Practical Proverbial, from Matthew, 14 December 2022. Today’s topic: Fourteen

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.  Matthew 1:17

Fourteen:   so what?   My Concordia says that use here of the number fourteen may signify several things.   It could be an indicator of Matthew’s fondness for “systematic arrangement.”   It could be a way of expressing praise for Jesus by identifying the twice the number of completeness (7) multiplied by the number of the trinity.  The book also says that fourteen is “the numerical value of the name David,” meaning it is another indicator of how Jesus is indelibly identified with both the lineage and royalty of David.

Whatever the meaning, it doesn’t really matter.   It’s nice to speculate and nice to know, but it doesn’t add to or take away from the connection that begins with Abraham – the original Jew and common patriarch to 3 religions – and ends with Jesus, the only Messiah.  Besides, Matthew’s math is inexact; there don’t seem to be exactly fourteen in number in each of the tiers he mentions. It takes a stretch of counting that is generous in nature.

Again, it doesn’t really matter.   What matters is that we believe in how Jesus was both man and God at the same time, and that He established Himself as a man through patriarchal genealogy that extends back to the most prominent heroes of the faith, as well is ordinary men whose fame would be non-existent were they not mentioned in this genealogy. 

Somewhere in Jesus’ past were ancestors who endured slavery in Egypt, the barbaric period of the judges, the civil wars that plagued the kingships of David and the later monarchs, the wealthy splendor of Solomon’s years, the rise and fall God’s chosen people, destruction of Jerusalem, exile to Babylon, return home to a devastated land, and the successive occupations by the Babylonian, Mede, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires.   Thirty-two generations of the ancestors of Christ saw “great” things occur that are unequaled in history, living from the ancient Mesopotamian Bronze Age to the dawn of the age we can trace up to our own. 

And you read about it here, in Matthew, in the Bible, which so many people discredit without offering anything comparable in return.   Merry Christmas to them, too.

That is, perhaps, what all those ancestors of Christ might say, had they known their descendant would be the Messiah awaited since Eden.  They would, on the unbeliever, wish “shalom,” meaning “peace.”   They would also, perhaps, challenge you to ask what your heart believes about all this, then go to God so you might interpret these truths.  Whatever the three fourteen’s mean, they are, at a minimum, God’s truth in His Word.  Fourteen?   Yes indeed.

For more reading: Matthew 1:18Lord, I don’t always understand why Your Word says what it does.   I simply believe it, and trust in Your truth.   Praise and all thanks to You

Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about God...it's about the life He gives us...it's about going day by day...it's about you. It's not about me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: