Rectifying the Apparent Contradictions of Christ’ Genealogy in Matthew and Luke

By Michael Daniels

King David was promised a natural heir in Isaiah 11:1, “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”

But without doubt, YHVH made an oath (Jer 22:29-30) that NONE of the Blood descendent’s of Jeconiah would sit on the throne of David. In fact, none of his Blood descendent’s would rule in Judah anymore. This is what is known as the “Cursed Lineage of Jeconiah”..

Additionally, any Messiah must of necessity come through Solomon (2 Sam 7:12-16) but…

Jeconiah was a descendant of Solomon and it appears an ancestor of Joseph, the husband of Mary – the Mother of Christ according to Matthew 1.

So how can the Messiah come from Solomon if the line of Jeconiah through David/Solomon is cursed? And How can Christ have the claim of being the Messiah if his Earthly ancestor was Jeconiah?

Clearly, any Messiah who was physically born of the seed of David through Solomon through Asa and the Kingly line (David’s lineage) on down through Jeconiah would be under the Same curse, and therefore Disqualified.

So how can we reconcile this apparent paradox? Let us look at the genealogies of Christ.

Many assume today that the two genealogies in the Gospel accounts are the different genealogies of Joseph and of Mary even though both Gospel accounts state explicitly that they are Joseph’s lineage..

But how can Joseph have two different genealogies? And why do the Gospels think it is so important to give us two different genealogies of Joseph?

The best solution that reconcile all scripture passages is that both genealogies are Joseph’s.. But how can that be? Because of a Levirate Marriage. Joseph had TWO Fathers and both of them can trace their lineage to David. But why is this important? Joseph’s natural Father, Eli has a direct lineage back to David through David’s son Nathan.. Thus fulfilling that the Messiah would come through David’s natural heir. A Natural heir that does not have a Blood Curse of Jeconiah.

But we are also told that the Messiah would have a legal claim to Solomon.. But how can the Messiah have a legal claim from Solomon if all of Solomons descendants have been cursed through Jeconiah?

Joseph also had a Legal Father through a Levirate Marriage, Jacob. Jacob can trace his lineage back to David through Solomon.

By Torah Law Joseph would have been the natural son of Eli and the legal son of Jacob. Since by the Law Joseph was raised up a seed to Jacob’s brother, Joseph would have been Eli and thus not having a the Blood curse of Jeconiah..

The Blood curse could not be transferred over to Joseph.. But since Jacob was the Legal father, all the rights from Jacob was transferred over to Joseph including all the property as well as title to the throne.

So with this in mind, Christ had now Legal status to the throne of David through Solomon without the Blood curse of Jeconiah.

Still someone may ask. Okay but how can Christ be the natural heir of Joseph if He had no Earthly father?

Through Adoption! Joseph adopted Christ.. It might be counter argued (mostly by Rabbinical Orthodox Jews) that adopted children can not inherit property, or even the title to the throne of Israel.

Torah does not bear this out..

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Gen 15:1-4

Now it came to pass after these things that Joseph was told, “Indeed your father is sick”; and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And Jacob was told, “Look, your son Joseph is coming to you”; and Israel strengthened himself and sat up on the bed. Then Jacob said to Joseph: “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’ “And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. Your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours, and will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance. But as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).” Gen 48:1-7

In the matter of the legal inheritance, Joseph of Nazareth was the proper, legal heir of David’s throne through the royal line of Solomon. He adopted Christ as his firstborn, making Christ the legal heir of the throne, there are three arguments one can use to prove that an adopted son inherits just as a natural one does:

  1. Had Abraham not had a child “of his own loins,” Eliezar of Damascus would have inherited his “kingdom” (mobile kingdom that it was)–and he had no genetic link.
  2. Jacob adopted two of Joseph’s sons as his own heirs, giving them and their posterity the same inheritance as Joseph’s brothers, including specific domains in Israel.
  3. The laws of levirate marriage required a dead man’s brother to “give him a son” if he had no children of his own by marrying his widow.  The son would carry the dead man’s name and inherit his property and thus continue his line even though he would not be the man’s genetic son

The statement that an adoptee “only inherits property-not a bloodline of a Throne,” is simply special pleading. In the ancient world, a kingdom was considered property–this is why you often see people in the Scriptures referring to themselves as a ruler’s “slaves,” his property. For a king to adopt an heir to his throne when he either lacked natural children or his own were disqualified for some reason was nothing unusual.

Christ was an adopted son of Joseph, not a natural son. Because of this, he was legally entitled to David’s throne and the blood curse did not apply through Jacob. However, David was promised a natural heir. By looking at the genealogy of Joseph through Luke we see that Joseph had direct human ancestry to King David through Nathan by his natural father, Eli. Remember that Luke was a gentile and a physician. His view of inheritance would be that of the natural lineage, rather than the legal lineage. Since Joseph adopted Christ, Christ received direct human ancestry to King David through Nathan.

So how do we know that Eli was Joseph natural father?

In another prophetic passage, Zechariah picks four names in correct order from the blood line of the Messiah 500 year before Christ was born. Zechariah knew from other prophecies the Messiah was to come from the line of David. In 1 Chronicles 3:1-9 we find that David had at least 15 sons. So Zechariah correctly picked Nathan as the line in which the Messiah would come. He also correctly picked the names Levi and Shimei (Semei) to be part of that line in his prophecy:

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves. Zech 12:10-14

If we look at Zechariah 12:10-14 we find that when Messiah appears, His natural family is going to mourn His appearing. Who is that natural family?  It begins with the house of David, continues through Nathan, covers the family of the house of Levi, and then mentions the family Shimei (or Semei). These are all recorded in the genealogy of Christ as recorded by Luke– and yes, they will mourn when they look on “Him” – whom they have pierced.

So Both Fathers of Joseph were of the same tribe, so no tribal inheritance would depart from the tribe.. Both could prove lineage to David… A Blood curse would not be transferred to descendant of a levirate marriage such as through a levirate marriage or by adoption but they could give legal claim to the throne…

This account has merit from the early church,

Africanus, writing in the 3rd century, is the first to reconcile the apparent contradiction between the two gospel genealogies. Citing the records of the desposyni, he details a levirate marriage: Matthan and Melchi, having taken the same woman to wife in succession, begat children who were uterine brothers, as the law did not prevent a widow, whether such by divorce or by the death of her husband, from marrying another. By Estha, then-for s uch is her name according to tradition-Matthan first, the descendant of Solomon, begets Jacob; and on Matthan’s death, Melchi, who traces his descent back to Nathan, being of the same tribe but of another family, having married her, as has been already said, had a son Eli. Thus, then, we shall find Jacob and Eli uterine brothers, though of different families. And of these, the one Jacob having taken the wife of his brother Eli, who died childless, begat by her the third, Joseph-his son by nature and by account. Whence also it is written, “And Jacob begat Joseph.” But according to law he was the son of Eli, for Jacob his brother raised up seed to him.

This view completely eliminates the genealogy contradiction in Matthew and Luke as well as eliminates the ill conceived attempt at making Luke’s account of the genealogy that of Mary when it explicitly states that it is of Joseph.

This view completely eliminates the idea that the Messiah came from a line with a blood curse upon it through Jeconiah.

This view completely eliminates the idea that any tribal inheritance was transferred.

This view completely eliminates the idea that the throne of David could pass through a female heir. Mary cannot confer the status of kingship. This is only transmitted through the male line (just as priesthood is)

This view preserves Christ coming from both Solomon (Legal) and David/Nathan (Natural), thus giving Christ proper claims to the throne of David through Solomon and preserves the natural heir from David.

Rabbinical Orthodox Counter Missionaries claimed that there is NO Biblical basis to this concept of passing on ones line through adoption. [Wrong– we mentioned 2 examples of a Biblical basis for passing on of one’s line strictly by adoption– Abraham to Eliezer and Israel to Ephraim/Manasseh]

Update: Mary’s Lineage

Interestingly, a rabbi named Elijah who lived during the life of Christ also agrees with Africanus lineage line of Joseph  but also gives MARY’s lineage line as well..

Mary born to Anne her mother and Joachim her father, who was son of Panther. Panther and Melchi were brothers, sons of Levi, of the stock of Nathan, whose father was David of the tribe of Judah.

So according to this rabbi,  Mary was related to Joseph’s natural father Eli through another brother named Panther who Panther bore Joachim who married Anne and bore Mary.

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