Matthew starts his Gospel with a genealogy of Jesus, dating back to Abraham. He then breaks the names down into three groups of 14 names:
There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, another fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and yet another fourteen from the Babylonian exile to Christ. (Mat 1:17 MSG)
But let’s count again: there are 14 names in the first group, and there are 14 in the second. Yet in the third, Josef is the 12th name mentioned. This makes him number 40 on the list, and Jesus therefore number 41. Where is the 42nd generation?
Well, in Mat 1:17 it says: “and yet another fourteen from the Babylonian exile to Christ.” Christ, not Jesus. Now, we are His many membered body, we are the Christ. He the head, and we the body. Could the 42nd generation be us?
Isaiah stated about himself, after he had children and gave them very explicit names to remind Israel of its future:
I stand my ground and hope, I and the children GOD gave me as signs to Israel, Warning signs and hope signs from GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies, who makes his home in Mount Zion. (Isa 8:18 MSG)
But the writer of Hebrews takes this verse and attaches it to Jesus:
Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn’t ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. He even said to God, “I will tell them your name and sing your praises when they come together to worship.” He also said, “I will trust God.” Then he said, “Here I am with the children God has given me.” (Heb 2:11-13 CEV)
So we are Jesus’ children. That is why He is called: prince of peace, everlasting Father. We are the 42nd generation.
There is a book that I do not count as literature that has to be read, but for programmers like me it is somewhat cult: “A Hijacker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. In that book a computer is built and given 1000 years to find the answer to all problems. His output is “42”. Asked about what the question to it was, he asks for another 1000 years time.
Well, let’s see – they were so prophetic unknowingly: after 2000 years it not only becomes apparent that 42 is the answer, but we find the question as well: “which one is the generation to bring salvation to the world?”. The 42nd generation is the answer, the only Christ many will ever see, Christ manifest on this earth.
Now what does the number 42 signify in the Bible. First some math:
42 = 3*14 = 6*7 = 2*3*7
The meaning of the number three is “union”. Fourteen means “salvation”. Six is the number of “man”, while seven is the number of “God, fulness, completeness”. Two stands for the “woman, church”.
42 is linked with the first coming of the Lord, right in Mat 1:17. It is linked several times to the second coming, speaking of 42 months in Rev 13:5 & 11:2. It is linked with accepting the new in 2Ki 2:24: right after Elisa received the double portion and the spirit of Elijah laid on him, he was mocked by children. 42 of them were killed by some bears.
But 42 also stands for
3*14, union leading unto salvation
6*7, man achieving godliness, fulness (in opposition of 666), He in us and we in Him
2*3*7, the church in union reaching fullness
We are the 42nd generation, the church in union reaching godliness and fulness, the answer of the problems of the world.