GENEALOGIES OF THE BIBLE
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: What are the purposes of the genealogies of the Bible?
Answer: The genealogies of the Bible undoubtedly have various purposes, as does everything
else in the Bible (2 Timothy 3: 16, 17). We will suggest several of those purposes:
(1.) The genealogies of the Bible help to establish our faith in the truthfulness and accuracy of its
records. By showing the family histories of the people whom it highlights, we recognize that
they are not fictitious characters, but that they actually lived. Another proof that the account of
their lives are not merely stories or parables is that the Bible records uncomplimentary as well as
complimentary features of their lives and the lives of their families. For example, Solomon’s
ascent to the throne in Israel depended upon his relationship to his father David, yet the Bible
does not hide the fact that his birth was the result of David’s improper relations with Bathsheba.
(2.) The genealogies confirm prophecy. For example, the Messiah, our Lord Jesus, was
prophesied to come from the line of David, the son of Jesse (Isaiah 11: 1). Our Lord’s lineage is
carefully recorded, which proves his descent from David (Matthew 1: 1-17) (Luke 3: 23-38).
(3.) Although God exercises care over the entire universe, the genealogies demonstrate that His
care extends to individuals, as may be seen in the lives of His Old and New Testament people
(Psalm 139) (Matthew 10: 29-31).
(4.) We may gain valuable lessons from the lives of some of the people listed in the genealogies.
For example, the prayer of Jabez is found within a genealology (1 Chronicles 4: 9, 10). From
this, we learn about the power of prayer. Another example is that of Ruth, who, though a Gentile
and not one of God’s Old Testament Covenant people, was privileged to be in the Messianic line
(Ruth 4: 21, 22) (Matthew 1: 5). An account of her life in the book of Ruth also provides us with
a fine example for our lives.