Is Jesus a descendant of both David and Solomon?


Email Received:

I was told that Jesus was a descendant of David but not of his son, Solomon. Is that true?


Ted's Response:

Although it commonly is known that Jesus was a biological descendant of David, most also assume that He was a biological descendant of Solomon, which is not the case. In the genealogy listed by Matthew, it says this:

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. ... And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; ... And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (Matthew 1:1,6,7,16)
So Joseph, Jesus' step-father, was a biological descendant of Solomon. But since Jesus was not the biological son of Joseph, then He was not a biological descendant of Solomon. In fact, neither was Mary:
And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, ... Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David.... (Luke 3:23,31)
What many people overlook is that Joseph was the biological son of Jacob (Matthew 1:16), who was a biological descendant of Solomon. However, Heli (Luke 3:23) actually was the father-in-law of Joseph. That is, Heli was Mary's father, and he was a biological descendant of Nathan (Luke 3:31), who was Solomon's brother (1 Chronicles 3:5). I believe that Mary had no brothers. Therefore, Mary's husband Joseph, who was Heli's son-in-law, became Heli's legal son to continue Heli's family line.

The point of all of this is that in the culture of ancient Israel, inheritance from father to son was so significant and essential that, for all legal intents and purposes, Jesus was Joseph's son, even if He was not Joseph's biological son. Thus, Jesus can be recognized as "Solomon's son" through Jesus' step-father, Joseph.

The scepter and throne of David and Solomon, descendants of Judah, will come to the Messiah (Jesus), who will rule and reign forever:

The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. (Genesis 49:10)

King Solomon will be blessed, and David's throne will remain secure before the LORD forever. (1 Kings 2:45)

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. (Isaiah 9:7)
The scepter and throne are Jesus' legal inheritance, through his earthly paternal lineage. But for anyone who has a problem with Jesus' not being a biological descendant of Solomon, through Joseph, the scepter also is Jesus' biological inheritance, since He is a direct descendant of King David, through his maternal lineage.


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