by Jeffrey Berg
The great hope of the Jewish people lies in the Davidic Covenant. This great promise God gave to David is based on 2 Samuel 7:8-17 and is confirmed in Psalm 89. The promise of this covenant amplifies the hope for a Messianic kingdom, emanating from the line of David with the Messiah as the Son of David. The Word of God promises that His throne, house, and kingdom will be everlasting. There will be no end of His rule! The reason it can be called eternal is because it is unconditional and rests upon the faithfulness of God for the establishment of this very important covenant. The Davidic Covenant demands a literal fulfillment.
David’s Everlasting Throne
“And I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:13)
The majesty of David’s throne is far superior to any monarch’s throne in history. His throne is everlasting. Isaiah 9:7 strongly confirms the eternal longevity of this throne.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.”
This promise is the foundation of the certainty of the coming Messiah who will one day sit on David’s throne. This has been the Jewish hope through the centuries. We, as Christians, believe that Messiah Jesus has the right to one day sit on the Davidic throne.
There are some Christians who argue for a “conditional” covenant and a “spiritualized” fulfillment of the covenant. Their interpretation of the covenant is as follows. They believe that the throne on which Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father becomes the “throne” of the Davidic covenant.
The throne in heaven at the right hand of the Father is not David’s throne. His throne will be on the earth.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise up unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5-6, emphasis added). The covenant is unconditional based on 2 Samuel 7:13, 15-16. “He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee; thy throne shall be established forever.” (emphasis added)
This means that David’s son, Jesus Christ, must return to the earth bodily and literally, in order to reign over David’s covenantal kingdom. The belief that Messiah Jesus is seated on the Father’s throne reigning over a spiritual kingdom, the church, does not fulfill the promises of the covenant.
David’s Everlasting House
“And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16)
One of the ways that the coming Messiah will be identified will be through the posterity of David’s royal line. This is why the Jewish writer, Matthew, lays out in detail Messiah Jesus’ genealogy in the beginning of his book in the New Testament. Chapter one, verse one, says, “The book of the generation of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” After David’s death, his son, Solomon, became king. Solomon became disobedient unto God and nearly every king after him fell into great apostasy. Then God carried the kingdom away into captivity in Babylon. Because this covenant is unconditional, David’s lineage cannot be lost. We must keep the certainty of this important promise before us.
The Davidic Royal Line
A significant royal descendant of King David, King Jeconiah, is recorded in Jesus’ lineage in Matthew 1:11. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ lineage is known as the Davidic royal line. A problem arises in that the future of the Davidic royal line is threatened under King Jeconiah! When the Kingdom of Judah was about to go into captivity in Babylon, God delivered a very ominous condemnation through the prophet Jeremiah.
“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 on the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah” (Jeremiah 22:30).
This verse deals a potentially fatal blow to the promise of David’s house and throne being established forever. Because of the sin of King Jeconiah and his people, the Davidic royal line is cursed by God and none of Jeconiah’s lineage could sit on the throne. Jeconiah was the final king in the Davidic line before Israel went into captivity in Babylon. There were no other kings in Israel after the Babylonian captivity. In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ lineage, after the mention of King Jeconiah in verses 11 and 12, the Davidic line continues to Mary’s husband Joseph.
The Davidic Legal Line
The genealogy of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is found in Luke chapter three. Her genealogy is traced back through Abraham to Adam. In the midst of all these names in the genealogy, Luke 3:31 spotlights the birth of Nathan, a son of David. Nathan is a brother to King Solomon. It is important to know that Mary’s line bypasses King Solomon, the cursed royal line, and goes through Nathan, who never became a king, yet is a descendant of David. Because of this Jesus was born of the legal line of David’s descendants, through Mary, but not the royal line.
Jesus’ Right to the Davidic Throne
When Joseph married Mary, he became the adoptive father of Jesus. Remember, Jesus’ birth was miraculous, a virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-23). Joseph possessed the royal rights (he also had legal rights) to the throne of David. This allowed the cursed royal seed through Jeconiah, Solomon’s line, to be bypassed, yet giving Jesus, the adopted son of Joseph, the royal rights through Joseph.
The legal rights came to Jesus through Nathan, Mary’s line. These events, orchestrated in the plan of God, allowed Jesus to become the royal, as well as legal, un-cursed Messiah promised to Israel.
Jesus is now the rightful King, sitting at the right hand of the Father. He is waiting now, in God’s timing, to return to earth and reestablish the Davidic Kingdom.
The Angelic Announcement to Mary
The angelic announcement given to Mary of her giving birth to Messiah Jesus, the Son of David, is a great confirmation in God’s plan for the Davidic covenant. These were not Gabriel’s own words. This important proclamation was delivered to Gabriel by God, to be announced to Mary.
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of his father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:31-33, emphasis added).
The message of Gabriel centers on the three key words of the original Davidic covenant, the throne, the house, and the kingdom, all of which are here promised a fulfillment through Jesus. This important angelic announcement to Mary gives added emphasis showing Jesus’ right to being the heir to David’s throne, house and kingdom.
The Everlasting Kingdom
“And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16)
The long awaited restored Israel with King Messiah reigning in Jerusalem is yearning for fulfillment. God’s special land is waiting for her marriage with King Messiah. When Jesus comes to establish His rightful throne in Jerusalem, the land will be cleansed, and the caldron of evil that has had such a grip in the region for millennia will be destroyed.
“Violence shall no longer be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” (Isaiah 60:18).
Israel will no longer be despised and forsaken, but will be the head of the nations.
“Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married” (Isaiah 62:4).
Dr. Dwight Pentecost gives a beautiful description of the holy reign of the Messiah.
“Jesus, the Messiah will reign over the nations of the earth from the throne of His holiness (Psalm 47:8, 9), according to the holy oath that sealed the Davidic covenant (Psalm 89:35, 36). The priests will teach the people the difference between the holy and profane (Ezekiel 44:23), and they shall appear before the Messiah in holy array (Psalm 110:3). In that day upon the bells of the horses will be inscribed ‘HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD,’ and all the pots in Jerusalem and Judah shall be just as holy as the sacred vessels in the Lord’s house (Zechariah 14:20, 21).”1
Those who say that Solomon’s kingdom fulfilled the requirements historically have completely missed God’s eternal plan! In the end, looking at David’s kingdom, there must be no end to Messiah Jesus’ reign over David’s kingdom from David’s throne.
The Davidic covenant is bedrock to understanding future events and is vitally important to study and understand. The Covenant is eternal, unconditional, and it will be fulfilled in the future when Jesus returns to planet earth and reigns on the throne of David in Jerusalem.
“My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.” Psalm 89:34-37
1. J Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, (Zondervan, 1969), p. 485