His Word is Exalted Above His Name

Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)
In a world of knowledge, rampant with scientific inquiry, is it possible to really believe that the ancient Scriptures are reliable? Many would say no. In the first chapter of Matthew, a genealogy is given that traces Christ's lineage from Abraham to Joseph. In verses 8 and 9, the text reads
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham,

. . . and so on. When we delve into the Old Testament, however, we find a disturbing inconsistency. It turns out that Jehosaphat indeed was the father of Jehoram, but that Jehoram's son was Ahaziah. And Ahaziah was not the only person left out. The line of the kings given in II Chronicles 21-25 has Jehoram, the father of Ahaziah, the father of Joash, the father of Ahaziah, the father of Uzziah. Many clergy have explained this apparent contradiction in this wise: the three kings that were left out of the record were notorious for giving honor to Baal rather than God. As a result, the Jews omitted them from the line of kings, and this record was what Matthew had as he wrote the Gospel of Matthew. This approach, however well-meant, ignores the fact that God divinely inspired Matthew to write his book. I Peter 1:21 tells us that Scripture came about as God spoke through man not the other way around. II Timothy 3:16 says that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." How, then, could the Bible be God-breathed if it omits names from a vital record? We recently received a book entitled "The Chronology of the Old Testament" from Answers In Genesis. This book explains why it was that these three names were left out in the God-inspired genealogy of Christ. If you look closely at II Chronicles 21-23, you realize that King Jehoshaphat married his son Jehoram to a queen named Athalia. The king did this in a fateful attempt to reconcile the broken nation of Israel; Athalia was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. This attempt was direct disobedience to God's instructions to shun the house of Omri and Ahab. As a result, Jehoram's son Ahaziah only had half of the royal bloodline of David. The other half was from the house of Jezebel, Omri, and Ahab. It was crucial that Christ's bloodline be pure, so Ahaziah had no place in Christ's lineage. Ahaziah further compounded matters by marrying again into the house of Ahab. His wife Zibia bore Joash, who now only had 25% of the Davidian line. There is no way that he would be included. But with Joash, explained the Chronology of the Old Testament, things began to look up. He married Jehoaddan, a "daughter of Jerusalem". This brought the concentration of the pure blood of David's line back up to around 60% in their son, Ahaziah. This was not enough to get him entered on the record of Christ's ancestors, but it was a step in the right direction. Thankfully, Ahaziah married again into the house of David by taking another "daughter of Jerusalem", Jecoliah. Their son Uzziah now was over 80% Davidian; plenty of the right bloodline to gain entry. This is what the Chronology of the Old Testament says. And it makes a certain degree of sense. But my family was not absolutely sure, so we decided to take a closer look. My mom suggested that I look up the meaning of Queen Athalia's name in our hardbound copy of Strong's Concordance. So, I did. Athalia: Restrained by God. Wow, I thought to myself. Just as the right of entry into Christ's lineage was removed from the line of kings, the name of the offending party is "Restrained by God." I wondered what the other names in this colossal dinner party meant.

  • Jehoram, the king who was 100% Davidian: Raised up by God.
  • Ahaziah, the first king who was omitted from the lineage: God has held back.
  • Joash, the kind with only 25% of the Godly bloodline: God has burned [out].
  • Jehoaddan, the first queen on the way back to the pure bloodline: God is delighted.
  • Amaziah, the king who was 60% Davidian: God has increased.
  • Jecoliah, the queen whose son was the first person to get back in the Matthew lineage: God will overcome.
  • Uzziah, the first king who was back in "synch": The Strength of God.
  • Jerusah, the wife of Uzziah whose son was 90+% Davidian: God has possessed.
  • Jotham, the son of Uzziah who was 90+% Davidian: God lives on.
A rose by any other name. . . . Truly God's Word is forever settled in heaven! In Him, David S. MacMillan III


Abigail said...

Wow!!! That is really awesome. I will have to get that book! I especially thought the meanings of each of the kings/queens names and how they lined up with God's plan and what was going one was really interesting - fascinating even!

Thanks for sharing!

Dillon anne said...

I am a 16 year old Christian homeschooled girl. I just came across your blog, and it looks pretty interesting. I always like to read about young people, like myself, who are radicly on fire for the Lord, and (this is funny:) talk a lot! I am a very social person myself,and i know how it is!
A Sister in our Lord,
Dillon Anne

David Boskovic said...

That's amazing. Its striking how much can be found through study of the word.

David Ketter said...

You make an interesting point here, David. Unfortunately, they did not end up being in Christ's bloodline at all - save legally through Joseph. His actual bloodline is traced through Mary back to Nathan, the son of David. I'm sure you are aware of this. There's another verse concerning Jehoachin (their descendant) and one of the last reigning kings of Judah in the book of Jeremiah 22:28-30 that says:

Is this man Jehoiachin a despised, broken pot,
an object no one wants?
Why will he and his children be hurled out,
cast into a land they do not know?

O land, land, land,
hear the word of the LORD!

This is what the LORD says:
"Record this man as if childless,
a man who will not prosper in his lifetime,
for none of his offspring will prosper,
none will sit on the throne of David
or rule anymore in Judah."

So after Jehoachin, all his descendants were ineligible to sit on David's throne. Among them was Zerubbabel (governor of Judah) who, by all rights, could have become a king under the Persian system. But God had ordained otherwise.

But, again, just an amazing way of how God has worked in His Chosen Nation.

Alexander Blair said...

That's amazing! I am sure you have heard of the meanings of the names in Genesis 5....

Man...Appointed...Mortal Sorrow...The Blessed God...(shall) Come Down...Teaching...(that) His Death Shall Bring...(the) Dispairing...Comfort. :D (Adam --> Noah)

T. Suzanne Eller said...

Hey, this site is amazing.

Suzanne Eller