I’m continuing this week to finish the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew 1. This week, there are a LOT of names and some names that were left out. So, I’m going to try to be very brief with each of them.
Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
As wise as Solomon was, he was not quite as wise when it came to his wives and how they influenced him. He ended up allowing idols into Israel, even he, himself, worshipping them. So, God told him that the kingdom of Israel would split in two and that his own son would only have the tribe of Judah to rule over, and someone else would rule over the rest. When Jeroboam, a leader of the workforces in the tribes of Joseph, was determined through prophecy to be this new ruler, Solomon tried to kill him (that never really seems to work in these stories) and Jeroboam flees to Egypt.
When Rehoboam comes to the throne, he is an idol-worshipper. His mother was an Ammonite, and Molech, the god of the Ammonites, was one of the gods allowed in by Solomon. When it came time for Israel to recognize him as king, they asked him to lighten their load, as Solomon worked them pretty hard. Rehoboam consulted the elders (who said he should be a servant to the people) and his friends (who said he should be even harsher that his dad). He went with his friends’ advice and this caused the rift. Of course, right at this time, Jeroboam returned from Egypt and swooped in to influence the other tribes to follow him. So Rehoboam only had his own tribe, Judah, left loyal to him.
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Abijah followed in his father’s footsteps and worshiped idols, continuing to war with Jeroboam, the new king of Israel.
Asa chose to be different, returned plunder and treasure to the Lord’s temple, removed prostitute shrines and idols. But he didn’t remove the high places, which were places that allowed people to continue worshipping and sacrificing to other gods and idols.
Jehoshaphat followed in Asa’s footsteps. He continued removing idols and shrines but left the high places alone. He was at peace with the king of Israel, but that king happened to be Ahab, who was married to the famous Jezebel, an evil queen. They worshiped Baal and had many run-ins with the prophet Elijah. It really wasn’t the family to get involved with. In fact, Jehoshaphat may have recognized this to some extent. When he tried to create trading ships, but they crashed, Ahab’s son offered to go in with him in a business to create more and Jehoshaphat refused to go into business with him.
But Jeroham, Jehoshaphat’s son, married a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and his reign was evil and filled with war.
And it’s here that a few names are skipped. I didn’t see any particular reason listed in Matthew that they were skipped, but there is a theory that it’s because they were the to close in relation to Ahab and Jezebel through Jeroham’s wife, Athaliah. Abijah, Jeroham’s son, is very close to the king of Israel and ends up getting killed because of it.
Athaliah then tries to kill the rest of the royal family and rule herself. But Joash, her grandson, is hidden away in the temple until he is seven and is then made a king (Athaliah tries to protest but is killed). Joash and his son, Amaziah, did right in the eyes of the Lord during their reign, because of the influence of the priests where Joash was hidden, but the theory is that they were too close in relation to the family of Ahab to be included in the genealogy. I don’t know. What do you think?
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Jehoram was technically the great-great-grandfather of Uzziah, but this was often done in genealogies back then. Uzziah was known as a king who did what was right, removing everything but the high places and also known to have leprosy or at least a skin condition that caused him to hide. His son would be in charge of the palace while he was still king which probably gave his son excellent training.
So, Jotham because of this training, was also a good king. He rebuilt part of the temple and was at war with the kings of Aram and Israel. So, the good connection with Israel was now severed.
Jotham’s son, Ahaz, was evil, however, even possibly sacrificing his son to fire, or at least making him walk through it which was an occult practice. He allied with Assyria to defeat the king of Aram. And when the Assyrian king conquered Aram and built an altar in Damascus, Ahaz copied that altar and put it in the temple of the Lord, moving one of the altars already in the temple to be beside this new altar.
But then there is Hezekiah. Hezekiah did what was right, even removing the high places! The allied relationship with Assyria dissolved and after trying to appease them with gold and silver, Hezekiah turned to the Lord who conquered the king through assassination. Hezekiah became ill, prayed and was healed by God who gave him 15 more years. Babylon heard of his illness, came to visit him, and toured all of Judah. A prophet told Hezekiah because he gave the Babylonians this grand tour, they would be the ones to successfully invade and plunder Judah.
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, was the evilest king of Judah. He worshiped idols, practiced all sorts of occult practices, even shed innocent blood. It was because of his reign that Judah would eventually be taken into exile.
Amon was also evil. He was assassinated, but his people avenged his death and placed his son on the throne.
Josiah was good. He fulfilled a prophecy given to Jeroboam (the first king of the split Israel with Rehoboam) that all the idols and the priests of the false gods would be removed by Josiah, a son of David. He found the Book of the Law, which had been lost, read it and felt shame and repented, renewing the covenant with the Lord. Because of his actions, he prolonged the time before the exile. He was killed by the Pharoah of Egypt, Neco.
Again, there are names missing, but at this point, the invasion of the Babylonians would begin. Josiah’s son, Jehoahaz only ruled for 3 months before being captured and killed by the same Pharoah that killed Josiah. The Pharoah would place Jehoahaz’s brother on the throne, Eliakim (called Jehoiakim), and this was the point that the Babylonians would invade, allowing Jehoiakim to continue living in Judah until he rebelled.
Then the king of the Babylonians, Nebuchnezzer, would take Jehoiakim’s family into exile, away from Jerusalem. Nebuchnezzer tried to put the brother of Jehoiakim as governor of Jerusalem, but he, too, rebelled. So the royal family stayed in Babylon. 37 years after exile, Jehoiachin (also called Jeconiah from the genealogy above), was taken out of prison and allowed to eat at the Babylonian king’s table.
There are so many ups and downs with the tribe of Judah after the split. I didn’t even include everything, and this blog post got way too long. If you skipped to the end, I don’t blame you. Basically, things got messed up for the tribe of Judah. Some kings were good but most of them were evil. And it all ended in an exile to Babylon. Next week, the royal family returns from exile….