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The Secret Codes in Matthew: Examining Israel’s Messiah, Part 1, by Kevin M. Williams

There may be a logical reason for Matthew to be exposing, highlighting, or giving us these three sets of 14. In Hebrew, the name דוד (daled-vav-daled: David), corresponds to the number 14. One possible sod interpretation to Matthew’s unique arrangement may be that he was reinforcing to those who could understand this deeper concept, that Jesus was most certainly the Messiah, of the line of David.

He may also have been alluding to another Jewish notion. In Hebrew scholarship, it is believed that time is segregated into four distinct epochs. The first is called Tohu—void. From the time of creation to the birth of Abraham (2,000 years) is considered “void,” a period where there was little knowledge or appreciation of God or His ways. The second 2,000 years is entitled, Torah—instruction. This was the next two millennia, under Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses, through the prophets and the establishment of beit midrashism (study houses which came to be known by the Greek term, synagogues) that the study of Torah and of the knowledge of God grew among the Jewish people (with intermittent lapses).

The third era is known as Moshiach—the Messianic age.1 It was—and is believed to this day among Jewish Orthodoxy—that the Messiah of Israel was to come during this third epoch. This would be the period in which we live currently, in which believers in Jesus understand that circa 2,000 years ago, the promised Redeemer was born.

The fourth epoch, the seventh millennia, is believed to initiate the sabbatical age, a thousand years of peace when the Almighty will rule from Jerusalem.

Is it possible that Matthew, through his three sets of 14, the number of King David, was intimating for those who would understand, that this Yeshua had come to inaugurate the epoch of Moshiach—the Messianic Age?

We cannot state emphatically so, but a Jewish scholar reading this genealogical record could draw that conclusion. In fact, it comes to you now because Jewish scholars imparted it this author and for them, it helped drive home the theological reality of Jesus—Yeshua—as the promised Messiah of Israel.



1. The Soncino edition of the Talmud includes a footnote that the Messiah should have been born at the beginning of this third epoch. While they have no faith that this occurred, they do believe that he will still come within this 2,000-year period


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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Spring 2001

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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