Study of Christianity: Why Does Matthew Skip Three Generations?

Twitter user @StudyofChrist has added another video over at his YouTube channel addressing the Matthean genealogy. If you haven’t subscribed to it already, stop reading this and do it. I don’t know how many times I have to tell you!

The issue that @StudyofChrist deals with in the video surrounds three missing generations between Joram and Uzziah in Matthew 1:8. Joram is not the father of Uzziah. Joram is the father of Ahaziah who is the father of Joash who is the father of Amaziah who is the father of Uzziah (1 Chronicles 6:11-12; Azariah = Uzziah). So in reality there are seventeen generations between Solomon and Jechoniah, not fourteen. So what is going on?

It boils down to three options: Matthew is trying to pull the wool over his readers’ eyes, he made a mistake, or he has a good reason for skipping them. I’m not going to dissect the points made by @StudyofChrist other than to say the second option he presents is really appealing to me. You’ll have to watch to get the ins-and-outs but what it boils down to is that it is possible Matthew was using an erroneous copy of the Septuagint and through a kind of parablepsis erroneously skips over Ahaziah and goes right to Uzziah (Azariah). I need to do more reading in this area and see what exactly the textual variants look like in a critical edition of the Septuagint. But it is plausible.

The third option – that Matthew had a good reason for skipping three generations – is not presented in this video, though I have some ideas as to what it might me. Cliffhanger alert!

I look forward to watching the next video in the series!

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