- Mt 1:1 ¶ The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Matthew had several years to study the scriptures after Mark wrote his gospel. He included material not covered by Mark because he saw that the life of Jesus fulfilled scripture and he included enough information to show the hermeneutic tool he used to gain his insights.
Compare the verse above with :
- Ec 1:1 ¶ The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Both Ecclesiastes and Matthew are the books of the son of David. Ecclesiastes speaks of the kingdom of the earth and concludes that it is all vanity. Matthew talks about the kingdom of heaven.
The Hebrew preacher is one who spoke publicly to gatherings. After Matthew takes care of some prophetic riddles he will portray Jesus as the preacher with the sermon on the mount.
In addition to these interesting observations, the two books play into the first-son, second-son theme. This is where the second son obtains the inheritance or promise where the first son loses it. The second book of the son of David show Jesus as the king, the second book of the son of David.
The word generation in Hebrew is toledoth. It is more properly interpreted as “the record belong to or written by”. Mt 1:1 can be read “The book of the record of Jesus Christ…”. Now rather than read the list of names as a genealogy, Matthew points back to the OT record of these men and calls attention to the first/second son theme.
He specifically declares that the book is the record of Jesus. Matthew particularly calls attention to the book of the son of David, even though he wants to start with Abraham. Why? Because it is required to solve the riddle. He will later say that there are 42 ‘records’ (genreations/toledoth) of Jesus, but he will have only listed 41… unless you count the book of Matthew itself as the missing record.