“Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.”
Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.
Verses two through six show the lineage from Abraham to David.
Matthew names only the fourth son of Jacob because the Messiah came from Judah (Ge 49:10). The ruling tribe should have been Reuben, but he stepped out of line so God gave the line to Judah (1 Chron 5). Reuben lost the privileges of the firstborn.
Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.
Verses three and four start the line of Judah.
The inclusion of five women—Tamar, Rahab (v. 5; Jos 2:1), Ruth (v.5; Ruth 2:11-12), Solomon’s mother Bathsheba (v.6; 2 Sa 11-12), and Mary—is unusual but not without precedent in genealogies. All of these women had questionable backgrounds. Normally women did not appear in genealogies of the Old Testament. Four of these women were Gentiles, which was also unusual (two Canaanites, one Moabite, one Hittite–Bathsheba). All this shows the grace of God. Two were harlots (Tamar and Rahab).
We find Tamar’s story in Genesis 38. Tamar is in the Bible because she sinned. Tamar, the Gentile, married the oldest son of Judah, who was named Er. He died suddenly because of sin. Judah asked his next son, Onan, to marry her. God killed him because he committed coitus interruptus. When Judah tried to save his last son, Shelah, by delaying giving Tamar to him, she took matters into her own hands by disguising herself as a prostitute and having sexual relations with Judah. When Judah discovered her pregnancy, he declared her more righteous than himself since he withheld Shelah from her. Out of that union the twins Perez and Zerah were born. Through this she became an ancestress of David.
Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon.
Salmon was one of two men sent out on patrol to reconnoiter the fortifications of Jericho. These men got into a jam and ran for protection into a second-class hotel. A prostitute by the name of Rahab not only gave them a room but she hid them—in a room for manufacturing rope. Out of this contact, Salmon ultimately married Rahab the whore. She then took her place officially in the line of the Messiah. Rahab had no illusions about herself, but God bestowed His grace on her.
Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab,
This is not an exhaustive genealogy but an over-all trend in genealogy.
Rahab was a prostitute who became a follower of the Lord (He 11:31). She found herself in the genealogy of Jesus because she became a believer.
Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,
Ruth was a Gentile Moabite. The Moabites were under a special curse of the Mosaic Law (Deut 23:3-8). God turned Ruth’s cursing into blessing.
Jesse was David’s father. Jesse had eight sons and David was the eighth. The eldest son had great ability but not a whole lot of courage. David, the shepherd, became the king of Israel. This is also grace.
and Jesse begot David the king.
This verse begins the Davidic dynasty. The addition of the words “the king” strengthens the link between David and Jesus the Messiah.
David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
The “wife of Uriah” was Bathsheba. Bathsheba committed adultery with David, violating her marriage covenant with Uriah. It is the grace of God that He included Bathsheba in Jesus’ lineage.
God’s faithful providence guarantees the Messiahship of Jesus.
Who and what we are does not depend on us but on who and what God is and does for us. This is strictly the grace of God in action.