The Genealogy of Jesus According to His Great-Grandmothers

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor
of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

For the past several weeks I have been writing about the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. Matthew’s genealogy includes four women, all of them non-Israelites by birth: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. These four women were the subject of my first post in this series.

According to Matthew there were forty-two generations between Abraham and Jesus. This means that, in addition to the four women mentioned in his genealogy, there were several other women in Jesus’ family tree whose names Matthew omitted in his genealogy. These great-grandmothers of Jesus were the subject of my second post in this series.

In presenting the genealogy of Jesus in three groups of fourteen generations, Matthew did not include a few kings who were associated with the family of Ahab and Jezebel. In my third post, I discussed these kings and their wives and mentioned that Jezebel, the evil queen of the Northern Kingdom, was also one of Jesus’ great-grandmothers.

Genealogies in the Old Testament

The genealogy of Matthew is presented according to the male ancestors of Jesus. This was a very common practice in Israel. There are two forms of genealogies in the Old Testament.

Linear genealogies present the names of persons who belong to the same family, people who are connected to each other in a familial relationship. Linear genealogies list the name of a father and his son and then continue for successive generations. Matthew’s genealogy is linear because it mentions the ancestors of Jesus from Abraham to Joseph.

Segmented genealogies present many names of family members within a specific generation. Thus, a segmented genealogy includes not only the name of the father, but also the names of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. One good example of a segmented genealogy is found in Genesis 10:1–32.

In the Old Testament, most genealogies are patrilineal genealogies, that is, the genealogies trace the descent through the fathers. Matthew’s genealogy is patrilineal because it traces the genealogy of Jesus through the fathers and grandfathers. In a few cases, traces of matrilineal genealogies are also found in the Old Testament.

Since in most cases, the names of the wives and mothers are not included in a genealogy, it is difficult to construct a genealogy that includes mothers and daughters. In the genealogy of Jesus as found in Matthew, this task becomes a little easier for two reasons.

First, since the book of Genesis presents the story of the patriarchs and the matriarchs of Israel, we know the names of several of the wives whose husbands are included in Matthew’s genealogy. Second, all the names of the mothers of the kings of Judah appear in the book of 1-2 Kings with the exception of the names of the mother of Jehoram and the mother of Ahaz.

Matthew cites fourteen generations from the exile in Babylon to Joseph, the husband of Mary. The Old Testament does not give the names of the wives of the men listed in Matthew’s genealogy who lived in the inter-biblical period. The same problem is found for some of the men listed in Matthew’s genealogy who lived between the time of the patriarchs and David.

In order to produce the genealogy of Jesus according to his great-grandmothers, I will use Matthew’s genealogy as the foundation for the present reconstruction. The names mentioned in brackets [ ] are the names Matthew omitted in his genealogy. It will be impossible to recover the names of the unknown women who were the wives of some of the men mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy. Thus, in order to build a genealogy according to the women in Jesus’ family tree, I have chosen to list these unknown women as the wife of whoever the man was. This way, the present genealogy is based entirely on Jesus’ known and unknown great-grandmothers.

Why present a genealogy of Jesus according to his great-grandmothers? Such a reconstruction is one way to honor these women who are unfamiliar and unknown to most people who read the Bible. Although they are unknown, each one of them played an important role in the family tree of Jesus, just as Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba did in Matthew’s estimation.

So, here is the genealogy of Jesus according to his great-grandmothers.

The Genealogy of Jesus According to His Great-Grandmothers

1 An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the grandson of Bathsheba, the grandson of Sarah.

2 Sarah was the mother of Isaac, and Rebekah was the mother of Jacob, and Leah was the mother of Judah and his brothers,

3 and Tamar was the mother of Perez and Zerah, the wife of Perez was the mother of Hezron, and the wife of Hezron was the mother of Aram,

4 and wife of Aram was the mother of Aminadab, and the wife of Aminadab was the mother of Nahshon, and the wife of Nahshon was the mother of Salmon,

5 and Rahab was the mother of Boaz, and Ruth was the mother of Obed, the wife of Obed was the mother of Jesse,

6 and the wife of Jesse was the mother of King David. Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon,

7 and Naamah was the mother of Rehoboam, and Maacah was the mother of Abijah, and Maacah was also the grandmother of Asa,

8 and Azubah was the mother of Jehoshaphat, and the wife Jehoshaphat the mother of Jehoram,

[and Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel was the mother of Ahaziah, Zibia was the mother of Joash, Jehoaddin was the mother of Amaziah, Jecoliah was the mother of Uzziah (Azariah)]

9 Jerusha was the mother of Jotham, the wife of Jotham was the mother of Ahaz, Abi was the mother of Hezekiah,

10 Hephzibah was the mother of Manasseh, Meshullemeth was the mother of Amon, Jediah was the mother of Josiah, [Zebidiah was the mother of Jehoiakim], Nehushta was the mother of Jechoniah (Jehoiachin) and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: the wife of Jechoniah was the mother of Salathiel, and the wife of Salathiel was the mother of Zerubbabel,

13 and the wife of Zerubbabel was the mother of Abiud, and the wife of Abiud was the mother of Eliakim, and the wife of Eliakim was the mother of Azor,

14 and the wife of Azor was the mother of Zadok, and the wife of Zadok was the mother of Achim, and the wife of Achim was the mother of Eliud,

15 and the wife of Eliud was the mother of Eleazar, and the wife of Eleazar was the mother of Matthan, and the wife of Matthan was the mother of Jacob,

16 and the wife of Jacob was the mother of Joseph, and Mary was the mother of Jesus.

17 So all the generations from Sarah to Bathsheba are fourteen generations; and from Bathsheba to Nehushta, fourteen generations; and from the wife of Jechoniah to Mary, the mother of the Messiah, fourteen generations.

Posts on Jesus’ Great-Grandmothers:

1. The Great-Grandmothers of Jesus

2. Jesus’ Great-Grandmothers

3. The Other Great-Grandmothers of Jesus

4. Jezebel, A Great-Grandmother of Jesus

5. The Genealogy of Jesus According to His Great-Grandmothers

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary



NOTE: Did you like this post? Do you think other people would like to read this post? Be sure to share this post on Facebook and share a link on Twitter or Tumblr so that others may enjoy reading it too!

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you thought of this post by leaving a comment below. Be sure to like my page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, follow me on Tumblr, Facebook, and subscribe to my blog to receive each post by email.

If you are looking for other series of studies on the Old Testament, visit the Archive section and you will find many studies that deal with a variety of topics.

This entry was posted in Genealogy, Hebrew Bible, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jezebel, Messiah, Old Testament, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Genealogy of Jesus According to His Great-Grandmothers

  1. bobmacdonald says:

    Reblogged this on The Poetry of Christ and commented:
    This post and the series are a delight


  2. Pingback: Gospel Synopsis: The Genealogies « The Jesus Memoirs

  3. Sister Benedicta says:

    Excellent exhaustive research! Very helpful for me. Know that more than 99% of readers do not write comments. Keep up the good work, Christ will repay you one day, You have connected and proven that Ancient Israelites were of Matrilineal lineage. I will refer to it in some of my artcles. Thank you. Sr. Benedicta


    • Sister Benedicta,

      Thank you for your nice words. I try to write articles that motivate people to develop a deeper appreciation for the Old Testament. I know that many people who read my blog never write a comment. That is OK with me. I am just glad that they visit my blog and enjoy my posts.

      Thank you for your willingness to refer my posts to other people. I hope they enjoy reading what I have written.

      Claude Mariottini


  4. Martha Morgan says:

    Awesome thank you


  5. hadassah14 says:

    I love it! Great insight for my Motherhood series. Thank you sir.


    • Hadassah,

      Thank you for your nice words. I hope you series on motherhood will be a blessing to many. If you look at the Archive section of my blog, #17 is a series of posts on Old Testament mothers.

      Claude Mariottini


  6. Asandul Mozihim says:

    By saying the wife of or the mother of…….. It did not tell me the name of the wife or the mother. Are the wives’ names not written anyway in the Bible?


    • Asandul,

      The problem is that many of the names of the wives and mothers were not mentioned. The genealogy says that “Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel” (Matthew 1:12), but it does not tells us the name of Jechoniah’s wife who would be the name of Salathiel’s mother. This is the reason I wrote “the wife of” because I was trying to write the genealogy from the perspective of the mothers.

      Thank you for visiting my blog.

      Claude Mariottini


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.