Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of
7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
I don’t think anyone would have a problem understanding that this scripture is speaking about our Lord Jesus Christ. It is one of the more familiar and popular prophecies in the Old Testament concerning His birth. It also gives several of His names. While “Jesus” is not one of them, we realize that He is the child that was born, and upon Him will rest the government of God. He is the One who is called “Wonderful” and “Prince of Peace.” No other king has a kingdom that shall never end. It is speaking of our Lord Jesus Christ!
The point of interest here is the fact that one of His names is “The Everlasting Father.” And one cannot be a father without having offspring. This part of Isaiah’s prophecy, however, was not fulfilled at His first coming, for Isaiah also prophesied, saying, “Who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living” (Isaiah 53:8). We understand that this means He was crucified before He brought forth sons. In the same chapter Isaiah also prophesies that “He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days” (Isaiah 53:10). So we see that there has to be a generation called “His seed.” He must have sons who will “prolong His days.”
The next scripture we want to examine concerning the generation of Jesus Christ is found in the first chapter of Matthew. However, a brief look at the generations of Noah will give us some insight into what Matthew has to say.
Genesis 6:8-10 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Webster gives the meaning of the word “generations” as “the process of producing offspring, procreation.” The Hebrew word for “generation” in Genesis 6:9 is tolcdah, which means “birth; to bring forth; to procreate; the process of producing or developing new life.” This would be true both on the natural and on the spiritual realm. On the natural plane Noah’s process of producing or developing new life resulted in Shem, Ham, and Japheth. On the spiritual realm, however, his generations took another form. In this case the new life produced from Noah by the grace of God was his spiritual development on three successive planes described in verse 9 as (1) Noah was a just man, (2) he was perfect in his generations, and (3) Noah walked with God.
Obviously, the scripture gives greater significance to Noah’s spiritual development than it does to the fact that he had three sons. It first says “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (verse 8). Out of this grace came the generations of Noah. It is significant that the statement “these are the generations of Noah” is not immediately followed by the mention of his natural sons, but by the record of his spiritual development. Noah was birthed into different levels of new spiritual life until he came to the place where he was “walking with God.”
Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
The Greek word for “generation” in this verse is the equivalent of the Hebrew word used in Genesis 6:9. Knowing this we should become aware that the most important truth to be found in this verse would probably be on a spiritual plane. That is further supported by the fact that Jesus did not have any natural descendants. The “generation” of Jesus Christ, then, will have to be that which is born, or procreated, from His divine nature.
It is also interesting to note that the word translated as “generation” in verse 1 is the same as the word translated as “birth” in verse 18: Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise… All of this tends to give evidence that “the book of generation of Jesus Christ” is speaking of the entire Gospel of Matthew. This tells us that in a study of this Gospel we should not merely look for information concerning the natural birth of Jesus and His three and one-half years of ministry, for the underlying theme of the book is His “generation” or spiritual procreation – His sons! That is further evidenced by the fact that the key phrase of Matthew’s Gospel is “the Kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
We note that the word translated “generations” in this verse is not exactly the same as in verse 1. The word “generations” here means a single stratum of human life. It is also interesting to note that in verse 1 “Jesus Christ” is used as a proper name. The word “Christ” is not used a signifying “Messiah” or “Anointed” until verse 17, where it would be more correctly translated “the Christ.”
Matthew is telling us that there are three sets of fourteen generations, or forty-two generations, from Abraham to “the Christ” or “the Messiah.” We know that when Jesus appeared on the scene at His first advent that He was the Messiah – the Christ. Yet we learn from this genealogy (verses 2-17) that Jesus is not revealed as “the Christ,” but as Isaiah named Him “The Everlasting Father.” Therefore, we will find the generation that He begets within the genealogy given. It may sound like heresy to say that Jesus Himself is not the consummation of “the Christ,” but that is exactly what is revealed in these verses. Let’s look at them, and also count the generations as we do. There should be forty-two.
Matthew 1:2-17 Abraham (1) begat Isaac (2); and Isaac
begat Jacob (3); and Jacob begat Judas (4) and his
3 And Judas begat Phares (5) and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom (6); and Esrom begat Aram (7);
4 And Aram begat Aminadab (8); and Aminadab begat Naason (9); and Naason begat Salmon (10);
5 And Salmon begat Booz (11) of Rechab; and Booz begat Obed (12) of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse (13);
6 And Jesse begat David (14) the king (This concludes the first set of fourteen generations.); and David the king begat Solomon (1) of her that had been the wife of Urias;
7 And Solomon begat Roboam (2); and Roboam begat Abia (3); and Abia begat Asa (4);
8 And Asa begat Josaphat (5); and Josaphat begat Joram (6); and Joram begat Ozias (7);
9 And Ozias begat Joatham (8); and Joatham begat Achaz (9); and Achaz begat Ezekias (10);
10 And Ezekias begat Manasses (11); and Manasses begat Amon (12); and Amon begat Josias (13);
11 And Josias begat Jechonias (14) and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon (This concludes the second set of fourteen generations.);
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel (1); and Salathiel begat Zorobabel (2);
13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud (3); and Abiud begat Eliakim (4); and Eliakim begat Azor (5);
14 And Azor begat Sadoc (6); and Sadoc begat Achim (7); and Achim begat Eliud (8);
15 And Eliud begat Eleazar (9); and Eleazar begat Matthan (10); and Matthan begat Jacob (11);
We clearly see at this point that we are still missing one generation. We have counted the generations from Abraham to Jesus and there are only forty-one, not forty-two as stated in verse 17. Where and who is the forty-second generation? The forty-second generation will have to be those who are begotten of Jesus, “The everlasting Father,” and they are found in the next verse.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ (14) are fourteen generations.
Remember that we said that “Christ” in this verse is “the Christ.” Jesus Himself (the forty-first generation) is the first manifestation or first stage of “the Christ” (the forty-second generation). He is “The Everlasting Father” of “The Christ,” which is the many-membered Body of Christ that Paul speaks of in his epistles. It was necessary for Jesus Christ the individual to become a many-membered Body of Christ by the incorporation (the birthing or procreation) of His sons.
In other words, Christ the individual is consummated in Christ the many-membered Body with Jesus as Its head. Jesus Christ, then, becomes a new generation or new creation through His sons. Hence, Paul says: Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (Greek: creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:16-17.
Now let’s look at these verses again in the light of what we have been studying. Though we have known Christ (Jesus) after the flesh (as an individual), yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore, if any man be in Christ (if Christ incorporates men thus becoming a many-membered Body), He (Christ) is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.
In the past we have interpreted the statement “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation” as the man who is incorporated into Christ is the new creation. And that is true. When one is birthed into the Body of Christ, he is a new creation. It is also true that Christ is a new creation when Christ is no longer an individual, but a many-membered Body. Christ, then, is no longer the forty-first generation but the forty-second generation, a procreation of Jesus who has become “The Everlasting Father.”
Copyright © 2005 by Henry DuBose