Then stood up Phinehas and executed judgment ... and that was counted to him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore. [Psalm 106:30,31 KJV.]

Phinehas hath turned my wrath away ... wherefore .. I give unto him a covenant of peace and he shall have it and his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood. [Numbers 25:11-13, KJV ]

The covenant here expressed regards righteousness and is promised to the seed of Phinehas (not as of many seeds - see Galatians 3:16 - but of one) everlastingly.

Now, Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron. And Mary, the mother of Jesus, was Elizabeth's close relative (Luke 1:5 and 36) not by marriage but by blood (Luke 1:35-40).

Therefore Mary was of the tribe of Levi by birth. Only by marriage was she of the tribe of Judah, not by birth or blood. Nor could any man descended (naturally, by any means) from Jeconiah onwards ascend the throne for :

Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah. [Jeremiah 22:30, KJV.]

The curse on Jeconiah was impossible to overcome, by any natural means or by any devious manipulation of the royal rights. It was finished. Humanity was prevented from ascending the throne, for ever.

But then a 'woman compassed a man' and a man married that woman. And that changed everything. Yet that humanity formed within Mary did have a connection ... to Phinehas and to a promise of an everlasting Priesthood.

The significance of this seems to have escaped Protestants, as far as I can tell, despite the fact that it is immensely important regarding the matter of justification by faith, the accounting of the righteousness of God to the faith of them that believe in Jesus Christ.

My supposition is that Protestants, rejecting the worship of Mary, have nevertheless neglected to consider her contribution and have overlooked the importance of her genealogy 1 in regard to the promises made to Phinehas and inherited by Jesus, through Mary. (Just as promises were made to David, the king, and were inherited by Jesus, through - adoption by - Joseph.)

Is this so, that this has been neglected ?

Or is it the case that some Protestants have noticed the significance of these two highly important passages in Psalm 106 and Numbers 25 and have recognized the significance of what is inherited through Phinehas and Mary, as we see so much inherited through David and Joseph ?

And, if so, where is this recognition documented ?

1 Just for background interest I add the following :

With considerable similarity to the tripled repeat of fourteen generations - the royal line - from Abraham to Christ through Judah (see Matthew 1:1-15) it can be shown that there is a tripled repeat of twelve generations (the significant number of covenant) from Aaron to Christ through Phinehas and Mary.

[The genealogy in Luke is sometimes claimed to be Mary's genealogy but it is clearly not so by its content. Luke's list is not the royal line (the throne often not passing by direct heritage) but is the natural line of begetting.]

Data in Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles gives the following :

Twelve generations from Aaron to the days of David: Aaron, Eleazar, Phinehas, Abishua, Bukki, Uzzi, Zerahiah, Meraioth, Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok, Ahimaaz

Twelve generations from David to the Babylonian captivity: Ahimaaz, Azariah, Johanna, Azariah, Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok, Shallum, Hilkiah, Azariah, Seraiah, Ezra

Twelve generations from Captivity until Christ: Ezra, Jeshua, Joiakim, Eliashib, Joiada, Jonathan, Jaddua, [G8 G9 G10] Mary, Jesus called Christ.

G8 is either Levi or Eleazar

G9 is either Melchi or Matthan

G10 is Joachim

G8, G9 and G10 are not recorded in scripture but recorded in Doctrina Jacobi and by Tiberias and by John of Damascus.

Any further information on this genealogy would be welcome either publicly or privately.

  • Mary was of the house of David, as it is written: "born of the seed of David [i.e. via Mary]" (Romans 1:3). Nov 27, 2019 at 16:17
  • @SolaGratia The word is γενομενου (from ginomai) which means 'came'. He came of the seed of David. The manner in which he came was by a woman espoused to Joseph. Whereby, by adoption, he is 'of' the seed of David. Jesus is of the seed of David, but not by natural generation, but by adoption.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:24
  • Even the Talmud says Mary "came from royalty but played the harlot with carpenters" (Sanhendrin 106b). Also, "to come about" in ancient languages refers to your birth, obviously: hence, "born of the seed of David as to his flesh" Nov 27, 2019 at 16:26
  • @SolaGratia That Jesus inherits the throne of David is via Joseph, the son of (in the line of sons) Joseph. Mary was not a son of David, nor could the throne come through her at all. It comes via Joseph. But not by natural generation. It comes by adoption.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:29
  • Anyone who is out of David's loins is a son of David. If you are not of his stock, you are not the son of David—not by adoption, unless you actually father the child, to pass that on. Joseph passed absolutely nothing on to Jesus except inheritance rights, which are by birth and not by generation. "The Lord hath sworn a most true oath, and he will not take it back: Of the fruit of thy loins I will set upon thy throne [one to succeed thee]." You must be descended physically from David to be the Messiah. Jewish tradition was adamant that it was normative to marry within your own tribe, too. Nov 27, 2019 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


In my church we interpret the Jeremiah reference to mean that the royal line of David will cease to rule any physical kingdom of this world. This has been fulfilled; no descendant of David now rules as a king in the geographical region known then as Judah.

Jesus' kingdom is not of this world (He said so to Pilate), and so the passage does not prohibit Him from being the King of that kingdom.

For this reason, Mary's ancestry is moot with regard to this issue.

  • "The Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David" (Luke 1:32) Nov 29, 2019 at 14:25
  • Jesus cannot be "the son of David" and "made of the seed of David according to the flesh" unless He is the son of David, and his flesh comes from David. No one is claiming "the throne" means "the physical chair David sits in," but the royal authority that comes with being the Davidic King (cf. Mt. 23:2). Dec 1, 2019 at 14:16
  • I mean, if the throne of David is not a specific kind of monarchical dynastic role, as opposed to a generic one, one wonders how the angel would intimate that except by "he will succeed David." Dec 2, 2019 at 12:39
  • The OP asked whether Protestants appreciate the significance of Mary's ancestry. My answer addresses this point with regard to my church. Whether we are correct in our teaching is another issue.
    – EvilSnack
    Dec 3, 2019 at 3:10

In my church, I can imagine an answer to this being that Mary's genealogy can't be terribly significant for the simple reason that there's no place in the Bible that points it out or emphasises it.

In his letters, Paul goes into considerable detail to lay out the doctrine of justification by faith. Not once does he make reference to Mary's lineage. Hebrews makes its case in covenant terms and figuratively removes Jesus from the line of Aaron and places him into the line of Melchizedek, suggesting that levitical heritage wasn't important.

If the Bible doesn't make a big deal out of something, then it's hard to argue that it is a big deal after all.

  • Melchizedek is important regarding priesthood as Hebrews makes clear. Phinehas, also, has considerable importance regarding righteousness and justification by faith, indicated by the texts I have referred to in the Psalm and in Numbers.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 2, 2019 at 0:26
  • One of the central theses of Hebrews is that Jesus is the high priest of a better priesthood with a better sacrifice and founded on a better covenant. So clearly Jesus'priesthood is important, but a lineal connection to Levi isn't--Hebrews argues that Melchizedek's order is better than Aaron's. However, nowhere in any passage about righteousness by faith is there any reference to Phineas, so how can he be of greater importance than what is laid out explicitly? Dec 2, 2019 at 0:32
  • So what do you make of the promises made to Phinehas ?
    – Nigel J
    Dec 2, 2019 at 0:34
  • The passage in Numbers confirms the Aaronic priesthood, and the passage in Psalms recounts the incident within a broader context of Israel's history. Aaron's line was to be a perpetual priesthood. But that doesn't make it the only priesthood. Again, Hebrews removes Jesus from the Aaronic priesthood. Furthermore, while the statement of Psalms about Phineas touches on righteousness by faith, Paul in his letters chooses to focus on Abraham's righteousness by faith, ignoring Phineas. Since the NT ignores Phineas, it's difficult to argue that his story is critically important theologically. Dec 2, 2019 at 0:44
  • I disagree entirely.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 2, 2019 at 3:33

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