Descendants of King David launch lawsuit to reclaim Temple Mount


In another manifestation of Biblical precepts interacting with modern life, a private foundation representing the descendants of King David recently launched a lawsuit presenting a legal claim to ownership of the Temple Mount.

While their claim is legally sound and verifiable, it faces significant political hurdles. One of the suit’s beneficiaries, who claims descent from the Davidic Dynasty, is ready for the legal battle but cautiously pragmatic.

This story has simple beginnings. In 2004, Dr. Boruch Fishman, then a recent immigrant to Israel from America, went to tour the tomb of Samuel the prophet north of Jerusalem, which led to a chance meeting with Israel Aurbach, the owner of a nearby farm. Inspired by the Biblical roots of the setting, they began to discuss the link between the House of David and the Temple Mount. They noted that King David purchased the site, originally for a simple altar.

“So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto Hashem, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. II Samuel 24:24-25”

The pair concluded that since the site was originally the property of King David, and no one else has legally purchased it in the interim, the Temple Mount should have been passed along as an inheritance to his male descendants.

As a result of the discussion, Dr. Fishman hit upon the idea of creating a legal entity to represent all the descendants of King David. Anyone who could prove male lineage from the house of David would have a legal claim to inherit the Temple as property. Dr. Fishman established a foundation to advance the claim of Temple Mount ownership by King David’s descendants, naming it Canfei Nesharim L’maan Hakahal (Wings of Eagles for the Assembly).

At present, the legal entity created by Dr. Fishman represents two claimants who have genealogical records documenting their lineage back to King David through male descendants.



Only an American could think of resolving a Biblical conflict by litigation :slight_smile:

It’s a stunt, of course.



This is just silliness on so many levels. Don’t people have better things to waste their time and money on?


Jews and Christians, thanks to Israel’s government, cannot legally pray in Temple Mount. Islam’s only claim to Temple Mount is the Al-Aqsa mosque, where Muhammad flew into Heaven on his horse (Buraq).

Although on the grounds of being “David’s descendant” might be odd, this is still bringing attention to the issue.


I doubt that any living person could actually prove in court that they are a descendant of King David.


I’m curious to see if anything comes of it. I’ve also been curious for while about how far (or little) can be learned from continued DNA testing about claims to Davidic and Aharonic descent.


Don’t be so sure about that. They found acceptable descendants of the Temple priests for when it is rebuilt, after all.



Tell me of even a single supposed direct descendant of Aaron who can present his unbroken and verifiable genealogy back to Aaron.


Yes, I don’t see how that could be proven in court, although there are long-standing written and oral records of Davidic descent that were carefully kept.


Here’s a Wikipedia article about “Descent from Antiquity”:

Descent from antiquity (DFA) is the project of establishing a well-researched, generation-by-generation descent of living persons from people living in antiquity…No DFA is accepted as established at this time.

The Emperors of Japan can be traced with a great degree of certainty back to about 500 AD.


Well, there is written, oral, and some DNA evidence. Jews considered it important enough to keep track of even during the diaspora. I just question if the traditions + DNA would be enough to hold up in court.


That’s interesting. Thanks.

I’ve heard NPR programs about DNA projects regarding descendants of (IIRC) Niall, a High King of Ireland, and even Attila the Hun (again, IIRC).


I think there is already plenty of attention on this issue.


I agree. Even if they could, this is not a serious legal claim. Why these descendants of David, and not any of the other millions and millions of descendants (many of whom are probably Muslims)? And if it could possibly be successful, will a Canaanite then sue to take it back ?


I’m too sleepy to reread the article, but from that article and its links, I think the claim would be on behalf of all male to male descendants of King David.

Hmm…I don’t see why it would be likely that there would be many male to male Muslim descendants of David.

David bought the threshing floor (the Temple Mount) legally, according to the Bible, and no-one bought it from his descendants since then. That’s not too great in a modern court, but that’s the idea behind this.


Yea. Especially because we can’t even prove David existed!

I think I can prove that I’m related to Bathsheba. Wouldn’t that entitle me to something?



Jews and Palestinians have a 90% paternal chromosome match so there would likely be a lot of Palestinian descendants too


Anyone who lived that long ago and had children would likely by now have millions of descendants. Of course many of them would be Muslim, many Jewish, many Christian, many atheist. Why would they not?


I’m not sure one can count on there being millions of descendants of anyone. It’s remarkable how many families, including large families, die out completely. The human race is large and has a way of getting larger. But it’s a delicate sort of balance even so. When one thinks about it, if we had 50 years of no births at all, the human race would disappear entirely.


True. But it is also true that generally speaking, a person that lived 3,000 years ago and had twenty or more offspring is more likely than not to have lots of descendants; particularly as just one of his sons supposedly had 1,000 wives and likely also had many children.

As far as these particular individuals claims - lots of people claim descent from David. The Georgian royal family claims descent from David, as do other royal families in Europe. So do some Ethiopeans, I believe. I am sure there are many others, probably all over the world.

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