There are many lists of geneaologies in the Bible. Why should we study them?
Matthew 1:1 - 25
ESV - 1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
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I see several benefits to study of the genealogies found throughout the Bible. They provide continuity between the Old Testaments and New Testaments, and aid in tracing the family lines of prominent individuals in the Bible; in understanding the flow and logic of events involving them; in seeing how the various nations with which Israel dealt or came into conflict originated, and what the roots of those conflicts were; and in demonstrating how God was involved in those events. They show how God has been faithful in the keeping of His promises with regard to the sending of a Savior and Redeemer, and the ancestry from which He would be descended (through Abraham and David (on both His earthly father's side (as found in Matthew 1:1-17), and His mother's side (as found in Luke 3:23-38), by which Jesus can be uniquely identified as that Savior and Redeemer. They testify to God's mercy in accepting someone such as Ruth, who was a Moabite, and thus not from among the descendants of Jacob (Israel), as an ancestor of the Messiah (Ruth 1:1-5; Ruth 4:13-20; Matthew 1:5). They further show God's mercy in forgiving sin, such as by the inclusion of Solomon in Joseph's line (Matthew 1:7), despite his having been born to Bathsheba, in connection with whom David had earlier committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11-12), and also despite the turning away from God that marked Solomon's later reign (1 Kings 11), as well as the sins committed by other kings in Joseph's ancestry, such as Manasseh (Matthew 1:10; 2 Kings 21). Finally, from a strictly historical perspective, they provide a record that involves real people (in all their humanity and fallibility), and that distinguishes the Biblical narrative from fiction or mythology.
Most Christians inwardly, if not outwardly, groan when they arrive at a genealogy in their Bible reading. This is a shame. The genealogies are wonderful. They are compressed histories of God’s faithful and loving dealings with his children, and, of his war against Satan. The genealogies in Scripture are so important that it may rightly be said that we cannot fully see the glory of the metanarrative of the Bible without them. Here are six tips for reading genealogies that I think will benefit the diligent reader: 1. Read Them Do not simply pass them by. It make take several days to carefully work your way through a particular genealogy in Scripture, but with good cross references, a concordance or online Bible, you will be able to make connections and learn vital lessons you never did before. For example: Did you know the genealogy of Exodus 6:14-25 will show us that Korah who led the rebellion against Moses in Numbers 16 was actually Moses’ cousin. How is that for a family dynamic? A similarly important connection lies in the relationship between Ahithophel (David's betrayer who hung himself, like Judas, after his conspiracy found him out - see 2 Sam. 16:23-17:23) and Bathsheba and Uriah. If you read the list of David's mighty men in 2 Samuel 23:8-29, you will find a short genealogy at the end of the chapter. We are told that Ahithophel was the father of Eliam, who was, in turn, one of David's mighty men. We are also told that Uriah was one of David's mighty men along with Eliam (2 Sam. 23:39). Prior to this, In 2 Sam. 11:3, we read, "Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam, one of David's mighty men. Uriah was one of David's mighty men. Ahithophel was Bathsheba's grandfather and Uriah's father-in-law. How easily now we see the pieces fall into place in order to explain the revenge that Ahithophel sought by conspiring against David with Absolam for the way in which David had murdered his son-in-law and torn apart his granddaughter's marriage. 2. Pay Attention to Every Word 3. Pay Attention to Every Missing Word Most (not all) genealogies contain some details of ages and time. Two genealogies which contrast each other are those of Cain (the line of Satan) and of Noah (line of Christ). Read them both in Genesis 4 and 5 and spot the differences, then ask yourself why have these differences been recorded? 4. Consider How They Remind Us of Life and Death They point us to the cultural mandate “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28) in the midst of a sin-wracked world. Life is given by God, even as he commanded it. Death is also such a reality – the words “and he died” which appear in Noah’s genealogy (Genesis 5) remind us that this age is not our ultimate destiny, 5. Consider How They Present to Us to Two Seeds In the garden God set in opposition the seed of the woman - Christ – and the seed of the serpent – Satan. These are profoundly evident as you read genealogies. Exodus 6 reminds us of this as we witness, Korah, Nadab and Abihu all of whom the Lord destroyed, in the same line as Moses, Aaron and Phinehas (the good one of Numbers 25 and other places).. Consider How They Present to Us a Faithful, Promise-Fulfilling, Covenant Keeping God They present to us a line of sinners, saved by grace–all the way to the great genealogies of Christ in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. As we are presented with rotten, sinful, deceitful, adulterous men and women in the genealogies, we are reminded that covenant status does not save, faith alone in the Christ does. In this way, we learn to treasure God’s faithfulness to us and our children after us. 6. Consider How They Present to Us a Faithful, Promise-Fulfilling, Covenant Keeping God They present to us a line of sinners, saved by grace–all the way to the great genealogies of Christ in Matthew 1 and Luke 3.
My answer is one of looking at the generation of God's created human beginnings with Adam and Eve and throughout man's history up to the present age! I begin with the most important: Adam(whom "God formed from the dirt of the Earth") and of course, Eve: the impact that Her succumbing to the temptation by the serpent(Satan) in the Garden to 'eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil' and then influencing Adam 'to also eat of this forbidden fruit' has had an eternal effect on the lives of all mankind. This detailed description of the issue of sin came into play for the entire future of mankind. By studying the genealogy, we see within the frailty, the weakness's exposed and acted upon by our 'first parents'! They set the process in motion and because of this initial event, untold many more have set the course of mankind down a path that, I believe, God didn't originally intend! God, to me, wanted Adam and Eve to not sin; not succumb to the temptation, not give into fleshly desires. But, Eve was weak and Adam was too easily tempted.(Genesis 1) The importance of this study is the pursuit of knowing God more and more each and every day!(Philippians is an excellent study!) Much can be learned by the thirst to seek His understanding of all the trials, tribulations, pursuits, events, struggles, relationships and the good/bad and the ugly responses to any and all of mankind's existence from The Garden to the present. The best guideline path is to follow God's created family in the garden: and, then to study God's Holy Bible's human histories. It is a daunting task if attempted in a hurry! One has to devote time and effort to "connect" the relationship scenarios, happenings, paths taken, and effects on the ongoing bloodline family from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Issac, Jacob, Judah, King David, Joseph and Mary(the 'mother' of Jesus) and so on...! We learn biblical history by studying God's Word, The BIBLE itself! We learn that it isn't OK to disobey God! We learn from knowledge of events within the lives and situations that our 'biblical genealogy' provides. We learn of disobedience and it's consequences! We learn of God's plans "if we turn from our wicked ways and follow Him". We learn from so many of the trials, events and results of seeking man's desires instead of being obedient to God's desires for His children. The Holy Bible and the family genealogy details, history, events all contribute to our 'God intended mass of knowledge' for our knowing His master plans for you and for me. Ultimately, The Study of God's Word and His 'Family Tree' is very beneficial in truly knowing God and His Son, Jesus Christ and HIS Ultimate Sacrifice at the Cross, and His Gift of Eternal Salvation through the power of His Holy Spirit! Get to know God's specific family tree! Study His Word! Seek to deeply KNOW OUR LORD, JESUS CHRIST more and more every single day!(Matthew 7:8) You will notice that God will increase your knowledge and understanding every time you read, study, ponder and store-up Bible genealogical history in your memory! MOST IMPORTANT! "Praise God that He loves us so much, that He provided a Savior! And, His name is JESUS CHRIST!"....Amen! ~~~Andy~~~
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