Bible Chronology Timeline

Chronologies of the Mysteries of God

Genesis 5:1
“This is the book of the generations of
Adam. In the day that God created man,
in the likeness of God made he him”
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Priest Zacharias Turned Mute by God in 4152

To safeguard the plan of salvation, God worked miraculously in the life of Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father. One day when the old Levite priest Zacharias “executed the priest’s office” (Luke 1:8), burning incense in the temple’s Holy Place, “there appeared an angel of the Lord on the right side of the altar of incense” (Luke 1:10). The angel delivered a message that was intended for Zacharias and his wife only. They should keep it to themselves; that is why the angel appeared to the priest inside the Holy Place, while the rest of the worshippers waited outside (Luke 1:10). The crowd outside were unaware of what was happening inside the temple; they even marvelled that Zacharias tarried inside for so long (Luke 1:21). But Zacharias received one of the mysteries of the Kingdom to protect God’s prophecy regarding the coming of the Messiah. This message should be kept undisclosed until due time.

The people in the outer court were eager to know what happened inside and enquired of the priest, but he could not speak. He just made signs that they could not comprehend except that they perceived that Zacharias had seen a vision (Luke 1:22). The angel who brought the message had told the priest that he was going to remain mute and not be able to speak until the day that these things shall be performed (Luke 1:20); that is until the child John the Baptist should be born; and not in Jerusalem but in the country hills of Judea (Luke 1:65).

It was imperative that the old priest become mute for nine months because he did not believe the words of the angel (Luke 1:20). An unbeliever who receives the word of God is prone to question its truthfulness and voice his incredulity. But more than that, if Zacharias had not believed wholeheartedly what the angel had revealed to him, he could have tried to understand the message from the mouth of his colleagues. Then the message that should remain concealed until the time of fulfillment would have been disclosed even among the enemies of God. In that regard the old priest’s muteness served as a protective shield against the craftiness of Satan, and a safety net for the coming of the Messiah.

John the Baptist: a Nazarite from Birth

God’s enemies, particularly Satan, should not discern beforehand who the Messiah was. Therefore, God preordained the birth of John the Baptist who was born with the vow of a Nazarite. The angel’s message to the Levite priest was straightforward: that Elisabeth his wife was going to conceive a son and call his name John (Luke 1:13). Moreover, the angel stated that this child was going to make reforms in the lives of many of the children of Israel, that by his ministry many would be converted from their sins to the Lord their God (Luke 1:16). The angel also told Zacharias that their son would go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Eliah (Luke 1:17). John should be a Nazarite from his mother’s womb. For that reason, the angel had counseled him:

“For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb” Luke 1:15.

A Nazarite was a person who was separated for a holy mission-separated for the Lord (Numbers 6:2). A Nazarite was commanded to abstain from wine, strong drink, vinegar, liquor of grapes, nor to eat moist or dried grapes (Numbers 6:3); that is, no product from the grapevine (Numbers 6:4). Nazarites were also commanded to let their hair grow and not to make any trims or cuts; that is, no razor should be used on their heads (Numbers 6:5).

An example of a Nazarite is that of Samuel. The Word of God reveals that the last judge of Israel was born with the vow of a Nazarite from his mother’s womb. Samuel was promised to God by his mother Hannah that if God would grant her to conceive “a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head” (1 Sam. 1:11). Samuel was granted the high honour to carry on with the holy office of a Nazarite, a priest and a prophet. We will see that John the Baptist also fulfilled those three characteristics. But first let us consider the following Messianic prophecy that, while speaking directly of Samuel, also represents the life of John the Baptist who proclaimed the good news of the Messiah and of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Scripture reads:

“And I will raise me up a faithful priest that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever” (1 Sam. 2:35).

Samuel was a faithful priest who prepared the way for King Saul, who was God’s anointed. Notice that the life of John the Baptist also fits the description of (1 Sam. 2:35). John also prepared the way of the Lord, and walked before the Messiah, the anointed of the Lord.

The Savior’s Conception in 4152

The time had come for the fulfillment of the prophecies regarding the birth of the Messiah. And Divine providence directed the life of Mary to act very prudently in order to safeguard the life of her Savior.

While in the hill country of Judea John the Baptist was growing in the womb of Elizabeth, “in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth” (Luke 1:26). It was in the sixth month of the year 4152 that Gabriel visited Nazareth and announced to Mary the conception of the Messiah who was to be called “the Son of the Highest,” and to whom the Lord God was about to give the throne of his father David (Luke 1:32). The virgin understood that this King Whom she was about to conceive would sit on David’s throne. But the angel revealed more than that; this King was not only the son of David but he shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35), therefore “of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:33). On the same visit, Gabriel revealed to Mary that her cousin Elisabeth was also expecting a baby in her old age, and had already been pregnant for six months. (Luke 1:36).

When the virgin had agreed to God’s holy proposal the angel departed from her (Luke 1:38), and after Mary had a conversation with her husband Joseph, she arose “and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah” (Luke 1:39). When she entered the house of her cousin Elisabeth and greeted her, the baby in Elisabeth’s womb leaped, and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41). The reason is that Mary had already conceived Jesus Who was the Creator of the universe, Who incarnated in the likeness of man to save us. Elisabeth saluted her cousin Mary with the honourary inquiry as to why it was granted her the honour of this visit, she asked: “that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43). Mary also acknowledged that it was her Saviour and God who was in her womb: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:46, 47).

Three Months Away from Home

After Joseph and Mary had celebrated their wedding ceremony, they did not spend time together like in an intimate honeymoon; instead the young virgin went on her way to the hills of Judaea, where she spent her first three months of pregnancy at the house of her cousin Elisabeth (Luke 1:56). And it seems that she returned to her own home after Elisabeth gave birth to John the Baptist (Luke 1:57).

Mary’s three months away from Joseph helped future generations of believers to understand that this holy couple did not have marital intercourse to bring about the birth of our Saviour. The Scriptures reveal that “before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 1:18). Although the plan had to be carried out speedily, it should also be conducted correctly in order to fulfill all righteousness; that is, it had to be done under the right circumstances of the virgin and her husband’s marriage. Thus the Holy Child was conceived by the Holy Spirit right after the wedding of Joseph and Mary. Therefore, the baby’s conception was legitimate because Mary was the legitimate espouse of Joseph (Matt. 1:18). By accepting God’s plan, Mary demonstrated her loyalty to God as she preferred to honor God rather than men. As soon as she had entered into a covenant with God, the newly-wedded virgin had to advise her husband that she was carrying in her womb the Creator and Redeemer of the world. When Mary told Joseph about her amazing experience they both kept the matter highly confidential. God’s mystery remained undisclosed to the rest of humanity until the victory had been won by our Lord Jesus.

Birth of John the Baptist in 4152

John the Baptist’s birth happened in the ninth month of the year 4152 (4 B.C.) exactly six months before our Lord Jesus’ birth. It was in the month called Kislev which is the equivalent to November/December of our calendar. The Lord Jesus was conceived in the sixth month (Luke 1:26) of 4152 when Elizabeth was in the sixth month of her pregnancy (Luke 1:36). If the birth of a Biblical dignitary should be celebrated on the 25th of December that would have to be the celebration of John the Baptist’s birth and not that of our Savior Jesus. Actually, neither of their birthdays were recorded nor celebrated as such.

On the day of John’s birth, Zacharias prophesied, and although the wording of his speech sounded like it referred to his newborn son John, it was an utterance in reference to the Messiah who was soon to be born. The events around the Baptist’s birth, also helped to confound and thwart the cunning stratagem of Satan. The miraculous way that Zacharias became mute helped protect the plan of salvation against Satan’s diabolical plans. On the day of John’s circumcision something amazing happened. The child’s name was revealed for the first time to the public. The close relatives who witnessed the child’s circumcision decided that the baby should be called after his father; so they called him Zacharias (Luke 1:59). But Elisabeth immediately silenced them with a loud and clear “Not so; but he shall be called John” (Luke 1:60). The mother did not reveal any God-given information as to why the name John was chosen, even though the neighbors and relatives questioned her decision saying that nobody in their family had been called by this name (Luke 1:61).

Seeing that the cousins and friends could not persuade Elisabeth to change her mind regarding the name John, they proceeded to ask Zacharaias (Luke 1:62). Zacharias who was still mute requested them by signs to bring him a writing table where he simply wrote the following “His name is John” (Luke 1:63). And all the people marveled.

But they had seen nothing yet! Immediately Zacharias’ mouth was opened as he spoke for the first time in nine months and began praising God (Luke 1:64). News of this amazing event spread throughout the hill country of Judaea (Luke 1:65). Moreover, the people wondered in their hearts saying: “what manner of child shall this be?” (Luke 1:66).

Zacharias began to prophesy without revealing anything else but what the Holy Spirit put in his heart (Luke 1:67): “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David” (Luke 1: 68-69).

God who does not lie was presenting a message that was unfathomable for the fallen angels’ minds, so that Satan could not decipher its meaning. What might have been through the mind of the fallen angels when they heard Zacharias prophecy? Was it possible that this child John was the Messiah Who had come to redeem God’s people? Moreover, John’s father continued prophesying, only this time his reference was about John, “the prophet of the Highest,” as he addressed his newborn baby: “for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways” (Luke 1:76). Zechariah prophesied that John’s mission was “to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins” (Luke 1:77). But Zechariah he did not reveal that the Redeemer had been incarnated in human flesh in the womb of a virgin.

Dream: one of God’s Means of Communication

Another way in which God protected His plan of redemption for this world and the ministry of our Lord Jesus was through the many dreams by which he directed his children at the time of our Lord’s incarnation. Joseph was told of Mary’s miraculous conception through a dream (Matt. 1:20), and he was also warned in a dream to flee with his family to Egypt (Matt. 2:13). The wise men were warned in a dream not to return to Herod (Matt. 2:12). Therefore, the communication through dreams was one of God’s tactics in the spiritual war to safeguard the plan of salvation. Consequently, the person who received a dream from God was able to know what was in God’s mind, while Satan and his followers were unaware of God’s moves. Before we continue let us discover what the Word of God has to say about Heaven’s communication through dreams.

When communicating His thoughts to human minds God sometimes appears in a dream to interconnect His thoughts with the thoughts of men. That is how God has spoken to many people in the past, for instance when He wanted to warn king Abimelech about Abraham’s wife God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him that he was a dead man for having taken the wife of another man (Genesis 20:3). Another example of God communicating His will through a dream is that of King Solomon’s petition: “the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee” (1 Kings 3:5). Notice that Solomon petitioned the Lord for wisdom, and their dialogue was done through a dream while Solomon slept.

God alone has the power to know the thoughts in the minds of His created beings. No one else of God’s creatures has that capacity. Kind David counseled his son Solomon to know God and walk with a perfect heart “for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts…” (1 Chronicles 28:9).

Because only God has the power to know what a particular being in the universe is thinking, dreams, which are closely associated with the thoughts of the mind, cannot by any means be discovered by a third person other than God.

Satan Could not Discern God’s Plans

Satan and his kingdom of wickedness can never foresee what is in the heart of the Lord. They are just catchers of opportunities as they cannot understand nor actually anticipate God’s operations; they can deploy their wicked forces against God’s people but will never be able to know what is in the thoughts of God and His children. The prophet Micah, speaking about the nations that war against Sion, expressed something that helps us understand this: “But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor” (Micah 4:12). Therefore, God’s enemies cannot intercept the thoughts of the Lord. It is shocking to know Satan has used methods of close examination and even torture so that through intimidation he can wring the truth out of the children of God.

There are ways in which the wicked spirit world can know what is in the mind of people; that is, if people allow Satan access to their minds by partaking in the wicked lifestyle of the kingdom of darkness. Or even when good people harbor foreign thoughts that are not the product of their own thinking and by impulse give voice to such thoughts. A vivid example is that of Peter, who, for a moment, tried to dissuade the Lord Jesus from dying for us on the cross (Matt. 16:21). The Lord rebuked him harshly and said to him “Get thee behind me Satan, thou art an offense unto me” (Matt. 16:23).

Joseph Urged to Remain Married to Mary in 4152

Having made it clear how God protects His plan of salvation by communicating his secret trough dreams, let us see what happened in the year 4152 when God made this world His dwelling place.

Joseph had recently married Mary, but when he learned about his wife’s pregnancy, he decided to divorce her in a very private way (Matt. 1:19). It was then that the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream (Matt. 1:20). The angel spoke directly to Joseph, but no one else was able to hear the conversation because it was carried out from the angel’s mind directly to Joseph’s mind. The enemies of God were unaware of the message that Joseph had received. To Joseph the angel expounded the prophecies concerning the birth of this special baby in the virgin’s womb (Matt. 1:20). What is most amazing is that Joseph was the first person to whom God revealed that the name of the Lord will be Jesus. Joseph receive the honour of naming the child (Matt. 1:21). Remember that no one else should know the name of the Lord until the day of the baby’s circumcision. That is why it was necessary that the message be given through a dream, because in that way not even Satan could discover the details of the birth and the name of our Saviour. The new adopted name of the Lord was a top secret because the prophecies forenamed Him as Emmanuel, but here Joseph was told that he shall call Him Jesus. The angel of the Lord quoted Isaiah 7:14 to Joseph: “they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23).

Birth of Jesus the Messiah in the Year 4153

The Lord Jesus was born six months after his cousin John, his birth took place in the third month of the year 4153 (3 B.C.). The third month is called Sivan in the Jewish calendar and it is the equivalent to May/June in our calendar. When Mary “brought forth her firstborn son” (Luke 2:7), the Scriptures say that “there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over the flock by night” (Luke 2:8). This data also confirms that the birth of our Savior took place at a time when it was fair weather, appropriate for them to care for the sheep in the fields at night.

Those humble shepherds were eager to see the fulfillment of the Messiah’s prophecy as written in Daniel’s book, and were expecting that at any moment the good news should be received. And God, Who honours those who honour Him, visited them, and with great joy the lowly shepherds received God’s message:

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

Notice that the good tidings are about the birth of a newborn baby who is the Savior Whose title also is THE LORD. With that address God the Father glorifies and exalts God the Son. The Father also addressed the Son with the divine and majestic proclamation: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever…” (Psalms 45:6). The apostle Paul confirms the fact that the divine declaration in Psalms was a praise from the Father to the Son, where, indeed, God is exalting God. Therefore, the epistle harmonizes: “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom” (Hebrews 1:8).

The Word of God reveals that our Lord Jesus is the true God; hence, worthy to be worshipped. Therefore we must praise and exalt Him saying: “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen” (Jude 1:25). That newborn baby, Who was and is the Lord, is He of whom His apostles wrote:

“And we know that the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

Wise Men’s Guidance Through a Dream

The wise men who traveled from off the eastern borders of Israel had received God’s top secret. They had begun to taste the abundant grace of God as revealed in “the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9). Because of their faithfulness and diligence in searching the prophecies regarding the birth of the Saviour they had been highly blessed with God’s revelation of His mysteries.

But the wise men made a grievous mistake, they visited the dragon’s den by inquiring of King Herod regarding the whereabouts of the newborn King. Such inquiry only provoked Herod to be instantly concerned (Matt. 2:3). With this visit the opportunist dragon, also called the old serpent, devil and Satan (Revelation 12:9), thought that the life of our Saviour was in his hands, for he had been waiting the birth of that Child and planning to destroy Him as soon as He was born (Revelation 12:4). Satan had some knowledge of the prophecies and used that knowledge to plot the assassination of the Child through the civil authority of the Roman official Herod. However, he wanted to ensure that the recently-born John was not the promised Messiah. Therefore, he prompted Herod to investigate from the chief priests about the Messiah’s prophesied place of birth, which they asserted to be Bethlehem of Judea (Matt. 2:5). Herod had no clue about what was going on in the great cosmic conflict and Satan did not have all the particulars about the Saviour’s family background nor the specific home where our Lord should be born. He could only find out through a leaking of information from these wise men. Therefore, he tried as subtly as he could to make inquiries from them about the specific details of God’s revelation and regarding the time when they had begun to see God’s signs.

Scripture reveals that Herod took aside the wise men in private and inquired of them diligently as to when the star appeared (Matt. 2:7). This was a very delicate inquiry, and Satan fetched all the particulars possible, but he was infuriated and desperate for a thorough identification of the Child. When their interview was over, Herod sent them away to Bethlehem, and because he had showed them kindness, he requested of them to return his favor by asking them to return to him with a report after they “search diligently for the young child” (Matt. 2:8). He was not interested in a mediocre report; he wanted a full investigation so that he could plot an assassin’s visit which he cunningly labeled as “worship”.

From Jerusalem the wise men traveled further south to a small city called Bethlehem of Judea. God had to act promptly; Satan had plotted the destruction of our Saviour. Once again, because Satan cannot read the minds nor can he search a person’s dream, God warned the wise men in a dream that they should not return to Herod, so they traveled via another road back to their own country (Matt. 2:12). Satan’s scheme was frustrated, as the devil could not destroy the Lord Jesus’ life through Satan’s right arm the Roman Empire. But the wise men had made a big mistake; because of the leakage of information that Satan had fetched from them, dozens of infants would be massacred.

A Dream to Flee into Egypt

Remember that Joseph and Mary had come from a long distance from their home in Galilee in the North of Israel to Bethlehem because the Roman Empire had given strict orders to conduct a census for all the people of Israel. So the couple had to travel to their homeland where they had their ancestral lineage and there they took the census in Judea, the region of the tribe of Judah, for them both belonged to Judah.

It is amazing how God kept the secret about the family background of the Lord Jesus. Satan could never figure out that a humble family traveling south from Nazareth was going to be temporarily lodging in Bethlehem to fulfill the prophecy. To get to Bethlehem they had to pass beyond Jerusalem because Bethlehem was located further south in the territory of Judah. Joseph and Mary were just lodging there to register their names in the national census.

Satan could not attack the young family because he did not know the family from whom the Messiah was to be born. He did not know the secrets given to God’s people by dreams. Therefore, right after the wise men had departed and when the young family of the Lord had gone to sleep, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream (Matt. 2:13) with the following urgent message:

“Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him” Matt. 2:13.

Notice once again that God spoke to Joseph in a dream so that Satan could not find out about their moves. Bear in mind that Satan could have tried to destroy Mary, had he known that she was the virgin carrying the Lord of Heaven. Joseph was awaken in the middle of the night and it was through another dream with the urgent message to take the young child and his mother and flee that very night because Satan was intending to destroy the life of the young Child. I can imagine that Joseph gently awoke Mary his wife and told her that they had to leave that very hour. Mary knew that the Child’s life was in danger and they could not venture into speaking verbally what they had received in a dream. They fled walking steadily and quietly throughout the night and went south to Egypt where they should wait for further instructions from the Lord (Matt. 2:14). They remained in Egypt until the death of Herod (Matt. 2:15).

It seems that Satan himself was kept at a distance from the place where the Lord Jesus was born. Satan was expecting the return of the wise men to Jerusalem, and when they did not show up bringing news to Herod, his schemes failed. Herod was exceedingly furious and began plotting a massacre that extended from Bethlehem down the regional cities of the coasts (Matt. 2:16). He sent to kill “all the children from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men” (Matt. 2:16). Here is where the mistake of the wise men comes to light, they had leaked precious information that they had received God’s guidance for the past two years; that is why Satan through Herod sent and killed all the children from birth up to two years of age (review Matt. 2:7).

Ramat Rahel is a town situated south of Jerusalem, just before the locality of Bethlehem. Ramat is the historical place of which Jeremiah had prophesied concerning the sad day of the slaughtering of little children, of which it is said “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not” (Matt. 2:17-18). The writing of Jeremiah renders the name of the town as Ramah and the mourning mother whose children were slaughtered as Rahel, from there the new name of the modern city “Ramat Rahel” (Jeremiah 31:15).

This massive infanticide carried out by Satan’s right arm, the Roman Empire, and in particular through King Herod, Rome’s puppet ruler in Palestine, shows that Satan was furiously blinded. He ordered his Roman soldiers to carry out the slaughter of the children in a vast radius in the southern region of Israel, expecting that by this systematic killing they could kill the Child Jesus Whom they thought could not be too far away. But, God in His wisdom had previously commanded Joseph to flee with his family out of Israel into the territory of Egypt.

The Lord Jesus’ Genealogy

Divine providence also protected the plan of salvation in the life of our Savior Jesus by means of the two lineages in Jesus’ genealogy. Let us see how God protected the plan of salvation in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus.

Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-16

1 Abraham 15 Solomon 29 Salathiel
2 Isaac 16 Rehoboam 30 Zorobabel
3 Jacob 17 Abia 31 Abiud
4 Judas 18 Asa 32 Eliakim
5 Phares 19 Josaphat 33 Azor
6 Esrom 20 Joram 34 Sadoc
7 Aram 21 Ozias 35 Achim
8 Aminadad 22 Joatham 36 Eliud
9 Naasson 23 Achaz 37 Eleazar
10 Salmon 24 Ezekias 38 Matthan
11 Boaz 25 Manasses 39 Jacob
12 Obed 26 Amon 40 Joseph
13 Jesse 27 Josias 41 Mary
14 David 28 Jechonias 42 Jesus

The greatest of all the mysteries of God is found in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ the Creator (John 1:1-3), Who from everlasting to everlasting is God (Psalms 90:2), He “was made flesh” (John 1:14). And, we find His lineage from the scepter of David. Of the Lord Jesus it is said in the Psalms: “Thy throne O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter” (Psalms 45:6; Hebrews 1:8). Of Him Jacob promised “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet...” (Genesis 49:10). Referring to Him, Nathan the prophet told King David “… thy throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16). Consequently, the prophecies were fulfilled on that glorious day when our Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem and the multitudes acclaimed Him with the shouts: “Hosanna to the son of David; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matt. 21:9). To Him belongs the Kingdom of Heaven, which he said “is at hand” (Matt. 10:7). Of this Kingdom, the Lord Jesus said: “My kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36).

Genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3:23-38

1. Adam 15. Heber 29. Naasson 43. Simeon 57. Rhesa 71. Melchi
2. Seth 16. Phalec 30. Salmon 44. Levi 58. Joanna 72. Levi
3. Enos 17. Ragau 31. Booz 45. Matthat 59. Juda 76. Matthat
4. Cainan 18. Saruch 32. Obed 46. Jorim 60. Joseph 77. Heli
5. Maleleel 19. Nachor 33. Jesse 47. Eliezer 61. Semei 78. Joseph
6. Jared 20. Thara 34. David 48. Jose 62. Mattathias 79. Jesus
7. Enoch 21. Abraham 35.Nathan 49. Er 63. Math
8. Mathusala 22. Isaac 36. Mattatha 50. Elmodam 64. Nagge
9. Lamech 23. Jacob 37. Menan 51. Cosam 65. Esli
10. Noe 24. Juda 38. Melea 52. Addi 66. Naum
11. Sem 25. Phares 39. Eliakim 53. Melchi 67. Amos
12. Arphaxad 26. Esrom 40. Jonan 54. Neri 68. Mattathias
13. Cainan 27. Aram 41. Joseph 55. Salathiel 69. Joseph
14. Sala 28. Aminadab 42. Juda 56. Zorobabel 70. Janna

The ancestry of the King of kings dates back to the generation of Adam (Luke 3: 23-38). But is it possible that the Lord has a human genealogy if He is the Creator of all humanity? Of Him it is written: “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:3); “…and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living...” (Isaiah 53:8).

Jesus’ Genealogy: DNA Helix Pattern

Jesus' Genealogy: DNA Helix Pattern

Jesus’ lineage was framed lineally from Adam, reaching onto Abraham and it follows a lineal genealogy until King David. But notice that this lineage is parted in two separate genealogies on two occasions: after David, and after Zorobabel. Consequently, in the eyes of the reader, both Luke and Matt. have two apparently discrepant lineages. Matt. wrote that Jesus descended from King David through the kingship of Solomon, (Bathsheba and David’s son) (2 Sam. 12:24). Whereas Luke wrote that Jesus descended through the lineage of Nathan. This Nathan was also David’s son, the second child of Bathsheba, (1Chronicles 3:5). Now, which one is the correct genealogy?

In answering that question, notice that Jesus’ lineage was inherited from David through both Solomon and Nathan and down the centuries both genealogies linked together again with a common descendant, as both lineages have Salathiel. This Salathiel fathered Zorobabel, the offspring of the two combined lineages. But from Zorobabel the genealogies parted in different ways, as Zorobabel is said to have begotten Abiud in the Gospel of Matt (Matt. 1:13), whereas in the Gospel of Luke, Zorobabel fathered Rhesa (Luke 3:27). So here we have a repetition of God’s mystery; Zorobabel fathered two sons: Abiud and Rhesa, just like David fathered Solomon and Nathan. And in both instances the two pairs of sons had their lineal genealogy split to part separate ways. Zorobabel’s two sons Abiud and Rhesa, once again split their recently combined lineage. Therefore, David’s lineage was carried in two parallel helices until those two royal lineages combined once again with the life of the Lord Jesus.

It is not surprising to hear that David had two sons, and that of course David’s lineage was parted running parallel like two DNA helices combining at different intervals. What is intriguing is the fact that Salathiel had two fathers: Neri and Jechonias. Also Joseph, the husband of Mary, appears with two fathers: Jacob and Heli. Now the question is: Is it possible that two of those four men are the fathers in law of Salathiel and Joseph respectively?

Either Heli was the biological father of Joseph or Jacob was his father in law - or vice versa. But one of the two was the biological father of Mary. In the book of Matt. we find that the genealogy of Jesus from Abraham to Jesus is subdivided in three genealogies of fourteen generations each. Thus it reads: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations” (Matt. 1:17). But then, of course, if you count the last fourteen generations from the captivity in Babylon there appear only thirteen names of men, the second last name for those generations is the name of Mary of whom the Lord was born.

Joseph was from the tribe of Judah and from the very lineage of David through Nathan (Luke 3:23, 31, 32), and even though his lineage had parted ways, it had also intertwined like a DNA molecule about a common axis, Zorobabel. Therefore, Joseph’s blood remained in the gene pool of David’s royal blood. Yet, Mary’s lineage came directly from David’s royal blood through the lineage of King Solomon. Consequently, Mary was favored by God because she belonged to David's family but also because she was a righteous woman (Luke 1:30). Moreover, the angel told her: “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:31). He is the Son of the promise, of the Scepter of David (2 Sam. 7:16). Of Him the angel told Mary: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:33) Moreover, the angel proclaimed: “… of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:34). That is because His kingdom has been from eternity. The Lord’s Kingdom did not begin here on earth; for the Kingdom of Heaven came down to earth. That is why “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). He was sent as One who has lived for eternity. Jesus is before Abraham, and His Lordship and Kingship are way before David’s earthly kingship. The Scriptures reveal this in Jesus’ address to the Pharisees:

“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, the son of David. He saith unto them, how then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then calls him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions” (Matt. 22: 41-46).

When Elisabeth addresses Mary with the words: “And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43), the focus of attention is not Mary but the everlasting Lord who was incarnate in Mary’s womb. That is also why Elisabeth calls Him, who was still in the womb, “my Lord”.

The Inheritance of the Son of God

The title “The Son of God” belongs to the Lord Jesus only. Of Him, the angel said: “…Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Because He is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus allowed people to worship Him. One occasion when He walked on the water, Peter, by Jesus’ power had been allowed to do the same. When Peter’s faith failed because of the boisterous wind (Matt. 14:30) the Lord rescued him and the wind ceased (Matt. 14:32). “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matt. 14:33).

One day the Lord Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth (John 9:1). When the Lord found him later, He asked him: “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” (John 9:35). After hearing from the Lord Jesus Himself that He is the Son of God, as Jesus told the man: “Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee” (John 9: 37), the former blind man said: “Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him” (John 9:38).

Bearing on Himself the Kingly title: “The Son of God”, the Lord Jesus also received the servant title “The Son of Man”, because He “made himself of no reputation… and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). That is why He said about Himself: “For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost” (Matt. 18:11). Only God has the prerogative of forgiving sins, but when the Lord cleanses people of their sins He presents Himself under His servant title: “But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins…” Three Gospels record this event (Matt. 9:6; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24), each is speaking of the Lord’s seventh day. Thrice it is written that the Lord uses His servant title in connection with His Lordship as a reminder that He is the Creator. Thus we have Jesus’ acknowledgment of His Divinity: “For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day” (Matt. 12:8; See also Mark 2:28 and Luke 6:5 and Genesis 2:2).

Regarding the theme of Jesus’ genealogy, let us consider that Mary was a means that God used for the inheritance of God to be incarnated in the person of Jesus Christ. Mary’s lineage descended from Kings David and Solomon (Matt. 1:1-16), therefore, the Lord Jesus rightfully received His title “the Son of Man”. The Lord was born of a virgin according to Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 7:14, Matt. 1:23). But Joseph played a vital role in safeguarding the promised inheritance. The inheritance of the Messiah remained in the tribe of Judah and more importantly in the family of David. Therefore, when Joseph decided to remain married to Mary, he legally raised up the name of the Heir upon His inheritance. The Heir is the Lord Jesus Who is rightfully the Son of God and the Son of Man.

To explain the mystery of Jesus’ genealogy and the role of Mary and Joseph in relation to God’s promised inheritance, let us firstly consider the law that God gave to Moses in regards to the inheritance of Zelophehad’s daughters (Numbers 36:3). Because Zelophehad had only daughters, the men were concerned about the tribe’s inheritance, so they argued: “if they be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received…” (Numbers 36:3). Therefore, God commanded regarding women heirs: “…Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry” (Numbers 36:6).

Second, let us consider the command that God gave Israel in order for them “to perform the duty of a husband’s brother” in the case of a brother’s death leaving his wife a widow without children. As a way of maintaining the perpetuity of his brother’s name, he had to marry his sister in law (Deuteronomy 25:5). Notice what the Lord said: “And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel” (Deuteronomy 25:6). Keep in mind that it is the first born who inherits his dead uncle’s name.

And third, let us consider the law of inheritance and marriage by the next of kin. We have the story of Ruth the Moabitess who married Mahlon, Naomi’s son, of the tribe of Judah from Bethlehem. After ten years of marriage Ruth’s husband died (Ruth 1:1-7). Ruth, who had no children, became a widow at a young age, and she decided followed her mother in law Naomi as they traveled to claim their inheritance in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:22). As the Bethlehemite Boaz entered into a marital agreement with Ruth, they had to settle a matter of inheritance. By law the next of kin was to raise the name of the dead upon the first born son (Deuteronomy 25:6). Boaz perpetuated the name of the dead, that is, Mahlon’s name, by marrying his widow Ruth (Ruth 4:5-6). Therefore Boaz said: “Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren…” (Ruth 4:10).

Putting this in perspective, Boaz, who belongs in the lineage of Jesus, was the great-grandfather of King David. By marrying Ruth, Boaz also perpetuated the name of the dead Mahlon so that Mahlon’s inheritance should remain in Judah’s tribe, but more importantly that Mahlon’s name should be perpetuated among their own family. This union produced the birth of their firstborn son Obed who was the grandfather of King David.

When it comes to the birth of the Lord Jesus we find that the story of Boaz is an object lesson, a portrayal of the mystery of the Lord Jesus’ birth and genealogy.

When Joseph who belonged to the tribe of Judah and who was of the family of David, married Mary, also from David’s blood royal, he fulfilled all righteousness in that he perpetuated the name of King David by legitimately accepting Mary as his wife of whom was born the One who assumed the scepter of David, the Lord Jesus, Mary’s firstborn son (Matt. 1:25). Joseph did not sire the Lord Jesus. He was conceived in Mary’s womb by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is one of two reasons why He is called the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16). Yet, Joseph, on behalf of God, perpetuated David’s name upon Jesus’ inheritance. Of Whom it is also written: “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Hebrews 1:4).

Think for a moment about Zelophehad’s daughters; they were the recipients of their father’s inheritance, which should remain within their tribe, and in particular in their families. Therefore they only married husbands of their own family (Numbers 36:6). This story is also a portrayal of what should happen in the life of Mary who was favored of God to bear in her womb the Heir of God’s inheritance, His everlasting throne. Therefore, Mary should marry a husband of her own family lineage in order to fulfill the prophecy that Christ the King should come from the seed of David of the tribe of Judah. But Jesus’ name is more glorious than David’s royal lineage, as the Scripture says:

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and thing under the earth” (Philippians 2:9-10).

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