Was Jesus Christ a descendant of King David?
The Prophet Isaiah declared; "for to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. We will reign on David's throne and over his Kingdom."
St. Augustine believed that Mary had to be of the family of David.
How does God keeping His promise to King David affect Christians?
King David was many things for the Jewish nation, but ultimately history records him as a friend of God. It wasn't his military might, or gift
for lyrics that moved God. It was his relationship with God. God told King David that "I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations" (Psalms 89:3,4). King David suffered from temptation and the limitations of human nature. In his personal life he had periods where he failed tremendously, but God never failed to complete His promise to King David. God never turned away from King David, even though there were moments when the earthly King, did in fact, turn away from God.
Under Jewish law there are two requirements that must be met in order to claim the rightful Throne. There must be both a legal, and Royal right. The legal right is the bloodline of the individual, and the Royal right is that it must be the first born of the correct line of royal descendants. There are two locations in scripture that outline the genealogy of Christ. These are found in St. Matthew and St. Luke. There is a variation between the two, and many theologians believe that this is attributed to the fact that St. Matthew followed the line of Joseph, and St. Luke followed the line of the Virgin Mary.
It is important to understand that God cursed one of the lines of King David. This would be Coniah (also known as Jeconiah), the son of Jehoiakim. It is documented that none of his direct descendants ever gained the throne. When St. Matthew details the genealogy of Jesus it involves the line of Coniah (Jeconiah) and ends with Joseph. It would be impossible for Jesus to inherit the throne through this line; if Joseph was the biological father of Jesus.
St. Luke documents the line of Jesus as having following another son of King David, who was Nathan. Following the line of Nathan one comes to Heli. Heli is documented to having no sons, but only daughters. One of these daughters is named Mary. This Mary is historically documented to have had married a Joseph which was a carpenter and gave birth to a first born son, named Jesus. Adoption was a practice that was allowed under Jewish Law. It is believed that Joseph legally adopted Jesus, thus making Jesus his legal son. With the documentation of St. Matthew the Royal right to the throne of King David is complete due to the act of the adoption by Joseph. The documentation of St. Luke illustrates how the bloodline to the throne of King David was complete through the Virgin Mary. According to Jewish Law the combined documentation of St. Matthew and St. Luke clearly shows that the only legal and royal heir to the throne of King David is Jesus Christ
. By using the Immaculate Conception through the Holy Spirit this assured that Joseph would not be the biological father of Jesus, and with the act of adoption God was able to sidestep the curse laid upon the line of King David and yet still keep His ancient promise to the earthly King.
It is humbling to become aware of the depth of significance of this one promise kept. The promise fulfilled proved that Jesus Christ
was the rightful legal heir to the Throne of Israel. It is also a God that had a friend. God made a promise to this friend, and honored it despite that friends failings. What an amazing God! A God that is the same today, as yesterday...even while we stumble and fall on this path leading to Him!
Schoenberg, Shira. (2009) "David". Retrieved on June 5th, 2009 from
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Hill, Richard. N.d. "The Curse of Coniah-A Glimpse of God's Grace". Retrieved on June 5th, 2009 from
"Jesus' Genealogy". (2009) Retrieved on June 5th, 2009 from
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
The Holy Bible, the NIV/The Message Parallel Bible.
Zondervan. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2004