In the first sixteen verses of Matthew chapter one we find the genealogy of the Lord Jesus. This genealogy is fascinating on several different levels. One level is the Heptadic Designs, or a designs based on the number seven, found in these verses. Dr. Ivan Panin discovered many such designs in Matthew 1:1-16 in the original Greek text. Not only are there forty-two generations of the genealogy (forty-two is a multiple of seven) but the number of words in this passage is a multiple of seven in Greek. Brother Panin found so many groups of seven (vocabulary, nouns, etc.) that the probabilities of it occurring by chance are simply astronomical!! For more information on Dr. Panin’s findings please click HERE.
Further, there are five women listed in the genealogy of Jesus. There is a uniqueness to four of these women. They all were involved in some form forbidden sexual activity. Tamar (Matthew 1:3) became pregnant by her father-in-law, Judah. (Genesis 38) This was incest, forbidden by the Lord. Rahab (Matthew 1:5) of Jericho is simply described as a harlot. Ruth (Matthew 1:5) was a Moabitess. [After the failure of King Balak to secure a curse against Israel, the Moabite women lured the Israelite men into sexual promiscuity. (Numbers 25:1) The Lord told the Children of Israel to have nothing to do with the Moabites and they were forbidden to enter into the Lord’s congregation. (Deuteronomy 23:3)] The fourth woman is Bathsheba (Matthew 1:6) who became pregnant by King David while married to Uriah. (Second Samuel 11) This was adultery. Although Mary, the fifth woman, was innocent, Joseph was prepared to take steps to save her from public accusation of forbidden sexual activity.
The ethnicity of Tamar is not indicated. Two of the four women were Gentiles and were named; Rahab and Ruth. The fourth woman was Bathsheba, who was a Jew, but is not named in the genealogy. Some have offered the theory that the sexual nature of the named women ancestors of the Lord Jesus is to show that the purpose of Jesus, in addition to providing salvation to mankind, was to counter the sin of the Sons of God who took the daughters men and caused them to bear Nephilim (fallen ones). Nephilim is translated as “giants” in the King James Version. (Genesis 6:1-4)
The names of the four women are descriptive of the purpose of the Lord Jesus coming into this world. Tamar means “palm tree” and is derived from a Hebrew root word meaning “erect” or “upright.” Tamar was more “upright” than Judah.
“To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” – Psalm 92:15
Rahab means “ample” and is from a root word meaning “to grow large or wide.” The Lord’s Grace is ample.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:” – Second Corinthians 12:9
Ruth means “a female friend” and comes from a root word meaning “to pasture, tend, graze.” The Lord Jesus pastures and tends to us. He is our shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” – John 10:11
Bathsheba means “daughter of an oath.” The Lord made a promise!
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” – Acts 2:38-39
The names of these women show us the nature of the Lord Jesus. He is upright. His Grace is ample. He is the Good Shepherd. He promised Eternal Life. Praise the Lord for the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, coming into this fallen world and paying the sin price for each of us!