He was to be of the line of David, ruling on David’s throne (see Isaiah 9:6-9 Isaiah 9:6-9 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it has lighted on Israel.
9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
American King James Version×). And Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, was to fulfill these prophecies, as God was to “give Him the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:31-33 Luke 1:31-33 31 And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
American King James Version×). Indeed, Jesus was physically descended—through His mother Mary—from David’s son Nathan (Romans 1:3 Romans 1:3Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
American King James Version×; Luke 3:23 Luke 3:23And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
American King James Version×; Luke 3:30-33 Luke 3:30-33 30 Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim, 31 Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, 32 Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, 33 Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
American King James Version×, Heli of that lineage being the father of Mary and father-in-law of her husband Joseph).
Mary’s husband Joseph was himself of the Solomonic line of Jeconiah, and Jesus was reckoned as his son, signifying Jesus’ adoption by him (Matthew 1:1-16 Matthew 1:1-16 1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brothers;
3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;
5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;
11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brothers, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;
15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
American King James Version×; compare Luke 2:48 Luke 2:48And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold, your father and I have sought you sorrowing.
American King James Version×). This adoption could perhaps have given Jesus a legal claim to the throne. Yet remarkably, if He had been the actual son of Joseph, descent from Jeconiah would have barred Him from inheriting David’s throne. But Jesus was not Joseph’s son—He was the Son of God the Father through miraculous conception in the womb of Mary when she was yet a betrothed virgin. And through Mary, Jesus was descended from David by a different family line, as mentioned.
Furthermore, Christ, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5 Revelation 5:5And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
American King James Version×), is both “the Root and the Offspring of David” (Revelation 3:16 Revelation 3:16So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.
American King James Version×). That is, beyond being David’s descendant, Jesus was also the ancestor of David, as the Eternal God who created Adam—the father of all mankind (Luke 3:38 Luke 3:38Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
American King James Version×; compare Ephesians 3:9 Ephesians 3:9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×). Moreover, the preincarnate Jesus was Israel’s first King. The Davidic throne was actually, as we’ve seen, the throne of the Lord. And since Jesus is the Lord, the throne ultimately remained His to take back.
Many will hail these facts as proof that God’s promises to David have been fulfilled in Christ’s coming as David’s descendant. Yet if so, it still doesn’t explain why there wasn’t a reigning king of David’s line for more than 500 years between Zedekiah and Jesus. David’s throne was supposed to be occupied in “all generations.” And yet it would appear that there wasn’t even a Davidic throne or kingship in existence for all that time. How did Christ inherit a throne that didn’t exist?
The truth of the matter is that Jesus did not sit on David’s throne when He came in the flesh—nor has He at anytime since. In a parable, Christ portrays Himself as a nobleman who “went to a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return” (Luke 19:12 Luke 19:12He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
American King James Version×)—that is, He went to heaven to receive the Kingdom of God and has not yet returned to rule over it. Jesus is presently sitting with the Father on His throne in heaven (Revelation 3:21 Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
American King James Version×; Hebrews 12:2 Hebrews 12:2Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
American King James Version×). But since Christ’s rule over all nations from Jerusalem (see Jeremiah 3:17 Jeremiah 3:17At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
American King James Version×) has not yet begun, does that mean more than 2,500 years have gone by without a descendant of David reigning as king? Has God broken His word after all?
One important factor often overlooked about the scepter prophecy in Genesis 49:10 Genesis 49:10The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be.
American King James Version×is that it shows Judah still having a ruling monarch, waiting for the Messiah to take over, “in the last days” (Genesis 49:1 Genesis 49:1And Jacob called to his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
American King James Version×). Therefore, since Jesus has not yet returned in power and glory, there must be a monarch of Jewish descent reigning somewhere on the earth during this generation. In fact, that monarch must be of the line of David, occupying a throne that has continued through all generations since David. Otherwise, the Bible is unreliable.