Genealogy and Mission in Matthew

logo.1This pertains to the four Gentile women [Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, “wife of Uriah”] found in Jesus’ genealogy found in Matthew.

“When Matthew cites these four women, he is probably reminding his readers that three ancestors of King David and the mother of King Solomon were Gentiles.  The Bible that accepted David’s mixed race also implied it for the messianic King; Matthew thus declares that the Gentiles were never an afterthought in God’s plan, but had been part of his work in history from the beginning.  One who traces Matthew’s treatment of Gentiles through the Gospel, from the Magi who sought Jesus in Chapter 2 through the concluding commission to disciple the nations in 28:19, will understand Matthew’s point in emphasizing this.  Matthew exhorts his readers that as much as Jesus is connected with the heritage of Israel, he is for all people as well, and his disciples have a responsibility to tell everyone know about him.”

Craig Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1999, p. 80

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