Why there are five women's names appearing in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 1?

Why there are five women's names appearing in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 1?
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#1

3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.


#3

Five women are included, mostly poor, mostly misfits, widows, unimportant, unknown, sinful women who changed the course of history by their simple, obedient lives. One might suppose that the women in Jesus the Messiah’s genealogy should have all been the finest Jewish women, but they weren’t. Most weren’t even Jewish at all. And except for Ruth and Mary, they had tarnished sexual histories. They were ordinary women, trying to get life right, but missing the goal.

In other words, they were women just like us: ordinary, tarnished by sin, unlikely to shape the course of history. They are in the Savior’s genealogy to give us hope, and to foreshadow the kind of people Jesus the Messiah came to save.

He came from a lineage of sinners to save sinners.


#2

Because they all had wonderful faith in God.


#4

One theory is that the women were immoral. Indeed, some were, but Ruth was not, and the way in which Rahab become an ancestor of David is not known; she may have been completely moral after coming to know God. Nor would Matthew want to imply that Mary was immoral.

Another theory is that the women were Gentiles. Some were, but we do not know about Tamar and Bathsheba. Matthew says that the gospel should be preached to all nations (28:19), and it would indirectly support his point to mention Gentiles in the ancestry of the Savior. Although genealogies were often designed to support ethnic authenticity, Matthew uses his genealogy to point out ethnic impurity.

Perhaps Matthew’s purpose was simply that all of the women are irregularities in the royal lineage of Judah, and that people should therefore not be surprised that the birth of the Messiah involves some irregularity as well. Jesus was not born as a “pure” person, but as an ordinary person, with moral and ethnic impurity in his ancestry, just as we all have.


#5

The factor most likely uniting the four women in Old Testament is their Gentile background. Rahab and Tamar were Canaanites, Ruth was a Moabite, and Bathsheba was married to a Hittite. I think Ulrich Luz is right: “Matthew . . . was intent on ensuring that four Gentile women appeared in Jesus’ line of descent. In doing so he clearly sent a signal. The universalist perspective, the inclusion of the Gentile world, must have been important to him” (The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew, 26). Other features in Matthew’s Gospel support the emphasis on Gentile background. First, Matthew’s genealogy begins in 1:2 with Abraham (not Adam), who heard God’s agenda to bless all families of the earth through him (cf. Gen 12:2-3). Second, after Jesus is born, wise men (Gentiles!) search for the child and offer him treasures (cf. Matt 2:1-2, 10-11). Third, Matthew’s Gospel ends with a Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20). These are a few examples that show Matthew highlighting Gentile inclusion in God’s mission through Jesus.

The fifth and final woman in the genealogy is Mary, officially married to Joseph, and mother of Jesus who is called the Christ (Matt. 1:16). Mary is Jewish; Mary is a virgin to whom no taint of sexual scandal had come. Mary is a devout believer in Yahweh. To him she entrusts herself: her reputation, her future, and her entire hope. When the angel tells her she will be pregnant by the Holy Spirit, she believes (Luke 1:35-38) and accepts what has never happened before. Where did this slip of a girl, just recently come into womanhood, get this kind of faith and trust? “I am the Lord’s servant,” were her amazing words. She comprehended in an instant, what generations of Jewish women had never understood: the Messiah would be born of a virgin. She wasn’t sinless, but she was a godly, virtuous, and young Jewish girl.


#6

They had great faith in God and they were on that position also. God does not use the ones who are very great, but uses the ones who obey Him and truly love Him.


#7

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that men did not and do not give birth?
I know, that sounds simplistic. But all this stuff about how these women were “mostly poor, mostly misfits, widows, unimportant, unknown, sinful” is rubbish.

I know that Solomon is always traced with the mention of DAVID’S sin in murdering Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. Therefore, Bathsheba is noted as “she was the wife of Uriah”. Ruth was a very holy woman. Rahab I believe is the one who let the spies from Israel in to scope out the land she lived in. Then of course, we have the Virgin Mary. How does she fit in this “misfit” or “unholy” woman frame of thinking?

This is a genealogy. Anyone who fell into that line, had the same men and women mentioned. All the women have other parts they play in the Bible other than being mothers.

If you have a problem that mothers are in it at all, then how do you explain childbirth?