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Featured Davidic Covenant - conditional or unconditional?

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by siti, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    About 3000 years or so ago, according to tradition, God made a promise to King David that is recorded in 2 Samuel 7:8-17.

    Through Nathan the Prophet, God tells David

    "I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee."

    That looks pretty unconditional - it even allows for David's seed to "commit iniquity" (in the time-honored tradition of Kings including their own forefather David of course) without losing the throne.

    Of course it didn't really turn out like that - no sooner had the priestly hands of Zadok plonked the crown on the head of David's immediate "seed" Solomon, than he started to "commit iniquity" by doing exactly what God had (reportedly) told him not to do. (Compare, for example, Deuteronomy 17:14-20 and 1 Kings 10:14-29). As a result, the record claims, God told him the Kingdom was to be ripped away from him (1 Kings 11:11) - only about 50 years after the promise He had made to David.

    Now 50 years doesn't sound very much like "for ever" - but at least a little bit of the Kingdom remained under the Davidic line until about the end of the 5th century BCE when Jerusalem was sacked by Nebuchadnezzar. By my reckoning that means the "unconditional" covenant lasted for about 4 centuries - still quite a bit short of "for ever" - and was then terminated.

    Ah! You say, but "David's seed" is not about Solomon or even natural Israel, it is about the Messiah. Well OK then - but what was all the stuff about the temple and building a house for God and all that? Why did Solomon (under inspiration presumably) think it was about him (2 Chronicles 6:16-17)?

    Aha! You say (adding an extra a for emphasis) but there - see that last bit in verse 16:

    "...yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me."

    That's why they "lost" the right to be Kings in David's line - because they didn't "walk in [God's] law" (unlike David which presumably means they were not lying, cheating, philandering and murderous tyrants but that's a story for another day). And that's why Jesus announced:

    "Behold! Your house is left unto you desolate"

    (Matthew 23:38; 1 Kings 9:5-8).

    Ooh! (by way of a change from ah!) That puts a different slant on it altogether. That version of the covenant in 1 Kings 9 is not unconditional at all is it? It clearly says:

    "...if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight;"

    So now I must confess, I'm confused.

    If the Covenant was unconditional, why was it "ripped away" from David's descendants on account of their "iniquity"? And why is there not still a King of Israel from David's line to this day?

    And if it was conditional, how can anyone hundreds or thousands of years later legitimize a claim to the throne on the basis of being a descendant of David?

    (I'm sure - if anyone is still there this far down an original post - you can see the dilemma - especially if you are a Christian).

    Supplementary question: Are God's promises really worth the parchment they were written on?
     
    #1 siti, Aug 9, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  2. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Sorry, just trying to sort the NONSENSE
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    I would like to know some of your spiritual background, not to pry, but to know your point of view.
     
  3. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Er...OK! I'm not sure its going to clarify anything but...

    I was raised in the Anglican "faith" which made no sense to me by the time I was about ten but I stuck with it having convinced myself that it was best to stick with the faith and change it from within - that put me at odds with my curate and got me into trouble in Bible classes. Eventually, after a brief hedonistic and utterly aspiritual late teen/early twenties period, I latched on to the Jehovah's Witnesses and was very active in that for about a decade until the mountain of doubts and skepticism and my growing appreciation of the wider implications of the science I chose as a career got the better of me and I abandoned any hope of finding a "church" that could possibly fulfill my "spiritual needs" and accommodate my science-based reasoning on some of the "big questions" like why are we here? where are we going? and all that.

    For the last couple of decades, I have looked into deism and pantheism as potential foundations for "God-models" that might fit the bill but I also retain an interest in the Bible as well as other traditional religious writings such as the Qur'an and the Mahabharata. I think there is deep human wisdom encapsulated in some of these - but the transmission through time to us make it impossible to know for sure what the original writers (whoever they were) intended to be understood by them. The best we can do is find points of resonance with our own experience and use those to bolster our own understanding. To elevate them to the status of "God's Word" - verbatim, inviolate and reliably (if not perfectly) transmitted to us - has been one of the most disastrously divisive and monstrously destructive errors of all human thinking. But to appreciate them as ancient ideas of accounts of being human in an unpredictably capricious, confusing and often seemingly cruel world is potentially enlightening - spiritually, morally and intellectually. But you have to carefully sort the wheat from the weeds, as it were, and take it for what it is - a collection of disjointed human ideas.And there are plenty of other sources of those!

    So, all in all, I don't think God writes books even he did write the world - and I honestly think it is more likely that the world wrote God - but still not in a book - or at least not confined to a book.

    I probably should stop there - I think that should be enough for you to decide whether you think I am a genuine fellow "seeker" presenting an honest appraisal that raises more questions than he even pretends to know the answer to - or an evil apostate servant of the Devil deliberately trying to stumble honest-hearted but possibly wavering believers and truth-seeking novices from their nascent faith. Or maybe just someone who wants to share what little bit he has managed to learn about the Bible despite what his teachers have presented to him over the years as unquestionable "truth".
     
    #3 siti, Aug 9, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  4. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Sorry, just trying to sort the NONSENSE
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    Would Judaism work out?

    Sorry. I did not mean to be unkind or pushy. We might even be fairly close in some of our beliefs. I had no religion until my late 20's, then became uber conservative Evangelical. Then I left them after 9/11 to investigate why the Muslims were so mad at us, and wound up staying for 7 years. Then I was Mormon for about 5 or so years, and parts of it were wonderful and healing, while parts of it seemed stupid and implausible. I'm now just a common searcher and consider myself an Abrahamic Religionist.

    Welcome
     
  5. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    God's covenant with Israel has not been " ripped away". The church is a different entity and does not replace Israel, nor are God's covenant promises to Israel altered or given to church age Christians. God is not finished with history and will yet fulfill His covenant and promises to Israel and the Messiah Jesus, the son of David will return to rule from Jerusalem.

    He will be great, and 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 forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:32-33

    The Biblical Evidence that Jesus is Returning to Reign | Second Coming | Lamb and Lion Ministries
     
  6. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    Interesting, I didn't know you were a Mormon for five years. I was a Mormon at one time also.
     
  7. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    I don’t know if this helps but this statement by Baha’u’llah seems to say that the throne of David still lives on.

    ‘Ancient Beauty’ is a title of Baha’u’llah.

    “THE Most Great Law is come, and the Ancient Beauty ruleth upon the throne of David. Thus hath My Pen spoken that which the histories of bygone ages have related. At this time, however, David crieth aloud and saith: 'O my loving Lord! Do Thou number me with such as have stood steadfast in Thy Cause, O Thou through Whom the faces have been illumined, and the footsteps have slipped!”

    Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh
    Bahá’u’lláh
     
  8. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Sorry, just trying to sort the NONSENSE
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    I have some very fond memories of my time with them and I received much healing and love with them. They just wouldn't back down on their Deep Doctrine, so I left. I wonder if that stuff started with his involvement with the Masons? They also would not obey certain scripture that are important to me. I'm torn.
     
  9. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    In terms of the Davidic Covenant, the Bible says it was 1 Kings 11:9-13 - except for one tribe - which actually turned out to be two tribes (but never mind that detail) - and that remnant of the Davidic Kingdom was surely dethroned by Nebuchadnezzar in 586/587 BCE (or 607 BCE if you prefer). And that seems perfectly in order if you read the version of the Covenant in 1 Kings 9. That covenant was clearly conditional and they (the "sons of David") reneged on their part and lost the kingdom as a result. That's pretty clear, but then you have to ask what legal right does anyone have to claim the throne of David as a "son" after that? So how do you justify the claim:

    And if it wasn't conditional, why did God permit the overthrow of the Davidic line at all?
     
  10. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Not really, that just looks like another claim with no legal basis to a throne based on a long since abrogated covenant - either that or the Bible is just complete nonsense and anyone could stake a claim!
     
  11. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    There is more than one covenant which God made in the OT. The Abrahamic Covenant is the basis of Israel’s right to possess the Land and God’s promises to Abraham were specific and unambiguous, having been sealed by an unconditional and everlasting covenant (Genesis:12:1-7 ; 15:18-21; 17:6-8; 26:3; 28:13-15; Hebrews:6:13-17). God was the sole signatory to this covenant, since only He passed through the animal pieces (Genesis:15:12-21). The Davidic Covenant was also unconditional as God stated clearly that He would not violate the Covenant of establishing the throne forever... https://www.gotquestions.org/Davidic-covenant.html

    As the psalmist declared, God “remembers His covenant for ever, the word He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant He made with Abraham, the oath He swore to Isaac” (Psalm:105:8-9; cf. Luke:1:54-55, 68-73). Paul confirms this in his letter to the Galatians when he writes:

    …And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God [a]in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.(Galatians:3:17-18)

    So while the Law of Moses Covenant was conditional as related to Israel's residence/rule in the land, the Abrahamic Covenant and Davidic Covenant are not.


    You may find the following article informative:
    "The Historic Throne of David
    In the Second book of Samuel chapter 7 verse 16 we read that God made a covenant (the ‘Davidic Covenant’) with the famous David of the Old Testament:
    Your house (i.e. family) and your kingdom (sphere of rule) will continue before me for all time, and your throne (royal authority) will be secure forever
    This promise was conditional and disobedience to God’s Law would bring chastening, but not abrogation of the promise:
    Psalm 89.30-37
    If his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments, If they violate My statutes And do not keep My commandments, Then I will punish their transgression with the rod And their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break off My loving kindness from him, Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.

    King David ruled Israel righteously around 1000 BC, but later his descendants went away from God’s law and did indeed suffer. There were deported to Babylon, and subsequently scattered across the nations. The scattering was essentially complete when Jerusalem was sacked and the Jewish temple destroyed by Rome in 70 AD. So where did David’s royal throne go? Has anyone been on his throne since David? Yes. Jesus admitted to Pilate that He was indeed a King – the King of the Jews:
    Luke 23.3
    So Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”

    Jesus was crowned with thorns, but nevertheless He said He was a King – a King of the Jews in the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah (aka Jews). The genealogy in Mathew chapter 1 confirms that Jesus is a Jew: “Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham”.

    The Future Throne of David
    As promised in the Davidic Covenant, despite Israel’s backsliding, the throne of David endures for ever. So what happens in the future? Before the birth of Jesus, Mary received the following promise:
    Luke 1.32-33
    He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.

    This promise is usually ignored or given a symbolic interpretation by the institutionalized church. But when this church prays “Your Kingdom come, on earth, as it is in heaven”, what do they mean? Many prophecies point to a real kingdom on this earth – the Kingdom of God will indeed be established in the Millennial Age, as prayed in the Lord’s prayer. Looking to this future Kingdom we read:
    Zechariah 14.9
    And the Lord will be King over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.
    Isaiah 9.7
    There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this

    So there we have it: Jesus’ descent is from the tribe of Judah, so He is Jewish. Jesus’ lineage traces back to the line of David and so He has the right to sit on David’s throne. The world will soon be ruled by a Jewish King from Jerusalem. Remember: Jesus the coming King!"
    Jesus the coming King | He will reign on David's throne from Jerusalem
     
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  12. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    I enjoyed the people, it was going to the temple which God used to get my attention. I am just thankful that my trust is now in Jesus Christ alone and not religion.



    https://www.adamsroadministry.com/
     
  13. user4578

    user4578 Member

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    Wait you're so intelligent, yet you neglect to mention the speech David gave to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 22, something about his kingdom lasting forever... What would this have meant to Solomon? Did he think he would live forever, that his kingdom would last forever?(Ecc. 3:20) Was Solomon completely all in what you say? The other thing your argument entirely lacks is mention of the fact that they didn't have the atonement for sins since Christ wasn't yet crucified; while pondering that you might also ask yourself why Jesus allowed himself to be baptized by John - Matthew 3:15.
     
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  14. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity simple man
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    Loved your post. This is your show, but I hope its Ok to wander from the strictly traditional. I notice you say 'God' but the text says 'LORD' rather than 'God'. I think what the story here recounts, if it is historical, is that the people and the priests deliberate and promise support for David. David loves the people, and so he is their man.

    Great points in that there are seeming inconsistencies here, but the point of the story is I think not to recount literal history. If that were so it would be full of details, dates, reams of information. It is about principles and instruction for young men. That does not mean it cannot have real people in it only that history does not appear to be the point of its existence. Historical works are written to present history. This work focuses on morality at the expense of more cold facts. It talks about David's five smooth stones, yet he only uses one on Goliath. Noting five smooth stones has no historical value. He only uses one, but the story says how many he picks up and has with him, but coincidentally there are five books of Moses.
     
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  15. OtherSheep

    OtherSheep of Ἰησοῦς.

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    Conditional.
     
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  16. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Where on earth did you get that idea?
     
  17. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely!

    I think that's a much more reasonable interpretation than insisting it is the verbatim God-breathed recounting of precisely what happened.

    Yes - that too.

    So essentially, it is a - possibly inspired but essentially human - story about the human struggle to find appropriate ways of guiding and protecting the growing civilizations that were emerging during the early iron age amidst a range of competing nations gradually building empires around the remnants of civilizations that fell during the late bronze age collapse but left their indelible marks on (especially the religious aspects of) the new cultures that emerged out of all that as the human population of the middle east slowly plodded its way towards classical antiquity.

    There is a lot to be learned from it - but it really doesn't say much about "eternal salvation" - that is a back projection imposed on it from the point of view of a relative backwater of the much later classical world of Roman antiquity. Right?
     
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  18. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity simple man
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    In relation to the OP the 'Davidic covenant' is put into story to be used as something more. David is a figure who gathers society's rejects to himself, finds the greatness in them and makes them into an awesome tight knit band. That is his defining greatness. The 'Davidic covenant' in the story reaches out of the story as if someone in a film looks at the audience speaking with ironic knowledge. It is a story about something that is not in the story, sort of an elephant in the room. There can be only one covenant not two. As the Christian NT writer points out 'One Lord, One faith, One baptism'. If there be a Davidic covenant in the story it alludes to the covenant that Jews enter into, I am guessing.
     
  19. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Yes OK - so that's all fine - its part of an allegorical (or at least partly allegorical) revelation of an unfolding divine plan - but why then do so many believers seek to place Jesus' enthronement on a legally sound basis by claiming (natural, not spiritual, mind you) genealogical descent in David's line? And not only Christian fundamentalists today, but even the Gospel writers themselves in two (mutually inconsistent) cases go to great lengths to make that point. That (legal basis of Jesus' "enthronement") seems completely beside the point to me if the story of David is essentially allegorical (even if it is based in part on some factual history).
     
  20. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity simple man
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    This is a separate question from why gospels talk about descent from David. People could have many reason, but I think we ( you and I plus many others ) are considered to be trespassing, touching the ark. There is a right way and a wrong way to learn about these writings, and we are doing it the wrong way. These stories are not just written in a foreign language by an ancient culture but are written in such a way as not to anger an oppressive government, hence not written in an open explanatory manner.

    There is a huge misunderstanding about this I think due to huge numbers of deaths, the destruction of books by invaders, political corruption and finally the explosive translation of the canon into English in a time of darkness and superstition. We just were not ready for these books to appear, these messages written with care but not in an open fashion. These are cryptic gifts lovingly cared for in secret for ages. The gospels are not textbooks, but to a massive body of new readers they are perceived that way. Thus we trespass unknowingly, hands in and upon the ark.
     
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