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Who is the David in

Ezekiel 37:25 They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever.

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And whose & how & when will he be prince for ever ?

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  • Good question +1.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 17, 2019 at 14:53

5 Answers 5

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The portion of Ezekiel 37 is about a series of prophecies about the future restored kingdom of Israel as illustrated by the metaphor of the valley of dry bones. The nation and its royal kingship will be miraculously restored!

It is a historical fact that following Ezekiel's time, the throne of David and the royal line was never restored. In modern times, it is now untraceable. In fact, according to Matthew's genealogy, the last person to be a rightful heir to the throne of David was Jesus Himself.

This is hinted at in the previous two verses - Eze 27:23-25

They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. "'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever."

The fact that the future king who sits on David's throne would be prince forever suggests something other than a mortal appointment. The Pulpit commentary correctly observes for Eze 37:25

The phrase, my servant David (comp. Ezekiel 34:23, 24; Jeremiah 33:21, 22, 26; Psalm 78:70; Psalm 89:3, 20; Psalm 144:10), goes back to the Messianic promise of 2 Samuel 7:12-16, and cannot be satisfactorily explained as signifying the Davidic house (Smend), or as pointing to "a line of true rulers, each faithfully representing the ideal David as the faithful Ruler, the true Shepherd of his people" (Plumptre, on Ezekiel 34:23), inasmuch as Israel, after Ezekiel's day, never possessed any such line of rulers, and certainly no such line continued forever. The only feasible exegesis is that which understands Jehovah's servant David to be Messiah, or Jesus Christ, of whom the writer to the Hebrews (Hebrews 1:8) says. "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever."

The same theme is taken up again in v26 and confirmed that Messiah will sit on the metaphorical throne of David and establish his sanctuary among them forever. Thus, Eze 37 is an excellent and much loved Messianic prophecy, which we still look forward to seeing fulfilled. (It was only partially fulfilled when the Christian community, or the "kingdom of God" was established by Jesus in the first century.)

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  • Thanks Mac, my struggle comes from "exegesis". If you take the literal meaning it has to be "Daivd" itself? Or am I missing some aspect of exegesis which allows to take a meaning other than the literal meaning ? Mar 18, 2019 at 9:45
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    Exegesis does NOT require taking the literal meaning - it means taking the natural meaning. Solomon sat on the throne of David as di all subsequent kings of Judah. That is why David cannot be the actual kings because he is dead at the time of Ezekiel. Exegesis of Revelation must necessarily observe that (Rev 1:1, 2) it is "signified" - written symbolically. Not all Scripture is literal - much is metaphorical, eg, parables about the thistle and the tree, etc.
    – user25930
    Mar 18, 2019 at 11:04
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Ezekiel 37 is a vision concerning the resurrection and in-gathering of the scattered northern tribes of Israel in the last days, in the time of the messiah aka "the millennium". In the vision, "David" refers to Israel's anointed son of David, aka "the Messiah" ("messiah" translates the Hebrew for "anointed [one]" or "[the one] smeared with oil", referring to the rite by which kings and priests were consecrated. So, "David" refers to the promised son of David who would come and fulfill God's promises.

The chapter is predicting that the scattered and assimilated tribes of Israel, though as spiritually lifeless as a valley of dry bones would be resurrected spiritually and be drawn to Jerusalem for the grand finale of history: the arrival of the Messiah to take vengeance on his enemies and glorify the whole house of Israel in their own land.

First God promises the resurrection of the impossibly dead northern tribes:

NASB Ezekiel 37: 11Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ 12“Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13“Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14“I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.’”

This began under John, who prepared the path, Jesus was sent to gather the lost and the apostles gathered the rest. Paul rested upon his laurels after having reached the whole of his target demographic.

The reunion of North and South in Jerusalem is described in the next section:

15The word of the LORD came again to me saying, 16“And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write on it, ‘For Judah and for the sons of Israel, his companions’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17“Then join them for yourself one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. 18“When the sons of your people speak to you saying, ‘Will you not declare to us what you mean by these?’ 19say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20“The sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21“Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms. 23“They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God.

There may be a reference to this here:

[John 4:9-10, 19-26 ESV] (9) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) (10) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." ... (19) The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. (20) Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship." (21) Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. (22) You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. (23) But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (24) God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." (25) The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." (26) Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."

Finally, not only are the tribes finally reunited in their own land, they are reunited under a single king for the first time in many centuries. To do this he may have had to raise some physically from the dead!:

[Matt 27:51-53 YLT] (51) and lo, the vail of the sanctuary was rent in two from top unto bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent, (52) and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who have fallen asleep, arose, (53) and having come forth out of the tombs after his rising, they went into the holy city, and appeared to many.

So the "hireling" kings of Israel and Judah would be replaced with the son of David, the one Great Shepherd King of the Sheep and the Good Shepherd King of the Sheep in Ezek 34 and John 10.

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God promised that the line of David would continue right until the end times. (Christians believe that Jesus, a descendant of David, will take over the throne. During the Millennium, David will be resurrected as King of Israel, with Jesus's disciples as heads of the tribes of Israel.)

The Bible leaves little doubt that David's line was to continue through the present day:

Then this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “This is what the LORD says: If you can break my covenant with the day and the night so that one does not follow the other, only then will my covenant with my servant David be broken. Only then will he no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. ..." -- Jeremiah 33:19-21


Some secular (google "Jeremiah ark Ireland"), and some religious organizations believe that David's royal line wasn't extinguished. Instead, Jeremiah and Baruch took at least one of King Zedekiah's daughters (along with the Ark of the Covenant and Jacob's pillar (Lia Fáil, the Stone of Destiny)) to Egypt and thence to Ireland. The royal line and the coronation stone (Stone of Scone) were later moved to Scotland, and finally to England.

The current British royal family traces its ancestry back through this line. The Stone is used for coronations, and royal males are circumcised by a Jewish mohel.

This genealogy is obviously not totally accepted as fact by many modern historians, but the evidence is there, and it does make interesting reading. A free PDF is available: "The Throne of Britain: Its Biblical Origin and Future".

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  • I am sure that only a minority of Christians agree with your first sentence - I personally know of none; therefore, it is an over-generalisation that is not factually correct. There is no evidence for many of your other unbiblical statements here as well. Recall that this is a site about Biblical Hermeneutics.
    – user25930
    Jul 19, 2019 at 21:35
  • @Mac'sMusings, my first sentence is "God promised that the line of David would continue right until the end times." . The quoted verse from Jeremiah says that David "will have a descendant to reign on his throne" unless the concept of day following night is broken. Are you saying that only a minority of Christians agree with Jeremiah's claim? Jul 19, 2019 at 23:04
  • The sentence in brackets. Only some Christians believe that. The promise that David's line of kings would continue to end of time is not literally true but only fulfilled in the Messiah. The earthly line of kings no longer exists.
    – user25930
    Jul 20, 2019 at 0:19
  • @Mac'sMusings, are you saying only a minority of Christians believe "Christians believe that Jesus, a descendant of David, will take over the throne."? You yourself said "Messiah will sit on the metaphorical throne of David and establish his sanctuary among them forever. … which we still look forward to seeing fulfilled.". Jul 20, 2019 at 13:29
  • @Mac'sMusings saids "no evidence for many of your other unbiblical statements. I never claimed it to be true. I said "some … believe" and "_not totally accepted as fact". I was simply providing a line of thought for those that are interested to follow and research. Meanwhile, I've just added a few more links to current secular references. Jul 20, 2019 at 13:33
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To understand Ezekiel 37, we first need to understand that everything in the Bible emanates from Torah, or the writings of Moses, and thus even more specific future prophecies emanate from earlier words, promises, and prophesies. This passage can be interpreted with at least two natures, and certain things are left unclear and anyone's interpretations of them (unless they be inspired by God) are simply their opinion, trying to make sense of something which can be fulfilled in various directions. You see the same kind of relationship in Ezekiel 37 between Judah and Ephraim for example in Genesis 49:10, which says: "And the scepter shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh come." This seems straightforward, as the passage is usually interpreted to mean a Messianic ruler will emerge from Judah.

This then is used in conjunction to the prophecies given to David that his throne will exist forever. But in fact, the scripture has a dual meaning, as the word "Shiloh" means both "the one to whom it rightfully belongs" and it is also a literal place, which is a city in the territory of Ephraim. Therefore this can also mean "when the one to whom it rightfully belongs comes, the scepter will depart from Judah" and someone could interpret that as going into the hands of Ephraim. Nobody looks at things like this, as this can also mean something that is nearly it's opposite, which is "the scepter will never depart from Judah, because the Messiah will come and he will be from Judah" (the way it is normally interpreted). Notice the passage does not say either interpretation.

Back to Ezekiel 37. A king is mentioned named David. This king is not called "the son of David" as people read into it. The David here and "the son of David" being the same is assumed by people using Biblical interpretation principles, but note that it does not actually say that. This David is referred to as "my servant David" which appears in other places in scripture. A Christian might say "this is talking about Jesus" and maybe it is. However, note that in the New Testament, Jesus is never called "David" or "my Servant David" he is called "the son of David" (Matt 1:1 which refers to David being an ancestor of Jesus) and even "the offspring of David" (Revelation 22:16) which is a different meaning, as this comes from the Greek word "genos" which means Jesus is the "literal son" of David, which cannot mean the same thing as "son of David" in Matt 1:1.

So note the following:

  1. Jesus's apostles did not mention Jesus being "the servant David" anywhere in the New Testament (this would seem that it is important to mention at least one time if this were the same person)

  2. Ezekiel 37 does not say "son of David" but instead says "David" whereas in other places different terminology is used.

  3. Note the dualistic tribal manifestation in Genesis 49:10, then ask "what tribe is 'David' from Ezekiel 37 from?" You will then notice, that it does not say, only two tribes are mentioned, which is: Judah and Ephraim.

  4. We are getting to a point already, where this person is probably not Jesus from the points above. However, it could be.

Well, who could this David be? From what I mentioned already, it could be the following separate things:

a) It could be David from the Old Testament being resurrected to reign under a new united kingdom (another user mentioned this) as this chapter also mentions the resurrection of the dead.

b) This could be another future David character who emerges from Judah, from Ephraim, or either.

c) This could be the son of David, which it does not say - however, people generally assume this.

d) This could be all of these interpretations happening at different times. In other words, it could be a, b and c. There is nothing that says a prophecy cannot be fulfilled many times, and many of them are (such as pronouncements of the cursings and blessings in Leviticus 26 happening over and over again.)

I will suggest a radical interpretation, but one that makes sense to me as a possibility. This is that David is not Jesus, but his Father, who will incarnate (take on flesh) at a future time. I say this because of many things, mainly Revelation 22:16 working together with John 3:16. In Revelation 22:16, Jesus is the "root and offspring" of David. Offspring means, Jesus is David's literal son. The only David he could be referring to here is David from Ezekiel 37. The problem is, that John 3:16 says Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God (Elohim). My interpretation from this is that David = Elohim incarnating in the same manner that the Son incarnated. Thus, there are two Messiahs. The future David would be both a descendant of Ephraim and partially of Judah through the seed of Jesse, and would bring together the kingdoms and create world peace (Ezekiel 37:26). This is an interesting view, which is somewhat different than what people are looking.

In Judaism, they teach there are two Messiahs, but they deny Jesus being either of them. In the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "the Savior of the world." The Hebrew word for "Savior" is "Mosiah" and one of the two Messiahs in Judaism is the "Mosiah." Judaism teaches the Mosiah will be born through Ephraim, but the Bible does not say this, they are assuming this and then attribute scriptures in a pattern which sometimes makes no sense to either Judah or Ephraim.

It would be interesting if the Father incarnated through Ephraim and began building the kingdom, only to pass it to his son later when he returns in the clouds of heaven. I think that would be like an "ultimate fulfillment" of these scriptures as Jesus says that he does not do anything, but what he sees the Father do.

This is my own view from reading it, and makes sense with the passages. Thus you have the son of David and the offspring of David actually being the son of God, who incarnates as a person named David, who is Ezekiel 37. However, this passage can also be interpreted to mean the things which I mentioned above. Actually, all of those interpretations make somewhat sense. That is why you will not really know until the kingdom is restored to Israel, and the end times events play out.

I actually think that modern Christianity is taking things out of context in various passages, making a good leader who is a great unifier and builder of peace into an evil person, but the actual evil person will sneak onto the scene later and it will be someone that nobody will expect. Hope that helps.

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David has come but they didn't know him. He was Mohammad the prophet of Islam. If you read Daniel 2 & Daniel 7 you will find the right timing. In Daniel 2, the book says that the kingdom will be established after the 4 kingdoms and will crush them all. This exactly what happened when the prophet Mohammad has come. In Daniel 7, it describes him as the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9) and he is not the Messiah mentioned in Daniel 7:13-14. so, we here have 2 persons. while Mohammad has come and also Jesus the Messiah has come but Jesus will return again down from the clouds and heavens. In his 1st appearance Jesus was not a king. read Daniel 9:26. And in John 18:36 "My kingdom isn't of this world" but in his 2nd appearance in the end of times he will be given the dominion & kingdom Daniel 7:14

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