How would Jesus have a bloodline back to King David?
The OP question isn’t about whether Jesus had a legal right or not to the kingship of David. The question isn’t about Levirate marriage. The question isn’t about the Jeconiah curse. The question is about Jesus’ bloodline; is Jesus descended by blood from David? There is only one answer. Was it through Joseph or Mary?
Although a step-father of sorts, Joseph was not the biological (bloodline) father, regardless of whether or not Joseph descended directly from David’s lineage.
We are left with Mary as the descendent of King David via bloodline.
Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 2 Tim 2:8
So, can this assertion be proven?
Incidentally, in another thread, some incorrectly argue that Mary and Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist) were related by blood cousins. This obfuscates the bloodline question. Elizabeth was of Levi (Luke 1:5). If the two were blood cousins, then Mary would be of Levi by blood, though she could have married legally into the tribe of Judah. So, it is clear enough they were not cousins, but I digress.
Bloodline According to the Flesh
As a bit of background to help understand this issue, in the first few hundred years of the early church, there were two opposing schools about Jesus’ flesh; that is to say, about His birth. One school taught Jesus passed through Mary as water through a straw, that Jesus just appeared at Mary’s side, that Mary remained in the birth state. On the other side of the argument were those who believed Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary in the very normal human way. They believed Jesus was of the seed of David via Mary’s flesh and proved thereby with a very normal human birth.
So, let’s back into the answer starting from a couple of early church Fathers who believed in the very normal human birth, then move to scripture, including the gospel accounts.
that He was truly of the seed of David according to the flesh. Ignatius Epistle to Smyrnians Chapter 1, quoting Romans 1:3
According to the flesh may only mean, after a supernatural conception, via a normal term to a normal birth.
Since Christ has, to our wonder, been made known among us to be the Son of the living God, and to have become man in these last times by means of the Virgin Mary, of the seed of David and Abraham, according to the announcements previously made regarding Him and through Him by the company of the prophets, From Maria of Cassobelae, Chapter I
Again, this is an argument for Mary being of the blood (seed) of David and thus Christ was of the seed of David as prophesied in Gen. 3:15. He took flesh from, was made of His mother Mary.
And again, in his Epistle to the Galatians, he says: “But when the fulness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption;” plainly indicating one God, who did by the prophets make promise of the Son, and one Jesus Christ our Lord, who was of the seed of David according to His birth from Mary; Irenaeus, AH Book III, Chapter XVI
Irenaeus makes it crystal clear. Mary was of Judah, not Levi.
And that the virgin of whom it behoved Christ to be born (as we have above mentioned) must derive her lineage of the seed of David, the prophet in subsequent passages evidently asserts. “And there shall be born,” he says, “a rod from the root of Jesse”—which rod is Mary—“and a flower shall ascend from his root: and there shall rest upon him the Spirit of God, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of discernment and piety, the spirit of counsel and truth; the spirit of God’s fear shall fill Him.” For to none of men was the universal aggregation of spiritual credentials appropriate, except to Christ; paralleled as He is to a “flower” by reason of glory, by reason of grace; but accounted “of the root of Jesse,” whence His origin is to be deduced,—to wit, through Mary. For He was from the native soil of Bethlehem, and from the house of David; as, among the Romans, Mary is described in the census, of whom is born Christ. Tertullian, To the Jews, Of the Prophecies of the Birth of Christ and Achievements
When we turn to the brief history of Jerusalem after Christ’s ascension, we find that James was the first bishop of Jerusalem. But the Roman leaders sought to extinguish all descendants of King David. Their threat they thought was gone, but they wanted to remove all potential descendants.
- “Of the family of the Lord there were still living the grandchildren of Jude, who is said to have been the Lord’s brother according to the flesh.
- Information was given that they belonged to the family of David, and they were brought to the Emperor Domitian by the Evocatus. For Domitian feared the com149ing of Christ as Herod also had feared it. And he asked them if they were descendants of David, and they confessed that they were. Eusebius History III, 20 , mentioning Africanus
Now, the Lord’s brother by flesh would again, of course, directly relate solely to Mary, not Joseph.
These and others understood Jesus was of Mary, of David by the flesh, proved by a very normal human birth, though miraculous conception. And so, the question now is does scripture assert this? Presumably it must, else there is no explanation for why the early church believed it. So, how and why did they believe this?
Of David’s seed
These writers quote both Old and New Testaments to prove that Jesus was the Christ, son of the Living God, heir by blood to the promised throne of David.
And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a blossom shall come up from [his] root: and the Spirit of God shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and godliness shall fill him; Isa 11:1-2
This is a promise of a direct, bloodline descendant.
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; Rom 1:3
We’ve established the why, it was prophesied, now let’s look at the assertion.
Luke primarily wrote to a Gentile audience. Female bloodlines were not typically mentioned, but he has no problem mentioning two bloodlines Elisabeth and Mary.
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. Luke 1:5
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. Luke 1:27
Like with other scripture, comma’s matter. Translators insert them to help readability, but sometimes, it obfuscates the author's point. Given everything else, consider this.
To a virgin, espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. Luke 2:1-7
Basically, Luke is saying, To a virgin of the house of David whose name was Mary.
This verse is the fulfillment of prophecy and what the ancients understood regarding the seed of David, Christ Jesus.
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.