Question:

Of what tribe was Mary from? Joseph was of the tribe of Judah, I think, but was Mary also of this tribe? And was there intermarraige between the tribes of Israel?

Was John the Baptist a Levite? Was he actually considered to be a priest, or solely a prophet? It says that his mother was from the 'daughters of Aaron'. That would mean she was from the Levi tribe. But his father was of Judah. And his father was a priest too. Would you explain this further, please?


Answer:

Luke 3 gives the lineage of Jesus through Mary. Her ancestor was David through his son Nathan, so she is of the tribe of Judah. Matthew gives the lineage of Joseph and Joseph was a descendant of David through his son Solomon. So he too was of the tribe of Judah.

"There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth" (Luke 1:5). Zacharias was of the tribe of Levi, more specifically a descendant of Aaron through another descendant, Abijah. Only male descendants of Aaron could serve as priests (Exodus 28:1). His wife, Elizabeth, was also a descendant of Aaron and so she too was of the tribe of Levi. So their son, John, could have served in the temple as a priest but it appears he was too busy with the work God gave him to do.

People could intermarry between tribes. In such cases, the family belongs to the tribe of the father (Numbers 36:8). When a man had only daughters, they were required to marry only a member of their own tribe, otherwise it would cause problems with the inheritance of land (Numbers 27:1-11; 36:1-13).