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Prophecies of Christ: Descendant of David.

Prophecies of Christ: Descendant of David.

Read Genesis 49:10.2 Sam. 7:12-16.

“I will raise up your seed after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.”


Throughout the pages of the Old Testament, the promise of the coming seed, inaugurated with the promise in Genesis 3:15, is interwoven in the prophetic plan of God. With each subsequent revelation about the coming Messiah (i.e., “anointed one”), more clarity was given regarding who He was and what He would do. Having given the promise that He would be from the ranks of humanity, we find in the Abrahamic promise that He would come through the lineage of Abraham and be the source of blessing to the world. But which line of Abraham? The answer comes in Genesis 49:10. In the first part of verse 10, Jacob prophecies that of an eternal dynasty that will come from the line of Judah. As the descendants of Abraham develop from a Bedouin family to a people, to a nation, that nation will be led and ruled by the descendants of Judah. However, in the last part of verse 10, we discover an essential prophecy. Not only will the tribe of Judah be the tribe of kings, but it will culminate in the reign of one King.

The last part of verse 10 is a challenging verse for the translators. The term in question is the word “Shiloh.” In our English text, the word is a transliteration of the Hebrew. While there has been much discussion, the most likely understanding of the word is that it means “to whom it belongs.” In other words, the tribe of Judah will be the perpetual kings of Israel until the final King arise, who will be the object of obedience of all people.

The dynasty of Judah and the identity of the final King were further narrowed in 2 Samuel 7:12-16. In the promise God made to David (commonly referred to as the Davidic Covenant), God assures David that not only will his linage be the perpetual dynasty, but that it will be an eternal dynasty. In verse 12, God promises David, “I will raise up your descendants after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.” It is important to note that the word “descendants” in Hebrew is the word “seed” (which is used in Genesis 3:15) and is singular. The word had a collective meaning (i.e., all the kings that would follow) as well as a singular meaning (pointing to one individual). Thus, in keeping with the promise of a seed throughout the Old Testament, this pointed to the Messiah who would come to establish His eternal kingdom. Not only would He be the final King, but He would have a special relationship with God, for God will be a Father to Him so that He becomes a son of God (verse 14). He would be the one anticipated in the promise to Judah.

This added a new dimension to the promise of the Messiah in the Old Testament. Not only would He be the savior, but He would also be the King of Israel. With this understanding, the Jews anticipated the Messiah coming to establish himself as the King over Israel. However, as is often the case, the fulfillment exceeded the expectations. The Jews were looking for an earthly king who would reign over the nation of Israel and dismantle the foreign rule of the Romans. But Christ came as more than just a political king of Israel; He came to establish a physical and spiritual kingdom that would encompass the whole world and all humanity.

When we sing the Christmas carols that celebrate the birth of a King, we are confronted with the question, “Are we accepting His as our king.” Christ came to establish His sovereign rule over the world and His sovereign rule over our lives individually. To celebrate Christ as King is to surrender to him as my King. He is to rule my life. Have you submitted your life to the King?

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