The Gospel of Matthew Series

The Center for Holy Lands Studies will be walking through the Gospel of Matthew from beginning to end. We're excited about this opportunity to provide insights into this incredible book through the lenses of culture, history, the land, and the Holy Spirit!

See the first entry on Matthew 1 below. You can also follow us on our social media accounts to view this series on a weekly basis!


The genealogy at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel is an important piece of evidence for the Davidic lineage of Jesus.

One of the most unique aspects of Matthew's genealogy in the context of the first century is the inclusion of women in the list of names. In a typical ancient genealogy, only the names of the fathers would be preserved. Leading up to Jesus' mother, Mary, the list cites Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba as contributors to the lineage of the Messiah. Their inclusion is all the more extraordinary considering their background.

  • Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute in order to sleep with her father-in-law, Judah, in an effort to preserve to line of Judah.

  • Rahab, before her conversion to monotheism and her inclusion into the line of Israel, served as a prostitute in the pagan city of Jericho.

  • Ruth, like Rahab, was not an Israelite, but a Moabite from a land beyond the Jordan who practiced polytheistic paganism until her inclusion into the houses of Naomi and Boaz.

  • Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, until she became pregnant with King David's son, leading David to send Uriah to his death in battle.

Each of the women in the genealogy of Jesus were chosen by Matthew because of – and not in spite of – their tumultuous pasts. Their inclusion in Matthew’s gospel, much like the inclusion of the pagan Magi in Matthew 2, reveals God’s plan for the redemption of all mankind – no matter their past circumstances.

Written by Jeremy Stein, Content Development Coordinator for the Center for Holy Lands Studies.

For information about CHLS, email info@holylandsstudies.org or call 1-885-700-CHLS (2457).

Center for
Holy Lands Studies

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