The former is the line according to legal succession; the latter is the line according to natural descent. The former was the result of the will of God in choosing Solomon, a younger son; while the latter was the result of the will of man, and in the order of human birth. Both lines meet in Joseph, the son of Jacob by birth, and the son of Heli by marriage with Mary, Heli's only daughter. Thus the two lines are united and exhausted in Jesus Christ; for by His death they both became extinct, and thus He was the King of Israel by right; became, and was declared to be, the Son of God by resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4; Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5, 5:5).
Now the wonderful fact is that we have in the genealogy of Luke 3 exactly 77 names, with GOD at the one end, and JESUS at the other. This is indeed stamping it with the number of spiritual perfection.
On the other hand, although the genealogy in Matthew is artificially constructed (according to a recognized custom amongst the Jews, instances of which we have in the Old Testament), it is so arranged that it contains 42 generations, or Six sevens (6x7).
These 42 generations contain -
|Forty-one* names that are named in Matthew 1 ||41 |
|Four which are omitted* ||4 |
|If we add the twenty-one names before Abraham (from Luke 3) ||21 |
|We have in the royal line through Solomon ||66 |
* There are only 41 names: - Jechonias being given at the end of the second list, and repeated at the beginning of the third. There are three divisions (the stamp of Divine perfection), with 14 names in the first, 14 names in the second, but with 13 names in the third. For the significance of this, see under the number thirteen, marking Jesus as the savior who was made sin for His people.
These three divisions are in themselves remarkable. The first ends with the happy condition of the people under David; the second with ruin; the third with the savior.
The first begins with Abraham, the recipient of the unconditional covenant of the Land (Genesis 15), and ends with David, the recipient of the unconditional covenant of the Throne (2Samuel 7). The second begins with Solomon, and ends with the Captivity; i.e., with the building of the Temple at the one end, and the destruction of it at the other. The third begins with the Captivity, the promise of the Messiah through Daniel (chapter 9), and ends with His birth in the person of Jesus.
** The four names omitted are the three immediate successors of Jehoram, between Jehoram and Uzziah.
Ahaziah, or Jehoahaz, 2Kings 8:29-10:27; 2Chronicles 22:39.
Joash, 2Kings 11:2-12:20; 2Chronicles 24:1-25.
Amaziah (or Ahimaaz), 2Kings 14:8-20; 2Chronicles 25:7-27. And one between Josiah and Jeconiah, viz. -
Jehoiakim, 2Kings 23:36-24:6; 2Chronicles 36:5-8. It was he who cut to pieces and burnt the roll which contained the words of Jehovah (Jeremiah 36:23). The Talmud says that the reason why his name is not mentioned generally in the genealogies is because it was said concerning him (2Chronicles 36:8), "And the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and the abominations which he did, and that which was found ON HIM." Rabbi Jochanan says it means that "he caused an image to be engraved on his body." He was "Childless" as to the throne; for though he had seven sons (1Chronicles 3:17,18), it was his grandson Zerubbabel who became ruler over Israel (2Kings 25:29,30).
So that while Jesus is the 77th name in the line which comes through Nathan, it is the 66th name in the line which comes through Solomon.
When we remember that six is the human number, and seven the Divine, can we doubt that we are thus pointed to the fact that Jesus was both Son of God and Son of Man?
His two names have the same significant stamp and seal: for IhsouV, JESUS, the birth name of His humiliation as Man, is composed of six letters; while CristoV, Christ, His Divine title as the Anointed of God, is composed of seven letters.
On carefully comparing the two genealogies again, we find that certain names are common to both lines. Of these there are exactly 36, or 6 x 6, i.e., the square of 6 (62).
|The names to David* ||34 names |
|Salathiel and Zerubbabel ||2 names |
|TOTAL ||36 names |
* The names actually named as common to both are 16 (42); viz., from Abraham to David are 14; Zerubbabel and Salathiel, 2.
Here we have a marvelous interlacing and combination of the numbers six and seven, which serve to stamp both genealogies with the Spirit's seal, and to set forth the human and Divine natures of Jesus our Lord, as perfect Man and perfect God.
We give the following complete list: -
|Matthew ||Matthew and Luke |
Names in common
| || ||GOD|
|Abraham || |
|Aram (or Ram)|
|[Ahaziah or Jehoahaz]
|Ozias (or Uzziah)
|Achaz (or Ahaz)
|Ezekias (or Hezekiah)
Salathiel or Shealtiel
(the real son of Jechonias,
the legal son of Neri)
(the real son of Pedaiah,
the legal son of Salathiel,
|Abiud || ||Rhesa|
(the real son of Jacob)
(the legal son of Heli)*
Joseph was the husband of Mary, "of whom was born Jesus which is called Christ" (Matthew 1:16). That is to say, Joseph, who was the real son of Jacob (for it says "Jacob BEGAT Joseph," Matthew 1:16), could become the legal son of Heli only by his marriage with Heli's daughter Mary. Hence it does not say, in Luke 3:23, that Heli begat Joseph, but that he was "the son of Heli." The words, "the son," it will be observed, are in italics, and being thus a wider expression, denotes that he was legally the son-in-law of Heli, by his marriage with Mary, Heli's real daughter.
While Jesus, therefore, was the real son of Mary, He could be reckoned as the legal son of Joseph, and was descended from Nathan through Heli, as well as from Solomon through Jacob.
The number six is further associated with Christ as the Son of Man, in that His birth was announced in the sixth month (Luke 1:26): and the sixth hour is specially marked at His crucifixion (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44).
Six, seven and the sons of God
Beni-ha-Elohim, "sons of God," occurs six times: -
- Genesis 6:2
- Job 2:6
- Job 38:7
- Psalm 29:1
- Psalm 89:6
- Daniel 3:25
Beni-El-hai, "sons of the living God," once: -
- Hosea 1:10
Seven times in all, but not seven exactly alike. There are six in one form (used of angels), and one in another (used of men), to mark the fact that the sons of God, whether angels or men, fell from the spiritual perfection of their original position.
This interesting illustration is not the only example of the contrasts presented between these two numbers, six and seven. Mr. Samuell* instances others: -
* Seven the Sacred Number, by Richard Samuell, p. 438.
Shem, Ham, And Japheth
The two names Shem and Japheth, who received their father's blessing, occur together seven times; but six of these are in connection with Ham whose posterity was cursed!
The 6 days of Creation and Rest
In the Creation we have the six days and the seven. The six of labor and the seventh of rest.
Is there a perfect human authority?
Psalm 8:6-8: Six sets forth the perfection of human authority, and seven marks the fact that the six defined particulars were of Divine gift:
|"Thou hast put all things under his feet: ||7 |
|all sheep || 6 |
|and oxen, |
|yea, and the beasts of the field; |
|the fowl of the air, |
|and the fish of the sea, |
|and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas." |
What are the seven Spirits of God?
Isaiah 11:2: Six here marking that Christ would be perfect man, and seven that He was perfect God; the first statement being marked off from the rest by its form: -
|"The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, ||7 |
|the Spirit of wisdom ||6 |
|and understanding, |
|the Spirit of counsel |
|and might, |
|the Spirit of knowledge |
|and of the fear of the LORD." |
What were Israel's Endowments?
Romans 9:4: The one defining who they were by Divine calling and standing, the six setting forth what pertained to them as men, thus called and blessed: -
|"Who are Israelites; ||7 |
|To whom pertaineth the adoption, ||6 |
|and the glory, |
|and the covenants, |
|and the giving of the law, |
|and the service [of God], |
|and the promises |
The 6 and 7 of the Golden Candlestick
The Golden Candlestick had six branches out of one central stem, making seven in all, marking, and in harmony with, the fact, that the light was the light of God's people in the world, but that its source was Divine.
What is the armor of God?
In Ephesians 6:14-18, the Christian's 'armor' consists of six pieces; but there is a seventh without which they are of no avail, and that is "the Spear," which is Prayer:
The Girdle of Truth, John 14:6, 17:17.
The Breastplate of Righteousness, Jeremiah 23:6; Philippians 3:9.
The Sandals of the Gospel, Ephesians 2:10.
The Shield of Faith (i.e., Faith's shield, which is Christ), Genesis 17:1; Romans 13:14; Psalm 91:4.
The Helmet of Salvation
The Sword of the Spirit (i.e., the Spirit's sword, which is the Word of God), Revelation 19:13.
Prayer - which keeps the armor bright and enables us to use it effectually.
What was used to measure Ezekiel's Temple?
In Ezekiel 40 the measurements of God's Temple are given, which is yet to be erected in His land. The measuring rod used by "the man" was "six great cubits" in length (41:8). But the great cubit was one cubit and a hand-breadth long (40:5, Revised Version ); therefore as six hand-breadths went to one cubit, there were really seven ordinary cubits in "the full reed of six great cubits."
Thus whenever six and seven are used together the difference between their respective significations is most marked.