So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
Matthew 1:17  NASB

The critic has printed two lists side by side representing the kings from David to the Babylonian Captivity, from Solomon to Jecohnias (Jeconiah).  The first list of Matthew with 14 names and the list of 1 Chronicles with 18 names.  What now?

Matthew 1: 6-16

1 Chronicles 3:10-16




Azariah (Ozias)


SAB Contradiction 114

The Problem

Matthew has only 14 names and gives an incomplete list.  The questions are of course: why is Matthew incomplete and is Matthew’s list still acceptable to present Jesus’ genealogy?  Missing are Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah, and Jehoiakim.

What about Matthew’s list?

The gospel of Matthew starts with the genealogical list of Jesus' descent and this list is introduced as  (KJV): “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ”. The meaning for book may also be document or writ.  It refers to a document copied by Matthew, but what sort of document was that?  The answer to this question has some relevance for the contradiction-question.

Joseph’s ID-card

There is everything to be said for it that we have to do with the document Joseph, being a descendant of King David, used as identification when he and Mary came to Bethlehem for the census under Caesar Augustus.  But why are four names lacking in it? Before we will try to give relevant answers, it is important to remark that despite the four omissions in Joseph's document, it was indeed a proper document to show his lineage from David, according to the rule: the son of a son is a son. Ozias not being the biological son of Joram was still the genealogical son of Joram.  And Jecohnias (Jeconiah) not being the biological son of Josiah was still the genealogical son of Josiah.

Matthew knew about the two gaps in Joseph's document. He prevented later “corrections” through copyists by the clear statement in verse 17 that it gave 14 generations (in the list) from David to the deportation to Babylon. Matthew didn't gave here his view on a perfect genealogy of a repeating number of fourteen generations, as many suppose. He only wanted to secure the copy of the document he presented in his gospel story.

Omissions of Ahaziah, Joas, Amaziah

We may reckon with a punishment. The ungodly king Joram was not permitted to register Ahaziah; Ahaziah was not permitted to register Joas, Joas did not register Amaziah. Amaziah (2 Kings 14:3) was permitted to continue the old tradition of registering his sons in the tempel archives. It is not acceptable to suppose that it was the initiative of Joram, Ahaziah and Joram to not register thier sons. As kings they should have done so. This is especially true for Joas who was a pious king in the beginning of his reign. So what was the reason that these three kings didn't register their sons? King Joram killed his brothers, six in number, as soon as he became king.  This had never occurred earlier in Israel and it did never occur later in the royal house of David.  We have to consider the probability that priests denounced these murders with a ban on registering the names of three royal generations in the temple archives.   After the exodus out of Egypt, the Israelites got the commandment to not allow Egyptians to enter into the assembly of the Lord during three generations (Deuteronomy 23:8).  Maybe a comparable punishment was laid on the royal family of David by the priests right after Joram's murders.  The gap of the three excluded royal generations remained visible forever in the documents of identification circulating in the royal family: a shame forever, also in the document Joseph owned.

Omission of Jehoiakim

Jehoiakim (in the list of Chronicles) being the father of Jeconiah belonged to the biological lineage of Joseph, however he was not listed in Joseph's document. Why? We can only give an assumption. He was the man who destroyed the role with Jeremiah's prophesies and who as a young prince probably committed incest with Hamutal, a wife of his father Josiah. (See the article: How old was Jehoachin when he began to reign – in preparation.) Maybe that were reasons for the writers of Joseph's identification document to also omit the name Jehoiakim.


Verse 17 is a closing summary relating to the preceding genealogy claiming authentic value concerning descent, but doesn't claim an accurate biological (historical) description.


No Bible Contradiction