Q. There is something I want to ask my own church Minister, but never remember to when I see him.
In Mathew chapter 1 verses 1-17 it gives: The book of the generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham, showing that Jesus is a descendant of David. Mathew must have known that Joseph was the step-father of Jesus and therefore Jesus could not be a descendant of David through Joseph.
I think that I heard or read somewhere, many years ago, that Mary was also a descendant of David, but do not know if this is true. Is it mentioned anywhere in the Bible? I have not been able to find it.
A. If you compare the genealogies in Matt 1 and Luke 3 you can spot the similarities as well as the differences. One difference is that Matthew comes forward from Abraham, showing Jesus as a son of Abraham while Luke goes backward to Adam proving the humanity of Jesus. Notice that both are the same from Abraham to David, but that in Matthew, David’s son is listed as Solomon while in Luke’s version David’s son is Nathan, Solomon’s brother. From then to Joseph the two lists are different with Matthew showing Joseph’s father as Jacob, while in Luke it’s Heli.
The reason for this is that there were no words for father-in-law, grandfather, son-in-law, or grandson, etc. Everyone was either a father or a son. Jacob was Joseph’s true father and Heli was his father-in-law, Mary’s father. From David to Joseph, Matthew showed the Royal line of Solomon of which Joseph was part. But Luke showed the line of Nathan, members of David’s family that weren’t qualified to become kings. These were actually Mary’s ancestors. So both Mary and Joseph were of the tribe of Judah, and descended from David and were therefore cousins, although far removed.
According to the Law, since Mary had no brothers, she could only be her father’s heir as long as she married someone from her own tribe. That way her family’s land would stay in the tribal inheritance as required. (Numbers 36) And although Joseph was in the Royal line of Solomon, neither he nor any biological son of his could ever be King, since the royal line had been cursed by God. (Jeremiah 22:30)
To sit on David’s throne as King of Israel, a man had to be both a pure biological descendant of David’s and a member of Solomon’s Royal line, but somehow had to side step the curse. When Joseph agreed to become Mary’s husband, he in effect adopted Jesus as his legal son, placing Jesus in the Royal line without inheriting Joseph’s cursed blood. Having no earthly father, Jesus was a pure biological son of David’s through His mother. Thus Jesus met both qualifications and became the only man in the world, then or now, fit to be Israel’s King.
C.I. Scofield, one of the fathers of Dispensational Theology, and editor of the Scofield Reference Bible, has been credited with this discovery, proof that the virgin birth was not only a unique sign from God, but was a legal necessity to provide a King for Israel.