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The death of Queen Elizabeth 11, the longest-reigning British monarch, marks the end of an era. Her son, King Charles III, is scheduled to be crowned on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
Many are not aware the British monarchy is connected to promises God made to Abraham and King David thousands of years ago. God promised an enduring dynasty would be part of the heritage of ancient Israel, culminating in the return of Jesus Christ, a descendant of Israel’s King David, as King of king and Lord of lords.
When the angel Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to the promised Messiah, he said: “…you will conceive…and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He …will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob [or Israel] forever…” (Luke 1:31-33; compare Isaiah 9:6-7).
These promises were a continuation of the promises made to Abraham and his descendants. God told Isaac’s son Jacob in Genesis 35:11, “Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body.” He then gave Jacob the new name Israel—his 12 sons being the fathers of the 12 tribes of Israel.
The birthright blessings of national greatness passed to Jacob’s son Joseph, and then to Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob prophesied Ephraim would become a great company of nations while Manasseh would become a great single nation (Genesis 48; 49:1, 22-26).
We are also told that while the birthright of national greatness would go to Joseph’s descendants, the line of kings would descend from another tribe, the descendants of Jacob’s son Judah: “The scepter [or rod of kingly rule] shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people” (Genesis 49:10). “Shiloh” is commonly understood to be a reference to the coming Messiah. So the ruling dynasty was to be of the tribe of Judah until the Messiah returns to reign on earth.
The first human king over ancient Israel was Saul, who was of the tribe of Benjamin, not of Judah. But after Saul rebelled against God’s directives God chose David, of the tribe of Judah, to reign. In 2 Samuel 7:11-16, God promises David He would have an enduring “house” or royal dynasty, with the final King of the line of David being Jesus Christ.
After the death of Solomon in the 900s B.C. the northern tribes of Israel rebelled against Solomon’s son Rehoboam (1 Kings 11-12), resulting in the nation being divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Eventually the Assyrian Empire conquered the northern ten tribes in the 700s B.C. because of their wickedness.
The southern kingdom of Judah continued under the rule of the Davidic dynasty in Jerusalem, until that nation was similarly crushed by Babylonian invasions in the 500s B.C. for similar reasons. But God had promised, “ …My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips…I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, and his throne…shall be established forever…” (Psalm 89:34-37).
In Jeremiah 33 we find the promises of an unbreakable dynasty reaffirmed: “For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man [a person] to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; (verse 17). If God was going to keep His promise, how would the dynastic line be continued?
Consider also the scepter promise in Genesis 49 of the kingship remaining with the tribe of Judah in the last days until the Messiah comes to assume rule. Clearly a Jewish monarchy must exist in the last days for the Messiah to take it over—and it must be one that has persisted with rulers of the royal house of David.
So what happened to the Davidic dynasty? And what does that have to do with the British monarchy?
Beyond Today Magazine (Jan-Feb 2023)