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.

Summary Genealogy

Matthew's shorter list follows the descent of righteous kings from Solomon of Judah and appears to skip generations of wicked rulers. 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.

Fhe 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.

Biblical Prophecies

In the Christian world, the birth and genealogy of Christ is significant in its fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. It is also significant that Jesus, being the Son of God, a perfect man, would also know his genealogy perfectly and passed that information on to his disciples who recorded it in the New Testament.

Old Testament Prophecies

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Book of Isaiah 9:6-7)

In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness. For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually. (Book of Jeremiah 33:15-18)

  • David was the son of … Jesse, 1 Sam. 17:12.
  • I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever, 2 Sam. 7:13.
  • Thy seed will I establish for ever, Ps. 89:4.
  • fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne, Ps. 132:11.
  • will I make the horn of David to bud, Ps. 132:17.
  • rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch, Isa. 11:1 (2 Ne. 21:1).
  • cause the Branch … to grow up unto David, Jer. 33:15.

New Testament Prophecies

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 call 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. Gospel of Matthew 22:41-46)

  • Is not this the son of David, Matt. 12:23.
  • whose son is he … The Son of David, Matt. 22:42.
  • God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, Luke 1:32.
  • Christ cometh of the seed of David, John 7:42 (Rom. 1:3).
  • of the fruit of his loins … he would raise up Christ, Acts 2:30.
  • Of this man’s seed hath God … raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus, Acts 13:23.
  • root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign, Rom. 15:12.
  • I am the root and the offspring of David, Rev. 22:16.

See also 1 Sam. 16:1; Ps. 89:27; Isa. 4:2; Luke 3:23.