Chronicles to Luke/Matthew

We were discussing in Old Testament History and Poetry class the other day the genealogy of Chronicles and how the chronicler sets up the genealogy to help clarify his view of history: the chronicles genealogy starts at Adam and rushes to David, gets to David and slows down, and then continues on. The chronicler’s genealogy emphasizes the importance of David in all of history, that the genealogy of Israel is rushing towards that one man, and from him all history revolves itself. It is not Moses, or Abraham, or Israel(Jacob) but David. Which got me to thinking about genealogies.

In Matthew and Luke are two different genealogies, and scholars have commented on how they prove Jesus right to the Davidic throne and legitimizes Jesus family line. But what if, like Chronicles does, it also points out Jesus importance in all of history. In Matthew especially we see the book beginning with genealogy (a genealogy following the genealogies of Chronicles if the OT is taken in TaNaK order), rushing from Abraham, stopping at David, picking up again to Exile, then up to Jesus. And after that, the book slows down and tells us the story of Jesus, what he has done, who he is, his death and resurrection. And Luke begins with Jesus, and traces itself backwards to Adam, not even bothering to stop, as Matthew did, at David or Abraham, but continues to Adam, as if laying out that from Adam all history has been moving to the time when Jesus would come, which when he does the book of Luke slows down, explaining Christ, and then after his death, much like Chronicles does, goes on to further explain the acts of the apostles in Acts, sort of like a 2 Chronicles in the NT.

So what do you think? Could the genealogies not only legitimize Jesus but also act as an explanation of what all of history has been moving towards, the focal point on which everything was coming to, and is now moving from? Could Luke and Matthew use the genealogy to rearrange history?

Cameron

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One Response to Chronicles to Luke/Matthew

  1. joewulf says:

    “The chronicler’s genealogy emphasizes the importance of David in all of history, that the genealogy of Israel is rushing towards that one man, and from him all history revolves itself. It is not Moses, or Abraham, or Israel(Jacob) but David.”
    –Wow! That is such a great insight!
    For Matthew’s genealogy, many have noted how the genealogy has been shaped (i.e. people are missing) for theological purposes–purposes I have yet to explore. Great read on Matthew’s genealogy btw. Abraham and David are so central for the book even to the last verse (e.g. juxtapose Gen 12 with the Great Commission).
    As for your question at the end, I wonder if Luke’s purpose in connecting Jesus to Adam is a “yes” to your question. Matthew though seems like his genealogy does more to clue the reader in to Jesus’ identity as the king through whom the whole world/Gentiles would be blessed (I taught on this once at the college ministry. Maybe I’ll post it again here when I get a chance).
    Great post Cam!

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