A record of one’s ancestors, either the line of natural descent from father to son, or the line in which, by the laws, the inheritance descended, or that preserved in the public records. Never was a nation more careful to preserve their genealogies than the Hebrews, for on them rested the distinction of tribes, the ownership of lands, and the right to the highest offices and privileges, 1 Chronicles 5:1,17 9:1 2 Chronicles 12:15 Ezra 2:62. Hence their public tables of genealogies were kept secure amid all vicissitudes. We find in the Bible a record carried on for more than 3,500 years, 1 Chronicles 1:1-54 3:1-24 6:1-81; and thus were guarded the proofs that Christ was born according to prophecy of the seed of Abraham, and heir to the throne of his father David, Luke 1:32 2 Timothy 2:8 Hebrews 7:14. In the evangelists we have the genealogy of Christ for 4,000 years. The two accounts in Matthew 1.1-25 and Luke 3:1-38, differ from each other; one giving probably the genealogy of Christ’s reputed father Joseph, and the other that of his mother Mary. The two lines descend from Solomon and Nathan, David’s sons; they unite in Salathiel, and again in Christ. Joseph was the legal father of Christ, and of the same family connections with Mary; so that the Messiah was a descendant of David both by law and "according to the flesh." The discrepancies between the various genealogies may be reconciled in accordance with peculiar Jewish laws. The public records, which Josephus says were scrupulously kept down to his day, perished with the ruin of the Jews as a nation. It is now, therefore, impossible for any pretended Messiah to prove his descent from David.
Melchizedek was "without descent," Hebrews 7:3, as regards the Jewish race. No sacred records proved his right to be numbered among that people of God. His priesthood was of a different kind from that of Aaron and his sons. Compare Ezra 2:62.