Matthew 1:13

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Michelangelo's Zerubbabel - Abiud - Eliakim it is unknown who each of the figures is meant to represent.

Matthew 1:13 is the thirteenth verse of Matthew 1 of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse is part of the section where the genealogy of Joseph, the father of Jesus, is listed. This verse covers the section somewhat after the Babylonian Captivity six generation before Jesus.

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

And Zorobabel begat Abiud;
and Abiud begat Eliakim;
and Eliakim begat Azor;

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim.
Eliakim became the father of Azor.

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 1:13


Zerubbabel is reported to have had a number of children, but no other source includes one named Abiud. The Eliakim listed is not to be confused with Jehoiakim, who is sometimes referred to as Eliakim. Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel is also listed in the genealogy of Jesus that appears in Luke 3:27.[citation needed] For a full discussion of this issue see Genealogy of Jesus#Explanations for divergence.

Those listed in this part of the genealogy lived in the period after the Babylonian captivity and six generation before Jesus. Traditionally Zerubbabel's period is believed to have started in 539 BC, while Azor, the last listed, is said to have died in 372 BC. This is a long period of time for just four people and many scholars feel an accurate list would be longer. Luke's genealogy has far more names covering this period. That this part of the genealogy is usually lacking in papponymic naming leads William F. Albright and C.S. Mann to speculate that over the generations the repeating and similar names were merged.[1]

Of the people listed in this passage only Zerubbabel is well known. He plays an important role in the Book of Ezra and appears elsewhere in the Bible. It is at this point that the Old Testament histories conclude, and the other three figures listed here are only known from this genealogy. It is thus unknown where the rest of the genealogy comes from. As noted in Josephus, prominent Jewish families did keep detailed genealogical records, and the author of Matthew may have had access to some of these. Each local government also kept genealogical records to ensure proper rules of inheritance were followed.[citation needed]

Robert H. Gundry believes that the rest of the genealogy is a creative fiction by the author of Matthew to fill in the gap between the end of the Old Testament sources and Jesus' birth. He argues that the reason Abiud, Eliakim, and Azor are not known outside this passage is because the author of Matthew made them up. According to Gundry, once the list moves away from the accepted genealogy of Jewish leaders, it is fabricated until it reaches the known territory of Joseph's grandfather. Gundry does not imagine that Matthew has made up the list entirely. The names listed do fit the period of history. Rather Gundry sees the author, who had been copying the list of kings from the Old Testament, turn to that source for the names of Joseph's ancestors. Specifically he believes the names are all drawn from 1 Chronicles, but were modified to not make the copying obvious.[citation needed]

Abihu was one of the priests whose name means "son of Judah." According to Gundry the author of Matthew liked the meaning behind this name and it was slight modified to become Abiud. Eliezer succeeded Abihu and his name is changed to Eliakim by the author of Matthew, linking him to the Eliakim mentioned in Isaiah 22 and to Jehoiakim, a king that was left out of the earlier narrative. Azariah, another priest, had his name shortened to create the name Azor.[2]


  1. ^ Albright, W.F. and C.S. Mann. "Matthew." The Anchor Bible Series. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.
  2. ^ Gundry, Robert H. Matthew a Commentary on his Literary and Theological Art. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982.
  • Davies, W.D. and Dale C. Allison, Jr. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew. Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1988-1997.
  • Fowler, Harold. The Gospel of Matthew: Volume One. Joplin: College Press, 1968

Preceded by
Matthew 1:12
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 1
Succeeded by
Matthew 1:14
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