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6. Begat David the King In this genealogy, the designation of King is bestowed on David alone, because in his person God exhibited a type of the future leader of his people, the Messiah. The kingly office had been formerly held by Saul; but, as he reached it through tumult and the ungodly wishes of the people, the lawful possession of the office is supposed to have commenced with David, more especially in reference to the covenant of God, who promised that “his throne should be established for ever,” (2 Samuel 7:16.) When the people shook off the yoke of God, and unhappily and wickedly asked a king, saying, “Give us a king to judge us,” (1 Samuel 8:5,) Saul was granted for short time. But his kingdom was shortly afterwards established by God, as a pledge of true prosperity, in the hand of David. Let this expression, David the King, be understood by us as pointing out the prosperous condition of the people, which the Lord had appointed.
Meanwhile, the Evangelist adds a human disgrace, which might almost bring a stain on the glory of this divine blessing. David the King begat Solomon by her that had been the wife of Uriah; by Bathsheba, whom he wickedly tore from her husband, and for the sake of enjoying whom, he basely surrendered an innocent man to be murdered by the swords of the enemy, (2 Samuel 11:15.) This taint, at the commencement of the kingdom, ought to have taught the Jews not to glory in the flesh. It was the design of God to show that, in establishing this kingdom, nothing depended on human merits.
Comparing the inspired history with the succession described by Matthew, it is evident that he has omitted three kings.9292 “Assavoir Ochozias fils de Joram, Joas, et Amazias.” — “Namely, Ahaziah son of Jehoram, Joash, and Amaziah,” (2 Chronicles 22, 23, 24, 25.) Those who say that he did so through forgetfulness, cannot be listened to for a moment. Nor is it probable that they were thrown out, because they were unworthy to occupy a place in the genealogy of Christ; for the same reason would equally apply to many others, who are indiscriminately brought forward by Matthew, along with pious and holy persons. A more correct account is, that he resolved to confine the list of each class to fourteen kings, and gave himself little concern in making the selection, because he had an adequate succession of the genealogy to place before the eyes of his readers, down to the close of the kingdom. As to there being only thirteen in the list, it probably arose from the blunders and carelessness of transcribers. Epiphanius, in his First Book against Heresies, assigns this reason, that the name of Jeconiah had been twice put down, and unlearned9393 “Indocti;” — “quelques gens n'entendans pas le propos,” — “some peope not understanding the design.” persons ventured to strike out the repetition of it as superfluous; which, he tells us, ought not to have been done, because Jehoiakim, the father of king Jehoiakim, had the name Jeconiah, in common with his son, (1 Chronicles 3:17; 2 Kings 24:15; Jeremiah 27:20; 28:4.) Robert Stephens quotes a Greek manuscript, in which the name of Jehoiakim is introduced.9494 “Robert Etienne a ce propos allegue un exemplaire Grec ancien, ou il y a ainsi, Josias engendra Joacim, et Joacim engendra Jechonias.”— “Robert Stephens, with this view, quotes an ancient Greek manuscript, which runs thus: Josiah begat Jehoiakim, and Jehoiakim begat Jeconiah.”