Qualifying Jesus as Israel's King

Qualifying Jesus As Israel’s King

Q. There is something I want to ask my own church Minister, but never remember to when I see him.

In Mathew chapter 1 verses 1-17 it gives: The book of the generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham, showing that Jesus is a descendant of David. Mathew must have known that Joseph was the step-father of Jesus and therefore Jesus could not be a descendant of David through Joseph.

I think that I heard or read somewhere, many years ago, that Mary was also a descendant of David, but do not know if this is true. Is it mentioned anywhere in the Bible? I have not been able to find it.

A. If you compare the genealogies in Matt 1 and Luke 3 you can spot the similarities as well as the differences. One difference is that Matthew comes forward from Abraham, showing Jesus as a son of Abraham while Luke goes backward to Adam proving the humanity of Jesus. Notice that both are the same from Abraham to David, but that in Matthew, David’s son is listed as Solomon while in Luke’s version David’s son is Nathan, Solomon’s brother. From then to Joseph the two lists are different with Matthew showing Joseph’s father as Jacob, while in Luke it’s Heli.

The reason for this is that there were no words for father-in-law, grandfather, son-in-law, or grandson, etc. Everyone was either a father or a son. Jacob was Joseph’s true father and Heli was his father-in-law, Mary’s father. From David to Joseph, Matthew showed the Royal line of Solomon of which Joseph was part. But Luke showed the line of Nathan, members of David’s family that weren’t qualified to become kings. These were actually Mary’s ancestors. So both Mary and Joseph were of the tribe of Judah, and descended from David and were therefore cousins, although far removed.

According to the Law, since Mary had no brothers, she could only be her father’s heir as long as she married someone from her own tribe. That way her family’s land would stay in the tribal inheritance as required. (Numbers 36) And although Joseph was in the Royal line of Solomon, neither he nor any biological son of his could ever be King, since the royal line had been cursed by God. (Jeremiah 22:30)

To sit on David’s throne as King of Israel, a man had to be both a pure biological descendant of David’s and a member of Solomon’s Royal line, but somehow had to side step the curse. When Joseph agreed to become Mary’s husband, he in effect adopted Jesus as his legal son, placing Jesus in the Royal line without inheriting Joseph’s cursed blood. Having no earthly father, Jesus was a pure biological son of David’s through His mother. Thus Jesus met both qualifications and became the only man in the world, then or now, fit to be Israel’s King.

C.I. Scofield, one of the fathers of Dispensational Theology, and editor of the Scofield Reference Bible, has been credited with this discovery, proof that the virgin birth was not only a unique sign from God, but was a legal necessity to provide a King for Israel.

The House And Lineage Of David

Q. Since Joseph & Mary were not a married yet & God said that Jesus would come from his (Joseph) lineage, wouldn’t that mean that it had to be Mary’s lineage? or did Joseph & Mary really get together to fulfill what God said?  Also I did watch a documentary that said  Mary was a virgin when the  two got married, but then did their wedding thing that would fulfill what God said?  Thank you for this chance to ask a question.

A. The complete phrase is “house and lineage of David”.  Comparing the genealogies ofMatthew 1 (Joseph’s) and Luke 3 (Mary’s), you can see that both Joseph and Mary were descended from King David.  Therefore both were of the House of David.  But Matthew’s account shows that unlike Mary, Joseph was also in the royal line of succession through King Solomon and therefore of David’s lineage as well. (Luke 2:4) Mary was a descendant of Solomon’s brother Nathan.

Just before the Babylonian captivity God had cursed the royal line, saying that no King would ever come from them again (Jere. 22:28-30) and yet He had promised David that  descendants of Solomon’s would rule over Israel forever. (1 Chron. 17:11-14)

Jesus was a blood relative of  Mary’s, and therefore of the house of David.  When Joseph married Mary, Jesus became his legal son and therefore entered the Royal line.  Now He was of the house and lineage of David.   But since He and Joseph were not biologically related, He escaped the blood curse.  Thus Jesus became the only man since 600 BC qualified to become the King of Israel and sit on David’s throne, something Gabriel had promised to Mary (Luke 1:32-33) and that will be fulfilled in the Millennium.

Are Joseph’s And Mary’s Lineage Incorrect?

I was wondering if there is a mistranslation in the bible regarding the lineage of Mary/Joseph.

Q. I was wondering if there is a mistranslation in the bible regarding the lineage of Mary/Joseph.

God states that Jesus will be a direct descendant of David, but since Jesus’ Father is God, Jesus has to be a direct descendant of David through Mary’s lineage (otherwise there is no blood relation to David). In Matthew 1:2-16 it provides a ‘family tree’ that claims to end with “Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah.” This indicates Jesus is connected to David only through the marriage of Mary to Joseph, who is then a descendant of David. This doesn’t make Jesus a DIRECT descendant…

Furthermore, Matthew 1:17 states “Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations.” By my count there are only 13 in the 3rd group.

A. Your question has a simple answer, but one that’s not apparent from Scripture. In Biblical times there was no word for father-in-law, just as there was no word for grandfather. Joseph can’t be the son of both Jacob and Heli. According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Chag. 77,4), Heli was actually Mary’s father making him Joseph’s father-in-law. The reason the two genealogies are different is that Joseph was descended from Solomon while Mary was a descendant of Solomon’s older brother Nathan.

So Joseph and Mary were actually cousins although many times removed. Since Heli had no sons, Mary had to find a husband from the tribe of Judah like herself to protect her father’s estate.(See Numbers 36) She also needed a direct descendant of Solomon to perfect her son’s claim to the throne of David, since Nathan’s descendants weren’t of the Royal line.

Joseph fit the bill on both accounts but like every other descendant of Solomon’s carried a blood curse disqualifying any biological son of his from ever being King of Israel.(Jeremiah 22:28-30) Since Joseph was not the Lord’s biological father, he could adopt Him, qualifying Him to be King without passing Him the curse.

Thus, because of the virgin birth, Jesus became the only one in Israel qualified to sit on David’s throne, and remains so to this day.

As far as the genealogies go, notice that the passage reads “fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.” (Matt 1:17) Technically the exile occurred before the reign of Jeconiah ended, so Matthew counted him again at the start of the third list, giving each 14 names.