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2: Genealogy and Birth of the Savior (Mt 1:1-25)
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2: Genealogy and Birth of the Savior (Mt 1:1-25)04

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Genealogy played an important role in Israelite life. The O.T. records about 25 genealogies (5, vol. 2/930). It was appropriate, therefore, that Matthew begins his book on Jesus with His genealogy.

The genealogy of Jesus serves a unique purpose. It tells us that He is the Messiah whom God had promised to His people and it reveals God’s salvation plan in the history of the chosen people. Following the genealogy is the story of Jesus’ birth, which is also important in establishing Jesus’ divine origin and mission in fulfillment of the promises in the O.T.

B.     Key Verse

            “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (1:21).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.       Genealogy (1:1) means “origin” or “beginning.”

2.       Begot (1:2) usually means to become the descendant’s father, but also refers simply to being the descendant’s ancestor. Thus Josiah was the grandfather (ancestor), not the father of Jeconiah (see v. 11; 1 Chr 3:15, 16). Biblical genealogies often list only prominent ancestors.

3.       Christ (1:16): The Anointed One, the long-expected “King of the Jews” (2:2, …). Christ is a title, not a name.

4.       The pledge to be married was legally binding. Only a divorce writ could break it, and infidelity at that stage was considered adultery (cf. Deut 22:23-24; Moore, Judaism, 2:121-22). The marriage itself took place when the groom (already called “husband,” 1:19) ceremoniously took the bride home.

5.       In Jewish culture, the contract of marriage was made about a year before the consummation of the marriage.

6.       Put her away secretly (1:19): He would sign the necessary legal papers but not have her judged publicly and stoned (see Dt 22:23-24).

7.       “Jesus” (1:21) is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Joshua,” which means “The Lord is salvation.”

II.    Observation

A.     Outline









B.     Key Words and Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

A.     1:1-17

1. Compare the genealogies in Matthew and Luke (3:23-38). Write down their differences and explain the reasons for these differences.

2. What titles are given to Jesus? What do these titles tell you about Jesus?

3. Matthew divides the genealogy into 3 sections of 14 generations. What does each section represent in the history of the chosen people? Why do you think Matthew records the genealogy?

4a. What do we know about each of the four women in the genealogy?

4b.Considering the fact that it was very unusual for women’s names to appear in a Jewish genealogy, what do you think are the reasons for its inclusion in Matthew?

5. What does the genealogy remind us about God?

B.     1:18-25

6. How did the angel address Joseph (20)? Could there be a reason for doing so?

7. Why was Jesus born of the Holy Spirit through a virgin?

8. Why was Jesus born into the world? (21)

9. In what ways was Jesus’ birth a miracle? 

10a.What is the meaning of the name “Jesus”?

10b.What is the connection between the name “Jesus” and the word “Immanuel”?

11. What does “Immanuel” mean to you personally? Do you experience it in your life?

12. What lessons can we learn from Joseph in this story?

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