In 1 Chr 3, the descendants of David, of the royal line, are all named, up until the time that the captives are returned from Babylon – actually, up until the time the Greeks under Alexander’s generals took over Judea. So this chapter in 1 Chr was kept as a record and added to over time as the descendants of David had children. It is not unusual, since David was the first king and his sons were of the royal line.
Jesus is also the descendant of David. I compared this genealogy with the one in Mat 1, and it is the same up through Zerubbabel, who was the head of the house of David during the return from captivity in Babylon. Then the names diverge. The genealogy in Luk 3 diverges even earlier, and follows the sons of Nathan the son of David. (The genealogy in Mat 1 follows the sons of Solomon the son of David).
Mat 1 is the genealogy of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Luk 3 is the genealogy of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Both the parents of Jesus were descended from David. This is a stumbling block for the Jews in accepting Jesus as the Messiah. The Scriptures prophesy that the Messiah will be the son of David. But if what the Christians say is true, that Jesus was conceived in Mary without Joseph, but through the Holy Spirit, then He is not the son of David. (They completely overlook the fact that if the Holy Spirit had something to do with His conception, HELLO, what does that tell you!) Of course, if Joseph was His earthly father, He was and is the son of David.
In actuality, the four gospels bring out different characteristics of Jesus’ life and ministry. Matthew shows, beginning in the geneaology and continuing throughout, that Jesus was the son of David, the heir of the kingdom, the Promised Seed and Messiah of Israel. There are many Hebraic idioms in this gospel which are absent in the others … many scholars in fact think that this gospel was first written in Hebrew to a Hebrew audience (Jews of the 1st century) and later translated into Greek.
Mark does not include a genealogy. His gospel shows that Jesus was the servant of God and man, who did everything that God told Him or showed Him. Luke’s gospel includes a genealogy to show that Jesus was the son of man – i.e. the son of Adam, thus He was qualified to bear the sins of the whole world, Jews and Gentiles alike, since the whole world was descended from Adam. And John’s gospel does not include a genealogy, for his purpose was to show that Jesus was the son of God and God come in the flesh. Thus his gospel begins, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Joh 1:1).
Back to 1 Chr. Chapter 4 is traces the family of Judah and Simeon. Judah and Simeon shared the same territory in Israel. Simeon only had certain cities and their environs within the territory of Judah. Some of the Simeonites went outside the boundaries of Israel as is recorded in chapter 4, and took over a part of Edom (Esau), or Mount Seir. This territory is south of Judah and the Dead Sea. In Roman days it was called Idumea; today the same territory is part of Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia. The descendants of Simeon who left Israel became absorbed into the nations, the Gentiles, and they are part of the “ten lost tribes.” The descendants of Simeon who stayed in Israel became absorbed into Judah and are today Jews.
So why are we going over genealogies again here at the beginning of Chronicles? We are learning what the state of Israel is at the time that David received the kingdom, for it is from the kingship of David that Israel counts its beginning as a kingdom. Although they acknowledge Saul as the first king, they realize that he LOST the nation of Israel to the Philistines, in a more devastating defeat than they had ever experienced before. It was David who put things right once he became king, as we will see.
Now David is a type of Messiah, and David receiving the kingship, is prophetic of Messiah Yeshua receiving the kingship. When Messiah Yeshua enters His kingship, I wonder if it will be following a devasting defeat, when all the hope of Israel seems lost, when the Philistines (Palestinians?) have driven Israel from their homes and have taken over their cities.
King Saul represents man’s way of running things as a king: doing whatever seems expedient and right in man’s eyes at the time. And the end of man’s way is utter defeat. Today Israel’s choice for leaders is also man’s way. Most Israelis are secular, and they vote for man’s way of running things. But man’s way will bring utter defeat, and the way will be paved for God’s way and His choice, the Man after His own heart, to enter into His kingship – Messiah Yeshua, the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God!