So today, I am not writing to persuade unbelievers that the Word of God which contains the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16; 10:9-17; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; etc.). I am writing to share the solution to what I have always found to be problematic concerning the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew 1:1-17.
The text lists forty-two generations from Abraham to Christ (v. 17). It lists fourteen generations from Abraham to David (v. 2-6); fourteen between Solomon and the beginning of the Babylonian Captivity (v. 6-11); and fourteen from the Babylonian Captivity to Christ's birth (v. 12-16). But when one counts the names, there are only thirty-nine. There are fourteen from Abraham to David. There are fourteen from Solomon to Jechonias. But, there are only thirteen names between Salathiel and Christ. A person who does not view the Bible as the perfect Word of God, immediately challenges those who do. But he or she would be wrong. Those resisting our witness for Christ, say this passage proves the Bible is incorrect. But the text did not say there were forty-two names from Abraham to Jesus; it said there were forty-two generations! So where is the missing generation? It is in the text but one must "have eyes to see" in order to recognize it.
We read in Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10; and in Daniel 9:2, that Israel spent seventy years in captivity to Babylon. Notice that at the end of verse eleven, and at the beginning of verse twelve, Babylon is mentioned. We read in Psalms 90:10, that a generation is seventy years: "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." The forty-second generation was Israel's Babylonian Captivity!
We may never have an answer for doubters, but believers do not require answers.
The Word says it. We believe it. And, for us, that settles it!