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Multimedia Q & A Library Meditations Stories Holidays Moshiach101

Is the Messiah a Descendant of King Solomon?

Is the Messiah a Descendant of King Solomon?

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Dear Rabbi,

I read that the Messiah will not only be a descendant of King David, but also of his son Solomon. What is the source for this?

Answer:

Let’s start with King David.

Various verses throughout Scripture clearly state that the Messiah, known in Hebrew as the Moshiach, will be a descendant of the house of David:

And a shoot shall spring forth from the stem of Jesse [David’s father], and a twig shall sprout from his roots. (Isaiah 11:1)

Behold, days are coming, says the L‑rd, when I will set up of David a righteous shoot, and he shall reign as king and prosper, and he shall perform judgment and righteousness in the land. In his days, Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is his name that he shall be called, The L‑rd is our righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:5–6)

The reason that the Moshiach will be a descendant of King David is because, once David was anointed king by the prophet Samuel, he acquired the kingship for himself and his descendants forever. The verse thus states (II Samuel 7:16), “Your throne shall be established forever.” This acquisition was conditional, applying only to his righteous descendants, as the verse in Psalms states (132:12), “If your children will keep My covenant . . . their children shall also sit on your throne forever.”

Nevertheless, G‑d assured David that the monarchy would not be taken from his descendants forever:

If his children will forsake My Torah and cease walking in My statutes . . . I will punish their transgressions with the rod, and their sins with plagues. Nevertheless, I will not utterly remove My grace from him . . . His throne shall be . . . established forever. (Psalms 89:31–38)1

While this promise seems to be made about all of David’s offspring, we find that G‑d singles out King Solomon (I Chronicles 22:9–10):

Behold, a son will be born to you; he will be a man of peace, and I shall give him peace (shalom) from all his enemies around about, for Solomon (Shlomo) will be his name, and I shall give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house in My name, and he shall be to Me as a son, and I to him as a father, and I shall prepare the throne of his kingdom forever.

And later on, David states:

And of all my sons—for the L‑rd gave me many sons—He chose my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the L‑rd over Israel . . . (Ibid. 28:5)

When King David reaffirms that Solomon will reign after him, he is saluted with the expression, “Let my lord King David live forever” (I Kings 1:31),2 indicating that the eternal monarchy continues through Solomon.

In light of the above, the fact that Moshiach will be a descendant of both David and Solomon is part of the twelfth (of the thirteen) Jewish fundamental beliefs as outlined by Maimonides.3

However, it is interesting to note that while it is clear from all of the above sources that the Messiah will be a descendant of King Solomon, the Zohar seems to state that Moshiach will actually be a descendant of Nathan, a different son of David. Expounding on the verse (Isaiah 40:9), “Upon a lofty mountain ascend, you who brings good tidings to Zion,” the Zohar states:

“You who bring good tidings to Zion” is Hephzibah, the wife of Nathan son of David, who is the mother of Messiah, Menachem son of Amiel. She shall go out and bring the tidings . . .”4

The famed 20th-century Jewish scholar and kabbalist Rabbi Reuven Margolies explains that the Zohar is careful to describe the Moshiach as being a descendant of Nathan’s wife, rather than of Nathan himself. Nathan had passed away childless, and Solomon his brother married his widow, according to the laws of yibum, levirate marriage.5

In a levirate marriage, the firstborn son of the widow and the brother of the deceased is considered to be a continuation of the dead husband’s line. Therefore, Moshiach is referred to here as “offspring” of Nathan, even though he is a descendant of King Solomon.6

FOOTNOTES
1.

Maimonides, in his work on Jewish law, the Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings 1:7.

2.

See Likkutei Sichot (by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory), vol. 25, p. 113.

3.

Maimonides, preface to his commentary on the Mishnah, Sanhedrin, ch. 10.

4.

Zohar 3:173b.

5.

See Yibum and Chalitzah.

6.

Margaliot Hayam, Sanhedrin 95b, note 6. For further discussion on this, see Rabbi Avrohom Gerlitzky, Yemot HaMoshiach B’Halachah, chs. 10–11.

Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin responds to questions for Chabad.org's Ask the Rabbi service.
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Discussion (6)
May 13, 2012
ML/NJ, North Caldwell, NJ Question
You asked if we haven't lost track of who is and is not a Davidic heir. Yes and no.

Some families can trace their families back to King Solomon. The late Rebbe was one of those who could.

There are many possible heirs who do not realize they are in line -- but no doubt the Holy One will be able to make it clear when the time comes!
Sophiee
New York, New York
January 31, 2012
Moshiach son of David
When did the Zohar replace the Bible. There is no authority under the sun that replaces the Bible and no man has the authority to change
anything in the Bible. Anyone that tries to change the Bible is taking the place of G-D.
John C Shore
San Angelo, tx
January 31, 2012
Look to The BOOK of Ruth
there is a profound reason G_d put this lineage in Ruth.

there is a deep and utter beauty to this that has to the story itself, and the mitzvot, a story that is deeply and purely, about friendship and love.

and this I will say, there is a circling story that has everything to do with ascent and descent, and a story, so beautiful, contained by Ruth that G_d wrote that is going to propel us all into a new state of consciousness.

G_d, the Master Poet, wrote us all into a story that deeply turns on ruah itself. And UR as in UR, the R and the U, have deep connects to this Messianic story.

I KNOW this. I am not asking for any confirmation of what G_d is telling me.
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
January 31, 2012
Who is a descendant of King David?
It seems to me we've lost track of who might be a descendant of King David. Am I correct; and if I am, is this a problem?
ML/NJ
North Caldwell, NJ
January 31, 2012
Moschiach will be a combination
Moschiach will be a combination of different soul sparks of all the great leaders of the generations..fixing the errors of them all..they will be wise with knowledge of the future, technology to make peace on the Earth and in the Heavens and also will be a holy leader, like Aaron, but will sing like David. They will have an upbringing like Moshe and Joseph, for they had the passion to strive to save the world, like Soloman. The Moschiach will want to unite the world, bringing together all the children of G-d to acknowledge that everyone is created physically equal, but everyone has different jobs, and the job of the first born of the world, Israel, is to be teachers, leaders, and priests. A leader has to be able to go as low as possible to bring up people who are there, has to get down and dirty and make it a clean place. And has to be wise and learn when to say the right thing and act with the right force. Shalom to you all and may you be blessed with the light of the infinite!
Aharon Yehoshua Greenspan
Yerushalayim, Israel
January 29, 2012
footnote 6
where can one find Yemot HaMoshiach B’Halachah, chs. 10–11 by Rabbi Avrohom Gerlitzky?
chaim
sm, ca
 

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