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
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 11:51
  • 1
    Related (from Hermeneutics): hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/56196/…
    – user50422
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 13:31
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator Thanks. I'm editing that in. Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 11:55
  • @Lesley , You could respond but only from that perspective. Which is what I intend to do :-)
    – Austin
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 1:29
  • One way Jesus is the “root” of Jesse and David is that by means of him their genealogical line stays alive. No human today can prove that he is of the tribe of Levi, Dan, or even Judah, but we can be certain that the line of Jesse and David lives on because Jesus now is alive in heaven
    – Kristopher
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 1:23

3 Answers 3


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.
    – steveowen
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 6:10
  • 1
    Does this position require that Jesus became God's only begotten Son at the resurrection? Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 11:11
  • 1
    @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
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 7:34
  • 1
    @Austin This is worth the read. dennyburk.com/… Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 12:44
  • 1
    @OneGodtheFather, Touché.
    – Austin
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 2:41

How can Jesus be both root and offspring of David if he was only a man and did not pre-exist his incarnation?

This is an important question. It deserves to be answered from biblical facts which God has abundantly provided - there is no need for assumptions. Before answering, we do need to rehearse the solid foundation provided regarding Jesus.

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.” 34But Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason also the holy child will be called the Son of God". Luke 1:32-5

  • Is Jesus mentioned as a living person before his conception? No. Should we assume he does pre-exist based on invented stories appearing 100's of years after the Apostles which none of God's inspired writers affirm? The Gospels tell us when and how Jesus arrived, are consistently unambiguous and affirmed by several biblical authors. We either believe them at face value or choose alternate sources.

  • We have several prophecies recorded for us of the 'one to come'. Abraham, 'saw Jesus' day and was glad', John 8:56. David called Jesus his Lord and understood that God would place his descendant on his throne (2Samuel 7:12 13,16, Ps 132:11, 89:3-4). Even prophesying his Lord's life and death Ps 22 - even though he could not grasp the significance of his very specific details.

God of armies, do turn back; Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine, 15The shoot which Your right hand has planted, And of the son whom You have strengthened for Yourself. 16It is burned with fire, it is cut down; They perish from the rebuke of Your face. 17Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. Ps 80:14-17

  • A pointer to Jesus ascending to God's right hand - the man God was going to strengthen to do the job He sent him to do - be the saviour of the world and the "Lord" David wrote about, Ps 110.
  • Abraham was also advised his descendant would bless the world. Paul also understood where Jesus came from, Gal 3:16

In your (Abraham) seed all nations of the earth shall be blessed, Gen 22:18

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?

What incarnation? Where do we read about this fanciful idea? The bible contains no story or prophecy about God becoming a man. All we have is a few proof-texts used to push in that direction when read out of context. Or from doubtful translations that have allowed a bias (not intended by God) to alter the scriptures.

Did you notice this bit from the first quotation?

the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.

  • the Lord God will give him... God is giving to who? To God aka Jesus? Why is God giving the throne to God? Did God somehow deserve this reward?
  • the throne of his father David. Seems pretty straight forward. God doesn't have a father - certainly not David. But Jesus does have David as a great, great, great... grandfather. One of the gospels affirms this.
  • Traditionally, Jesus is God, but this concept doesn't sensibly fit with the clear details provided.

Now how is Jesus the root of David?

God has planned for Jesus to be Saviour from the foundation of the world. Did he already exist back then? No, he was born ~4BC. He is the 'logos became flesh' - same event explained in the gospels. Jesus' name is his identifier. Just as David and Moses and all the other prominent figures had names that identified them and we can trace them through the pages of the bible. Jesus is not mentioned until his conception and birth. He was spoken about prophetically, because his time was not yet.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets ... 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things... Heb 1:1-2

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent His son, born of a woman, born under the Law. Gal 4:4

Nothing about God being born out of a woman or a pre-existing Son who is also God or an incarnation - just a simple birth from a virgin God had chosen to birth His Messiah. We can read-in all that other stuff, but why do we need to? There is no need to presume, if God sent His son, he must have pre-existed! Sending His son is making Mary pregnant! As the gospels tell us over and over without any mystery or complexity.

God has planned everything to happen in a way that leads predictably to the ultimate 'end game'. He has put in place a plan for man's salvation and it is working perfectly. Jesus is the cornerstone of that plan.

you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Eph 2:19-

Jesus, the one planned to come, needed a beginning. Not just a birth, but a heritage, a lineage of grand proportions, of righteous men and women who faithfully served God in very demanding situations. God planned for Jesse to be the father of David whose throne Jesus would make endure forever.

1Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3And he will delight in the fear of the LORD, And he will not judge by what his eyes see, Nor make decisions by what his ears hear; 4But with righteousness he will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the humble of the earth; And he will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, And with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5Also righteousness will be the belt around his hips, And faithfulness the belt around his waist. Isaiah 11:1-5

Being the root of David is the manner by which God had prepared for Jesus' lineage. This holy stock of humanity from which Jesus came. These men and women were set aside for God's purposes - they are the ROOT from which came God's son Jesus. The prophecy of Jesus coming is self-fulfilling - it has it's root in all those God had prepared until Jesus was born.

Then on that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Is 11:10

This is simply a case of God knowing the beginning from the end - Jesus is reason for all that would complete events according to God's sovereign plan. Jesus, the chief cornerstone was planned before the world began.

Jesus is the reason for Jesse! For David and everyone that was part of his story.

for in him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him Col 1:16

Truly in Jesus all things are held together. Without his saving sacrifice and exalted ascension, nothing would have any meaning. No one would know true life. God's creation would simply cease to exist - it would have no purpose.

Jesus is the root from which all creation flourishes. Not because he made anything, but because he has redeemed everything from evil and sin and death - just as God planned he would. Just as God planned who he would come from and when.

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. - Rev 22:16

We read this and we think of Jesus saying, 'before Abraham was, I am'. It all makes perfect sense without reading in anything or jumping to false conclusions. Jesus was before Abraham as being the key, the cornerstone, the reason, the purpose for all things. Abraham was a much smaller part of that plan - of course Jesus was before in the sense of priority and importance - no pre-existence required!

He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ 23From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Saviour, Jesus. Acts 13:22-3

  • "Jesus was before Abraham as being the key, the cornerstone, the reason, the purpose for all things." Way too simple! We need an elaborate, logic-defying theology made up over hundreds of years instead!! ;) Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 15:40
  • You: "Jesus is the root from which all creation flourishes. Not because he made anything..." Scripture: "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.". Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 12:00
  • Perfect example of a proof-text approach to scripture - grab an idea and find a verse to prove it! As explained many times, one verse does not a good doctrine make. ONE John 1 shows this logos as a which, a what, and not a 'he' at all. Personification is a tool used for emphasis and should not be read literally. The logos is the means God created through - 'Let there be light!' He speaks something happens. It's easy to deduce from the words provided, that Jesus is not referenced in John 1:1-3. He wasn't born yet, so the logos was not yet flesh/Jesus.
    – steveowen
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 12:37

John 1:1, 3, 14

1 In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God, ... 3 through him by him and for him were all things made. ... 14 And the word became flesh.

The Angel of the Lord came to Mary. Who is the Angel of the Lord? The Holy Ghost aka GOD. And what entered her womb? That's right the Holy Ghost which is the full Spirit of God. Therefore even though Jesus was not yet flesh certainly doesn't mean that he wasn't God! I'm not here to argue or to say I know it all. But I am here to share my beliefs. And there's scripture to verify how I believe.

The reason the term son of God is even used is that he was born of a woman, wrapped in a vail of flesh lowly and meek that physical body was needed so God could come to his people and die for them he could not come yet in all his majesty and glory for no one can look upon the face of God, such a light would kill mankind so it was covered by Jesus's flesh.

You have been with me all this time seen my works and yet you still don't know me. You ask me who is the Father I speak of and where is he at when will I see him? Well, I tell you plainly when you see me you have seen the Father who sent me verily I tell you that I and the Father are ONE.

The kingdom of heaven is within you. Before coming in flesh the same spirit which dwelled in Jesus was God the Father. do not worry that I go for that is why I have come. They do not take my life I lay it down. There is no better friend than one who gives his life for you. Tear down this temple and then he says??? In three days I will raise it up. He didn't say my Father will raise me from the dead.

He said I myself will raise my dead body from the dead. A lot think that he had to be baptized and afterwards the spirit of God rested on him. When in truth the spirit was the one that began his earthly life in Mary. And was with him since conception.

God did not send another or a son, our mighty God had to come himself he was the only one in heaven or earth perfect and worthy to be a perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. Jesus said I must go back to the Father, or actually what he really said was I must go back to be the Father or back to heaven if I don't go the helper cannot come.

Think about this for a second. If I don't go the helper cannot come, which he additionally says I will send to you a comforter.. not my Father will send him and if God is in heaven, why then does he say the helper cannot come if I do not go? Well, that's because there was nobody in heaven with the power to send the Holy Spirit and even if there was they couldn't because that spirit at that time was speaking to his disciples. And he said I will send him from the same place that the Father sent me from.

Therefore we must get reborn in him. And when you do get reborn this spirit he speaks of will guide you into all truths and he will speak to you and give you knowledge. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. If a mouth utters empty words then empty worthless works are accomplished but if the light of the world is in your heart and it's pure and his words abide in you and you follow his teachings you really can ask for anything as long as it in his will he will absolutely answer your prayers and he will give you what you may ask if him but you gotta be one with him. So many prayers are spoken and so many people get disappointed that their prayers aren't answered. If he isn't answering you examine yourself.

The light looking down shines in those who let his light in and share that light. You must do his will and do it fully then he is not just your Lord, he becomes a real Father to you. God was perfect without sin in heaven. Then in order to make a way God had to be born in flesh.

Jesus lived here and never sinned; he could not even be tempted by people to sin. Only God can forgive sins. Jesus forgave quite a few sinners while he was in the flesh. If he was actually the son of God or a part of God. Then his forgiving sin would have been a sin right? He would be trying to do his dad's job. And the dad would not be pleased.

The wind obeyed him because he made it. He brought the dead back to life to live a little longer just to show us who he is and His glory. How can anyone except God bring a dead Lazarus back to life? Simple because he is the way, the truth and he is the life. Through him, all life was started. He knew before he made the earth that one day he would walk on the land and make all things new.

It's not his will that any perish, but because of lack of knowledge, they do. He walked on the water. He said things behold I make all things new, (again me myself and I) go to prepare a place for you and if I and God are one, and you can pick up your cross and follow me just as I am one with the Father so shall you and I be one. Therefore if I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am ye shall be with me also. And I will come back to take my sheep to that place.

All his promises were not fiction. Jesus was more than a man more than just a son of God - he is my God. He was called Emmanuel God with us! And he was with them and he's here with us he sees all and knows all.

Do all things in his name for in his name is all the power of heaven and earth. He conquered death hell and the grave. His word brings forth supernatural works. Before Abraham was, I am, actually meant just that. Not that he was just a promise of what was coming. It was he who showed Abraham the day that he would leave his kingdom and leave his Angels in charge for a while just to die for people who didn't understand him then and most still don't and never will.

If you know him you are truly blessed because it's not that you found him, it's only because he chose to let you know him. We do not find God - he was never lost. God finds us when we seek him thoroughly and with a pure heart. He will lift you up and restore you and he will truly reveal himself to his children. Become his children. If you are not his already he will take you in.

Life here is just a breath. We have a number of days he has given each of us. And He wants us to use every one of those days to seek him and if he comes to you then get to know him and let him be the life in you. Live your life for him. He gave his life for us. God bless I hope this may help someone who doesn't fully know the truth.

  • Hello and welcome to the site. Please edit this to add paragraph breaks.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 7:40
  • Thank you for editing alot of my errors. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a great New Year! Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 9:34

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