Have you ever wondered why the two genealogies of Jesus Christ listed in the New Testament are so different? Both of them trace is heritage to King David.

Matthew's shorter list follows the descent of righteous kings from Solomon of Judah and appears to skip generations of wicked rulers as well as covering nearly 600 years from the Babylonia Captivity to Jesus in only 12 generations (everyone was 50 years old when having their firstborn child?). It appears to be Joseph's genealogy.

Luke's longer list appears to be true parentage of Mary. It assumes that under Judaic law, Heli, had no male heirs and therefore is son-in-law (Joseph) would inherit his "kingdom". And each descendant is described as "son of ...". The only exception here is the link from Joseph to his father-in-law, Heli.

The consensus of judgment on the part of investigators is that Matthew’s account is that of the royal lineage, establishing the order of sequence among the legal successors to the throne of David, while the account given by Luke is a personal pedigree, demonstrating descent from David without adherence to the line of legal succession to the throne through primogeniture or nearness of kin.a Luke’s record is regarded by many, however, as the pedigree of Mary, while Matthew’s is accepted as that of Joseph.

Matthew's Narrative

1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;
5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;
11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;
15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17 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.
Source: Gospel of Matthew 1:1-17 - KJV Translation

Royal Birthright Table

  1. Abraham (1948-2123) = (Gen 25:7) lived 175 years "an hundred threescore and fifteen years."
  2. Isaac (2048-2228) - (Gen 17:19-20) Isaac born when Abraham was 100 years old. He lived 180 years (Gen 35:28)
  3. Jacob - Patriarch / namesake of the Twelve Tribes of Israel
  4. Judah and Tamar - Patriarch / namesake of the tribe of Judah. "Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar".
  5. Perez - (1 Chr 2:4)
  6. Herzon - (1 Chr 2:5)
  7. Ram - (1 Chr 2:9)
  8. Amminadab - (1 Chr 2:10) (Sistine chapel fresco by Michaelangelo)
  9. Nahshon - his sister married the Prophet Aaron. Commander of the Tribe of Judah during the Exodus (Numbers 2:3).
  10. Salmon and Rachab - participant in the Exodus
  11. Boaz and Ruth - Prince of Judah featured in the Book of Ruth
  12. Obed
  13. Jesse-
  14. David and Bathsheba - 2nd King of Israel & Judah, Founder of House of David.
  15. Solomon- King of Israel & Judah
  16. Roboam- King of Judah
  17. Abijah- King of Judah
  18. Asa- King of Judah
  19. Josaphat- King of Judah
  20. Joram- King of Judah
  21. Ahaziah (?-742 B.C.) - "King Uzziah of Judah" - great Earthquake of 760.
  22. Joatham - King of Judah - a contemporary with the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, and Micah, by whose advice he benefited
  23. Ahaz - King Achaz
  24. Ezekias - King Hezekiah
  25. Manasses - longest reigning king of Judah.
  26. Amon - assassinated for his heavy wickedness
  27. Josiah - 15th King of Judah. Killed at Battle of Megiddo by Pharoah Necho II.
  28. Jeconias - 18th King of Judah, grandson of Josiah. (See House of David succession). "Carried away into captivity in Babylon".
  29. Shealtiel - Born in Captivity in Babylon.
  30. Zerubbabel - Appointed Persian Governor by King Darius to Lead Return of Exiles to Jerusalem in 520 BC
  31. Abiud
  32. Eliakim
  33. Azor
  34. Zadok
  35. Achim
  36. Eliud
  37. Eleazar
  38. Matthan -
  39. Jacob -
  40. Joseph - the Husband of Mary
  41. Jesus (c6BC-c31) - the Christian Messiah / "King of the Jews"

Succession of Josiah's Sons

And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; (Matthew 1:11-12)

The royal birthright succession after King Josiah is very confusing as there is interference by both the Pharoah of Egypt and King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylonia. In the gosper of Matthes it skips from Josiah past two brothers (Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim) to his grandson, Jaconias, who was taken into captivity and skips Zedekiah whose whole family was killed.

  1. Josias - (r. 641-609 BC / 15th king of Judah) killed in Battle of Megiddo by Assyrians
  2. Jehoahaz - (r. 609 BC / 16th king of Judah) (3rd son of Josiah, born 632 BC) ruled 3 months in 609 before being deposed by Pharoah Necho II and taken captive into Egypt where he dies.
  3. Jehoiakim - (r 609-598 BC / 17th king of Judah) (2nd son of Josiah, born 634 BC) appointed by Egyptians as King, but switches sides to Babylonia in 605 BC. Died during Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in 598 BC) to the fall of Jerusalem.
  4. Jaconias - (r. 598 BC / 18th king of Judah) (son of Jehoiakim) installed by Nebuchadnezzer and reigned three months, but then taken captive into Babylon in March 597 BC. Note: Gospel of Matthew traces Christs birthright to Jaconias, but skips his father Jehoiakim.
  5. Zedekiah (c618 BC-) - (uncle of Jaconias / younger) 19th and last King of Judah / Babylonian vassal state.


Footnotes (including sources)

Some information in this article or section has not been verified and may not be reliable.
Please check for any inaccuracies, and modify and cite sources as needed.