Was Jesus' lineage from David famous or obscure?


A question came to my mind, and I was hoping someone knows the answer. I have never heard this asked or discussed.

Jesus is the messiah, and a descendent of the line of David. Since David was highly revered in Jewish culture, wouldn’t any of his descendents be considered “royal” or at least somewhat famous in Jewish circles? If that is the case, why did the Holy Family seem to live, at least originally, in obscurity (as evidenced by their difficulty getting room at the inn for Jesus’ birth, and comments like “isn’t he the son of the carptenter?”, etc)?




I don’t know if this will help you or not, but it’s the only article that rang a bell when reading your question:

By James Akin


The line was thought to have been wiped out.Matthew’s geneaology revealed the last 10 or so which were previously unknown.

I’m not sure, but I think Zerububbel was one of the last know descendants of David.


Eusebius wrote about the descendants of David. He claims the emperor Domitian wanted to see them. Here is the quote:

Domitian commands the Descendants of David to be slain

But when this same Domitian had commanded that the descendants of David should be slain, an ancient tradition says that some of the heretics brought accusation against the descendants of Jude (said to have been a brother of the Saviour according to the flesh), on the ground that they were of the lineage of David and were related to Christ himself. Hegesippus relates these facts in the following words.

The Relatives of our Saviour

“Of the family of the Lord there were still living the grandchildren of Jude, who is said to have been the Lord's brother according to the flesh. Information was given that they belonged to the family of David, and they were brought to the Emperor Domitian by the Evocatus. For Domitian feared the coming of Christ as Herod also had feared it. And he asked them if they were descendants of David, and they confessed that they were. Then he asked them how much property they had, or how much money they owned. And both of them answered that they had only nine thousand denarii, half of which belonged to each of them; and this property did not consist of silver, but of a piece of land which contained only thirty-nine acres, and from which they raised their taxes and supported themselves by their own labor.”

Then they showed their hands, exhibiting the hardness of their bodies and the callousness produced upon their hands by continuous toil as evidence of their own labor. And when they were asked concerning Christ and his kingdom, of what sort it was and where and when it was to appear, they, answered that it was not a temporal nor an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly and angelic one, which would appear at the end of the world, when he should come in glory to judge the quick and the dead, and to give unto every one according to his works. Upon hearing this, Domitian did not pass judgment against them, but, despising them as of no account, he let them go, and by a decree put a stop to the persecution of the Church. But when they were released they ruled the churches because they were witnesses and were also relatives of the Lord. And peace being established, they lived until the time of Trajan. These things are related by Hegesippus.

This is one the most curious bits of ancient history ever. It has always puzzled me. At any rate, according to this information from Eusebius, there were some descendants of David still living until the time of Domitian. Any one out there have any further information?


“Son of David” was a very well know title for Jesus among the Jewish people of his day. Matthew was written to Jewish people so, we would expect it to be used their since it meant one in the lineage of the messiah.

Matthew 1:1
The Genealogy of Jesus ] A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Matthew 1:20
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 9:27
Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute ] As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

Matthew 12:23
All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

Matthew 15:22
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”

Matthew 20:30
Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

Matthew 20:31
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

Matthew 21:9
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!”

Matthew 21:15
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

Matthew 22:42
"What do you think about the Christ ? Whose son is he?" “The son of David,” they replied.

Mark 10:47
When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Mark 10:48
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Mark 12:35
Whose Son Is the Christ ] While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, "How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David?

Luke 3:32
the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,

Luke 18:38
He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Luke 18:39
Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Luke 20:41
Whose Son Is the Christ? ] Then Jesus said to them, "How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David?

Those who asked is this not the carpenters’ son were unbelievers, in fact due to their lack of faith, Jesus was unable to do many miracles in their area.


Thanks for the replies. I wonder if any modern Jewish people acknowledge this lineage?


Since Jesus was already at least 28 generations removed from David, by that time, he would already have had so many descendants.

Nevertheless, Jesus’ Davidic descent was well-known. Even a beggar from Jericho knew the fact.


No, this is not true. Zerubbabel was the last known descendant of David. That’s why Matthew genealogy is so important, for it reveals that there was the prophesied “shoot from the stump of Jesse” With the death of Zerubbabel, many thought that the line of David was cut off, but with Abiud, the Jews realize that the prophecy of a restoration of the Davidic Kingdom was still alive!!!


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