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Title: Davidic  
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Subject: History of Israel, List of messiah claimants, Queen regnant, Mansions of Rastafari, Jewish Messiah claimants
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House of David
Country Israel
Ancestral house Tribe of Judah
Titles King of Israel
King of Judah
Founder David of Judah
Final sovereign Zedekiah of Judah

The Davidic line (also referred to as the House of David) (known in Hebrew as Malkhut Beit David (מלכות בית דוד) — "Royal House of David") refers to the tracing of lineage to the King David referred to in the Hebrew Bible, as well as the New Testament. The term "House of David" referring to the Davidic dynasty appears many time in the Bible.[1]


Upon being chosen and becoming king, the custom in the times of the Tanakh was to be anointed with Holy Oil poured on the head. In David's case, this was done by the prophet Samuel:

Now he [David] was ruddy, and with beautiful eyes, and goodly to look upon. And the Lord said: 'Arise, anoint him; for this is he.' Then Samuel [the prophet] took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward... (1 Samuel 16:12-13)

In Hebrew, the anointing is called meshicha (meaning "pouring") and a king (melekh or melech in Hebrew) is referred to as a Moshiach or Messiah or a Melech HaMashiach meaning "the anointed king". The procedure of anointment, in David's case, is said to symbolize the descent of God's holiness (kedusha) upon the king and as a sign of a bond never to be broken.

The monarchy was vouchsafed to the House of David by God in the Book of Samuel:

And Nathan said to the king: ...Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the name of the great ones that are in the earth... and I will cause you to rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord tells you that the Lord will make you a house. When thy days are fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, that shall proceed out of thy body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son; if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thy house and thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.' ...Then David the king went in, and sat before the Lord... 'now therefore let it please you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before you; for you, O Lord God, have spoken it; and through your blessing let the house of your servant be blessed forever.' (2 Samuel 7:1-29)

Initially, David was king over the Tribe of Judah only and ruled from Hebron, but after seven years the other Israelite tribes chose him to be their king as well:

Then came all the tribes of Israel to David to Hebron, and spoke, saying: 'Behold, we are your bone and your flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you that did lead out and bring in Israel; and the Lord said to you: You shalt feed my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.' So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel... (2 Samuel 5:1-3).

As well as in the Book of Chronicles:

So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Samuel... (1 Chronicles 11:3)

And these are the numbers of the heads of them that were armed for war, who came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the Lord... All these, being men of war, that could order the battle array, came with a whole heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king. (12:39).

All subsequent kings in both the ancient first united Kingdom of Israel and the later Kingdom of Judah claimed direct descent from King David to validate their claim to the throne in order to rule over the Israelite tribes.

After the death of King Solomon son of David, the ten northern tribes of the Kingdom of Israel rejected the Davidic line, refusing to accept Rehoboam son of Solomon, and instead chose as king Jeroboam and formed the northern Kingdom of Israel. This kingdom was eventually conquered by Assyria who exiled them, to disappear from history as The Ten Lost Tribes.

Jeremiah's curse on the Solomonic line

Because of the godlessness of Jehoiachin in the early 500s BC, Jeremiah cursed the main branch of the Solomonic line, saying that no descendant of "Coniah" would ever again reign on the throne of Israel (Jer. 22:30)[2] This curse is considered by some Jewish commentators as the reason that Zerubbabel, the rightful Solomonic king during the time of Nehemiah, was not given a kingship under the Persian empire. Some Christian commentators also consider Jeremiah's curse the reason that the Solomonic genealogy in Matthew 1 must be the genealogy of Jesus' adopted father, Joseph. The genealogy in Luke 3, traditionally that of Mary, is from Solomon's brother Nathan.[3]

There are also those who believe that God said in Jer. 22:30 "—ruling any more in Judah." and did not say "No descendant of David would set on the Throne over the House of Israel". However, it only specifically said "rule over the house of Judah". Thus, they claim that the throne of David was transplanted by Jeremiah, via a daughter of King Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, to Ireland (Jeremiah 43:6), along with the stone of Jacob, which was named "The House of God" (Genesis 28:22), to Scotland and then to England, where the descendants of David, via the daughter of Zedekiah, are sitting on David’s throne today over the "House of Israel" who migrated there after having been transplanted by the Assyrians into northern Europe, then into Great Britain. The inhabitants of Great Britain are thus thought by some to be one of the "Lost Ten Tribes" of Israel, specifically, Josephs two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, and were taken into northern Germany and then migrated to Great Britain where the King and Queens of Davids Throne rule over them. However this idea, British Israelism, lacks validity, mainstream Jewish support and evidence, and is considered anti-Semitic.[4]

The Exilarch

Following the conquest of Judah by Babylon and the exile of its population, the Babylonian Exilarchate was established. The highest official of Babylonian Jewry was the exilarch (Reish Galuta, "Head of the Diaspora"). Those who held the position traced their ancestry to the House of David in the male line.[5] The position holder was regarded as a king-in-waiting.

Hasmonean monarchy

The Hasmoneans, also known as the Maccabees were a priestly group (kohanim) from the Tribe of Levi. They established their own monarchy in Judea following their revolt and war against the Hellenistic Seleucid dynasty. The Hasmoneans were not considered connected to the Davidic line nor to the Tribe of Judah. The Levites had always been excluded from the Israelite monarchy, so when the Maccabees assumed the throne in order to rededicate the defiled Second Temple, a cardinal rule was broken. According to scholars within Orthodox Judaism this is considered to have contributed to their downfall, and the eventual downfall of Judea; internal strife allowing for Roman occupation and the violent installation of Herod the Great as king of the Roman province of Judea and subsequent rededication then destruction of the Second Temple by the Emperor Titus.

With the end of the monarchy following the destructions of both the Temple of Solomon and the Second Temple, the line of the monarchy was carefully preserved and guarded

Jewish Messianism

The future Jewish Messiah is expected to be from the "Davidic line" (The Tree of Life), as indicated in Jewish eschatology. Many prayers in the Jewish prayer book, the Siddur, make fervent mention of the restoration of King David's monarchy and the long-awaited Messiah, who is referred to as Mashiach ben David (Messiah son of King David). Given the difficulty of identifying the Messianic figure, Jews also pray for the coming of the prophet Elijah to serve as the Messiah's herald and to properly identify him.

Genealogies of Jesus Christ

The Gospels, Acts of the Apostles and Pauline epistles refer to Jesus of Nazareth as a descendant of David.

Two divergent genealogies of Jesus Christ

The Gospels of the NT give two different genealogies for Jesus.[6]

  • Matthew 1 uses the format: "A was the father of B, B was the father of C", etc.
  • Luke 3:23-38, on the other hand, uses a word that can mean either "biological son" or "descendant", in the form "C was the son of B, who was the son of A".

Matthew traces the lineage from David through Solomon, while Luke traces the lineage through Nathan, Solomon's brother.[6] An explanation traditionally offered by Christian apologists is that Matthew is stating Joseph's line and Luke is stating Mary's line.[7] Under the Lucan text, Jesus would be a biological descendant of David through his mother.[8] It is often this descent that is depicted in the Tree of Jesse subject in art, which usually shows Mary but rarely Joseph.

Another solution to the problem of two genealogies was offered by Africanus and repeated by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History. Under the Torah, a widowed woman could marry her late husband's brother. According to Christian belief, the children of this union would be reckoned as the sons of the deceased. Thus the Gospel of Matthew is believed to record Jesus' lineage by birth while Luke's by an idiosyncratic Christian interpretation of Jewish law, this distinction being defended by Luke's use of the phrase "Joseph son of Eli, as was supposed."[9] According to Matthew Henry, the Gospels emphasize a trinitarian aspect of Davidic lineage. [Mt. 22:45]] [Mk. 12:37]] [Lk. 20:44]] Jesus outlines that if he was a mere man who would not exist until many ages after David's death, his forefather would not call him Lord. It means that Jesus is God the Son and David's Lord equally with God the Father.[10]

Virginal conception and divine incarnation of Jesus
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

—Matt 1:23

Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel. Cream and honey he shall eat when he knows to reject bad and choose good. For, when the lad does not yet know to reject bad and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread, shall be abandoned."

—Isaiah 7:14-16

Main articles: Isaiah 7:14 and Immanuel

Christian faith regards Jesus as having been born of a virgin, Mary, and consequently as not having a natural human father. The virgin birth of Jesus or virginal conception[11] is a doctrine of Christianity—since the 2nd century CE—and Islam. It gives Jesus a divine parentage and makes God the father his begetter, the latter is not a tenet of Islam, which rejects a divinity of Jesus.[12] Nevertheless, he is considered to be a prince of Judah, as though Mary's husband Joseph were in fact his father. The tenet of the virginal conception of Jesus is included in Christian creeds, which say that Jesus "was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary" (the Nicene Creed)[13] and was "born of the Virgin Mary" (Apostles' Creed).[14]

In Isaiah 7:14-16. The NT uses the Greek term "parthenos" as "virgin", while the original Jewish Mat 1:22).

In almah), young woman, without any connotation of virginity. The prophecy is clear in that a specific woman ("the young woman") is meant and that the events historically were fulfilled in Ahaz's near future and do not refer to the eventual times of Jesus' birth, and thus it is not a messianic prophecy.

See also



  • The Holy Bible: 1611 Edition (Thos. Nelson, 1993)

External links

  • Jewish "Exilarchs"
  • A genealogy of the Exilarchs: "From Judah to Bustanai"
  • Rabbinic Sources and Seder Olam Zuta: "Rav-SIG"
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