Was Mary of the House of David?


The Bible seems only to mention that Joseph was a descendant of David. Was Mary, too? Otherwise, I am not sure how Jesus can be truly counted as belonging to the Davidic line, since Joseph was only his foster father.


Have you noticed that the geneology in Matthew and Luke are different? That’s because one of them belongs to Joseph, and the other to Mary. Notice how Luke 3:23 reads (“When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli,”). Compare this to Matt 1:16 (“Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.”). Luke gives us Joseph’s lineage (it doesn’t mention Mary at all, and makes it clear that it “was supposed” that Joseph was the father of Jesus), while Matt gives us the lineage of Mary (Joseph is mentioned as her husband and she is mentioned by name as the mother of Jesus).

Someone might ask, if Matt gives us Mary’s lineage, why does it list Joseph? Keep in mind the way marriage was viewed (especially by God - “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” Matt 19:5 and others). I remember seeing mail for my mother addressed to Mrs. Leo … It seems clear that the practice of adding the husband’s name to the wife’s lineage was an acceptable practice.

There was also an early church writer named Victorinus around the 3rd of 4th century who wrote a commentary on Revelation. He mentioned that Matthew contained Mary’s geneology (this was in connection with the 4 living creatures).

Hope this helps!


So then in Matthew,

Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of… Mary?


That’s correct. Jacob was the father of Mary, who was married to Joseph.


The “one lineage is Mary’s” is an (IMHO, lame) attempt to harmonize the two different genalogies in Matthew and Luke, but I find that it does not stand up to reasoning or critical analysis. There is no evidence in the texts themselves that even imply that one is Mary’s genealogy.

Both the Matthean and Lukan genalogies are those of Joseph.


No. Heli was Mary’s dad.


According to Tradition, was not Mary’s father Joachim? Jacob and Joachim do not seem to be etymology similar, either.


There is divided opinion on this.

The Challoner commentary says:

Who was of Heli: St. Joseph, who by nature was the son of Jacob, (St. Matt. 1. 16,) in the account of the law, was son of Heli. For Heli and Jacob were brothers, by the same mother; and Heli, who was the elder, dying without issue, Jacob, as the law directed, married his widow: in consequence of such marriage, his son Joseph was reputed in the law the son of Heli.

The Haydock commentary says:

As among the Hebrews, the women entered not into the genealogy, when a house finished by a daughter, instead of naming the daughter in the genealogy, they named the son-in-law, who had for father-in-law the father of his wife. The two sons-in-law mentioned in St. Luke are Joseph, the son-in-law of Heli, and Salathiel, the son-in-law of Neri. This remarks clears up the difficulty. Joseph, the son of Jacob, in St. Matthew, was the son-in-law of Heli, in St. Luke; and Salathiel, the son of Jechonias, in St. Matthew, was the son-in-law of Neri, in St. Luke. Mary was the daughter of Heli, Eliacim, or Joacim, or Joachim. Joseph, the son of Jacob, and Mary, the daughter of Heli, had a common origin; both descending from Zorobabel, Joseph by Abiud the eldest, and Mary by Resa, the younger brother. Joseph descended from the royal branch of David, of which Solomon was the chief; and Mary from the other branch, of which Nathan was the chief. by Salathiel, the father of Zorobabel, and son of Jechonias, Joseph and Mary descended from Solomon, the son and heir of David. And by the wife of Salathiel, the mother of Zorobabel, and daughter of Neri, of which Neri Salathiel was the son-in-law, Joseph and Mary descended from Nathan, the other son of David, so that Joseph and Mary re-united in themselves all the blood of David. St. Matthew carries up the genealogy of Jesus to Abraham; this was the promise of the Messias, made to the Jews; St. Luke carries it up to Adam, the promise of the Messias, made to all men.

I find this table based on the private revelations of Bl. Catherine Emmerich helps to clear things up. Note: they are private revelations. Although they are sanctioned by the Church, they add nothing to the Deposit of Faith, or to Doctrine.

I personally believe that S. Luke records Our Lady’s line because, as the Haydock commentary states, he mentions Eli [or Heli]. Heli is the shortened form of Eliachim, or Joachim, and Joachim is the name of Our Lady’s father, S. Joachim. Thus, I find this opinion more favourable. But there is nothing dogmatic about it.

However, Jesus was descended directly from David via both S. Joseph (by law) and Our Lady (by flesh). Our Lady was also descended, via Her mother S. Anna, from the Levite priests, thus making Christ both Priest (Levi) and King (Judah). Seems to fit, in my opinion.

Hope this helps. God bless.


dchernik. The Blessed Virgin Mary was almost certainly of the “House of David” (the Tribe of Judah).

Recall the prophecy in Genesis 3 concerning Jesus.

GENESIS 3:15a 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed

In Genesis 3, the Son comes from the mother’s . . . “sperma” (seed) in the Greek Septuigint.


Sperma. That’s an odd word to use while focusing on a Woman.

It’s odd unless you see this as having some relation to the miracle of the Incarnation – especially now knowing what we do and then being able to look back at Genesis 3.

St. Paul also gives us insight.

GALATIANS 4:4 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

GALATIANS 4:4 (RSV) 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born (the Greek word here is “genomenon” which has a suggestion of **generation **or generating) of woman, born under the law,

I think this is WHY the King James Version translation of the Bible translates Galatians 4:4 this way . . .

GALATIANS 4:4 (KJV) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

**NICENE CREED **. . . . Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And he was made flesh by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. . . .

OK. So we see Jesus has taken His Human nature from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Kind of a flipping of God making Eve from the actual flesh of Adam (from the rib of Adam - See Genesis 2:18 and following).

St. Paul even refers to Jesus as the new “Adam” in Romans 5. Therefore the Blessed Virgin Mary is the New Eve.

Remember from basic catechism. One God, 3 Divine persons. Jesus is ONE person with TWO natures, a Divine nature (all Eternity) and a Human nature (taken from Mary).

So Jesus takes His HUMAN nature from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Jesus is Truly God and Truly Man.

Now look at St. Paul in Romans what he is saying concerning Jesus.

ROMANS 1:3b-4a descended from David according to the flesh 4 and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit . . .

Now consider what St. Paul DOESN’T say in Romans 1 . . .

NOT ROMANS 1:3b-4a descended from David **according to the law **4 and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit . . .

Back to what St. Paul DOES say . . .

ROMANS 1:3b-4a descended from David according to the flesh (truly Man) 4 and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit (truly God) . . .

Is it any wonder that the Council of Ephesus said in the 400’s A.D. . . . . .

COUNCIL OF EPHESUS (431 A.D.) . . . So he who existed and was begotten of the Father before all ages is also said to have been begotten according to the flesh of a woman, without the divine nature either beginning to exist in the holy virgin, or needing of itself a second begetting after that from his Father. (For it is absurd and stupid to speak of the one who existed before every age and is coeternal with the Father, needing a second beginning so as to exist.) The Word is said to have been begotten according to the flesh, because for us and for our salvation he united what was human to himself hypostatically and came forth from a woman. For he was not first begotten of the holy virgin, a man like us, and then the Word descended upon him; but from the very womb of his mother he was so united and then underwent begetting according to the flesh, making his own the begetting of his own flesh. —From Second letter of Cyril to Nestorius (Declared by the council of Ephesus to be in agreement with Nicaea; 431 A.D.)

Now let’s go to St. Thomas Aquinas . . . .

Some of the ancient Manichean heretics tried to deny Jesus as being of the House of David. This would harpoon some Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus.

The Church replied to the Manichean heretics with both Christological arguments AND Marian arguments to add to their support of Jesus.

(As Tim Staples often says, “All Marian doctrines have Christological implications” - Which is one reason WHY Christians are to know Mariology too).

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS Faustus the Manichean argued thus, in the desire to prove that Christ is not the Son of David, because He was not conceived of Joseph, in whom Matthew’s genealogy terminates. Augustine answered this argument thus (Contra Faust. xxii): “Since the same evangelist affirms that Joseph was Mary’s husband and that Christ’s mother was a virgin, and that Christ was of the seed of Abraham, . . . . although not mingled in the flesh; and that the genealogy is traced down to Joseph rather than to her by reason of the dignity of the husband? So therefore we believe that Mary was also of the family of David: because we believe the Scriptures, which assert both that Christ was of the seed of David according to the flesh, and that Mary was His Mother, not by sexual intercourse but retaining her virginity." For as Jerome says on Matthew 1:18: "Joseph and Mary were of the same tribe: wherefore he was bound by law to marry her as she was his kinswoman. Hence it was that they were enrolled together at Bethlehem, as being descended from the same stock.” St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica. Third Part Q. 31. Article 2.


Mary is a Jew (of the Tribe of Judah) and Jesus is according to the FLESH, a Jew (Judahite, or of the House of David) too.

God bless.



If Mary was NOT of the Tribe of Judah, we would expect Romans 1:3 to say something like . . . .

Jesus descended from David according to the law.


Jesus descended from David according to the law (but not according to the flesh).


Jesus descended from David according to the law because Joseph was from David (Tribe of Judah) according to the flesh, but not Mary who was of the tribe of . . . (whatever Tribe).

But Romans 1:3 DOES say . . . .

(Jesus is) descended from David according to the flesh.

Since Jesus’ “flesh” came from Mary, and Jesus was of the Tribe of Judah by FLESH, Mary MUST have been a Jew (from the Tribe of Judah. Of David who himself was of the Tribe of Judah).

(Jesus is) descended from David according to the flesh because He got His flesh from Mary who was from the same Tribe as David (Judah).


I thought Joseph was.


For the sake of argument let’s say Jesus was not of the Davidic line according to the flesh,

he still had inheritance rights, in this case the throne of David:

Luk 1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David.

How could He have inheritance rights if he was only adopted by Joseph?

Because “…Joseph, being Mary’s husband was the legal father of Jesus. The legal father is on par with the real father as regards rights and duties.” *–The Navarre Bible, St Matthew. Commentary on Mt 1:16.

Regarding Mary belonging to the the house of David according to the flesh it can
be deduced from **Luke 2:1-5:

EACH person was required to go to his OWN city for the enrollment by Caesar Augustus:

2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.

2:3 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.

2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee…to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because ***he was of the house and lineage of David. ***

**2:5 ** to be enrolled with Mary.

Again: EACH person was required to go to his OWN city and this they both did.

God bless!




That’s a good post slMike.


I am going to use that information for our local Catholic Men’s Bible study group.

Thank you.


Thank YOU! :slight_smile:

:yup: Bookmark!


FWIW. . . found an article reconciling the names ; on how Our Blessed Mother’s father’s name is Joachim - a variation of* Heli *or *Eliachim *- but not Jacob.

Nobility.org ; The Virgin Mary was of the House of David


Thanks for posting that NeedImprovement.

Yet another way to see our Mother by grace, the Blessed Virgin Mary, is of the Tribe of David (a Judahite or a Jew).


Nothing definitive here except more support for what has already been stated . . .

From Revelation 22:16.

“I Jesus . . . am the . . . the offspring of David"


Eusebius, in his “The History of the Church”; cites Africanus for an explanation. Heli and Jacob had the same mother. Heli died without children, Jacob “raised up” offspring to him, thus Joseph. Joseph then was the natural son of Jacob, and the legal (Jewish Law) son of Heli.

Further, he explains that Mary, was of the same tribe as Joseph. Jewish law forbade marriage outside of their tribe, and required marriage in the same town and clan.:thumbsup:


The Greek Orthodox church believes that Mary was the daughter of a priest [actually from one of the High Priestly families]. This is probably correct since Mary is related to many priests [John the Baptist being the most notable].


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