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The Book of Matthew begins by identifying Jesus with the title of "Son of David":

The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Matthew 1:1 NAS

At one time, two blind men call Jesus by the same title:

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” Matthew 9:27 NAS

Later, Jesus' identity as the Son of David becomes a point of contention:

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant. Matthew 21:15 NAS

So, what is the significance of the title "Son of David" being attributed to Jesus?

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2 Tim 2:8-9, Paul says "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained." The two most important things that Paul tells Timothy is that Jesus is raised from the dead and descended from David. Must be important! – Greg Mar 27 '13 at 2:18
Not quite a duplicate, but already covered at What is the theological import behind genealogies? – David Mar 27 '13 at 11:15

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

David, of course, was the second King of Israel (later just Judah) who had descendants also upon the throne. We see that Jesus was indeed descended in direct lineage from David through many generations. In some cases in the Bible, "son of" is used to refer to descendants rather than literal sons. Thus, Jesus could be called a "son of David".

But because of the prophecy to David in 2 Samuel 7:16,

And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.

the Jewish people were looking for a King that would rule without end, many of course thinking that he would set up an earthly kingdom. Clearly this refers to David's descendants.

John 7:42 says that:

Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?

Referring to 2 Samuel 7 (the line from which he will come) and Micah 5:2 (specifically naming Bethlehem as his birthplace).

Jesus, of course was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Psalm 110:1

A Psalm of David 1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” (emphasis mine)

As we see in Mark 12:35-37, Jesus clearly states that this refers to him.

But perhaps most significantly and clearly is the prophecy in Isaiah 9:6-7:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

There is little doubt that the Jewish authorities of the day missed this prophecy, clearly stating that a son is is mighty God...upon the throne of David. In short, his title of "son of David" was the declaration that he was the promised Messiah, and God himself.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

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+1 Nice answer! – Narnian Mar 26 '13 at 19:39
It also simply means that he is a King. – John Peyton Sep 13 '13 at 19:58

As already answered, "son of David" was hinting "messiah", numerous prophesies predicted the messiah would come from line of David.

To add - jews had both biological and legal versions of heir/descendant/"son of David"... for example if a man died without having an heir it was recommended that his brother or other close relative marry his widowed wife and help her get pregnant so that the dead man could have an heir. Book of Ruth chapter 4 has drama based on this idea of legal inheritance. Similar story in Genesis 38 with Omar not wanting to get Tamar pregnant because "offspring would not be his" but instead be legally his dead brothers children.

So lineage of Jesus as "son of David" is given in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 as two different lists, that would refer to being son of David by biological (Mary) and legal (Joseph). Matthew chapter 1 has "Jacob became father to Joseph the husband of Mary"... in other words Jacob was biological father of Mary and thus father-in-law to Joseph. Luke on other hand traces the legal lineage though forefathers of Joseph.

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Son of David meant son of Heritage or Son of Compassion. Son of David was the human lineage Jesus Christ came from. When Blind Bartimeus met Jesus he says Jesus thou son of David have mercy on me. Now Bartimeus was the son of Timeus which in the hebrew meant dishonorable or dirty or filty. Son of the unclean one. When he see Jesus he says Son of David have mercy on me. Which means son of compassion. Son of David had a heritage of compassion .

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

This answer would be a lot better if you could add references showing that this is a common understanding, and who teaches/believes it. On this site, we're not looking for personal interpretation, but rather focusing on what various Christian groups teach. See How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? – David Dec 13 '13 at 0:59

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