Friday, November 16, 2007

Fourteen In Matthew's Genealogy

Here's a good discussion of the use of the number fourteen in Matthew 1:17 and other issues related to the genealogies of Christ.


  1. I don't see the argument that David belong to two groups of 14. I do, however, see Jechonias as belonging to two of the groups of 14, because he was "about the time they were carried away to Babylon" which is a sketchy chronological statement that allows him to be grouped in the 14 from David to the captivity and the 14 from the captivity to Christ. Counting David twice, however, makes ZERO sense to me at all.

  2. What makes sense to *you* is irrelevant. The pertinent issue, rather, is what would make sense to a 1C Jewish reader according to the numerological conventions of his religious culture.

  3. Egomakarios doesn't even attempt to interact with the arguments made in the thread I linked to.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. that link is very helpful. Thank you. (as is a Google advanced search using

    I would like to ask an additional question:

    What about Matthew saying that the fourteen generations were 'all the generations' from David to to the deportation? If Matthew skipped over some names (compare with Chronicles) how can he call them 'all the generations'? Is it just the english comes across as implying a wider scope for 'all' than the Greek does?


  6. halo,

    Matthew and his initial audience (largely Jewish) would have had access to the Old Testament, as we do. Matthew's genealogy was deliberately different. The "all" is defined by its surrounding context, namely all the people Matthew included in his genealogy based on whatever criterion of inclusion he had in mind. The "all" is relative to his context, not absolute.