Based on Bible prophecy, one of the main ways for identifying the Messiah would be by his Davidic lineage. In other words, he would have to be King David’s descendant and rightful heir to David’s throne. Critics from both the Jewish and Gentile worlds who wish to dismiss Jesus as the one true Messiah enjoy coming up with any excuse they can to validate their rejection of Jesus.
Some have stated that the genealogies in Matthew and Luke are contradictions and therefore cannot be trusted. However, this has been debunked with the explanation that Matthew’s genealogy is Joseph’s while Luke covers Mary’s genealogy. Nevertheless, not to be outdone in their skeptical stance, critics will then point out that a rightful heir to David can only come from the father’s lineage, that Joseph’s being adopted into Mary’s lineage in Luke would not count, and that Joseph is also disqualified from being a rightful heir because both Jehoiakim and his son Jechonias in Joseph’s genealogy in Matthew had been cursed by God from having any heirs to David’s throne (see Jeremiah 22:28-30; 36:30-31).
But, as is usual of anti-Messiah critics, they have overlooked God’s fine print on such matters and really don’t know the Torah/Bible as well as they think they do. The very first prophecy God gives concerning the Messiah in Genesis (which pre-dates Mosaic law) is when he tells Adam, Eve, and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, “And I will put enmity between thee [the serpent] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel,” (Gen. 3:15). So right off the bat, God lets us know the Messiah will be validated as the seed of the woman, not any man. If a man were involved in the process of Messiah’s conception, then he would not be sinless. This prophecy annihilates all the arguments. But because God always gives at least two or three witnesses to confirm his word, many more caveats are provided to knock down the critics.
When Mosaic law was established, the daughters of Zelophehad went to Moses over concern they would lose any inheritance from their father since he only had daughters. So Jehovah told Moses to establish the law that fathers who only had daughters should have their inheritance passed down to the daughters (Numbers 27:1-8). And to further insure their inheritance stayed with their family, the daughters would have to marry someone from their own tribe (Numbers 36:6-13). This law would have applied to Mary’s father, Heli, who only had daughters.
As a matter of fact, the angel Gabriel told only Mary, not Joseph, that “the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever,” concerning her firstborn son (Luke 1:32-33). This was God’s way of telling Mary her line was the official, Jehovah-recognized heir to David’s throne.
But Jesus could also be recognized as David’s heir if one wanted to consider Joseph, who was of the house of David (Luke 1:27). The Jehoiakim/Jechonias curse pointed out by critics is easily dismissed by God himself. Jehovah never told either king that their line was banished from the throne forever. So that brings into play what God told Moses several times–“…I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,” (see Ex. 20:5; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9). Joseph was way past the third and fourth generation, so he would have also had a justifiable, valid claim to David’s throne. Jesus, as his adopted son, did as well.
No matter the angle from which you view Jesus’ ancestry, there’s no validity to denying his Davidic right to be called Messiah.
Harry A. Gaylord