that none of them ever reigned as King David had.
Joseph, the father of Jesus, was one of Jehoiakim's descendants (through Jeconiah).
Joseph's offspring could not claim David's throne because of the curse. Jesus laid claim to the throne of David (Luke 1:32, Acts 2:30, Hebrews 12:2). If Jesus had been born of Joseph, the curse would have been contradicted.
Also, God had promised David that one of his physical descendants would reign on the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Samuel 7:12-13).
One man had to be both heir to and offspring of David, without being the genetic descendant of Jehoiakim.
THE REJECTION OF JEHOIACHIN (Coniah, Jeconiah)
24-27 Verses 24-30 deal with the condemnation of Jehoiachin (Coniah).
Coniah (the name occurs only in Jer 22:24, 28; 37:1) is the abbreviated form of Jeconiah and alternate form of Jehoiachin, which is probably his throne name (cf. Jehoahaz-Shallum [v. 11]).
The son and successor of Jehoiakim (v.24), Jehoiachin was exiled in 597 B.C. (cf. 2 Kings 24:8-17; 25:27-30). After a reign of three months over Judea, he was imprisoned for thirty-seven years in Babylon.
Coniah’s full name (Jeconiah) means “the LORD will establish,” but permanence and stability were not his portion because of his wickedness.
Although Jesus was a legal descendant to Joseph, he was not a physical descendant. Luke's genealogy directly addressed this issue by stating Jesus was "supposedly the son of Joseph" (Luke 3:23). Clearly, people had assumed that Joseph was the biological father of Jesus, when in fact he was not (Matthew 13:55).
At first glance, Matthew and Luke appear to be in disagreement as to who Joseph's father was. Matthew states he was the son of Jacob, while Luke states he was the son of Heli.
Fortunately, an unlikely source has aided scholars in unraveling this mystery. The Jerusalem Talmud indicates that Mary was the daughter of Heli (Haggigah, Book 77, 4). Joseph was the son-in-law of Heli. Luke could rightfully call Joseph the "son of Heli" because this was in compliance with use of the word "son" at that time. Moreover, designating a son-in-law as a son had scriptural precedent. Refer to Son in Jewish Genealogies for more on this topic. Thus, Joseph was the son of Jacob, and the son-in-law of Heli.