What Are Some Facts About Biblical Genealogy?


Quick Answer

Some facts about Biblical genealogy are that the book of Matthew lists a patriarchal genealogy of Jesus that includes several notable women and that Jesus' blood line includes a prostitute, Rahab. The book of Luke also gives a genealogy of Jesus. Some of the names in the two genealogies are the same, but the lists differ in significant parts.

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Rahab helped Israel conquer Jericho. Before Israel's attack on Jericho, Rahab hid Israeli spies and helped them escape Jericho to plot the battle. In exchange for Rahab's loyalty to Israel, she joined Israel and later married Salmon. When she married Salmon, Rahab became an ancestor to King David and eventually Jesus.

Although the genealogy of Jesus that Matthew details is decidedly patriarchal, Matthew's list includes several women, including Bathsheba, Rahab and Tamar. King David subjected Bathsheba to sexual abuse and ultimately the murder of her husband. Tamar had sex with her father-in-law, Judah, by tricking him into believing she was a prostitute. In doing so, Tamar also joined the bloodline of Jesus.

Luke's genealogy of Jesus lists 77 generations between Adam and Jesus. Matthew's genealogy divides Jesus' family history into three sections, mentioning David twice. The genealogies in Luke and Matthew are different in significant parts, suggesting that Luke traced Jesus' genealogy through his mother. Two names, Zorobabel and Salathiel, appear in both genealogies. It is unclear whether these names represent the same person in each list.

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