Matthew 1:8—Is Joram the father of Uzziah or of Ahaziah?

Problem: Matthew says “Joram begot Uzziah.” However, 1 Chronicles 3:11 lists “Joram [and then] his son, Ahaziah.” Which one is correct?

Solution: Ahaziah was apparently the immediate son of Joram, and Uzziah was a distant “son” (descendant). Just as the word “son” in the Bible also means grandson, even so the term “begot” can be used of a father or grandfather. In other words, “begot” means “became the ancestor of,” and the one “begotten” is the “descendant of.”

Matthew, therefore, is not giving a complete chronology, but an abbreviated genealogy of Christ’s ancestry. A comparison of Matthew 1:8 and 1 Chronicles 3:11–12 reveals the three generations between Joram and Uzziah (Azariah):

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.