And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,…
If Joseph's genealogy, as presented in either of the Gospels, determines our Lord's birth as the lineal descendant of David, and the legal heir to the throne, his genealogy is all-important; while that of Mary, as it would not, according to Hebrew law, have decided the question of descent, would have been invalid as a document. "Familia matris nonfamilia" is an ancient maxim among the Jews, and it has Divine sanction (see Numbers 1:26). The law that descent is reckoned on the father's side only, "Filius sequitur patrem" — a law recognized by all civilized nations — is not contradicted by the one or two exceptional instances in which the name of a woman's ancestor was adopted by her husband and transmitted to her offspring (Numbers 32:41; comp. 1 Chronicles 2:21-23; Ezra 2:61). A descent of this kind was not counted a true descent in any case in which the genealogy was sought (see Ezra 2:62), and gave no legal claim. Joseph is distinctly honoured, in the Scripture, with the recognition of his legal parentage of Jesus.
(G. W. Butler, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,