Jesus Christ is the True King of Israel

images“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1, ESV). Matthew shows that Jesus Christ is the son of David in four ways. First, Matthew identifies Christ as the son of David. As the son of David, he is not a fake king. Jesus Christ is the legitimate king of God’s people, Israel.

Second, in v. 6, Matthew traces Christ’s lineage through Solomon, and not through his brother Nathan, as Luke does. “And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah” (Matt. 1:6). Matthew wants to show that Christ comes from the line of David. Third, Matthew arranges Christ’s ancestors in three groups of fourteen. “So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations” (Matt. 1:17). The number fourteen is the number of the name, David. In the Hebrew, there are no vowels, only consonants. Thus, David is spelled DVD in Hebrew. The first letter D is the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. D is equivalent to the number, 4. V (or W in Hebrew) is the sixth letter—equivalent to the number, 6. The last letter D is equivalent to the number, 4. Add the three numbers, 4, 6, and 4, and you get the number, 14. Hence, the three groups of fourteen generations of Christ correspond to the letters, DVD, giving the number, fourteen. Matthew is emphasizing here that the genealogy of Christ identifies Christ as the son of David. Thus, we see that Christ is not only a son of David, but the son of David, the long-expected Messiah, the King of Israel.[1] Fourth, Joseph names the baby, Jesus, making him the son of Joseph, and therefore, the son of David. In v. 21, in his dream, the angel tells Joseph to call the baby, Jesus. In v. 25, when Joseph woke up, he calls his name, Jesus. In the time of Joseph, women commonly named their sons. But this time, it is Joseph who calls his son, Jesus. Matthew is showing here that by naming him, Jesus, Joseph acknowledges that Jesus truly is his son. Since Jesus is the son of Joseph, then Jesus is the son of David.

Do you trust Christ as the long-awaited King of Israel? Your faith is based, not on a self-proclaimed king, but on the prophesied king, the king of Israel. Your faith is based on the Christ, the true King of Israel.

[1] Douglas R. A. Hare, Matthew (Int.; Louisville: John Knox, 1993), 6.


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