Throughout the New Testament 17 verses called Jesus “the son of David“. In fact, the very first verse of the New Testament says this: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David,…” (Matthew 1:1 ESV)

This title, closely connected with that of ‘Christ,’ and associated in the minds of the people with inadequate conceptions of Messianic prophecy, were little favored by our Lord. However, they had their own significance for the Evangelists in respect of their bearing upon the fulfilment of prophecy. [2]

We can trace two lines of interpretation regarding the Son of David in the Old Testament, one that draws attention to a direct successor during the united monarchy ( 2 Samuel 7:12-16 ), and the other that applies the earlier promises to the coming of a future individual ( Isaiah 9:6-7 ). Both are crucial to understanding the title for Jesus in the New Testament.

Mention of the Son of David begins in the Old Testament with the oracle the prophet Nathan delivers to David ( 2 Samuel 7:12-16 ). God promises David offspring to succeed him. God “will be his father, ” and David’s house and kingdom will be established forever. Numerous psalms highlight the same excitement over the continuation of the Davidic line (Psalm 89:3-4; 110; 132). Even after the collapse of the united monarchy, the line of David remained significant for describing a future leader for the covenant people. Isaiah, for example, looks to the future for a child to be born who will reign on David’s throne (Isaiah 9:6-7; cf. 55:3-4;  Jeremiah 23:5;  Ezekiel 34:23 ).[3]

St. Matthew in the beginning of his Gospel calls Jesus ‘son of David,’ and prefaces his narrative with a genealogical table in which he notes Christ’s place in history as a descendant of the royal house of David (Matthew 1:1), while in chapter 2 he calls attention to the general expectation prevalent among the nations that the Messiah should appear as a Prince of the house of Judah (Matthew 2:2). St. Luke also traces the genealogy of Jesus, and calls attention to His descent from David, in connection with which he explains how it happened that He was born in Bethlehem, though the home of Mary and Joseph was in Nazareth in Galilee (Luke 2:1Luke 3:23-38). The Evangelist further emphasizes the point of our Lord’s Davidic descent by recording the words of Gabriel at the Annunciation: ‘The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David’ (Luke 1:32).

The aim of these Evangelists in noting these points is to show that in Jesus of Nazareth, Old Testament prophecy, in particular, the promise that the Christ should come of the house of David, find their fulfilment.

The connection between the Old Covenant and the New having been thus established, and Jesus proved to be the subject of Old Testament prophecies of the coming Deliverer, the title ‘Son of David’ ceases to be used or referred to until the Gospel narrative reaches the closing scenes of the life of Christ.

Then we learn that Jesus was addressed as ‘Son of David’ by the two blind men (Matthew 9:27), by the Syrophoenician woman (Matthew 15:22), by the blind men at Jericho (Matthew 20:30; Mark 10:47-48Luke 18:38-39); and that He was saluted as such by the multitude at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:9Mark 11:10).

That the popular belief made the Davidic descent of the Messiah an essential element, is illustrated by the exclamation of the multitude on the occasion on which He healed one ‘possessed with a devil, blind and dumb,’ ‘Is not this the son of David?’ (Matthew 12:23); by the objection raised at another time by those who maintained that Christ should come not from Galilee, but ‘of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was’ (John 7:42); and by the answer of the Pharisees to our Lord’s question, ‘What think ye of Christ?’ (Matthew 22:42, cf. Mark 12:35Luke 20:41).


2. Hastings’ Dictionary of the New Testament

3. Name And Titles Of Jesus Christ from Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology