Is St Joseph the first cousin of Mary, the Mother of God? Genealogy of Jesus.

Palm tree miracle 590 x 250


Genealogy of Jesus

The Holy Family of Nazareth

The Holy Family of Nazareth

In an article by Brian Schwimmer, Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba, 1995 in a reference given below, the author shows that the Law of Moses regarding the division of the Holy Land among the Hebrews included an interesting case, viz. that of the case of an only child who is female. In this case the cited ruling of Moses was that the female child should marry the son of her father’s brother. This was to ensure that the land inheritance remained in the family.

 In the case of St Joachim and St Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this ruling would have been applicable since Mary was reportedly conceived by Divine favour/plan to Joachim and Anne who had been childless up until their old age. It is unlikely that they would have had other children after that (although there is reportedly some conjecture in old writings that St Anne remarried and had other children). In the former case, Mary would have had her spouse assigned to her by the law of Moses, viz. the son of her father’s brother, making Joseph and Mary first cousins on the paternal side.

The last link in the puzzle?

If we consider the genealogy of Jesus given in the Gospel, it always seemed a bit odd in our modern way of thinking that the genealogy is given through Joseph. True, Joseph was Jesus’ legal father, but Our Lady has said in her messages ‘To the priests – Our Lady’s Beloved Sons’: ‘I am of David’ which is corroborated by the fact that the Hebrews had to marry within their own tribe. Joseph was of the House of David and therefore so was Mary. Furthermore, if the case was as proposed above, that of an only female child marrying her father’s brother’s son, then Joseph and Mary shared the same paternal grandfather and so, up to that point, their descent was the same. Hence, the genealogy of Jesus could be followed quite easily through the genealogy of St Joseph as listed in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter One.

In this depiction of the Annunciation is shown the interior of the Holy House of Nazareth

In this depiction of the Annunciation is shown the interior of the Holy House of Nazareth

Another point to consider and which supports this proposal is that Jesus grew up, not in Joseph’s house but in the house that Mary inherited from her parents. This points to the reason for Mary’s betrothal to Joseph – to secure the inheritance in her father’s lineage according to the law of Moses. The Post on this site: ‘Jesus’ childhood home in Italy? How come?‘ explains how the house that Jesus grew up in was the house in which Mary was born (presumably her parents’ home) and in which the Annunciation and conception of Jesus took place. This gives three reasons why this house is so dear to God that He literally translated it from Nazareth when its security was threatened and in a series of moves located it presently in a place called Loreto in Italy, viz. the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation (Conception) and the childhood of Jesus.

It is also interesting to see that, according to this rendition, Jesus  is generation number 77 (11 x 7).

Abraham is generation number 21 (3 x 7).

David  is generation number 35 (5 x 7).

The return from exile led by Shealtiel was generation 56 (8 x 7).

Has any reader any further information or comments on this fascinating subject?

I invite you to contact me if you have further information or comment.


Generation number Resources: Luke 3:23-38; 1 Chronicles 3:17; Mathew 1:12
1 Adam
2 Cain Abel Seth
3 Enoch
4 Kinan
5 Mahalalal
6 Jared
7 Enoch
8 Maethusalah
9 Lamech
10 Noah
11 Shem
12 Arpaxad
13 Cainan
14 Shelah
15 Eber
16 Peleg
17 Reu
18 Serug
19 Nahor
20 Retah
21 Abraham
22  Isaac
23 Essau Jacob
24 Judah
25 Perez
26 Hezron
27 Arni
28 Admin
29 Aminadab
30 Hashon
31 Salmon
32 Boaz
33 Obed
34 Jesse
35 David
36 Nathan Solomon
37 Mattatha
38 Menna
39 Melea
40 Eliakim
41 Jonan
42 Joseph
43 Judah
44 Simeon
45 Levi
46 Matthat
47 Jorim
48 Eliezer
49 Joshua
50 Er
51 Elmadam
52 Cosam
53 Addi
54 Melchi
55 Neri
56 Shealtiel return from exile
57 Zerubbabel rebuilt Temple
58 Rhesa
59 Joanan
60 Joda
61 Josech
62 Simein
63 Mattathias
64 Maath
65 Negai
66 Elsi
67 Nahum
68 Amos
69 Mattathias
70 Joseph
71 Jannai
72 Melchi
73 Levi
74 Matthat

Mattatt’s son:


Mattatt’s son:Heli (Heli means Joachim) Anne is his wife: Joachim means ‘He whom God has set up’.
76 Joseph Mary
77 Jesus



Brian Schwimmer, Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba, 1995:-,

“Inheritance by daughters imposed a particular difficulty, which is acknowledged in several biblical passages. After Moses first promulgates the rule (Numbers 27:8, 36:1-13), he is confronted with a problem: if females inherit land from their fathers they will pass it on to their children and therefore into the patrimony of another tribe or lineage. His solution is to institute a parallel cousin marriage regulation. Thus a woman who inherits from her father is to marry her father’s brother’s son so that property will automatically be retained within the wider patriline.”