Here is something I’ve never thought of before. It has to do with the relationship between the Daniel 9 prophecy and the genealogy in Matthew 1. I am sure I am not the first, but I was wondering if you ever heard of this and what you think about it.
Question asked by a viewer of The Real Jesus:
How many generations were there between Abraham and David? Matthew 1:17 lists fourteen generations. Matthew 1:2 lists thirteen generations.
It’s simply a matter of how you count. You can count each period as fourteen generations first by extending from Abraham to David; secondly, by extending from David to the deportation to Babylon in the time of Jechonias; and thirdly, by extending from Jechonias to Christ. Matthew was aware that he was being inclusive or doubling up on one generation in each case.
There is no question that Matthew manipulated the number of generations to get multiples of “two times seven” — seven being the number of perfection in the Hebrew mind. Matthew is also concerned with the idea that there were roughly equal time periods divided into three eras. The coming of the Messiah was an expected event after the end of the last period – according to Daniel 9.
Matthew’s concern is the number of years rather than the exact number of literal generations (a generation is 40 years). 14 generations (14*40) = 560 years.
Matthew is trying to show that the prophecy of Daniel 9 is fulfilled in Jesus because the captivity lasted 70 years. If we subtract the 70 year captivity, then we get the “seventy sevens” of the Daniel 9 prophecy.
Of course, there are not exactly 560 years from the captivity (609 B.C.) to the generation of Jesus Christ (3 B.C. to 30 A.D.) Nor are there exactly 1680 years from Abraham to Jesus. If that were so, these 40 plus people would have had to have borne sons in their 40th year.
But Matthew as a Jew is trying to convince other Jews that the genealogy of Jesus “fit” the Daniel prophecy with the number “seven” in mind. This is why he posits the idea of three 560 year periods.