The Gospel of Matthew Debunks the Messiahship of Jesus

Whether through carelessness or ignorance, the author of the Gospel of Matthew inadvertantly disqualified Jesus from being the Messiah, the Davidic king.

The New Testament opens with the words of the Gospel of Matthew, "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Mt. 1:1

Words have meaning. The plain meaning of Matthew's words is that the following list of patrimonial lineage establishes the bona fides of Jesus as the legitimate descendent of King David with a rightful claim to be the promised king who would rule forever and ever. To claim any other reason for these words being penned is to ignore the clear intent of the author. This opening is the very reason that the Gospel of Matthew opens the Christian New Testament even though it was one of the last books actually written.

The list of names as genetic links from Abraham to David through Solomon on down is either accurate or it is not. If it is not accurate, then whatever else Jesus did, no matter how great, he cannot be the legitimate Davidic king. But for the sake of argument, let us assume the list to be accurate.

Matthew follows with a list of generations from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob to king David, the king whose descendents were to be the only legitimate royal line. Next, Matthew rightly runs the genealogy through David's son Solomon which was the only line approved by the predictions of the Hebrew scriptures. 1Chrn 17, 22, and 28.

These texts make clear that the line of Davidic kingship and thus eventual Messiahship must go through his son Solomon to the exclusion of his many other sons. Parenthetically, it must be noted here that the Gospel of Luke's genealogy of Jesus runs through David's son Nathan rather than Solomon thus disqualifying the rest of his list of descendents from legitimacy.

Next, Matthew lists the descendents of Solomon to the Babylonian captivity:


As he lists these kings, each of whom fathered the next in line, he points out that Jechoniah was the king at the time of the deportation to Babylon. Let us not miss this point. JECHONIAH WAS THE KING AT THE TIME OF THE DEPORTATION. Then Matthew states "After the deportation to Babylon, Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel and Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel, and on down to the end of the line.

Who was this Jechoniah through whom Matthew traces Jesus' lineage? He is characterized in the Old Testament as "evil" King Jechoiachin. The book of 2 Kings 24:8 and following states, "Jechoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done." The text goes on to describe how Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon took him, the riches of the temple, and all the great people of Judah, leaving behind only the dregs. Jechoiachin was no hero among the kings of Judah.

Jeremiah was the premier prophet of the time of the early captivity and deporation and spared no words in his condemnation of the evil kings of Judah whose sins led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. He saved his harshest curse for Jechoiachin. In Jer. 22:18 and following, Jeremiah begins his curse upon this evil king claiming to quote Yahweh saying, "Thus says Yahweh concerning Jechoiachin the son of Josiah, king of Judah..." He goes on with poetic prophecy relating the disobedience of the young king. But then in verse 30, Jeremiah makes a clear prophecy, "Thus says Yahweh, 'Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days; for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David, and ruling again in Judah."


In constructing his genealogy of Jesus, Matthew shot off his on foot, for no descendent of Jechoiachin is eligible to be in the royal line. While the Messianic expectation rightly goes from David through Solomon, the entire line of Jechoiachin is disqualified.

Therefore, Jesus is disqualified. Davidic rights do not belong to him.

Some may object that none of Matthew's genealogy of Jesus has standing anyway since it goes through Joseph, who according to the birth narrative was not the father of Jesus in any event. But then of what purpose is the genealogy which clearly maintains that it is the genealogy, the pedigree, the genetic, blood related, DNA source of Jesus?

Some have suggested that Joseph was the adoptive father of Jesus. But then of what use is the list of actual fathers and sons? No adoptive son could be called "The seed of David." Actual patrimony was necessary for being a part of the Jewish royal line, just as actual patrimony was necessary for the perpetuation of a priestly family. The plain meaning of the text is that this genealogy is actual, historical, physical, and establishes Jesus as the "son of David." The tension between the genealogy and the miraculous birth narrative is better understood as arising from a later scribal interpolation of the birth narrative to establish a divine link to Jesus' nature. But even if one could construe a "legal, adoptive" rather than a physical genealogy of Jesus, even though none is even hinted at by the text, Joseph could not have been an heir of David either in that he is listed as a descendent of Jechoiachin.

Matthew has debunked Jesus' messiahship. The New Testament opens with a clear violation of any legitimate claim for Jesus to be the "son of David." Jesus was an imposter to the throne.