"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Ancestors of Jesus

As we approach the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the ancestors of Jesus. And some of them have a colourful story surrounding them!

Matthew starts off this first gospel with the genealogy of Christ. He wants to show how Jesus is not only the Messiah but also the Son of David, to demonstrate Jesus' Royal lineage. He also wants to demonstrate a continuity between the Israel of the Old Testament and Jesus. This Matthew may or may not be the apostle - opinions seem divided on this point. The gospel is also written in a very legalistic way when compared with the more personable accounts given by Luke in the third of the four gospels. Matthew follows the legal Jewish system in his family tree, following the father's roots even though Joseph was father of Jesus only by adoption.

So in Chapter 1 vv. 2-3 of Matthew we learn that Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, who begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar his daughter in law!!

So what is the story behind this?

Tamar originally married Er, the firstborn son of Judah and Shua. But Er was wicked, in ways we do not know, and as judgement from God he died prematurely before the couple had born any children. It was the custom in a Levirate marriage that the first born to a dead man's brother was considered to be the child of the deceased man. So Judah asked Er's brother Onan to marry Tamar to have a child, but Onan didn't want to consummate his marriage to Tamar so he too suffered a premature death at God's hand as revenge, because we are told the Lord was not well pleased!

Now we come to the really naughty bit! Tamar clearly wanted a child anyway, so she dressed up and masqueraded as a prostitute and waylaid Judah, her father in law, along the road where she knew he was travelling. Sure enough she enticed Judah and in due course gave birth to twins by him. And the first born was Perez and so the male line ran through from Perez to Joseph the adoptive father of Jesus.

No comments:

It's Time you knew - by Transition Rachel at YouTube

Many reasons to love La Gomera



with vapor trails


Total Pageviews