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Davidic line

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Davidic line

House of David
Country Israel
Judah
Parent house Tribe of Judah
Titles King of Israel
King of Judah
Founder David of Judah
Final ruler Zedekiah of Judah

The Davidic line (also referred to as the House of David) (known in Hebrew as Malkhut Beit David (מלכות בית דוד) — "Royal House of David") refers to the tracing of lineage to the King David referred to in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament. The term "House of David" referring to the Davidic dynasty appears many times in the Bible.[1]

History

Upon being chosen and becoming king, the custom in the times of the Tanakh was to be anointed with Holy Oil poured on the head. In David's case, this was done by the prophet Samuel:

David and Goliath by Caravaggio
Now he [David] was ruddy, and with beautiful eyes, and goodly to look upon. And the Lord said: 'Arise, anoint him; for this is he.' Then Samuel [the prophet] took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward... (1 Samuel 16:12-13)

In Hebrew, the anointing is called meshicha (meaning "pouring") and a king (melekh or melech in Hebrew) is referred to as a Moshiach or Messiah or a Melech HaMashiach meaning "the anointed king". The procedure of anointment, in David's case, is said to symbolize the descent of God's holiness (kedusha) upon the king and as a sign of a bond never to be broken.

The monarchy was vouchsafed to the House of David by God in the Book of Samuel:

And Nathan said to the king: ...Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the name of the great ones that are in the earth... and I will cause you to rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord tells you that the Lord will make you a house. When thy days are fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, that shall proceed out of thy body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son; if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thy house and thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.' ...Then David the king went in, and sat before the Lord... 'now therefore let it please you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before you; for you, O Lord God, have spoken it; and through your blessing let the house of your servant be blessed forever.' (2 Samuel 7:1-29)

Initially, David was king over the Tribe of Judah only and ruled from Hebron, but after seven years the other Israelite tribes chose him to be their king as well:

Then came all the tribes of Israel to David to Hebron, and spoke, saying: 'Behold, we are your bone and your flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you that did lead out and bring in Israel; and the Lord said to you: You shalt feed my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.' So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel... (2 Samuel 5:1-3).

As well as in the Book of Chronicles:

So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Samuel... (1 Chronicles 11:3) And these are the numbers of the heads of them that were armed for war, who came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the Lord... All these, being men of war, that could order the battle array, came with a whole heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king. (1 Chronicles 12:24 and 12:39).

All subsequent kings in both the ancient first united Kingdom of Israel and the later Kingdom of Judah claimed direct descent from King David to validate their claim to the throne in order to rule over the Israelite tribes.

After the death of King Solomon son of David, the ten northern tribes of the Kingdom of Israel rejected the Davidic line, refusing to accept Rehoboam son of Solomon, and instead chose as king Jeroboam and formed the northern Kingdom of Israel. This kingdom was eventually conquered by Assyria who exiled them, to disappear from history as The Ten Lost Tribes.

The Exilarch

Following the conquest of Judah by Babylon and the exile of its population, the Babylonian Exilarchate was established. The highest official of Babylonian Jewry was the exilarch (Reish Galuta, "Head of the Diaspora"). Those who held the position traced their ancestry to the House of David in the male line.[2] The position holder was regarded as a king-in-waiting.

Hasmonean monarchy

The Hasmoneans, also known as the Maccabees were a priestly group (kohanim) from the Tribe of Levi. They established their own monarchy in Judea following their revolt and war against the Hellenistic Seleucid dynasty. The Hasmoneans were not considered connected to the Davidic line nor to the Tribe of Judah. The Levites had always been excluded from the Israelite monarchy, so when the Maccabees assumed the throne in order to rededicate the defiled Second Temple, a cardinal rule was broken. According to scholars within Orthodox Judaism this is considered to have contributed to their downfall, and the eventual downfall of Judea; internal strife allowing for Roman occupation and the violent installation of Herod the Great as king of the Roman province of Judea and subsequent rededication then destruction of the Second Temple by the Emperor Titus.

With the end of the monarchy following the destructions of both the Temple of Solomon and the Second Temple, the line of the monarchy was carefully preserved and guarded.

Jewish interpretations

The future Jewish Messiah is expected to be from the "Davidic line" (The Tree of Life), as indicated in Jewish eschatology. Many prayers in the Jewish prayer book, the Siddur, make fervent mention of the restoration of King David's monarchy and the long-awaited Messiah, who is referred to as Mashiach ben David (Messiah son of King David). Given the difficulty of identifying the Messianic figure, Jews also pray for the coming of the prophet Elijah to serve as the Messiah's herald and to properly identify him.

Christian interpretations

In Christian interpretation the "Davidic promise" of a Davidic line in 2 Samuel 7 is understood in various ways, traditionally referring to the genealogies of Christ in the New Testament. One Christian interpretation of the Davidic line counts the line continuing to Jesus of Nazareth via adoption of Joseph of Nazareth, according to the family tree of the kings of Judah in Gospel of Matthew chapter 1 (the later part of which is not recorded in the Hebrew Bible). Another Christian interpretation emphasizes the minor, non-royal, line of David through Solomon's brother Nathan as recorded in Gospel of Luke chapter 3 (entirely undocumented in the Hebrew Bible), which is often understood to be the family tree of Mary's father. A widely spread traditional Christian interpretation relates the non-continuation of the main Davidic line from Solomon as related the godlessness of Jehoiachin in the early 500s BC, where Jeremiah cursed the main branch of the Solomonic line, saying that no descendant of "[Je]Coniah" would ever again reign on the throne of Israel (Jer. 22:30).[3] This same "curse" is also considered by some Christian commentators as the reason that Zerubbabel, the rightful Solomonic king during the time of Nehemiah, was not given a kingship under the Persian empire.[4]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Examples can be found in: 1 Kings 12:201 Kings 12:26 1 Kings 13:2, 1 Kings 14:8,2 Kings 12:1-19,2 Kings 17:21,2 Samuel 3:1, 1 Samuel 19:11HE, 1 Samuel 20:16,2 Samuel 3:6,Isaiah 7:2,Jeremiah 21:12,Zechariah 12:7, Nehemiah 12:37, Psalms 30:1,Psalms 122:5, 1 Chronicles 17:24, 2 Chronicles 10:19, etc.
  2. ^ Max A Margolis and Alexander Marx, A History of the Jewish People (1927), p. 235.
  3. ^ H. Wayne House Israel: Land and the People 1998 114 "And yet, Judah has also been without a king of the Solomonic line since the Babylonian exile. Because of Jeremiah's curse on Jehoiachin (Coniah) in the early 500s BC (Jer. 22:30), the high priests of Israel, while serving as the ..."
  4. ^ Warren W. Wiersbe -The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: The Complete Old Testament - 2007 p1497 "Zerubbabel was the grandson of King Jehoiachin (Jeconiah, Matt. 1:12; Coniah, Jer. 22:24, 28), and therefore of the royal line of David. But instead of wearing a crown and sitting on a throne, Zerubbabel was the humble governor of a ..."

References

  • The Holy Bible: 1611 Edition (Thos. Nelson, 1993)

External links

  • Jewish Encyclopedia.com: "Exilarchs"
  • A genealogy of the Exilarchs: "From Judah to Bustanai"
  • Rabbinic Sources and Seder Olam Zuta: "Seder Olam Zuta" & "Rav-SIG"
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