It has long been speculated that Matthew made use of the numerical values of the Hebrew letters of David’s name in structuring his genealogy. This article proposes criteria for discerning numerical composition and shows that Matthew sees numerical significance not just in the name David but in each of the key figures that fall at the junctures of the genealogy: Abraham—David—Jeconiah—messiah. These are the genealogical terms that evoke the themes that Matthew will develop in narrating the identity of Jesus and his messianic people. To highlight these four figures, Matthew has calculated the numerical values of all the names in his list, using a discernible rationale to adjust a handful of names. The literary effect he achieves imbues the 3 × 14 scheme with a heightened sense of divine purpose.

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