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Genealogies

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: No
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: No
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

 

Naves Topical Index
Genealogy

Smith's Bible Dictionary
Genealogy

In Hebrew the term for genealogy or pedigree is "the book of the generations;" and because the oldest histories were usually drawn up on a genealogical basis, the expression often extended to the whole history, as is the case with the Gospel of St. Matthew, where "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ" includes the whole history contained in that Gospel. The promise of the land of Canaan to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob successively, and the separation of the Isr'lites from the Gentile world; the expectation of Messiah as to spring from the tribe of Judah; the exclusively hereditary priesthood of Aaron with its dignity and emoluments; the long succession of kings in the line of David; and the whole division and occupations of the land upon genealogical principles by the tribes, occupation of the land upon genealogical principles by the tribes, families and houses of fathers, gave a deeper importance to the science of genealogy among the Jews than perhaps any other nation. When Zerubbabel brought back the captivity from Babylon, one of his first cares seems to have been to take a census of those that returned, and to settle them according to their genealogies. Passing on to the time of the birth of Christ, we have a striking incidental proof of the continuance of the Jewish genealogical economy in the fact that when Augustus ordered the census of the empire to be taken, the Jews in the province of Syria immediately went each one to his own city. The Jewish genealogical records continued to be kept till near the destruction of Jerusalem. But there can be little doubt that the registers of the Jewish tribes and families perished at the destruction of Jerusalem, and not before. It remains to be said that just notions of the nature of the Jewish genealogical records are of great importance with a view to the right interpretation of Scripture. Let it only be remembered that these records have respect to political and territorial divisions as much as to strictly genealogical descent, and it will at once be seen how erroneous a conclusion it may be that all who are called "sons" of such or such a patriarch or chief father must necessarily be his very children. Of any one family or house became extinct, some other would succeed to its place, called after its own chief father. Hence of course a census of any tribe drawn up at a later period would exhibit different divisions from one drawn up at an earlier. The same principle must be borne in mind in interpreting any particular genealogy Again, when a pedigree was abbreviated, it would naturally specify such generations as would indicates from what chief houses the person descended. Females are named in genealogies when there is anything remarkable about them, or when any right or property is transmitted through them. See (Genesis 11:29; 22:23; 25:1-4; 35:22-26; Exodus 6:23; Numbers 26:33)


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Genealogy

GENEAL'OGY, noun [Latin genealogia; Gr. race, and discourse; Eng. kind.]

1. An account or history of the descent of a person or family from an ancestor; enumeration of ancestors and their children in the natural order of succession.

2. Pedigree; lineage; regular descent of a person or family from a progenitor.


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Genealogy of Jesus Christ

The New Testament gives us the genealogy of but one person, that of our Saviour. This is given because it was important to prove that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies spoken of him. Only as the son and heir of David should he be the Messiah. The following propositions will explain the true construction of these genealogies:

  1. They are both the genealogies of Joseph, i.e. of Jesus Christ as the reputed and legal son of Joseph and Mary.
  2. The genealogy of St. Matthew is Joseph's genealogy as legal successor to the throne of David. St. Luke's is Joseph's private Genealogy, exhibiting his real birth as David's son, and thus showing why he was heir to Solomon's crown. The simple principle that one evangelist exhibits that genealogy which contained the successive heir to David's and Solomon's throne, while the other exhibits the paternal stem of him who was the heir, explains all the anomalies of the two pedigrees, their agreements as well as their discrepancies, and the circumstance of there being two at all.
  3. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was in all probability the daughter of Jacob, and first cousin to Joseph her husband. Thus: Matthan or Matthat Father of Jacob, Heli Jacob Father of Mary = Jacob'e heir was (Joseph) Heli Father of Joseph JESUS, called Christ. (Godet, Lange and many others take the ground that Luke gives the genealogy of Mary, rendering (Luke 3:23) thus: Jesus "being (as was suppposed) the son of Joseph, (but in reality) the son of Heli." In this case Mary, as declared in the Targums, was the daughter of Heli, and Heli was the grandfather of Jesus. Mary's name was omitted because "ancient sentiment did not comport with the mention of the mother as the genealogical link." So we often find in the Old Testament the grandson called the son. This view has this greatly in its favor, that it shows that Jesus was not merely the legal but the actual descendant of David; and it would be very strange that in the gospel accounts, where so much is made of Jesus being the son and heir of David and of his kingdom his real descent from David should not be given.

    ED.)