Evangelist Perkins and Dr. McCall at the 5th Annual Pre-Trib Research Study Group Meeting

Son of David

by: Dr. Tom McCall

The humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ is specified often in the New Testament with regard to His being the son of David. The New Testament opens with the introduction of Jesus as the son of David, the son of Abraham (Mt. 1:1). His relationship to King David not only links Him to the human race, but also to the divinely ordained Davidic monarchy and the eternal and unconditional Davidic Covenant (II Sam. 7:4-17). In that covenant, God promised that David's royal dynasty would last forever, and that David's son would be God's Son. This covenant has its perfect fulfillment in Christ.

Matthew and Luke, the two Gospels that deal with the details of the birth of Jesus, emphasize His genealogical descent from King David. A problem is that, while both Matthew and Luke indicate the genealogy of Joseph, the names are different in the two lines from David to Joseph. This has led critics to assume that there are errors in the lists. However, the two lists can be reconciled by concluding that Matthew gave Joseph's genealogy, while Luke gives that of Mary (see the New Scofield Reference Edition for an explanation of the substitution of Joseph's name in Luke 3:23). Assuming, then, that Luke has Mary's genealogy, she was then a descendant of King David through his son, Nathan. Joseph, on the other hand, descended from David through Solomon.

Inasmuch as Mary was the natural mother of Jesus, the fact that she was a descendant of David caused Jesus to be of the physical seed of David. In light of the virgin birth, though, what is the significance of Joseph's genealogy? As he was not the physical father of Christ, what difference does it make that he was also a descendant of David? This serves two purposes: one, the fact that Joseph was a descendant of David made it necessary for them to go from Nazareth to Bethlehem when Caesar's tax was taken; secondly, Joseph was thereby able to confer on Jesus, by adoption, the legal right to the throne of David.

Actually, if Israel had been an independent monarchy at the time, Joseph could have laid claim to being the king, since he was of the royal seed of the reigning kings of Jerusalem! But, instead, Israel was not independent, but was under the rule of Rome. Also, the Lord Himself had pronounced a curse upon the Davidic dynasty, telling the last sitting king of the royal seed, Jeconiah, that none of his descendants would reign upon the Jerusalem throne (Jer. 22:28). Thus, by adoption, Joseph was able to convey the legal right to the throne upon Jesus, without passing on the curse of Jeconiah, while Mary conveyed physical descendance from David.

The New Testament attaches considerable importance to the fact that Jesus Christ is the son of David, and the Old Testament makes it clear that the Messiah would be the ancient king's descendant. It is through the Davidic royal dynasty that Jesus relates to the human race. The references to His descendence from King David are numerous:

"Thy seed. . . shall be My Son" - II Sam. 7:12,14

a "rod out of the stem of Jesse" - Isa. 11:1

"Jesus Christ, the son of David, son of Abraham" - Matt. 1:1

The genealogies of Joseph (Matthew) and Mary (Luke) from David

"fruit of his [David's] loins...sit on his throne"-Acts 2:30

"was made of the seed of David according to the flesh"-Rom.1:3

"I will give you the sure mercies of David" - Acts 13:34

"The root of David hath prevailed" - Rev. 5:5

"I am the root and the offspring of David" - Rev. 22.16

Thus, the New Testament begins and ends with an emphasis on Jesus' relationship to the human race as the son of David. The Personality of David, the Promises to David, and the Prophecies of David are central to this theme.

Personality of David. God, who is reticent about giving compliments to humans, lavishes on David the description that he is a "man after my own heart" (I Sam. 13:14). Paul picks up on this theme in his message to the Pisidian Antioch synagogue (Acts 13:22), and shows how God "raised up" both David and Jesus in their respective times. Christ also identified Himself with His honored ancestor when He defended His eating wheat from the fields on the Sabbath along with His disciples (Luke 6:1-5) In similar circumstances, David, the anointed of the Lord, was rejected and persecuted by King Saul and his army. David and his fellow fugitives stopped by Shiloh and ate the "shewbread" reserved for the priests. The argument was that if God's anointed, David, could apparently violate the Law of Moses in a state of stress and rejection, surely God's anointed Son could do the same. Obviously, the Lord felt a great affinity with David.

Promises to David. In the Davidic Covenant, God made several important promises to King David (II Sam. 7:4-17) but the pertinent ones to our subject are that David would have a dynasty that would last forever, and that David's son would be God's Son. These are promises made to no other monarch in history, and, of course are fulfilled in the eternal reign of David's great son, Christ Jesus.

When Christ returns to the earth and establishes His millennial reign, He will rule Israel and the world on the "throne of His father David."

Prophecies of David. The Psalms were the great vehicle of expression by David, as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. They not only conveyed the worship of the Almighty, but also prophecies about the Messiah. Jesus used one Davidic prophecy in the Psalms to prove His own deity, when He referred to Ps. 110:1, "The LORD said unto my Lord." He argued, if the Messiah is only David's son, why does David call Him his Lord?

Both Apostles Peter and Paul used Ps. 16:10 to prove that the Messiah had to rise from the dead. King David had died long before, and his body had corrupted in the tomb, but David was speaking of the resurrection of his great Messianic son when he prophesied that "Thou wilt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." If the Messiah's dead body was not to see corruption, then He would have to rise from the dead within three days, which, of course, is exactly what happened in the case of the risen Christ.

In light of all of the above, then, Jesus' title as the son of David must be understood as a central theme of the Scriptures.



Th.D. Degree, Dallas Theological Seminary / 1965
Th.M. Degree, Talbot Theological Seminary, Los Angeles / 1962
B. A. Degree, The University of Texas at Austin / 1957
Diploma, Highland Park High School, Dallas / 1953
Real Estate Appraisal Professional Education



Elected President of:
Student Body, Talbot Theological Seminary
Alumni Association, Dallas Theological Seminary
Dallas Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution


Taught College level courses in Biblical Studies, Prophecy and Archaeology in Dallas Baptist University and Dallas Bible College; served as guest lecturer at Dallas Theological Seminary and Biola College; taught adult classes at First Baptist Church of Dallas, Northwest Bible Church (Dallas), Prestonwood Baptist Church (Dallas), and Grace Community Church (Tyler).

Authored or co-authored eight books published by various publishers, including Moody Press, Bantam Books, Harvest House and Levitt Ministries: SATAN IN THE SANCTUARY, THE COMING RUSSIAN INVASION OF ISRAEL, RAPTURED, THE BIBLE JESUS READ IS EXCITING, ONCE THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT, CHRIST IN THE FEASTS AND THE FUTURE, MESSIAH, and COMING: THE END.
Also authored numerous articles in theological journals and magazines, and scripts for documentary films and television programs.

Southwest Regional Director of the American Board of Missions to the Jews (Chosen People Ministries), with a ministry in Jewish missions in California and Texas spanning over twenty-five years.

Organized, conducted and lectured for several tours to Israel, the Middle East and Europe, with as many as 120 people each in the various tour groups.

Founded and organized the Living Programs Foundation, a non-profit educational, lecturing and writing ministry.

Served as Director of Development at Dallas Bible College, successfully conducting a campaign raising over $600,000 for an expansion program.

Organized and spoke in conferences in churches and conference centers throughout the United States and Canada, and spoke in over 500 churches during the course of over thirty-five years of ministry.

Appeared on various television and radio programs, including the Zola Levitt series, and participated in the production of several series of television programs on location at Biblical sites in Israel.


Designated SRA (Senior Residential Appraiser) by the Appraisal Institute, and State Certified Residential Appraiser. Prepares residential appraisals throughout East Texas.
Appeared in State and Federal Courts as an expert Appraiser witness in civil and bankruptcy cases.

Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Texas since 1974. Served as broker in negotiating contracts for residences and apartment complexes.

Directed and managed an investment program of over One Million Dollars in residential property during a period of three years.

Appointed as a bonded Receiver by a Harris County (Houston) Court to manage and dispose of over one hundred and fifty acres of Real Estate in Harris County.


Married Carolyn Wilson in 1958. She is listed in WHO'S WHO OF AMERICAN WOMEN. They have a son, Kevin and a daughter, Carol, and two grandchildren, Laura and John.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.
Please send your Email to: Dr. Tom McCall

Return to Colleagues in Prophecy Index Page