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The Cursed Lineage: Why Messiah Had to Be Born of a Virgin

from the heart of threemacs

The following is a post recorded in our guestbook on 25 Oct 2002..
please take a moment to read it.  This is a copy of a very common anti-missionary argument that would solidify the argument against Jesus (Yeshua) as the Messiah.  Following it is a response to the "Cursed Lineage" argument.

Adopted into a Cursed Lineage But, St. Matthew knew that any messiah of GOD had to be descended through the bloodlines of kings David, Solomon, and Asa (see below for an explanation). Eager to present Jesus as fulfilling this requirement, St. Matthew presents his readers with a lineage for Jesus going through his adopted father, Joseph, and through kings Asa and Solomon, all the way back to King David (Matt 1:1). But, this presents him with a trilemma -- a trinity of problems: According to early Christo-Paulian doctrine regarding his birth to a virgin mother, Jesus is not really related to Joseph's (and therefore King David's) lineage. The lineage Matthew presents conflicts flatly with the lineage that St. Luke came up with decades later (Luke 3:23). Luke's version has many more generations than Matthew's, and many of the names do not match up (except for a few which take the line through the Cursed Branch of Jehoiakim and Jeconiah). In trying to adopt Jesus into David's lineage (Matt 1:12), Matthew presents a family line that goes straight through the Cursed Branch of kings Jehoiakim and his son, Jeconiah (also known as Coniah/Jehoiachin). Matthew either intentionally or unintentionally omits King Jehoiakim in the list, which may confuse some people. But Jehoiakim (not Jeconiah) is undeniably the son of Josiah, and Jeconiah is the son of Jehoiakim. Jehoiachin/Jeconiah/Coniah are all names for the same king, son of Jehoiakim, who was carried away into captivity/exile in Babylon, and succeeded by his uncle, King Zedekiah (who was the brother of Jehoiakim). See 1st Chron 3:15-19, 2nd Kings 24:6-17, Esther 2:6, Jer 22:24-30, Jer 24:1, 27:20, 37:1). Jeconiah is the father of Shealtiel, and the grandfather of Zerubbabel, etc. In Jeremiah 22, both kings Jehoiakim and Jeconiah are damned and their descendents forbidden to succeed on the throne of David. (see also Isa 14:18 for references to the Abominable Branch) Jeremiah 22:24,28-30 "Surely as I live," says *YAHWEH*, "You, Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, even if you were a signet ring upon my right hand, I would cast you off!" Is this man Jeconiah a broken, abominable idol, an object for which no one cares?... Write this man off as if childless, a man who shall not prosper in his days, because no one descended from him shall find success in sitting in the Kingship of David or ruling any more in Judah.

The Branch of Jeconiah is damned forever. Jeconiah was carried away into exile and died there. His grandson, Zerub'babel, returned, but, true to the curse, never returned to the throne. And, none from their lineage has ever since. In a confused attempt to graft Jesus into a messianic line, the eager Matthew ended up putting Jesus into the cursed lineage branch. Ironically, for all their discrepancies, this is one of the few points at which Matthew's version of the genealogy and Luke's actually agree. That is to say, both stories list Jesus's lineage as running through Zerub'babel and Sheal'tiel, two of the cursed descendents of Jeconiah. Also see Isaiah 14:18 for more Abominable Branch references.

Oddly, Matthew has omitted the name of King Jehoiakim in his list. He left Jeconiah in, though. Genealogy: Matthew and Luke Contradict The fact of Jeconiah being in Jesus's adopted genealogy has caused an enormous headache for Christo-Paulian theologians, although the average person never learns of this because they rarely address this topic. This and the fact that Luke and Matthew contradict one another in the names of Joseph's ancestors has caused some apologizers, in desperation, to say that Luke's version of the lineage was "really" Mary's side of the family. This is groundless speculation, and is contrary to the fact that Luke states flatly that the lineage is Joseph's (Luke 3:23): "Jesus... being the son, supposedly, of Joseph, who was the son of Heli, the son of Matthat..." There is no support for the notion that it is Mary's line. It is merely wishful thinking. But, causing a fair amount of confusion in the issue, some Bibles actually insert a bit of misleading editorial commentary at the top of Luke 3:23 saying the genealogy is the "line of Mary". That's quite an assertion to make considering it has no scriptural support. Some casual Bible readers have actually taken this as if it were really part of the Bible, and moved on without question. Still, pretending that the lineage which Luke gives is Mary's makes no difference.

As we have already pointed out, it is part of the Cursed Branch of Jeconiah (remember, it runs through Jeconiah's son and grandson, Shealtiel and Zerubbabel), and thus makes Jesus an invalid candidate for being the messiah.


God Makes Foolish the Wisdom of Man

On a surface reading, the argument of the cursed lineage of Jesus actually seems to have merit.  I must admit.. it caused me to stop and read about it.  I had actually never heard of the cursed lineage of Jeconiah ... or at least never given it much thought.  I actually read the above post with some intensity... mainly because the Scripture really does say what this argument says it does (even though there are obvious ASSUMPTIONS made by many of the statements).   I was at first shocked... did Jesus (Yeshua) really come from a cursed lineage??  It appears that He did at first look, but He actually did not...  What was certainly a relief was that ANY "would-be" Messiah that would come from Solomon's lineage, at least through the kingly line, would have to come from a cursed lineage... That's right.  What is even more amazing is that God, I believe, purposefully set up a paradox in the requirements for the lineage of the Messiah.  It was a paradox so that no NATURAL birth could ever satisfy its requirements.  In fact, the ONLY way that ALL of the requirements for the Messiah's genealogy (whoever it would be) could be fulfilled was and is by a SUPERNATURAL means!  Herein lies the foolishness of God and the wisdom of man.  God loves confounding the wise-- He really does.  It is in man's wisdom that we in full knowledge traded the glory of God for our own vain imaginations of God.. that is what Romans 1:18-23  and 1 Corinthians 1:21-23 tells us.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things 
Romans 1:18-23 NKJV

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
1 Cor 1:20-23  NKJV

I believe this is somewhat the reasoning of "why" when it comes to understanding the question of the cursed lineage.  It is a paradox only understood by reliance on the power of God.. not the wisdom of man.

The Messianic Lineage

It goes without saying (almost) that Messiah would first of all come through the lineage of David.  After David asked the LORD if he could build the LORD a house (temple) for His glory, the LORD tells David instead that HE will build David a house!  Not only that, but the LORD makes the promise that Solomon, David's son, would be the ONE through whom the promise given to David would be continued.  It could be debated as to whether the Messiah MUST be of the lineage of Solomon physically or not... or whether this could be fulfilled legally through adoption.  Was it a requirement for the Messiah to come through the lineage of Solomon, or would it be OK if the Messiah came through the lineage of Nathan?  We will address this later.

But it happened that night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, 5 "Go and tell My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD: "Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? 6 For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. 7 Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, 'Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?' " ' 8 "Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. 9 And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, 11 since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house. 12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever." ' " 17 According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
2 Sam 7:4-17 NKJV

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
Isa 11:1 NKJV

And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.
Isa 11:10  NKJV

The fact that Messiah would come through the lineage of David is without question.  In Jewish culture, including that which existed when Yeshua walked the land of Israel 2000 years ago, the term "Son of David" became synonymous with "Messiah".   Messiah is THE son of David promised by the LORD who would establish the throne of David forever.  Without any doubt, Messiah MUST be of the genetic lineage of David.  Messiah is also referred to as a Branch, Root, and Stem of Jesse (David's father) and as the BRANCH Himself (Zechariah). 

Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;  A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Jer 23:5-6 NKJV

And he cried out, saying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Luke 18:37-40 NKJV

It is no accident that the King and Branch of David spoken of by Jeremiah will also be referred to as THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS... which is a direct reference to the divine nature of this very special man.  It is also clear that Solomon was intended to be King after David and to sit in his place on his throne.  This would tend to lend credence to the argument that says the Messiah must come through David-> Solomon.

28 Then King David answered and said, "Call Bathsheba to me." So she came into the king's presence and stood before the king. 29 And the king took an oath and said, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, 30 just as I swore to you by the LORD God of Israel, saying, 'Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,' so I certainly will do this day."
1 Kings 1:28-30 NKJV

It is important to note that SOMEWHERE in the genealogy of the Messiah, the promise given to David in this regard must be addressed:

"When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
2 Sam 7:12-16 NKJV

Solomon play a role (somewhere) in the Messiah's bloodline as well.  The Kingly line was to pass through Solomon.. and not another son of David-- for it was Solomon of whom the LORD spoke that he would build the LORD a house for His name.

It is also apparent that David had other sons besides Solomon-- one of which is Nathan.  In terms of the lineage of Solomon, there is a distinct lineage of kingly authority:  Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, and Josiah.  Josiah had fours sons: Johanan, Jehoikim, Zedekiah, and Shallum.   Jehoikim had 2 sons: Jeconiah and Zedekiah.

So David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. 13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he had come from Hebron. Also more sons and daughters were born to David. 14 Now these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
2 Sam 5:12-16 NKJV

Solomon's son was Rehoboam; Abijah was his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14 Amon his son, and Josiah his son. 15 The sons of Josiah were Johanan the firstborn, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, and the fourth Shallum. 16 The sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah his son and Zedekiah his son.
1 Chron 3:10-16 NKJV

Here is where the genealogy of the Messiah becomes interesting!  As you follow the lineage of Solomon on down through Asa and further down through Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, you finally arrive at Josiah.  Josiah's son was Jehoiakim and his son, Jeconiah [Jehoiachin, Coniah]. 

15 The sons of Josiah were Johanan the firstborn, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, and the fourth Shallum. 16 The sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah his son and Zedekiah his son.  17 And the sons of Jeconiah were Assir, Shealtiel his son, 18 and Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. 19 The sons of Pedaiah were Zerubbabel and Shimei. The sons of Zerubbabel were Meshullam, Hananiah, Shelomith their sister, 20 and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-Hesed--five in all.
1 Chron 3:15-20  NKJV

6 So Jehoiakim rested with his fathers. Then Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. 7 And the king of Egypt did not come out of his land anymore, for the king of Babylon had taken all that belonged to the king of Egypt from the Brook of Egypt to the River Euphrates.  8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother's name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.  10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, as his servants were besieging it. 12 Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner. 13 And he carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. 14 Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land. 15 And he carried Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. The king's mother, the king's wives, his officers, and the mighty of the land he carried into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 All the valiant men, seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths, one thousand, all who were strong and fit for war, these the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. 17 Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
2 Kings 24:6-17 NKJV

6 Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
Est 2:6  NKJV

24 "As I live," says the LORD, "though Coniah [Jeconiah] the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off; 25 and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear--the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return. 28 "Is this man Coniah [Jeconiah] a despised, broken idol-- A vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his descendants, And cast into a land which they do not know?  29 O earth, earth, earth, Hear the word of the LORD!  30 Thus says the LORD: 'Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.' "
Jer 22:24-30 NKJV

24:1 The LORD showed me, and there were two baskets of figs set before the temple of the LORD, after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
Jer 24:1-2 NKJV

19 "For thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, concerning the Sea, concerning the carts, and concerning the remainder of the vessels that remain in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem-- 21 yes, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem: 22'They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,' says the LORD. 'Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.' "
Jer 27:19-22 NKJV

37:1 Then King Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah [Jeconiah] the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. 2 But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land gave heed to the words of the LORD which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah.
Jer 37:1-2 NKJV

Without question, the LORD makes an oath (Jer 22:29-30) that NONE of the descendents of Jeconiah (a.k.a. Coniah or Jehoiachin)  would sit on the throne of David.  In fact, none of his descendents would rule in Judah anymore.  This is what is known as the "Cursed Lineage of Jeconiah"... This is where the lineage of Yeshua now comes into question.  Let's look at this now.

The Lineage of Yeshua (Wrinkles and All!)

There are indeed two lineages given for Jesus in the Gospels: one by Matthew and one by Luke.   Luke, the Gentile historian of the early church (writer of the book of Acts) who wrote primarily to a non-Jewish audience, traces the lineage of Yeshua all the way back to Adam... who is the Father of both Jew and Gentile ultimately.  Matthew, who was a Jewish tax-collector but was skilled in the Law, wrote primarily to a Jewish audience and records Jesus lineage all the way back to Abraham... who is distinctly the Father of the Jewish nation (and the arabic nations through Ishmael, but we won't get into that discussion right now).

23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Luke 3:23-38 NKJV

1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king.  David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. 8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. 11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.  12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. 14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. 15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
Matt 1:1-17 NKJV


It may not be obvious, but there right smack dab in the middle of Matthew's genealogy you see the names of our good old cursed buddies: Josiah and Jeconiah!  Without any doubt, this IS the same Jeconiah that the LORD Himself declares will have no descendent that will prosper or be seated on the throne of Israel.  What is also obvious is that from Jesse backwards through Boaz, Judah, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Terah, Nahor, Shem, Noah, Lamech and on back through Seth to Adam, the two genealogies are identical.  So ultimately, Luke and Matthew both trace genealogies all the way back to Adam... if you can go all the way back to Abraham, then you can go all the way back to Adam as well.  If you can go all the way back to David, then you can of course go all the way back to Abraham.  It should be clear that David is of the tribe of Judah as well, and by virtue of both genealogies, so is Yeshua.

A point that may be lost in the lineage of Matthew is the purposeful (by the Spirit of God) highlighting of certain family "events" that we might find inappropriate.  For example, it states that Judah begot Perez and Zerah.... by Tamar.  Notice that the mother is not normally mentioned in a genealogy.  Read the story of Tamar in Genesis 38.  Judah basically was having sex with harlots.. and Tamar disguised herself as one and slept with her own father-in-law, to get even with him!  Right there, for all to see, in the family lineage of the Messiah Himself is a messy story.  We might find that a bit unusual or at least embarrassing... but the LORD wants to communicate something by this!  He doesn't hide the blemishes and warts... even in His own human family tree as Messiah.  He wants to communicate a message regarding the humility and state of the Messiah in His first coming... 

Notice also that Obed was begot by Ruth to Boaz.  Ruth was the Gentile (Moabite) who was brought into covenant promise by a kinsmen redeemer-- another clear message that God wanted Gentile blood in the lineage of the Messiah. 

Consider also that it is made clear that Solomon was David's son from "her who had been the wife of Uriah."  Yes indeed.. another messy family story-- one that would better be left covered up than exposed.  Yet it is the explicit purpose of the Holy Spirit--especially by using the one writing from the Jewish perspective (Matthew)-- that He communicate ALL the ugly details of the Messiah's family tree.  God has no shame in these events-- and He is telling us that He will use human beings, even in their frailty, failure, and sin to accomplish His purposes in the Earth.  The telling of the genealogy IN THIS WAY stands as a record of that fact! 

Notice also that Joseph in Matthew's lineage is never called the one who "begot" Jesus.  Joseph is referred to as the "husband of Mary", of whom was born Jesus.   Yes, even though our Christmas cards do not show this,  Miriam (Mary) had to bear the reproach of being pregnant out of wedlock.. during her betrothal to Joseph.  Joseph came very close to dismissing her, and apart from angelic intervention would have.  They BOTH together had to face social scorn due to Miriam's pregnancy.   When she said "yes" to God to bear this miraculous child, she was also saying "yes" to losing her reputation, being scorned, and bearing shame! Think about that the next time you want God to use you!  The Pharisees would later remind Jesus that He was "born of fornication" and "born completely in sin" (John 8:41, 9:34).  These are clear references to the shame that Yeshua and His mother Miriam experienced surrounding the nature of His birth.

THIS is the context of the lineage in which we ALSO find the fact that the lineage of Joseph included Jehoiachin (Jeconiah/Coniah).  As such, NO physical son of Joseph would EVER be qualified to sit on the throne of David... having been forever cursed by God (Jeremiah 22).   I think the Holy Spirit wanted to prove a point here.. which we will discuss more.

The Controversy of Matthew and Luke's Record

At this point, let us settle this point:  without ANY question, Matthew records the lineage of Jesus THROUGH Joseph. 

It would be ludicrous to think that ANY of the early apostles or disciples, KNOWING the lineage of Joseph would not have ALSO known about the cursed lineage of Jeconiah.  After all, THEY were LOOKING for the Messiah.  It would have been something of interest-- something that they would have studied or heard a teaching on at some point!  The anti-missionary argument that somehow Matthew made a "mistake" by trying to fit Jesus into a Messianic lineage and mistakenly put Him into a  cursed one just doesn't hold water.  Matthew would have been the FIRST to point out: "Hey guys, Jesus can't be the Messiah.. He's of the cursed line that came from His father Joseph through Josiah and Jeconiah... "  That is the point.  IF Joseph was Yeshua's genetic father, then any of the early disciples would have spotted that a mile away.  However, IF Yeshua was NOT the genetic son of Joseph, then the fact that Joseph's lineage came from Solomon through Asa through Jeconiah to him would take on a different meaning, wouldn't itt?

Let us compare these 2 lineages:

Joseph's Lineage Mary's Lineage
Matt 1:1-17 1 Chron 3:10-24 Luke 3:23-38
Jesse Jesse Jesse
David David David
Solomon Solomon Nathan
Rehoboam Rehoboam Mattathah
Abijah Abijah Menan
Asa Asa Melea
Jehoshaphat Jehoshaphat Eliakim
Joram Joram Jonan
  Ahaziah Joseph
  Joash Judah
  Amaziah Simeon
Uzziah (2 Chr 26:1) Azariah (2 Kngs 14:21) Levi
Jotham Jotham Matthat
Ahaz Ahaz Jorim
Hezekiah Hezekiah Eliezer
Manasseh Manasseh Jose
Amon Amon Er
Josiah Josiah Elmodam
  Jehoiakim Cosam
Jeconiah Jeconiah Addi
Shealtiel Shealtiel Melchi
Zerubbabel Zerubbabel Neri
Abiud   Shealtiel
Eliakim   Zerubbabel
Azor   Rhesa
Zadok   Joannas
Achim   Judah
Eliud   Joseph
Eleazar   Semei (Shimei)
Matthan   Mattathiah
Jacob   Maath
Joseph   Naggai
Jesus   Esli
    Joseph (by law) - Mary



The most obvious conclusion of the lineage given by Matthew and the one given by Luke is that they are not the same... duuh.  You don't have to be a theologian to figure that one out!  The point that many skeptics bring up is that Luke does not refer to Heli as the father of Mary:  Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph...

Notice at least that the generations of Luke's lineage are distinctly different from those listed in Matthew's lineage.  Luke says that it was David, Nathan, Mattathah.   Matthew says it was David, Solomon, Rehoboam.      Another obvious point is that Matthew omits a couple of generations, while never violating the idea of "son of".  Now let's look at the Greek construction of these passages, particularly in Luke's genealogy.  The skeptics have charged that Matthew made a booboo when he recorded Jesus' real lineage (which would have been cursed assuming Joseph was his physical father) and that Luke tried to "recover" by changing the lineage from David-> Solomon to David-> Nathan.  It should also be obvious that the Shealtiel/Zerubbabel reference in Luke is NOT the same Shealtiel/Zerubbabel who come from Jeconiah.  Notice that there are two Levi/Matthat father/son pairs in the genealogy listed in Luke. 

Here is the obvious conclusion, even BEFORE looking at the text of WHO's genealogy is being discussed: Matthew and Luke are talking about genealogies of two different people.

Assuming that Matthew records the genealogy of Joseph, it would only make sense that Luke is recording Mary's: the mother of Jesus.

You do not have to be an "apologizer" to make a case that Luke's genealogy, being DRASTICALLY different from Matthew's, would logically not be Joseph's lineage.  The text ITSELF could support such an argument.  The context, particularly that of a Gentile write, supports it also.  From the TEXTUAL interpretation, Matthew records Joseph's lineage-- without debate I believe.  Luke's record, on the other hand, can be read a couple of different ways, depending on which view you take.

I must admit that in my study of Luke's genealogy that I too had also assumed that the text actually STATES that this genealogy refers to Mary.  Most of the Bibles I own do indeed insert the commentary that this is "Mary's" lineage.  Reading the text for myself, in various translations, I was a little shocked to find that it does not say that... and in this part the surface reading of the cursed lineage argument is correct: the text of Luke's genealogy references Joseph.  However, let's look at the original Greek to see what it really says.

Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age,
being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph
, the son of Heli,
Luke 3: 23

The key word in the construction process is "the son of".  In the Greek, there are certain words that do not correspond directly to an English word.  In most interlinear translations, English words that have been ADDED will appear as a "9999" typically.  In this passage, the words "was the son" does not really appear in the original Greek when the genealogy is expounded.  So beginning with the statements "Joseph, which was the son of Heli, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi...", the original Greek really only says "Joseph, which of Heli, which of Matthat, which of Levi..."  This is accomplished in the Greek with the correct form of the name that intimate "of" and the word "tou", translated as "which".  This distinction is important because BEGINNING with Joseph and going backwards this construction is used throughout to trace from JOSEPH all the way back to DAVID and then from David back to Adam.

If we look at the construct of Luke 3:23 now, we can see that when Jesus' relationship to Joseph is described, a DIFFERENT construct is used.  Whereas it can inferred from the the context that "which of" in the Greek means "which was the son of" in English, that inference is not given in terms of Jesus and Joseph.  The Greek huiós hoos enomízeto is used instead of toú  to describe this relationship as seen here:

Interlinear Greek of Luke 3:23

Kai autos   eén Ieesoús archómenos hooseí etoón
And himself to be Jesus began about years

triákonta oón   huiós hoos enomízeto Iooseéf    toú   Eelí
thirty   being son   (as  was supposed) of Joseph which

of Heli

In the Greek:

hoos = as, like as, even as, according as, in the same manner as
enomizeto = to hold by custom or usage, own as a custom or usage; to follow custom or usage; to deem, think, suppose:

If Luke WANTED to communicate that Jesus was the son of Joseph, he could have used the construction toú  instead, as he did in describing all of the other Father/Son relationships.  Instead, Luke could was communicating something different: possibly that Jesus was "as supposed by custom or thought to be" the son of Joseph.   No matter what translation you choose, it is clear that Luke by the Holy Spirit is setting up a distinction in the relationship of Joseph with Jesus OR Joseph with Heli-- and either way suffices!  As we have said, Luke already states that Jesus had no NATURAL father but was born of the Holy Spirit! 

An interesting construction note in the Greek is that the root word for enomizeto is nomos (nom'-os): meaning law or regulation.  ANOTHER interpretation of this could also be the son by law (or son-in-law).  The construction could seem to indicate that Joseph was supposed or thought of as the son-in-law of Heli... not begotten by Heli.  There is certainly textual support for Mary's lineage being presented, and not that of a different/incorrect/modified version of Joseph's lineage. 

There are actually a couple of options:

1) Jesus is presented "by adoption" as the son of Joseph, who was thought of as the son-in-law of Heli, the father of Mary


2) Jesus is presented as one who was "thought to be" the son Joseph, but really was not, and thus the lineage of His mother is presented--


3) Jesus is "of" Heli by virtue of being his grandson (through Mary) and his relationship to Joseph is described to be "son, as supposed" -- meaning not actually his (Joseph's) son


4) Joseph is described as the grandson (on his mother's side) of Eli

From the Jewish New Testament Commentary (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications) 1996, is this view as well:

 A literal translation of the Greek text starting at v. 23 would be: “And Yeshua himself was beginning about thirty years, being son, as was supposed, of Yosef, of the Eli, of the Mattat, of the L’vi,” etc.

The questions raised here are: What does it mean to be “of” someone? and which person is described as being “of the Eli”?—Yosef or Yeshua?
If Yosef is here reported to be the son of Eli, there is an apparent conflict with Mt 1:16, which reads, “Ya‘akov was the father of Yosef, the husband of Miryam, from whom was born the Yeshua that was called the Messiah.” But the genealogies of both Mattityahu and Luke employ unusual language in connection with Yeshua—and with good reason, since both assert that he had no human father in the ordinary sense of the word, but that the virgin Miryam was caused to bear Yeshua by the Holy Spirit of God in a supernatural way; see Mt 1:16N.

If this is so, what do the genealogies mean? The simplest explanation is that Mattityahu gives the genealogy of Yosef, who, though not Yeshua’s physical father, was regarded as his father by people generally (below, 4:22; Yn 1:45, 6:42); while Luke gives the genealogy of Yeshua through his mother Miryam, the daughter of Eli.

If so, Yeshua is “of the Eli” in the sense of being his grandson; while Yeshua’s relationship with Yosef is portrayed in the words, “son, as supposed”—implying not actually; see numbered paragraph (2) of note on “Son of” at Mt 1:1N.

Luke’s language also distinguishes Yosef from Yeshua’s direct ancestors by not including the word “the” before “Yosef” in the original Greek. “By the omission of the article, Joseph’s name is separated from the genealogical chain and accorded a place of its own” (F. Rienecker, Praktisches Handkommentär Zu Lukas Evangelium) 1930, p. 302, as cited in A Jewish Christian Response by the Messianic Jew Louis Goldberg).

A different explanation of these anomalies is to make not Yeshua but Yosef the grandson of Eli on his mother’s side. In the JNT text as it stands I have opted for this explanation; that is the significance of my reintroducing the word “the” as a demonstrative: It was supposed that Yeshua was a son of the particular Yosef who was, on his mother’s side, the grandson of Eli, son of Mattat, son of L’vi …. But I have no strong attachment to this explanation; the other is equally satisfying and equally problematical.

The important things to note so far:

1) Joseph could not be the son of Heli (Lk 3:23) and the son of Jacob (Matt 1:16) at the same time

2) Joseph could not be descended from David through Nathan (Lk 3:31) and David through Solomon (Matt 1:6) at the same time

3) Joseph is clearly delineated from the REST of the genealogy recorded by Luke - which are actual physical ancestors of Jesus

4) Both Luke and Matthew assert Jesus had no human father (Matt 1:18 and Luke 1:35)

5) Jesus relationship with Joseph is clearly distinguished in some way from this relationship with the rest of those expounded in the lineage of Luke

6) Clearly, the genealogy given by Matthew is of Joseph.. who is descended as a son of David through Solomon, Asa, and Jeconiah

7) Clearly, Luke is not giving another (different) genealogy of Joseph-- therefore based on logical, textual, and contextual support there is good evidence he is referring to Mary's lineage

8) Clearly, if Jesus were the physical offspring of Joseph, He would be disqualified from the claim to sit on David's throne because of the curse of Jeconiah (Jer 22:24-30)

9) Clearly, ANY would-be Messiah must of necessity come through the lineage of David and Solomon (2 Sam 7:12-16) because of the promise God made to David

10) Clearly, ANY would-be 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

Therein lies the paradox of the cursed lineage: the Messiah must genetically be of the seed of David-- without question.  He also must have legal descent through the lineage of Solomon.  Any one descended through the Kingly line of Solomon must of necessity ALSO be descended through the lineage of Jeconiah.  Jeconiah was cursed and therefore NO ONE who is descended from him is eligible to sit on the throne of David!  Yes, it is a paradox... designed by God Himself!

Which Line Do We Use: Matriarchal or Patriarchal??

For purposes of fulfilling the promise of the LORD to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-16, it is apparent that ANY person who fulfills the qualification genetically would at the same time disqualify themselves from being able to sit on the throne of David, as Messiah!  The only way to ever solve this is to have a man who has no human father but yet has been adopted legally into the lineage of David and Solomon.  This is where the Patriarchal line of Yeshua (by adoption) is so significant.  Joseph's bloodline was indeed physically cursed because of its root in Jeconiah.  However, as the adoptive father of the Lord Jesus, Jesus could legally be considered to fulfill the promise that God made to David!  This may also be why there was a prophetic announcement of the virgin birth--and the son of this birth would be named "God With Us":

14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Isa 7:14  NKJV

What we must realize is two Old Testament legal technicalities come into play here. The first is that an adopted son can inherit all the rights and privileges that would be available to a natural son.  This is illustrated first in the Torah by the story of Abraham (Abram).

1 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." 2 But Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 Then Abram said, "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!" 4 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  NKJV

Here Abram lamented the fact that he had no natural son to inherit his estate, and it would fall to his chief servant Eliezar.  It shows how all the rights and rank of a house can be transferred to a non-blood relative.

For another example, consider how Israel (Jacob) adopted Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.

1 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. 2 And Jacob was told, "Look, your son Joseph is coming to you"; and Israel strengthened himself and sat up on the bed. 3 Then Jacob said to Joseph: "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4 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.' 5 "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. 6 Your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours, and will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance. 7 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 NKJV

Both Ephraim and Manasseh were now to be considered equal with Joseph’s brothers in inheriting the promises given to Israel and each of them were entitled to an equal portion of the land.  Jesus 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.  However, David was promised a natural heir.  By looking at the genealogy of Mary we see that Jesus had direct human ancestry to King David through Nathan. 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. This fact allows for another law of inheritance to be exercised--which is discussed shortly.

It is often pointed out that in Jewish thought we must trace lineage, from a legal standpoint, by the father.  Without a HUMAN father, however, this can prove difficult.  Now that we have established that Matthew's lineage is of Joseph and Luke's is of Mary, we are still left with a problem.  The rights of the line are not passed through the mother, only the father. Even though Mary, through her lineage, was of the Davidic bloodline, she should be excluded from being able to pass those rights of the bloodline because of being a female (Deut 21:16). 

15 "If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved, 16 then it shall be, on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn.
Deut 21:15-17 NKJV

Even though Jesus had an unblemished bloodline as the son of David, through Mary,  she had to be a male to transfer those rights.  There is however a special rule established for certain unique circumstances.  In the story of Zelophehad in the Torah, we have an exception that has two parts to the rule of inheritance.  Because Zelophehad had no daughters, his daughters approached Moses and the assembly because they were concerned that their Father's name and inheritance would not be passed down to them.. a very unfair situation.  In this case, the LORD tells Moses specifically to allow for the fact that if a man dies with no sons, the inheritance may be passed to the daughters.

33 Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
Num 26:33 NKJV

27:1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, from the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph; and these were the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 2 And they stood before Moses, before Eleazar the priest, and before the leaders and all the congregation, by the doorway of the tabernacle of meeting, saying: 3 "Our father died in the wilderness; but he was not in the company of those who gathered together against the LORD, in company with Korah, but he died in his own sin; and he had no sons. 4 Why should the name of our father be removed from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among the brothers of our father." 5 So Moses brought their case before the LORD.  6 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 7 "The daughters of Zelophehad speak what is right; you shall surely give them a possession of inheritance among their father's brothers, and cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them. 8 And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If a man dies and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. 11 And if his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to the kinsman closest him in his family, and he shall possess it.' " And it shall be to the children of Israel a statute of judgment, just as the LORD commanded Moses.
Num 27:1-11 NKJV
36:1 Now the chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near and spoke before Moses and before the leaders, the chief fathers of the children of Israel; 2 and they said: "The LORD commanded my lord Moses to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters. 3 Now if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and it will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so it will be taken from the lot of our inheritance. 4 And when the Jubilee of the children of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers."  5 Then Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying: "What the tribe of the sons of Joseph speaks is right. 6 This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, 'Let them marry whom they think best, but they may marry only within the family of their father's tribe.' 7 "So the inheritance of the children of Israel shall not change hands from tribe to tribe, for every one of the children of Israel shall keep the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. 8 And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel shall be the wife of one of the family of her father's tribe, so that the children of Israel each may possess the inheritance of his fathers. 9 Thus no inheritance shall change hands from one tribe to another, but every tribe of the children of Israel shall keep its own inheritance."  10 Just as the LORD commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad; 11 for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to the sons of their father's brothers. 12 They were married into the families of the children of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father's family.
Num 36:1-12 NKJV

The Lord told Moses that the inheritance CAN flow through a female, IF they fulfill two requirements. There must be no male offspring in the family (Num 27:8) and if the female offspring should marry, they must marry within their own tribe (Num 36:6).

So the promise that the Messiah would be of the house of David and David’s throne would be everlasting takes on a more clear meaning. Jesus was legally entitled to the throne of David, being the oldest son of Joseph, but was subject to none of the consequences of the blood curse because He was adopted.  He was also a direct descendant of King David, and therefore in the lineage of the king.  Because all Jewish genealogies are to be reckoned from the father to the son, Luke lists Joseph as the assumed father of Jesus, however he becomes the heir of that line through the rule established with the daughters of Zelophehad. 

Now we come back to Miriam. On the surface she should be unable to transfer the rights to her Son. But when you research you find that Mary had NO brothers, AND Miriam did indeed marry within her own tribe to Joseph. Here again, the LORD has provided the answer!

On another prophetic note, Zechariah also picks four names in correct order from the blood line of the Messiah 500 year before Jesus 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:

10 "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. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 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; 13 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  NKJV

[see chart of Miriam's lineage above - Luke 3]

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 Yeshua as recorded by Luke-- and yes, they will mourn when they look on "Him" - whom they have pierced.

When the LORD promised Abraham and Sarah a son, this was Abraham's reaction. Genesis 17:17 states: "Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?"  Why should a miraculous birth be so hard to believe?  It was hard for Abraham and his wife Sarai to believe.. but that is why their miracle child is called "son of laughter."  Yes it was ludicrous to think Abraham in his 100s and Sara in her 90s could conceive and bear a child.  Yet, at the heart of the Jewish story is the RELIANCE on such a miracle and needless to say that, with God, all things are possible.  It should be no surprise that the Messiah-- anointed with the oil of joy above His companions and a son of laughter far more than Isaac -- should be born in such a miraculous way!

It should also make sense that the Yeshua was the "seed of the woman" prophesied from long ago.. you can read more about this prophetic viewpoint of the Messiah as well.  The OTHER requirement for the virgin birth also deals with the tainted lineage of Adam's blood.  This aspect of Yeshua's birth also means that He was not born with a pre-disposed sin nature: and would therefore not be subject to the curse of Adam's line by virtue of the fact that he did not have a human father.   So in actuality, the virgin birth prevented the effects of TWO curses from being passed on to Yeshua!

The Answer to the "Anti-Missionary"

Many counter-missionaries believe that this question (of the lineage of Jesus) alone is the biggest factor in the list of why Jesus did not qualify as the Jewish Messiah.  They would say that even if Jesus had accomplished all that the prophets spoke of,  his genealogy alone would disqualify him as being Messiah.  Here is a typical viewpoint from their position and some answers provided by this article:

The Messiah must be a descendent of King David.

A) Christians say: this can be done by using Joseph's lineage.

  • However Christianity claim to Jesus being born of Mary/The Virgin Birth removes Joseph from the picture.  [We have shown that the Torah itself reveals the legitimacy of transferring rights by adoption (Abraham/Jacob) and therefore how the lineage of Joseph.. from David-> Solomon, could be used to legally to fulfill the promise of the LORD to have David's kingly lineage be established for eternity]
  • Christians then say: that Joseph adopted Jesus and passed on his lineage by way of adoption!
  • 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]

    Since Joseph descended from Jeconiah. He then falls under the curse of that King! Which means that none of his (Jeconiah's) descendants could ever sit as King upon the throne of David   (Jeremiah 22:30; 36:30) [Correct-- which is why the virgin birth is a necessity: not only was Jesus not part of the curse of Jeconiah-- because He was not a physical offspring of that line -- He was also NOT tainted by the sinful lineage of Adam's seed and bloodline-- since the father's genetics are normally responsible for determining the blood of the child-- this is why He is referred to as the LAST ADAM]

B) Some will trace Jesus back to King David using Mary's lineage.
(Third chapter of Luke)

  • Problem, the third chapter of Luke traces Joseph's genealogy not Mary's.  [Wrong-- we have established that by logic, context, and textual content that the lineage of Luke was not Joseph's and that there is a clear distinction made between Yeshua and Yoseph or a special connection between Yeshua and Heli... no matter which interpretation you take, it still clearly indicates that Joseph's physical lineage is not being described by Luke]
  • Problem, even if Mary's line could somehow be traced back to King David- tribal affiliation goes only through the father, not the mother. Num1:18; Ezra 2:59 [Wrong-- we have established that because of the exception recorded in the Torah (spoken from the LORD Himself to Moses) given to Zelophehad's daughters, we see that affiliation can be passed through a daughter given two requirements-- which Miriam met: therefore she as the only natural parent of Yeshua could pass tribal affiliation to her son]
  • Problem, if the family line could go through the mother, Mary does not qualify as being from a legitimate Messianic family. Since the Messiah must be a descendent of David THROUGH his son Solomon. (II Sam. 7:14; I Chron 17:11-14, 22:9-10, 28:4-6) [Wrong-- NO WOULD-BE Messiah would ever be able to fulfill the requirement to go through the line David through his son Solomon-- they would HAVE to pass through the kingly lineage of Josiah and Jeconiah as well-- and THUS fall under the same curse that is being applied to Jesus!  By the providence of the LORD

    But Luke - goes through David's son Nathan, not Solomon! [Wrong--the promise is fulfilled by adoption through Joseph's line: which is the legal patriarchal line -- and thus BOTH requirements are met: Yeshua does not suffer the curse as a physical descendent of Jeconiah but can enjoy the adoptive privileges of Joseph's son who is descended from David through Solomon]

    Another issue is that of Luke and Matthew listing both Shaeltiel and Zerubbabel as descendants from "the cursed" Jeconiah. Should Mary descend from them, this would not be of any help. [Wrong-- we have already established that the Shealtiel and Zerubbabel of Luke's genealogy are not the same as the Shealtiel and Zerubbabel of Matthew's genealogy]

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