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?

  • 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, 2013 at 2:18
  • 1
    Not quite a duplicate, but already covered at What is the theological import behind genealogies? Mar 27, 2013 at 11:15

3 Answers 3


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 given...name 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

  • 1
    It also simply means that he is a King. Sep 13, 2013 at 19:58
  • Good answer, but David reigned over Judah first (Isreal wanted a descendant of Saul, the first king), he then united Judah and Isreal, which remained united until his grandsons reign.
    – Belinda
    Sep 18, 2016 at 15:02

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.


It is clear that Jesus has three roles: prophet, priest and king.

The question asks about His being King, which other answers correctly identify as 'Son of David'. While many see son of man, son of God and son of David as interchangeable, or somehow contriving their equivalence, I would like to offer some context: Here is a little background about the timing of Jesus three ministries:

He WAS a prophet, and is thus called Son of Man, the standard honorific of a prophet (In most of Ezekiel he - Ezekiel - is called 'son of man'). Much of what He said was prophetic.

He IS a priest, interceding AT PRESENT in heaven. In this role He is Son of God. His role on Earth was not that of a priest.

He WILL BE a king: He will be crowned King of Kings, Lord of Lords by 'the saints'. In this role he WILL BE Son of David. Only then will he fulfill the Kingly role the Jews have always expected of their Messiah.

To illustrate, when the woman wanted to eat the crumbs that fell from the children's table, she called Jesus 'Son of David', thinking him to be already in that role. He brushed her aside, the same as He did to the woman at the well. When they persisted, they changed how they addressed him, and when they grasped who He was AT THAT TIME then He responded to them.


  • Welcome to Christianity.SE, and thanks for taking the site tour. Thanks also for offering an answer. However, most of it does not actually address the question asked, and the part that does looks like a personal belief, since it provides no references to the Bible or to any Christian commentators. See: What makes a good supported answer? Though your answer may be deleted, I do hope you'll stick around and browse some of the other questions and answers here. Dec 26, 2015 at 8:35
  • Hmmm... many of the answers and comments I have read on this site are also beliefs, even though they have apparently supporting Bible references. Does a supporting Bible or other reference make an answer not a personal belief?
    – Stephen
    Dec 27, 2015 at 8:47
  • Perhaps it would be easiest to refer you to this article: What topics can I ask about here? What's on topic here applies both to questions and to answers. Dec 27, 2015 at 15:34
  • Also, I would suggest not using ALL CAPS in your questions and answers here. It makes it look like you're SHOUTING! If there's something you want to emphasize, use italics instead. You can do that by putting asterisks on either side of what you want to italicize. Dec 27, 2015 at 15:40
  • Thanks, Lee, I appreciate your guidance :) I'll spend some time looking at formatting. I knew the all caps thing, just didn't know how else to add emphasis
    – Stephen
    Dec 28, 2015 at 9:56

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