Thy Kingdom Come -The Davidic Covenant (Part 2)

I. Article Title. Thy Kingdom Come – The Davidic Covenant (Part 2).

II. Article References.

Charles C. Ryrie, Ph. D.(1925-2016). Merrill F. Unger, Ph. D. (1909-1980). John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (1910-2002). Harold W. Hoehner, Ph. D. (1935-2009). Stanley D. Toussaint, Th. D. (1928-2017). Edward E. Hindson, Ph. D. (1944-2022). Robert L. Thomas, Th. D. (1928-2017). Lewis Sperry Chafer, Th. D. (1871-1952). J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (1915-2014). Robert P. Lightner, Th. D. (1931-2018). Charles L. Feinberg, Ph. D. (1909-1995). J. Vernon McGee, Th. D. (1904-1988).

III. Article Narrative. The Character Of The Davidic Covenant.


The Davidic covenant, of which much has been said, was to the effect that his seed would sit upon his throne and had its natural fulfillment in the reign of King Solomon. Its eternal aspects include the Lord Jesus Christ of the seed of David; and in the book of Acts, Peter insists that Christ’s resurrection and Ascension fulfilled God’s promise to David that his seed should sit upon his throne. (See Acts 2:30.)

A. The Davidic covenant is unconditional in its character. The only conditional element in the covenant was whether the descendants of David would continually occupy the throne or not. Disobedience might bring about chastening, but never abrogate the covenant.

1. David anticipated that there would not be an unbroken succession of kings in his line, but nevertheless he affirms the eternal character of the covenant. In Psalm 89 David foretold the overthrow of his kingdom (vv. 38-45) before the realization of that which had been promised (vv. 20-29). Yet he anticipates the fulfillment of the promise (vv. 46-52) and blesses the Lord. Such was the faith of David.

2. Several reasons support the position that the covenant is unconditional (1) First of all, like the other of Israel’s covenants, it is called eternal in 2 Samuel 7:13, 16; 23:5; Isaiah 55:3; and Ezekiel 37:25. The only way it can be called eternal is that it is unconditional and rests upon the faithfulness of God for its execution. (2) Again, this covenant only amplifies the “seed” promises of the original Abrahamic covenant, which has been shown to be unconditional, and will therefore partake of the character of the original covenant. (3) Further, this covenant was reaffirmed after repeated acts of disobedience on the part of the nation. Christ, the Son of David, came to offer the Davidic kingdom after generations of apostasy. These reaffirmations would and could not have been made if the covenant were conditioned upon any response on the part of the nation.

B. The Davidic covenant is to be interpreted literally.

1. The covenant is distinctively associated with the Jewish nation and none other. 2. It is called a perpetual covenant, i.e. one that shall endure forever. It may, indeed, require time before its fulfillment; it may even for a time be held, so far as the nation is concerned, in the background, but it must be ultimately realized. 3. It was confirmed by oath (Ps. 132:11, and 89:3, 4, 33), thus giving the strongest possible assurance of its ample fulfilment. 4. To leave no doubt whatever, and to render unbelief utterly inexcusable, God concisely and most forcibly presents His determination (Ps. 89:34): “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” It would have been sheer presumption and blindness in the Jews to have altered (under the plea—modern—of spirituality) the covenant, and to have refused to accept of the obvious sense covered by the words; and there is a heavy responsibility resting upon those, who, even under the most pious intentions, deliberately alter the covenant words and attach to them a foreign meaning.

2. Consider the following list of some twenty-one reasons for believing that the whole concept of the Davidic throne and kingdom is to be understood literally.

3. If the Davidic throne and Kingdom is to be understood literally, then all other promises necessarily follow; and as the reception of this literal fulfilment forms the main difficulty in the minds of many, a brief statement of reasons why it must be received, is in place. 1. It is solemnly covenanted, confirmed by oath, and hence cannot be altered or broken. 2. The grammatical sense alone is becoming a covenant. 3. The impression made on David, if erroneous, is disparaging to his prophetical office. 4. The conviction of Solomon (2 Chron. 6:14-16) was that it referred to the literal throne and Kingdom. 5. Solomon claims that the covenant was fulfilled in himself, but only in so far that he too as David’s son sat on David’s throne. 6. The language is that ordinarily used to denote the literal throne and Kingdom of David, as illustrated in Jer. 17:25 and 22:4. 7. The prophets adopt the same language, and its constant reiteration under Divine guidance is evidence that the plain grammatical sense is the one intended. 8. The prevailing belief of centuries, a national faith, engendered by the language, under the teaching of inspired men, indicates how the language is to be understood. 9. This throne and Kingdom is one of promise and inheritance, and hence refers not to the Divinity but to the Humanity of Jesus. 10. The same is distinctively promised to David’s son “according to the flesh” to be actually realized, and, therefore, He must appear the Theocratic King as promised. 11. We have not the slightest hint given that it is to be interpreted in any other way than a literal one; any other is the result of pure inference. 12. Any other view than that of a literal interpretation involves the grossest self contradiction. 13. The denial of a literal reception of the covenant robs the heir of His covenanted inheritance. 14. No grammatical rule can be laid down which will make David’s throne to be the Father’s throne in the third heaven. 15. That if the latter is attempted under the notion of “symbolical” or “typical,” then the credibility and meaning of the covenants are left to the interpretations of men, and David himself becomes “the symbol” or “type” (creature as he is) of the Creator. 16. That if David’s throne is the Father’s throne in heaven (the usual interpretation), then it must have existed forever. 17. If such covenanted promises are to be received figuratively, it is inconceivable that they should be given in their present form without some direct affirmation, in some place, of their figurative nature, God foreseeing (if not literal) that for centuries they would be preeminently calculated to excite and foster false expectations, e.g. even from David to Christ. 18. God is faithful in His promises, and deceives no one in the language of His covenants. 19. No necessity existed why, if this throne promised to David’s Son meant something else, the throne should be so definitely promised in the form given. 20. The identical throne and Kingdom overthrown are the ones restored. 21. But the main, direct reasons for receiving the literal covenanted language [is that] David’s throne and Kingdom [are made] a requisite for the display of that Theocratic ordering which God has already instituted (but now holds in abeyance until the preparations are completed) for the restoration and exaltation of the Jewish nation (which is preserved for this purpose), for the salvation of the human race (which comes under the Theocratic blessing), and for the dominion of a renewed curse-delivered world.

4. Such a throne and Kingdom are necessary to preserve the Divine Unity of Purpose in the already proposed Theocratic line.

C. This whole proposition is supported by certain additional evidence. The portions of the covenant that have been fulfilled have been fulfilled literally.
As has been seen before, the partial fulfillment determines the method to be used in the unfulfilled portions. Ryrie says: It is only necessary to mention briefly that David had a son, that David’s throne was established, that David’s kingdom was established, that Solomon built the temple, that his throne was established, and that he was punished for disobedience.

1. Evidence is added from the way in which David was led to understand it. It is
seen that he had no thought but that it was a literal covenant, to be fulfilled literally. a. How did David himself understand this covenant? This is best stated in his own language. Read e.g. Ps. 72, which describes a Son infinitely superior to Solomon; reflect over Ps. 132, and after noticing that “the Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, He will not turn from it; of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne” (which Peter, Acts 2:30, 31, expressly refers to Jesus).

2. consider the numerous Messianic allusions in this and other Psalms (89th, 110th, 72nd, 48th, 45th, 21st, 2d, etc.), so regarded and explicitly quoted in the New Test. by inspired men; ponder the fact that David calls Him “my Lord,” “higher than the kings of the earth,” and gives Him a position, power, dominion, immortality, and perpetuity, that no mortal King can possibly attain to, and most certainly we are not wrong in believing that David himself, according to the tenor of the covenant “thy Kingdom shall be established forever before thee,” expected to be in this Kingdom of His Son and Lord both to witness and experience its blessedness.

3. And again, David himself, in his last words (2 Sam. 23:5), emphatically says: “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure; for this is all my salvation and all my desire.” The prophet Isaiah reiterates (55:3), pronouncing it “an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David.” Surely no one can fail to see that this denotes, “an unchanging and unwavering covenant, a covenant which was not to be revoked,” one which was not to be abrogated, but which was to be perpetual, and that “God would ratify this covenant.”

4. And yet again, that David himself expected a literal fulfilment of the promise is evident from his language which follows the giving of the covenant; and in this literal anticipation of the promise he returns thanks to God and praises Him for thus selecting his house for honor and in thus establishing it for the ages, even forever (2 Sam. 7:8, etc., 1 Chron. 17:16, etc.). It is presumption to suppose that David returned thanks, and thus prayer under a mistaken idea of the nature of the covenant.

5. It is therefore evident that David was led by God to interpret the covenant literally. There is ample evidence for the literal interpretation of the covenant from the interpretation of the covenant by the nation Israel.

a. Reference has been made to the literal aspects emphasized in all the Old Testament prophetic books. This literal emphasis continued throughout Jewish history. Ryrie says: The concept which the Jews had of this kingdom at this time may be summed up under the following characteristics: (The hope was for an earthly kingdom)

(1) earthly

(2) national

(3) Messianic

(4) moral

(5) future

b. When Israel saw its land under the rule of a foreign power, her hope was the more intensified, because the kingdom she expected was one that would be set up on the earth and one that would naturally carry with it release from foreign domination. The kingdom was to be national; that is, the expected kingdom had a specific relationship to Israel, being promised to that nation alone. The kingdom was to be a moral kingdom, for Israel was to be cleansed as a nation.

c. Obviously the kingdom was not yet in existence and was therefore future at the time of the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even all the glory under David and Solomon was not comparable to the expected kingdom. Consequently, all of Israel’s beliefs concerning this kingdom were of the nature of unrealized hopes. Israel looked to the future.

6. There is evidence for the literal interpretation from the New Testament
references to the covenant made with David. Walvoord speaks of the New Testament as a whole, when he writes: a. The New Testament has in all fifty-nine references to David. It also has many references to the present session of Christ. A search of the New Testament reveals that there is not one reference connecting the present session of Christ with the Davidic throne, it is almost incredible that in so many references to David and in so frequent reference to the present session of Christ on the Father’s throne there should be not one reference connecting the two in any authoritative way. The New Testament is totally lacking in positive teaching that the throne of the Father in heaven is to be identified with the Davidic throne. The inference is plain that Christ is seated on the Father’s throne, but that this is not at all the same as being seated on the throne of David.

7. It can be shown that in all the preaching concerning the kingdom by John (Matt. 3:2), by Christ (Matt. 4:17), by the twelve (Matt. 10:5-7), by the seventy (Lk. 10:1-12), not once is the kingdom offered to Israel anything but an earthly literal kingdom. Even after the rejection of that offer by Israel and the announcement of the mystery of the kingdom (Matt. 13) Christ anticipates such a literal earthly kingdom (Matt. 25:1-13, 31-46). The New Testament never relates the kingdom promised to David to Christ’s present session.

8. It is interesting to observe that the angel, who did not originate his own message, but announced that which was delivered to him by God, says to Mary: “And, 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 Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end [Luke 1:31-33. ]”

9. The angelic message centers around the three key words of the original Davidic covenant, the throne, the house, and the kingdom, all of which are here promised a fulfillment.

10. The Davidic covenant holds an important place in the discussion at the first church council. Walvoord comments on Acts 15:14-17, where this covenant is discussed, as follows:

a. The problem of this passage resolves into these questions: (1) What is meant by the “tabernacle of David”? (2) When is the “tabernacle of David” to be rebuilt? The first question is settled by an examination of its source, Amos 9:11, and its context. The preceding chapters and the first part of chapter nine deal with God’s judgment upon Israel. It is summed up in two verses which immediately precede the quotation: “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all the nations, like as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least kernel fall upon the earth. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword who say, The evil shall not overtake nor meet us” (Amos 9:9-10.).

b. Immediately following this passage of judgment is the promise of blessing
after the judgment, of which the verse quoted in Acts fifteen is the first.

c. The context of the passage deals, then, with Israel’s judgment. The entire
passage confirms that the “tabernacle of David” is an expression referring to the whole nation of Israel, and that in contrast to the Gentile nations.

d. What then is the meaning of the quotation of James? He states, in effect, that it was God’s purpose to bless the Gentiles as well as Israel, but in their order. God was to visit the Gentiles first, “to take out of them a people for his name.” James goes on to say that this is entirely in keeping with the prophets, for they had stated that the period of Jewish blessing and triumph should be after the Gentile period.

e. Instead of identifying the period of Gentile conversion with the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David, it is carefully distinguished by the first (referring to Gentile blessing), and after this (referring to Israel’s coming glory.) The passage, instead of identifying God’s purpose for the church and for the nation Israel, established a specific time order. Israel’s blessing will not come until “I return.”

f. God will first conclude His work for the Gentiles in the period of Israel’s dispersion. Then He will return (Matt 24:29-30) to bring in the promised
blessings for Israel. It is needless to say that this confirms the interpretation that Christ is not now on the throne of David, bringing blessing to Israel as the
prophets predicted, but He is rather on His Father’s throne waiting for the coming earthly kingdom and interceding for His own who form the church.

g. Ryrie, dealing with the same passage, comments:

(1) [In regard to] the Amos quotation in Acts 15:14-17, Gaebelein gives a good
analysis of James’ words citing four points in the progression of thought. First,
God visits the Gentiles, taking from them a people for His name.

(2) In other words, God has promised to bless the Gentiles as well as Israel, but each in his own order. The Gentile blessing is first. Secondly, Christ will return. This is after the out-calling of the people for His name. Thirdly, as a result of the Coming of the Lord, the tabernacle of David will be built again; that is, the kingdom will be established as promised in the Davidic covenant. Amos clearly declares that this rebuilding will be done “as in the days of old” (9:11); that is, the blessings will be earthly and national and will have nothing to do with the Church. Fourthly, the residue of men will seek the Lord, that is, all the Gentiles will be brought to a knowledge of the Lord after the kingdom is established. Isaiah 2:2; 11:10; 40:5; 66:23 teach the same truth.

(3) Thus, throughout the New Testament, as well as in the Old, the Davidic covenant is everywhere treated as literal.

h. The Davidic covenant demands a literal fulfillment. This means that Christ must reign on David’s throne on the earth over David’s people forever, in spite of the following:

(1) there has been no continuous development or continued authority of the political kingdom of David, (2) Israel’s captivity and the downfall of the kingdom would seem to argue against a literal interpretation for a future fulfillment, and (3) the centuries which have passed since the first advent of Christ would seem to indicate that a literal fulfillment should not be expected; the premillennial position holds that the partial historic fulfillment in no way mitigates against the future fulfillment for these four reasons. First, the Old Testament prophets expected a literal fulfillment even during Israel’s periods of great apostasy. Secondly, the covenant demands a literal interpretation which also means a future fulfillment. Thirdly, the New Testament teaches that the present mystery form of the kingdom no way abrogates the future literal fulfillment. Fourthly, the very words of the covenant teach that, although Solomon be disobedient, the covenant would nevertheless remain in force, and that Solomon’s seed was not promised perpetuity. The only necessary feature is that the lineage cannot be lost, not that the throne be occupied continuously.

i. The interruption of the kingdom did not mean the whole program was set aside. As long as the prerogatives of the throne were intact the kingdom might be reestablished.

(1) Walvoord says: “the line which was to fulfill the promise of the eternal throne and eternal kingdom over Israel was preserved by God through a lineage which in fact did not sit on the throne at all, from Nathan down to Christ. It is, then, not necessary for the line to be unbroken as to actual conduct of the kingdom, but it is rather that the lineage, royal prerogative, and right to the throne be preserved and never lost, even in sin, captivity, and dispersion. It is not necessary, then, for continuous political government to be in effect, but it is necessary that the line be not lost.

(2) Reference has already been made to many New Testament passages to show that the expectation there was for a literal fulfillment. The interruption in the Davidic kingdom did not militate against the expectancy of a literal restoration of that same kingdom as far as the New Testament writers were concerned.

j. Has this covenant been fulfilled historically?

1. Reference has already been made to many New Testament passages to show that the expectation there was for a literal fulfillment. The interruption in the Davidic kingdom did not militate against the expectancy of a literal restoration of that same kingdom as far as the New Testament writers were concerned.

2. Inasmuch as this covenant has not been fulfilled literally in Israel’s history, there must be a future literal fulfillment of the covenant because of its unconditional character.

IV. Article Considerations.

A. One of the most difficult and most important factors of writing an article is related to sources of information. A writer must ensure that such sources have a high degree of knowledge on the subjects that are being written, and also must have a high degree of respect from other writers. A second factor that must be considered relates to how to lawfully use material of other writers. In this web site, copyright statutes are not violated. Also, “public domain,” is to be considered.

B. In this article, I have chosen theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (the study of what Scripture teaches about the end times), and other doctrines of scripture. All of the references in this article have a connection with Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) as graduate or instructor.

C.  For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following links show information about Dallas Theological Seminary. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.

D. About Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).

1. General Info.

2. Doctrinal Statement.

V. Video. On Listenng.

Dr. Stanley Toussaint, DTS Senior Professor Emeritus of Bible Exposition, speaks about the refreshment and revelation that comes from the Word of God, and the one thing more important than listening to God is how to listen.

The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. (GEN 12:7). Notice the upper case of LORD.

The LORDיְהוָה֙
3068: the proper name of the God of Israel
Strong’s Concordance
Yhvh: the proper name of the God of Israel
Original Word: יְהוָֹה
Part of Speech: Proper Name
Transliteration: Yhvh
Phonetic Spelling: (yeh-ho-vaw’)
Definition: the proper name of the God of Israel


Author: Equipping

You may contact me by emailing me on my site's email address, as follows: The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible..

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