After the rough-and-tumble days of the Judges, came the time of kings. Notice the writer did not turn to Saul, Israel’s first king, or to Solomon, last potentate, wealthiest and most powerful of the United Kingdom of Israel. The writer turned to David, who would become—and remains to this day—the most beloved of kings found among the pages of the Hebrew scriptures.
I wonder if Matthew, ex-tax collector and publican that he was, identified with these women and men at some level. Through this record God is displaying God’s grace to all people, victims and perpetrators. Even in this genealogy Matthew was already giving us a clue there is something unique and earth-shaking about Jesus.
Was Bathsheba a seductress? Was she innocent? Was this an affair or a rape? Or neither, since the mores of that time were different than our own today? And what did God think of all this--the man identified as one after God's own heart, and the woman identified as a little lamb?
But, if Matthew had ransacked the whole Old Testament, he’d have been hard pressed to find four more unlikely candidates for the Messiah’s genealogy than the following women.