FORTY-TWO GENERATIONS OF HUMANITY
Forty-two generations are included in this genealogy. These are divided into three sections of fourteen each. The first section begins with Abraham and proceeds to David the man. The second section begins with David the king. So David is counted as two generations, one as a man to conclude the first section, and the second as a king to begin the second section. The third section includes the time of captivity to the birth of Jesus Christ. These forty-two generations are very meaningful.
The first section is the section of ordinary human beings. Abraham was an ordinary person, as was Jacob, and even the man David. The second section is the section of the kings, the royal generations. King David begat King Solomon, and King Solomon begat another king, and on in succession, one king begetting another. The third section includes all the generations of captivity and the returned ones. Had there been no return from captivity, it would have been impossible for the Lord Jesus to have been born of the holy race in the city of Bethlehem, for almost the entire holy race had been dispersed throughout the Gentile world. This return from captivity afforded the Lord Jesus the opportunity to come to earth the first time. The coming of the Lord Jesus was the issue of all these human generations: the generations of the ordinary human beings, the generations of the kings, and the generations of the captured and returned ones.
The Lord Jesus is wonderful! He was the issue of Abraham, the real Isaac. Isaac was, in figure, put to death and resurrected, and he married Rebecca, who was a type of the church as the Bride. The Lord Jesus was also the issue of David, that is, Solomon, who had such wisdom and who built the temple of God.
To understand the first seventeen verses of the New Testament, we need a full revelation of the entire Old Testament, for they actually give us an abstract of the entire Old Testament in capsule form. If we would cover these seventeen verses, we would have to cover the things from Genesis to Malachi.
The Lord Jesus was such an issue—the issue of Abraham, the issue of David, and also the issue of a woman, a virgin. There was a promise given to Abraham regarding his issue (Gen. 22:18), and a promise given to David about his issue (2 Sam. 7:12-13). There was also a promise concerning the issue of the woman (Gen. 3:15). This seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. Out of forty-two generations these are only three: the issue of Abraham—Isaac—who was put to death and resurrected, and whose coming back was to receive the bride; the issue of David—Solomon—who had wisdom and who built the temple of God; and the issue of the woman—Christ—who bruised the head of Satan. The Lord Jesus was such an issue.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)