Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud Matthew 1:14
The Father Of – Why does the Bible have all of those excruciating genealogies? You can barely pronounce the names and they go on and on. Sure, it’s nice to know Jesus’ lineage, but do we really have to have the lists of kings and ancient ancestors? I thought the Bible was about spiritual things. So, who really cares who is or isn’t in a line of Jewish descendents?
John White, in his book Eros Redeemed, provides a glimpse into the answer. It’s not the answer we expect. That makes it even more important. “You cannot be a man apart from context, the context of your own . . . ancestors.” White’s point is not about my genealogical heritage but about my sin. I am the product of a long line of human beings who have interacted with God. Some of them responded to His call. Some did not. Over the course of time, the sins of my ancestors spun webs of proclivities, adaptations and entanglements that arrived, unbidden, in me the moment I was born. The context of my sin is a part of my inheritance. In some mysterious way or another, sin infects my worldview through the human context found in my heritage.
Genealogies in the Bible are not there simply to provide an historical record. They are there to tell us that we are the end of a line, the summary of God’s current work with my relatives. All that they were, I have become – a sort of distillation of the godly process sifted through my specific human propagation.
The Greek term is literally generated (egennese). My father created a link between me and his father and his father and his father. My mother created a link between me and her mother and her mother, and so on. The inherited characteristics grouped in my gene pool are much like the web of sinful interactions borne along the line of descent. My context arrived. Now I have to deal with it. And if I have children, I add just a bit more to that context, passing something on to them. As mysterious as it sounds, the Biblical record tells me that there is a connection. How it happens, I do not know. That past sin is connected to me, I know for certain.
When we become sensitive to the depth of sin in our lives, we discover, much to our dismay, that there are “family” resemblances in the patterns of sin. We stand in the historical line. Until we realize that forgiveness must cross the genetic barriers as well as the relational barriers, we will not know the deepest cleansing of our context. Once we know it, we will realize the awesome responsibility we carry for those who come into this world through us.