Tuesday, September 15, 2009
There are four woman that Matthew lists in the genealogy of Jesus (five if you count his mother Mary). It is very unusual for woman to be listed in a biblical genealogy. So why include women in the list if that is not custom? And why these women? Well let's explore each woman.
The first woman listed is Tamar. Read her story in Genesis 38.
To quickly summarize Tamar marries Judah's son Er. Er is bad so God puts him to death. Er's brother, Onan, is suppose to take Tamar as a wife and raise sons on behalf of Er (this is common custom at that time). Onan is also bad and God puts him to death. Judah thinks Tamar, who has no kids yet, is cursed and does not give her to his youngest son. So Tamar dresses up like a hooker and get Judah to sleep with her. He does not realize who she is. Tamar gets pregnant. When Judah finds out he is the father he says that Tamar was more righteous than he was.
What could Matthew be saying by including this woman in Jesus' genealogy? Could it be that God loves and cares for the oppressed? Tamar was oppressed in this story. Er and Onan were evil. Judah refused to do what he should have done as a father-in-law. Even though she used morally questionable means (to say the least) could Matthew be saying that God still loved her and blessed her?