Okay, to flesh out my original point. PART 1:
A. All clear early early Christian sources attest to Jesus’ Davidic descent (Ex: Rom. 1:3). Hegesippus reports a Palestinian tradition in which Roman authorities interrogated Jesus’ brother’s grandsons for Davidic descent (Euseb. H.E. 3.20), Julius Africanus attests Jesus’ relatives claiming Davidic descent (Letter to Aristides), and probably more significantly, non-Christian Jewish polemicists never bothered to try to refute it. Assuming my argument that the Davidic line runs by blood through Mary, this would also suggest that Mary’s Davidic bloodline was well-known, particularly since later traditions suggested Jesus was a bastard, so the only bloodline they would go off would be Mary’s.
B. Luke 1:32, recounting Gabriel’s words to Mary, makes good sense if she was a descendant of David, since she is being informed that the son to be conceived within her as a virgin will inherit the throne of his father David.
C. The fact that the NT preserves two different genealogies lends support to the idea that one is Mary’s and one is Joseph’s. Why preserve two seemingly contradictory genealogies?
D. The Greek construction of Luke 3:23 certainly allows for the genealogy to be that of Mary, stating, in effect that Jesus was thought to be the Son of Joseph but was actually the (grand)son of Heli. This would be in harmony with some of the genealogical evidence from the Tanakh.
E. There is no strong evidence that the genealogy is NOT Mary’s so unless conclusive evidence is raised to the contrary, we can’t rule out the Davidic descent through Mary.
You might answer that tribal affiliation only goes through the father, not the mother. This is only partially true.First, in terms of inheritance, the OT teaches that if a man dies, leaving no sons but only daughters, the inheritance is passed on through the daughters and their husbands, provided that they marry within the tribe (see Num. 27:1-11; 36:1-12). The daughter’s inheritance is joined with the husband’s. While this doesn’t deal with genealogy, it does deal with the passing on of family inheritance through a daughter; certainly a related concept.
In the case of Jesus, Mary also married within the same tribal family, since Joseph was a Judahite and, more specifically, a descendant of David. Accodring to U. Holzmeister, this is how Luke’s genealogy could actually be understood as that of Mary, but in connection with Joseph. Mary was an heiress (had no brothers) whose father Eli, in line with a biblical tradition concerned with the maintainence of the family line in cases with no male heir (Ezra 2:61 = Neh. 7:63; Num 32:41 cf. 1 Chr. 2:21-22, 34-35; Num 27:3-8), on the marriage of his daughter to Joseph, adopted Joseph as his son. Matthew gives Jospeh’s ancestry by birth, Luke that by adoption.
1 Chronicles 2:34-36 states: “Sheshan had no sons - only daughters. He had an Egyptian servant named Jarha. Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to his servant Jarha, and she bore him Attai. Attai was the father of Nathan, Nathan the father of Zabad…”
Sheshan’s genealogy continues through his daughter’s children, all of whom bear Israelite names rather than Egyptian names despite Jarha’s Egyptian background. The genealogy continues through the daughter’s children.
Both of these examples: inheritance and pedigree, are helpful here, since Mary and Joseph’s pedigrees together provide Jesus with a legitimate line to the throne, without making him a mere descendant of David.
1 Chronicles 2:13-16: “Jesse was the father of Eliab his firstborn; the second son was Abinadab, and the third Shimea, the fourth Nethanel, the fifth Raddai, the sixth Ozem and the seventh David. Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. Zeruiah’s three sons were Abishai, Joab and Asahel.”
It is important to note that Zeruiah, and not the father, is cited in the genealogical record.
And by the way, Mary’s genealogical line runs back to David through Nathan, not Solomon. So using the “she’s Aaron’s daughter” line isn’t going to work.
The messiah was shown as coming with the clouds from heaven in Daniel 7:13-14, and as riding on a donkey in Zechariah 9:9. Both are written as prophecies that must be fulfilled. The virgin birth is the only way for both to be true at once. And if you’re a Davidic King, first off your son isn’t going to be your “Lord,” and second off, he’s not going to come on the clouds of heaven. Let’s not read your liberal bias into it because you want to be an Ebionite so badly. Psalm 110 Begins with the well-known words “YHWH said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right Hand…’” Rabbinic sources such as Midrash Tehillim 2:9; 18:29 follow the messianic interpretation, and this belief was so common it was taken for granted by New Testament times.
There are also Rabbinic traditions speaking of the Messiah’s preexistence, and his heavenly dialogues with God. The midrash to Isaiah 52:13 states that the Messiah, who will come forth out of David, will be higher than Abraham, lifted up from Moses, and loftier than the ministering angels (see Yalqut Shim’oni 2:571). Basically, the messiah has to be David’s son, and yet preexistent and greater than David. Your “intellectually safe” use of Lord doesn’t apply too well here.