The New Testament
Recovery Version Online

Table of Contents

Matthew 1:17

17 Thus 1all the generations from Abraham 2until David are fourteen generations, and from David 3until the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon 4until the Christ, fourteen generations.


171 This genealogy is divided into three ages: (1) from Abraham until David, fourteen generations, the age before the establishing of the kingdom; (2) from David until the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations, the age of the kingdom; (3) from the deportation to Babylon until the Christ, again fourteen generations, the age after the fall of the kingdom. According to history, there were actually forty-five generations. By deducting from these generations the three cursed generations and the one improper generation, and then adding one by making David two generations (one, the age before the establishing of the kingdom, and the other, the age of the kingdom), the generations total forty-two, being divided into three ages of fourteen generations each. The number fourteen is composed of ten plus four. Four signifies creatures (Rev. 4:6); ten signifies fullness (25:1). Hence, fourteen signifies the creatures in full. Fourteen generations being multiplied by three indicates that the Triune God mingles Himself with the creatures in full.

This genealogy is of three sections: the section of the fathers, the section of the kings, and the section of the civilians, which includes the captured ones and the recovered ones. God the Father corresponds with the section of the fathers, God the Son with the section of the kings, and God the Spirit with the section of the civilians. This too indicates the mingling of the Triune God with His human creatures.

Three times fourteen is forty-two. Forty is the number for trials, temptations, and sufferings (Heb. 3:9; Matt. 4:2; 1 Kings 19:8). Forty-two signifies rest and satisfaction after trial. The children of Israel traveled through forty-two stations before they entered the good land of rest. The millennial kingdom as a rest will come after the forty-two months of the great tribulation (Rev. 13:5). After all the generations of trials, temptations, and sufferings, Christ came as the forty-second generation to be our rest and satisfaction.