Genealogy of the Lord Jesus

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This is given in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. According to the distinctive character of Matthew in which Christ is emphatically the Messiah and Son of David, the genealogy commences with Abraham; whereas in Luke, in which Christ is displayed as the Son of Man, the list is traced up to “Adam who was the son of God.” Both lists are the same from Abraham to David; then they differ until they reach Salathiel and Zorobabel, which names are in both lists; and then they again differ. The list in Luke is much fuller, having from David to Joseph forty-one names, where Matthew has only twenty-six. Names are omitted from Matthew, and this enables the whole to be brought into the three divisions of “fourteen generations.” Ozias is placed as the son of Joram, but on consulting 1 Chronicles 3:11-1211Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, (1 Chronicles 3:11‑12) (where for Ozias is read Azariah, as also in 2 Kings 14:2121And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah. (2 Kings 14:21)), it will be seen that three kings are omitted, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah. Such omissions are found in the genealogies in the Old Testament In 2 Chronicles 22:99And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom. (2 Chronicles 22:9) Ahaziah is called the son of Jehoshaphat; whereas he was his grandson; and by comparing the generations in 1 Chronicles 6:3-153And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 4Eleazar begat Phinehas, Phinehas begat Abishua, 5And Abishua begat Bukki, and Bukki begat Uzzi, 6And Uzzi begat Zerahiah, and Zerahiah begat Meraioth, 7Meraioth begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub, 8And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Ahimaaz, 9And Ahimaaz begat Azariah, and Azariah begat Johanan, 10And Johanan begat Azariah, (he it is that executed the priest's office in the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem:) 11And Azariah begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub, 12And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Shallum, 13And Shallum begat Hilkiah, and Hilkiah begat Azariah, 14And Azariah begat Seraiah, and Seraiah begat Jehozadak, 15And Jehozadak went into captivity, when the Lord carried away Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. (1 Chronicles 6:3‑15) with Ezra 7:1-51Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest: (Ezra 7:1‑5) seven names will be found to be omitted in the latter.
It will be noted that in Matthew the word “begat” is used, whereas in Luke it is more indefinite. Jesus was “supposed” or “accounted” to be the son of Joseph, and “Joseph was of Heli” without the word “begat.” Again, it should be noted that by a Jewish law if a man died childless, his brother was to raise up seed to the deceased by his widow, so that a son born thus might be called the legal son of the deceased, whereas he would be the actual or lineal son of his father, the brother of the deceased. The list in Matthew is clearly the royal line; between David and Salathiel twelve kings are given, all of whom are omitted from Luke. Being the royal line it must also be the legal line.
There is more difficulty as to the genealogy in Luke: is it the lineal line of Joseph or Mary? Women are never quoted as forming a line of succession, yet Christ is spoken of as the “seed” of the woman (Gen. 3:1515And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)); “come of woman” (Gal. 4:44But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (Galatians 4:4)); “the seed of Abraham” (Heb. 2:1616For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (Hebrews 2:16)); “the seed of David according to flesh” (Rom. 1:33Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (Romans 1:3); 2 Tim. 2:88Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: (2 Timothy 2:8)); “the offspring of David” (Rev. 22:1616I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Revelation 22:16)). And as the Lord was not really the son of Joseph, these scriptures can only be fulfilled through His mother, who must have been a lineal descendant of David and Abraham. It is better therefore to consider that Luke gives the lineal descent of the Lord through Mary. In accordance with the above it will be seen that Matthew in speaking of the birth of the Lord frequently mentions Joseph, seldom Mary; whereas Luke frequently mentions Mary, but seldom Joseph.