It’s interesting to me to see not only the life and lives of the scriptures coming to life, but also the arguments and debates.
This first book of the New Testament is clearly written for Jewish people. This is seen from the very beginning of the very first chapter. Matthew 1 begins with a genealogy for Jesus the Messiah that sets up Joseph the husband of Mary as a direct descendant of David and Abraham. This genealogy serves at least a dual purpose. 1) It shows that Jesus has every right and privilege of being King David’s direct descendant. And, 2) It takes a step toward proving that Jesus is indeed the Messiah by showing the fulfillment of prophecy through this genealogy. It is the history of a Jew for Jews.
One of the debates that comes up is about the genealogy itself. According to Matthew’s depiction of the genealogy there are 14 generations defined from Abraham to David, 14 generations defined from David to the fall of, and 14 generations defined between the captivity and Jesus the Messiah. It’s a great pictorial representation, but it’s not without its issues. For instance, there appear to be discrepancies between this listing and the listing in the book of Luke, but my issues are more direct than that. How can there be 14 generations between Abraham and David?
When i go through this genealogy I see “Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.” That’s 4 generations between the time of Moses and the time of David. 1) Salmon to Boaz 2) Boaz to Obed 3) Obed to Jesse 4) Jesse to David. So according to this listing, all that happened between Moses bringing the people to the Jordan River in the end of Deuteronomy to David being anointed King by Samuel occurred within that 4 generation time span. That includes all of the book of Joshua (very feasible as it would have been done within one generation), and all of Judges (not so feasible?).
That’s where i get a bit more skeptical. Just looking at Judges 10 we see numerous minor Judges who served for a number of decades, died then another judge arose and judged Israel, and died and the people sinned again and are afflicted for decades again before we hear of another judge arising. Then when Samuel is born, the word of the Lord appears to have been scarce for a long time and he serves as Judge and priest for a long time before ever anointing David. That’s just a sampling of the issue. There’s still Deborah & Barak, Sampson, Gideon, etc. How could all of that fit into 4 generations?
Considering that all my life and experience with God / YHWH has shown me beyond a doubt that the scriptures truly are written by the inspiration of God and are infallible, how do i reconcile this and other difficult questions? The answer to this and other quandaries is much more simple and elegant than we may think. I have my answers / solutions to the puzzle, but what are yours? 😉
This is a chapter of foundations. After the flood, as each generation led the way to the next, there came a desire to protect and define each family. Cities and nations were built. Sons became fathers who had sons who became fathers who had sons… Some of these lines, families, and names were significant. Others were not. There were people who are defined by nothing more than a name. Others had legends and legacies that they left behind.
Many of the names i had to struggle to pronounce, but there were some that i knew well. It’s funny because as i was going through these lists of name and legacies and as i picked out those i recognized i began to realize something. Every name that i recognized, i recognized for the bad or evil that they did. I saw the Canaanites who lost their land to the Israelites because they were vomited out due to their own corruption and sins. The Philistines were enemies of the sons of Abraham for generation after generation. Nineveh was the capitol of the Assyrian empire which would eventually come through and destroy Israel. And of course Sodom and Gomorrah would be two cities destroyed by God in Abraham’s time due to their sin and corruption. They were so corrupt that we get the word sodomy from the name of the city of Sodom.
While there are many names and many people who started out on the right path with the right intentions and purposes, instead of holding to the true God that saved them in the flood, they pursued their own courses instead of God’s and they were overcome by their sins.
So that poses a question to think about. What prevents us, our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren, and on and on from the same fate? How do we insure that we don’t become the next Nineveh? Can we? Is it even possible to do?
In all honesty (to be brutally honest) i don’t know as that we can. I thing that the only things we can do are 1) to pursue God and 2) to lay the right foundation. Even then, there is no real guarantee that our children will pursue Him as well. Look at the lives of Samuel and David. Samuel found favor in God’s sight. He did what God called of him even when his mentor / adoptive father’s own children would not follow God. King David had the same problem. Even Solomon turned away from God and the nation was torn apart in the time of Solomon’s son (David’s grandson).
Does that mean that there is no hope and that what we do doesn’t matter? Of course not! Just look at Boaz (Ruth). He was a righteous man who did what was right in God’s sight. He became the great-grandfather of King David. It was from the line of David that Christ was born. Paul took in Timothy and trained him.
We must do two things. We must pursue God, and we MUST lay the foundation necessary for future generations. We cannot guarantee that our children and grandchildren will make the right choices, but we MUST give them a foundation that will encourage them to pursue God… not on their own terms, but on His.