There is a related question here: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/56196/…

We are told in various imagery that Messiah would come in the line of David and be a branch or rod that sprouts from Jesse's roots:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; - Isaiah 11:1-2

Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch. - Zechariah 3:8

And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: - Zechariah 6:12

Later, in Revelation, we are told that Jesus is the root of David:

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. - Revelation 5:5

And then Jesus himself claims to be both the root and the offspring of David:

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. - Revelation 22:16

This is much like when Jesus asked about whose son the Christ is "“How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” (Matthew 22:43-45).

For those who believe Jesus did not pre-exist his incarnation, How can Jesus be the root of David if he is David's offspring?

  • Such a good question, but by limiting the scope to people who deny that Jesus pre-existed before his incarnation, I won't be able to respond. Pity. – Lesley Mar 22 at 11:51
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    Related (from Hermeneutics): hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/56196/… – Spirit Realm Investigator Mar 22 at 13:31
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator Thanks. I'm editing that in. – Mike Borden Mar 23 at 11:55
  • @Lesley , You could respond but only from that perspective. Which is what I intend to do :-) – Austin Mar 30 at 1:29

Well, Though I believe Jesus preexisted his birth, I can provide away the verse be true without him doing so.

When considering Jesus as the root of David When you think "root of David" you may be thinking in reference to David's past human birth. However, Jesus has created for us a new birth in the resurrection. Indeed Jesus, himself born again, is declared begotten of God at his resurrection:

Acts 13:32-33 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by RAISING Jesus, AS ALSO IT IS WRITTEN in the second Psalm,
“‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’

And indeed we do not fully become adopted into the family of God until our physical bodies are recreated:

Romans 8:23 23 And not only the creation but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

We are new creatures in Christ when we are reborn first spiritually but ultimately physically at the resurrection when God brings forth the New Heaven and New Earth.

2 Peter 3:13 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Indeed we must be so recreated for our very physical existence is far too corrupt for the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 15:50-57 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

This victory over death by our resurrection and rebirth is obtained through the person of Jesus the firstfruit of the new creation:

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

Jesus has become to us through the new creation the new Adam,

1 Corinthians 15:45-49 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

And because Jesus is the new creation Adam, we have a new creation genealogy that begins with Christ as the root.

Hebrews makes it clear that this benefit not only applies to New Testament Christians but that also the salvation of the Old Testament saints (including David) similarly rest on the new life in Jesus. Notice how the Hebrew writer speaks of the Old Testament saints this way:

Hebrews 11:39-40 39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

So they are made perfect the same way that we are, in the resurrection, in order to inherit the promises of the kingdom.

Therefore, the root of their new birth in the new creation, as resurrected saints, is the reborn, resurrected, & recreated Jesus himself and, in that way, Jesus can be the root of his ancestors he does not predate except by predating them and us all in the New Creation as God's firstborn.

  • "We are new creatures in Christ when we are reborn first spiritually but ultimately physically..." That doesn't make sense. As F&B cannot inherit the K and God has, 'put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit (only), guaranteeing what is to come' 2 Cor 1:22 We are reborn when born into the K at our resurrection. Only then are we granted new spirit life - as Jesus was, and new bodies, as Jesus was. – user47952 Mar 31 at 6:10
  • Being 'born of the spirit' is not referring to the deposit. Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God John 3:3 and as you say, F&B cannot inherit the K, so this rebirth hasn't happened yet as we are still F&B. – user47952 Mar 31 at 6:10
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    Does this position require that Jesus became God's only begotten Son at the resurrection? – Mike Borden Mar 31 at 11:11
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    @MikeBorden , I don't know. It makes good sense to think so. John writes from after the resurrection, and indeed Jesus is the only member of the new creation fully resurrected. Either way, I'm firmly convinced that the "today I have begotten you" refers exclusively to the resurrection, though arguably Jesus may have been begotten by God up to three times. It's interesting that Isaac is called Abraham's only begotten (Heb 11:17), even though Abraham begat Ishmael before Isaac, & begat others after. I think to be declared only begotten refers to being the only begotten of the promise (Gal 4:23). – Austin Apr 1 at 7:34
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    @Austin This is worth the read. dennyburk.com/… – Mike Borden Apr 1 at 12:44

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