Saturday, December 18, 2010

Luke's Geneology: A Curse Averted

Matthew recorded Jesus’ lineage through Joseph, who was descended from one of Bathsheba’s and David’s sons, Solomon, giving Jesus His royal lineage, in direct legal line to the throne.

But shortly before Judah went into exile, times were turbulent, and Jeconiah, the legal descendant of David in line to the throne, refused to take the throne. Jeremiah recorded God’s response, in
Jeremiah 22:24-30,
“As I live, declares the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet ring on my right hand, yet I would tear you off...Thus says the LORD:"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."
(Je)Coniah had seven sons (1 Chronicles 3:17-18),
The sons of Jeconiah born while he was captive in Babylon: Shealtiel, Malkiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah.
But none of them ever sat on the throne, even though they retained the legal throne rights. If Jesus had been born only in the line of Joseph (and thus of Jeconiah), He would not have been qualified to reign on the throne of David in the Millennium, because of God’s curse.

But Mary, according to Luke’s genealogy, descended from another of Bathsheba’s and David’s sons, Nathan, 1 Chronicles 3:5,
“These were born to him [King David] in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bath-shua [Bathsheba], the daughter of Ammiel.”
Through Joseph, Jesus became the legal heir to the throne while at the same time bypassed the curse of Coniah as prophesied.

The exception to the law which permitted inheritance through the daughter was established back in Moses’ day. The daughters of Zelophehad had petitioned Moses for a special exception because their father had no sons. God instructed Moses to grant the exception and to make it a lasting ordinance, so long as the women who petitioned for this exception married within their tribe, Numbers 26:33-27:8;
Numbers 36:1-11
God spoke to Moses: "Divide up the inheritance of the land based on population. A larger group gets a larger inheritance; a smaller group gets a smaller inheritance—each gets its inheritance based on the population count.

"Make sure that the land is assigned by lot.

"Each group's inheritance is based on population, the number of names listed in its ancestral tribe, divided among the many and the few by lot."

The daughters of Zelophehad showed up. Their father was the son of Hepher son of Gilead son of Makir son of Manasseh, belonging to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

They came to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. They stood before Moses and Eleazar the priest and before the leaders and the congregation and said, "Our father died in the wilderness. He wasn't part of Korah's rebel anti-God gang. He died for his own sins. And he left no sons. But why should our father's name die out from his clan just because he had no sons? So give us an inheritance among our father's relatives."

Moses brought their case to God.

God ruled: "Zelophehad's daughters are right. Give them land as an inheritance among their father's relatives. Give them their father's inheritance.

"Then tell the People of Israel, If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give it to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give it to his father's brothers. If his father had no brothers, give it to the nearest relative so that the inheritance stays in the family. This is the standard procedure for the People of Israel, as commanded by God through Moses."

The heads of the ancestral clan of Gilead son of Makir, the son of Manasseh—they were from the clans of the descendants of Joseph—approached Moses and the leaders who were heads of the families in the People of Israel.

They said, "When God commanded my master to hand over the inheritance-lands by lot to the People of Israel, my master was also commanded by God to hand over the inheritance-land of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters.

But what happens if they marry into another tribe in the People of Israel? Their inheritance-land will be taken out of our ancestral tribe and get added into the tribe into which they married. And then when the year of Jubilee comes for the People of Israel their inheritance will be lumped in with the inheritance of the tribe into which they married—their land will be removed from our ancestors' inheritance!"

Moses, at God's command, issued this order to the People of Israel: "What the tribe of the sons of Joseph says is right. This is God's command to Zelophehad's daughters: They are free to marry anyone they choose as long as they marry within their ancestral clan. The inheritance-land of the People of Israel must not get passed around from tribe to tribe. No, keep the tribal inheritance-land in the family.

Every daughter who inherits land, regardless of the tribe she is in, must marry a man from within her father's tribal clan. Every Israelite is responsible for making sure the inheritance stays within the ancestral tribe. No inheritance-land may be passed from tribe to tribe; each tribe of the People of Israel must hold tight to its own land."

Zelophehad's daughters did just as God commanded Moses. Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, Zelophehad's daughters, all married their cousins on their father's side. They married within the families of Manasseh son of Joseph and their inheritance-lands stayed in their father's family.
Based on this special law Mary, who had no brothers and who married within her tribe, the tribe of Judah, was able to pass along her inheritance of the throne to her Son, Jesus.

This unusual situation is a beautiful fulfillment of prophecy and actually testifies to the accuracy of the Bible.

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