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Note III.


THE PERPETUITY OF THE DAVIDIC THRONE.


One great Anglo-Israel argument that the British must be the "lost" Israel is based on the promises which God made to David that his seed and his throne shall be established for ever. Sometimes, indeed (as seen in one of the quotations given in Part I., see page 12), and in keeping with Anglo-Israel logic, the argument is used the other way: "If the Saxons be the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, then the English throne is a continuation of David's throne, and the seed on it must be the seed of David, and the inference is clear, namely, that all the blessings attaching by the holy promise to David's throne must belong to England";[1] and since, according to the dictum of the theory, this "must be so," evidence must somehow be found, both "historical" and from Scripture. So on the historical side a genealogical table has been produced in which the descent of the royal house of England (which may God protect!) is directly traced to David and Judah—a table truly strange and wonderful, and which only shows how easy it is to prove anything if wild guesses and perverted fancies be treated as facts. On these genealogical tables and "histories," however, with regard to which we would only apply to the Anglo-Israel "world" the old Latin proverb—Mundus vult decipi et decipiatur—it would be sheer waste of time to enter here. It is the product of a false supposition, supported by a logic which is also false, both in its premises and conclusions. People whose capacity for credulity is large enough to believe the wild romances spun out by Anglo-Israel writers about Jeremiah's journey to Ireland with a daughter of Zedekiah, who brought with them as part of their personal luggage the coronation stone which is now in Westminster Abbey, are very welcome to believe it; and one would not trouble much about them if they would only let the Bible alone and not pervert Scripture.

But it is the supposed Scriptural "proofs" which impose on some simple-minded Christians, with whom alone we are concerned here. The following passages almost all Anglo-Israel writers fasten upon:—

"The Lord hath sworn unto David in truth, He will not turn from it; of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne" (Psa. cxxxii. 11).

"I have sworn unto David My servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations" (Psa. lxxxix. 3, 4).

"Thus saith Jehovah: If ye can break My covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, in their season, then may also My covenant be broken with David My servant that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne. . . . Thus saith the Lord: If My covenant of day and night stand not, if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; then will I also cast away the seed of Jacob, and of David My servant, so that I will not take of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and will have mercy on them" (Jer. xxxiii. 20, 21, 25, 26, r.v.).

The argument drawn from these Scriptures is: If the British be not Israel, and the English throne be not a continuation of the throne of David, where is the fulfilment of these promises? In answer to this crude logic I would observe:—

I. That it seems to be quite a characteristic of Anglo-Israelism to ignore our Lord Jesus Christ as the centre of all promise and prophecy, just as it ignores the existence of the Church and the future kingdom of God, for all which it substitutes the British people and the British Empire. But Christ is the true Son of David, and the only legitimate heir to the Davidic throne. "The sure mercies of David," which are sure (or "faithful," as the word may be better rendered), because God has sworn to fulfil, or "establish" them, are all merged and centred in Him. Hence, when His birth was announced to the Virgin Mary, the Angel Gabriel said: "Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the House of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke i. 31–33).

If Israel had received Him His throne would have been established, and His visible reign on earth commenced then. But He was rejected, and so the promise in reference to setting up again of the Davidic kingdom, which had ceased to exist since the days of Zedekiah, was still deferred until the purpose of God with reference to the Church should be accomplished.

But the promises which God made to David have not failed, for Jesus, the true Son of David, lives, and though He is for the present sitting on the throne of God in heaven, He is coming again to set up the throne of His father David, and then "He shall reign over the House of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end."

II. It was announced in advance that during the "many days" of Israel's apostasy, and consequent banishment from the land, they "shall abide without a king and without a prince," i.e., without the true Davidic king of God's appointment, and without a prince of their own choice, as Jewish commentators have themselves explained, until "the latter days," when restored and converted they shall find in their Messiah the true David, both their King and Prince.[2]

III. The only place on earth where a throne of David can have any legitimate place, either in the sight of God or of man, is on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and it is an absurdity to speak of the continuity of a Davidic throne in England. Thank God that the right of the British Sovereign to his illustrious throne rests on a firmer basis than the fictitious genealogies made out by Anglo-Israelites.

IV. The same Scriptures, which speak of the perpetuity of the Davidic seed and throne, speak also of the unceasing continuance of the priesthood. "Thus saith Jehovah, David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the House of Israel; neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before Me to offer burnt-offerings and to burn oblations, and to do sacrifice continually. . . . Thus saith the Lord: If ye can break My covenant of the day, and My covenant of the night, so that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also My covenant be broken with David My servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, My ministers" (Jer. xxxiii. 17, 20, 21).

Now it would be quite as logical to argue that the ministers of the Church of England must be the lineal descendants of the Levites, else God's promise of the continuance of the priesthood has failed, as to argue from these same Scriptures that there must be somewhere now on earth a throne of David, or else these prophecies have proved false.

The truth is that neither have God's promises in reference to the throne nor to the priesthood failed—for Christ is, in His blessed Person, the Prophet, Priest, and King. He is all this now at the right hand of God, for not only are all the essentials of the Aaronic priesthood fulfilled in Him, but He is "a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek"; and when He is manifested again on earth to take up His throne and reign, "He shall be a priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both."[3]


  1. "The Lost Ten Tribes," by Joseph Wild. The Eighteenth Discourse.
  2. See "The Interregnum and After"—the first chapter of my book, "The Ancient Scriptures and the Modern Jew."
  3. One fundamental of the Anglo-Israel theory is that the destinies of Israel and Judah are distinct and separate. Most inconsistent, therefore, is their appropriation of David, the King of Judah, with the promises applying to his royal house for ever; their endeavour should rather be to claim, if they can find in Scripture promises made to descendants of Jeroboam's line, or some other King of Israel—with David they can have nothing to do.