~The Search for a Man after God’s Own Heart~

will the real king david please stand up

A study based on the text of 1 Samuel 13:14


By Craig Bluemel


Dedication: I dedicate this study to my precious wife Pammy, for her continuous sacrifice and endless days without my company, as I labor in the Scriptures to build up the body of Christ.  Thank you sweetheart, I love youY 


Do adultery, coveting, stealing, & murder count?

Have you ever wondered, “How can a man like king David be described in scripture as having spiritual dedication like that of, ‘a man after God’s own heart,’ (especially in plain view of his duplicity?”  (1 Samuel 13:14)  After all, David is guilty of adultery, stealing, coveting, lying, deceiving and murder; hardly the kind of lifestyle described as a man after God’s own heart.  He numbered Israel, and caused 70,000 Israelites to die of pestilence as punishment for his transgression.  How can he be alleged as a man after ‘God’s own heart’ when he lied and deceived?


1 Samuel 13:13-14 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.  14 But now your kingdom shall not endure.  The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”  New American Standard Bible


Yahweh’s words to king Saul thru Samuel give the impression of imminence, but it would be nearly twenty years before the ten-year-old boy named David actually became king of all Israel.  The context of the scripture passage in 1 Samuel 13:14 is a rebuke by Samuel the prophet to disobedient king Saul, telling him that his reign will not endure, and that Yahweh, (Yahweh = God’s covenant name) would replace him with a man after God’s own heart.  At the time, David was only 10 years of age, hardly ready to ascend the throne.


2 Samuel 7:8 “Now, therefore, thus, shalt thou say unto my servant, unto David: ‘Thus, saith Yahweh of hosts, I myself, took thee away from the pasture, from after the flock, to become leader over my people, over Israel.’”  Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible


This gives you an idea about the boy’s immaturity, as such a menial task given only to young boys (Read 1 Samuel 16:10; 2 Samuel 7:4-8).  David was anointed twice, once before his reign and another anointing when he actually became king some twenty or so years later.  His first anointing by the prophet Samuel occurred at his father Jesse’s house in Bethlehem (1 Samuel 16:6-7) when he was following after the flock.  When Samuel arrived at Jesse’s house, he asked to see his sons, so Jesse called for his oldest named Eliab.  Eliab was tall, strong, and very handsome, (quit daydreaming girls J).  The old prophet mused within, contemplating Eliab’s stature; as he thought, “Surely this man is Yahweh's anointed,” (1 Samuel 16:6-7), Yahweh spoke to Samuel saying, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart.” 


As Christians, we are guilty of esteeming and/or judging others by what is outwardly appealing or distained.  Perhaps this partially explain s why for centuries, Christians have simply assumed that David is the object of Samuel’s words as, “a man after God’s ‘own heart.”  David was a good king, but his reign was filled with problems, sin, and character flaws; these invalidated association with Yahweh’s ‘own’ heart.


Psalms 78:70-72 He also chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; 71 from the care of the ewes with suckling lambs.  He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance.  72 So, he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands.  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


When David finally became king, he ruled over Israel for thirty years (2 Samuel 5:1-5) and shepherded them according to the ‘integrity of heart.’  Integrity is a fundamental quality characteristic of all godly leaders; without integrity, pastors fall prey to vice, sexual temptations, pornography addiction, greed, and more.  Though a good and honorable king, David’s integrity was not equal with Samuel’s description of a man after God’s own heart. 


In the text of 1 Chronicles 21:1 & 2 Samuel 24:10, we find that thru the peer pressure and influence of the people of Israel, Satan tempted David to sin against Yahweh by numbering Israel; afterward, David's conscience began to bother him and he said to Yahweh, “I have sinned greatly and shouldn't have taken the census.  Please forgive me, Yahweh, for doing this foolish thing…”


As divine punishment for David’s sin, pestilence on Israel caused 70,000 men to die.  (1 Chronicles 21:1-17; 2 Samuel 24:10ff).  This grievous sinful error alone is enough to disqualify David as a man after God’s own heart, but if we look in the mirror of self reflection, the image reminds us there is none righteous, no not even one… except the man Christ Jesus. 


In 1 Samuel 13:14, the prophetic words about a man after Yahweh’s own heart specify that Yahweh has appointed him as ruler over (`al naagiyd) His people; below are the Hebrew word definitions for these words:


The word over is from common Hebrew preposition `al means:


1.      preeminent position

2.      to ascend, showing upward motion

3.      close proximity, nearness, closeness for the sake of

4.      contiguity, i.e. - a touching of two bodies, leaving no gap in the transition 


The word ruler is from Hebrew noun translated, ‘ruler,’ is naagiyd means:


5.      leader, ruler

6.      prince-overseer

7.      lesser positions such as the high priest

8.      what is princely, noble, and honorable

9.      to explain or reveal something that one does not otherwise know

10. above, over used of elevation or pre-eminence 

Together, the literal definition of these two Hebrew words `al naagiyd is, “preeminent leader, honorable prince above, princely-overseer elevated to a position of preeminence.”  Unless Yahweh’s, “own heart,” is accurately characterized by king David’s flawed, human leadership model, (in the company of sin), then I contend the application is solely prophetic and symbolic of Jesus.  This premise is based on Jesus’ life of obedience and how he always did the will of his Father.  As a man, Jesus was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sinning, proving without a doubt that he is the sole recipient of Yahweh’s description of a future, “ruler over,” God’s people in 1 Samuel 13:14, who is, “a man after His own heart.”


This designation takes us far beyond David’s reign as king, and introduces the spiritual realm and the kingdom of heaven.  There is only one man, Jesus of Nazareth, that can rightfully, legally, and justifiably be considered heir to the eternal throne.  Jesus Christ is the only man ruling both physical and spiritual Israel; he came to the Jews, who rejected him as the nation’s messiah; the new covenant was and is offered to Jew and Gentile alike; now there is no distinction. 


King David was a man who understood spiritual things and he was also a prophet, which gave him prophetic insight concerning Yahweh’s oath of promise, that one of his descendents would become the lasting King, truly qualified to be called a man after Yahweh’s own heart.  Consider just a few of many examples that are found in the meaning of the two Hebrew words `al naagiyd (ruler over) described above, as their meanings relate to Jesus below:


1. Jesus reigns in a “preeminent position” to the church.


L         Colossians 1:18 And He {Jesus} is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.  New King James Version


2. King David understood and spoke prophetically in his psalms about Christ’s resurrection and ascension; Jesus was the man that was, “to ascend, showing upward motion.”  (Psalms 16:8-11; 110:1; 132:11)


L         Acts 2:22, 25, 27, 34-35   Jesus the Nazarene, a man…David says of him, “…You will not let Your Holy One know decay or see destruction of the body after death …For David did not ascend into the heavens; yet he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand and share My throne until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’  (Psalms 110:1)  AMP


3. In the spirit, Jesus is the Helper or Comforter and he is always in, “close proximity,” to those who call upon God thru his name, abiding in “nearness and closeness for the sake of” each individual’s relationship to God and with other believers.


John 14:16-18 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that he may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth… because He abides with you, and will be in you…I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  NASB


John 14:19-20 After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also. In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”  NASB


4. Christ’s role as preeminent leader in both old and new covenant caused “contiguity, i.e. - a touching of two bodies,” (i.e. – Jew and Gentile believer) by his sacrifice, thereby, “leaving no gap in the transition,” from old covenant lamb sacrifice, to new covenant one man sacrificed once for all.  David’s heir ð no gapï Jesus reigns


L         1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins, once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.  NASU


L         Ephesians 2:13-16 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near. For he is himself our peace, our bond of unity, and harmony. He has made us both Jew and Gentile one body, and has broken down, destroyed, and abolished the hostile dividing wall between us, by abolishing in His own crucified flesh the enmity caused by the Law with its decrees and ordinances which He annulled; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man one new quality of humanity out of the two, so making peace.  And he designed to reconcile to God both Jew and Gentile, united in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end. AMP


5. Jesus Christ is the one and only man to be called by the church as, “Leader, ruler.”


L         Matthew 23:10-11 And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant.”  NASB


L         John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing.”  NASB


6. King David understood Samuel’s words about a man after Yahweh’s own heart pointed to the future Messiah of Israel as “Prince-Overseer” of the shepherds in God’s flock.  Jesus is our heavenly Prince-overseer, appointed by his Father to guide his church, using men and women as his earthly shepherd-teachers, (i.e. – a plurality of elders who are overseers)


L         Acts 20:17, 28 … he called to him the elders of the church… and said to them, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God…”  NIV


7. Jesus is our High Priest in a “lesser positions of leadership” to Yahweh, and as our one and only mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).  God is the Head of Christ, Christ is the Head of each person; the Father (Yahweh) appointed Jesus as Leader & gave him authority to reign.


L         1 Corinthians 15:27-28 For the Scriptures say, “God has given him authority over all things.”  Of course, when it says, ‘authority over all things,’ it does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.  Then, when he has conquered all things, the Son will present himself to God, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.  NLT


L         Hebrews 10:19-22 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. This is the new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of his death for us.  And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's people; let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean… NLT


8. Jesus is our Prince of peace and therefore, “what is princely, noble, and honorable.”


L         Acts 2:33, 36 Being therefore lifted high by and to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promised blessing which is the Holy Spirit… therefore let the whole house of Israel recognize beyond all doubt and acknowledge assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ (the Messiah) AMP


9. Jesus will “explain or reveal something one does not otherwise know,” when his disciples, which are those who do his will, call upon God thru his name for wisdom to walk in righteousness, truth and love.


L         John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”  NASB


L         John 15:26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of me.”  NASB


L         John 16:7, 13-14 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you…  when He, the Spirit of Truth, the Truth-giving Spirit comes, He will guide you into all the Truth, the whole, full Truth.  He will honor and glorify me, because he will draw upon what is mine and will reveal, disclose, and transmit it to you.”  AMP


10. Christ has been exalted above his brethren in a position of pre-eminence by the Father & given a name that is above every name, in heaven and on earth, that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess he is Lord.


L         Acts 2:29-31 “… concerning the patriarch David… being however a prophet, and knowing that God had sealed to him with an oath that He would set one of his descendants on his throne, foreseeing this, spoke by foreknowledge of the resurrection of the Christ the Messiah…This Jesus God raised up, and of that all we his disciples are witnesses.  AMP


Jesus is preeminent and reigns “near” to you my dear reader, if you trust in God thru his name; Jesus’ name means literally, ‘He is salvation.’  The name of Jesus represents his redemptive sacrifice, his character as God’s faithful son, and his identity as, ‘a man after God’s own heart.’  Jesus the Christ (i.e. – Messiah) now dwells in the midst of his Father’s throne, where he is seated in heavenly places, far “above” every so-called ‘king’ or ‘lord’ (Ephesians 1:3; 2:6; 3:10).  His reign is contiguous (without gaps), and his role as king applies to the hearts of all true Jews (according to the spirit, not the fleshly lineage), which includes all ethnicities or nations.


Jesus the Christ IS Presently the Messiah and King of Israel

As Israel’s king, Jesus was embraced at first, appearing to the Jewish people, who rejoiced when he triumphantly entered Jerusalem on the foal of an donkey, crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”


Matthew 21:9 “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!  NASB


Mark 11:10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!”  NASB


John 12:13-16 “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.”  And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a donkey's colt.’  These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things to him.  NASB


Just because a handful of wicked Jewish rulers incited his death by crucifixion, does not mean his contiguous reign as the king of physical Israel is broken or negated.  The proof for this interpretation is found in the prophetic words of Caiaphas the high priest concerning Jesus’ death (below).


John 11:49-53 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.”  Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.  So, from that day on they planned together to kill Him.  NASU


By offering his blameless soul for sin, being completely acceptable to Yahweh, Jesus is not only physical Israel’s king, but also their permanent High Priest forever (Hebrews 6:20).  In the context of 1 Samuel 13:13; the prophet Samuel said to king Saul, “You have acted foolishly…consequently Yahweh would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.  But now your kingdom shall not endure.”  When king Saul’s reign ended, his kingdom and heritage were replaced by David’s kingdom.  From then onward, Messiah was associated with, ‘the son of David.” 


Matthew 12:3-8 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did, when he became hungry, he and his companions; 4 how he entered the house (oikos) of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him, but for the priests alone?  5 Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath, and are innocent?  6 But I say to you, that something greater than the temple (hieron) is here.  7 But if you had known what this means, 'I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.  8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”  New American Standard Bible


Using the incident of king David and his men eating the showbread, (1 Samuel 21:6), in Matthew 12:4, Jesus asserts his position of preeminence.  The only way to discern what is being depicted is looking at Greek words used for ‘house’ and for ‘temple.’  The Greek word for ‘house’ in verse 4 is oikos and is typically used to describes homes, or people’s place of dwelling.  Jesus is not depicting the Temple of Solomon here, (which was not built in king David’s lifetime), neither is he depicting the Old Testament tabernacle, from which king David DID eat the showbread, for reasons I will now discuss.


In Matthew 12:6; Jesus says, “something greater than the temple is here.”  The Greek word Jesus uses for ‘Temple’ is hieron; he uses hieron as a contrast, because it is defined as meaning, “a sacred place; or temple.”  In the Greek New Testament, this particular word hieron always refers to the Jewish Temple, which was built by Herod. Jesus contrasts their self-righteous piety and judgmental attitudes about obedience to the Law; aiming his sights on what he knew was the foundation for their religious façade; their blessed ‘Temple.’  Like the Pharisees, many Christians today boast on their material religion, how big their church is, how anointed their pastor is, and other meaningless trivia.


Yahweh’s Presence and Spirit have never been contained in buildings built by the hands of men.  Because Jesus uses the parallel to both “house” (oikos) and “Temple” (hieron), he portrays his display of mercy and compassion, (which looks at the heart and intent of the Law), by likening it to the actions of king David.  Jesus did not stop there, but addressed their accusations that he was breaking the Law of Moses concerning the Sabbath.


Yahweh gave the Law concerning the Sabbath rest to Moses, who was faithful over his house, but Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, is counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house (Hebrews 3:1-5).  Moses was a servant of Yahweh, but Christ was faithful as a ‘Son’ over his FATHER’S house by building it with living stones (i.e. believers).  Just as physical Israel (i.e. – the Jews) rejected the Jesus, who is the greater Moses, their rejection of him parallels only some aspects of their defiance against the physical Moses.


Moses sat ‘judging’ the affairs of the twelve tribes and his name means, “drawn out,” because he was ‘drawn out’ of Egypt’s Nile River, while floating in a basket, which his own mother placed in the river’s current in order to save her man-child baby from being slaughtered by the sword.  Physical Moses was saved from death when he was drawn out and ‘lifted up’ out of danger; he then grew to later become Israel’s foremost and preeminent JUDGE.  Jesus, the greater Moses, was also saved as an infant from the murderous command of Herod’s Roman sword; the difference between Jesus and Moses is that he grew up before Yahweh, not to judge Israel, but to be ‘lifted up’ as a living sacrifice, that he might SAVE the true and spiritual Israel.


John 3:14-17 “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  NASU


While Moses received the Law concerning Yahweh’s Sabbath rest, including its requirements of mercy and compassion, he never brought Israel into the promise.  Therefore, Yahweh made an oath of promise to king David, that from his descendents would come one to reign upon Israel’s throne as their preeminent leader, and fulfill the realization of the Sabbath rest.  But again, David did not bring Israel into rest, and he fell short of the glory of God, never meeting the criteria as being a man after God’s own heart.  It was the greater and more preeminent king David, Jesus the Christ, to whom the ultimate fulfillment would come thru his blameless offering and sacrifice.


The True David Brings the Sabbath Rest

In the days of Jesus, the Jewish people were longing for the appearance of king David’s descendent, but much like the Christian church today looks for success in a man’s outward appearance, using fleshly, materialistic traits to characterize true faith.  As has been done throughout history, most people reject the true shepherds and those who follow after Jesus, the true David.  Even the prophet Samuel, when searching for Yahweh’s anointing, looked at the outward appearance, and only later did he contemplate an insignificant shepherd boy.  Samuel knew Yahweh’s voice, but like all good shepherds, David was caring for his father Jesse’s flock obscured from sight, alone with God and his lambs.


The true David, our Lord Jesus, is the man after God’s own heart; he was not raised a shepherd, but a carpenter.  However, he grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man, learning to be both shepherd and builder.  Jesus uses ‘mercy’ as the mortar to hold each of the ‘living stones’ selected to build his Father’s house.  The stones are aligned with the Chief Cornerstone, and then each individual is placed carefully in truth with love, and joined together as one habitation for Yahweh. 


The master of this house desires it to be a place of rest from judgmental, self-righteous, religious piety so common to the human race in every period.  The Sabbath rest for God’s people, his house, can only come thru the individual expression of forgiveness, which then corporeally finishes the building.  This Sabbath rest is renewed and perpetual, but ONLY IF we continue to hold fast our faith (READ Hebrews 3:6-19) by showing the intent of the Sabbath requirement, and encouraging one another daily thru deeds and words in love.  Prophesying afterward, Jeremiah speaks of a day when Yahweh, true to His oath of promise, raises up to David a righteous Branch (Literally, a sprout), who will reign as ‘King.’  


Jeremiah 23:4-6 “‘And I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them.  And they will fear no more nor be dismayed, neither will any be missing or lost,’ says the Lord.  5 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch (Sprout), and HE will reign as King and do wisely and will execute justice and righteousness in the land.  6 In HIS days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name by which he shall be called: The Lord our Righteousness.’”  Amplified Bible (See also Matthew 1:21-23; Romans 3:22) 


Jeremiah adds components that help piece the prophetic puzzle together, affirming, “the days are coming,” when the soil of mankind’s heart sprouts forth, “a righteous Branch,” that is, “raised up,” to David.  The physical action of rising up alludes to the transformation of new life at the resurrection of Christ.  The Hebrew word tsemach is typically mistranslated, “branch,” in most Bible versions; tsemach is derived from a root verb tsamach, which means to grow, to spring forth, to sprout and refers to a plant as it breaks forth out of the ground (as used in Genesis 2:5,9).


Tsamach is also used of truth growing up from the earth (Psalms 85:11-12) and of the sprouting of the line of kings from David (Psalms 132:17; Jeremiah 33:15; Ezekiel 29:21; Zechariah 6:12); the springing forth of new things ordained by God (Isaiah 42:9; 43:19).[1] 


Psalms 89:11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.  Webster’s Bible


The illustration of wheat breaking thru the soil’s surface shows how the man Christ Jesus, first planted as a human seed in the soil of humankind, when Yahweh’s spirit overshadowed Mary and conceived in her womb a child, that would grow up to be king of Israel (Matthew 1:18-20; 2:2).  The psalmist uses the metaphor of germination as a poignant portrayal of truth and heaven’s life-giving properties.  We also see another prophetic picture of the ‘touching’ of two bodies, as the now glorified son of Man, working in the spirit and seated in heavenly places, continues his ‘touching’ wherever there are ears to hear what the spirit is saying. 


1 Corinthians 15:44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.  As there is a natural body so will there be a spiritual body.  It is written, moreover, that: The first man Adam became a living soul.  So the last Adam is a life–giving Spirit.  But we should notice that the ‘spiritual’ does not come first: the order is ‘natural’ first and then ‘spiritual.’  The first man came out of the earth, a material creature; the second man came from heaven.  For the life of this world men are made like the material man; but for the life that is to come they are made like the one from heaven.  So that just as we have been made like the material pattern, so we shall be made like the heavenly pattern.  For I assure you, my brothers, it is utterly impossible for flesh and blood to possess the kingdom God. The transitory could never possess the everlasting.  Phillip’s New Testament


Thru the members of his spiritual body the church, he lays his nail-scarred hand upon the fleshly tablets of our earthly human hearts.  Thus, he continues giving life to believing hearts, as a fresh, new sprout, each time we are born from above (i.e. – born again; John 3:3-4).  The future, preeminent Heir to king David’s throne is also a man (Jesus), that began his eternal reign of “righteousness” on the same day God raised him up from the dead, lifeless, inanimate soil of his flesh before it went into the decay process. 


Romans 6:4-5 We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, so we too might habitually live and behave in newness of life.  For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be one with Him in sharing His resurrection by a new life lived for God.   Amplified Bible


Some argue that once Jesus was raised to David as the righteous Branch, he did not reign as King or execute justice and righteousness in the land.  For the skeptic’s argument, the Hebrew word sakal (OT: 7919) in Jeremiah 23:5 translated in the Amplified Bible as, “do wisely,” is a verb meaning, “to act with insight,” but also, it connotes, “giving one’s attention by imparting wisdom and insight to another, as in one that teaches.”


Not coincidentally, Genesis 3:6 uses the same Hebrew word, but here, the woman is looking for the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to make her “wise.”  Unlike Jesus, Adam was disobedient to Yahweh, and instead of sanctifying his wife as Christ does the church, like an imprudent and unwise shepherd, he joined in the deception and brought sin into the world.  Secular humanism has followed the same path ever since.  The preaching of the cross is, I know, nonsense to those who are involved in this dying world, but to us who are being saved from that death it is nothing less than the power of God.  (1 Corinthians 1:18ff)


Jesus was known by his twelve handpicked disciples as, “Teacher,” and in the new covenant church, he continues his role as the Teacher by working in and thru the, “shepherds,” (mentioned in Jeremiah 23:4) in the church that, “feed,” the flock of Yahweh.  Since Jeremiah’s prophecy lends itself to being fulfilled post-resurrection, consider the events and words spoken the third time Jesus showed himself alive to Peter and the disciples after he was raised from the dead.


John 21:14-17 This was now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples after his resurrection from the dead…  Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon… do you love me more than these others…  Then feed my lambs…  Then care for my sheep…  Then feed my sheep.”


Nowhere in all of Jesus’ teaching is there a more graphic description as the Son of Man in his reign of glory, together with the overcomers from all ages, separating the nations as a shepherd separates sheep from the goats in Matthew 23:31-40; in the text, is found the pragmatic aspect of what it means to shepherd God’s flock.  Jesus tells of the criteria for feeding his sheep, given in examples such as, “When I was hungry, you fed me, when I was sick, you cared for my needs… in as much as you have done it to the least of these brethren of mine, you have done the same to me, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes.”


Jesus brings forth new life as the fruit of his kingly bounty, to those who believe in Yahweh thru him.  Hence, this future ruler is given a name that personifies his own character as the true man after God’s own heart, and is given a different name than David altogether as, “The Lord our Righteousness.”  Literally, this phrase reads, “Yahweh our righteousness,” and even more literal, “He IS our righteousness.”  This again falls perfectly in line with the plan and purpose God had for the man Christ Jesus, as in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”  (New Living Translation)


Isaiah also prophesied of a future king for Judah and Israel, whom Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible describes in his capacity as prince of peace, “Of the increase of dominion, and of prosperity, there shall be no end; upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, by establishing it and by sustaining it, with justice and with righteousness; from henceforth, even unto times age-abiding: The jealousy of Yahweh of hosts, will perform this!”  (Isaiah 9:7)


Spiritual Seed for a Future Spiritual House & Kingdom

During king David’s reign, he wanted to express his love for Yahweh by building for Him a ‘house’ (i.e. – dwelling place, a habitation for Yahweh’s name and for His awesome Presence) suitable to His glorious being (2 Samuel 7:1-3).  David told the prophet Nathan his plans (2 Samuel 7:2) and subsequently Yahweh spoke to Nathan, giving him the oath of promise for king David (2 Samuel 7:5-17).  In this oath of promise, Yahweh’s true, spiritual, “house,” and, “kingdom,” is understood and fulfilled.  David was aware of his own shortcomings, and realized Yahweh’s words extended far into the distant future. 


As you will see, David even rejoiced in a prayer of gratitude, giving his thanks to Yahweh for considering him, in his sinful existence, as being included in the spiritual lineage of this greater, more preeminent King.  King David never built the physical house for Yahweh, but he built the prophetic framework for a much more enduring and meaningful spiritual house thru his devotion. 


Solomon built the temple, but even he knew this building was not the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise; in 1 Kings 8:27 after he builds the temple, Solomon says these words to God in prayer, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth?  Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!” (NASU)  This familiar quote is echoed elsewhere, in both Old and New Testament scriptures, including 2 Chronicles 2:6; Psalms 139:7-16; Isaiah 66:1; Jeremiah 23:24; Acts 7:49. The familiar psalm written by Solomon affirms this interpretation:


Psalms 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


Later, king Solomon, David’s son and heir to his throne, constructed the temple for Yahweh.  However, because Solomon’s sinful life corrupted his worship and devotion to Yahweh, neither his throne, his house, or his kingdom were established.  Solomon’s heart was turned away from Yahweh, by worshipping the false gods of his one thousand wives and concubines. 


Solomon was corrupted by the pagan influence of his Egyptian, Sidonian, and other wives, making use of their idolatry by setting up alters to counterfeit deities, particularly foreign goddesses like Ashtaroth (Read 1 Kings 11:1-2, 4-6, 11-13).  For his disobedience, Yahweh rebuked Solomon and said, “I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant (1 Kings 11:11).  But Yahweh assured Solomon, that He would, “not tear away all the kingdom,” but He would give, “one tribe,” (an eternal tribe) for the sake of “David MY Servant,” and also, “for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen,” (1 Kings 11:13).


The identity and relational meaning of David’s royal offspring and Israel’s future king, (i.e. - a man after God’s own heart), is unveiled in the prophet Nathan’s message to him.  Yahweh’s eternal habitation, (i.e. – a house for the LORD), is also revealed thru multiple connecting pockets of Old and New Testament scriptures, and all joining in one testament concerning Messiah.  Yahweh’s message thru Nathan to David points to a future, prophetic house and kingdom:


2 Samuel 7:12, 13, 14, 16 “And when your days are fulfilled and you sleep with your fathers, I will set up after you your offspring who shall be born to you, and I will establish his kingdom.  13 He shall build a house for My Name and My Presence, and I will establish the throne of HIS kingdom forever.  14 I will be HIS Father, and he shall be My son…. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before you; your throne shall be established forever.”  Amplified Bible


The Hebrew noun for “offspring” is zera and in the passage above, is best translated as ‘seed.’  Individual context governs zera’s wide variety of uses and applications in the Old Testament.  Zera typically applies to sowing seed, but includes the ‘seed’ (i.e., the offspring) of both humans and animals.  Literally, zera (OT: 2233) means sowing, seed, descendants, offspring, children, and posterity, but it can also be translated as ‘son.’  For example, Yahweh gave Hannah the promise of ‘son’ (zera) in 1 Samuel 1:11.  The literal use of zera is seed planted in the field, which is fascinating considering Jesus’ many parables about sowing seed. 


The parallel Old Testament scripture passage that corresponds to 2 Samuel 7 is found in 1 Chronicles 17.  Similar in nature and content, the account in 1 Chronicles 17:10-27 uses clearly prophetic language, and many of the phrases indicate far into the future fulfillment.  First take time to open your Bible and read the text of 1 Chronicles 17:10-27 because there are some key phrases that demonstrate Solomon is not the true heir of promise, just as Isaac and Jacob were not the true object of Yahweh’s promise to Abraham.  Below is a summary A thru H of a select verses from 1 Chronicles 17:10-27 detailing the prophetic applications to Jesus as the true heir to David:


A. 1 Chronicles 17:10 “I foretell to you…GOD himself will build you a house means Yahweh will build David a future house, the church, which will become a blessed posterity.


Acts 7:45-49 “David, who found favor before God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.  But, Solomon built him a house.  Although indeed, the Most High, not in hand-made places, dwelleth; just as, the prophet, saith ‘Heaven is my thrown, and, the earth, is my footstool: What manner of house, will ye build me,’ saith the Lord, ‘Or what shall be the place of my resting?’”  Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible (Also see Isaiah 66:1-5)


B 1 Chronicles 17:11 “I will raise up your offspring (zera = seed) after you…”  David was a prophet, and he understood this meant Yahweh would one day raise up Israel’s Messiah from the dead, and subsequently give birth to spiritual seed.


Romans 1:1-4 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, having been separated to the good news of God, which He announced before through His prophets in holy writings concerning His Son, who is come of the seed of David according to the flesh, who is marked out Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of sanctification, by the rising again from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Young's Literal Translation Bible


C. 1 Chronicles 17:11 “one of your own sons…  I will establish his kingdom…”  This cannot be Solomon; only Jesus has been, “established,” by the Father, even Yahweh, ruling a spiritual kingdom.  When Pilate summoned Jesus in John 18:33-37 and asked him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”  Jesus answered in verses 36-37 below:


John 18:36-37 “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, then my servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, my kingdom is not of this realm.”  Therefore, Pilate said to Him, “So you are a king?”  Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king.  For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”  NASU


D. 1 Chronicles 17:12 “He shall build me a house…”  This does not contradict Yahweh’s claim that He will build the house for David; instead, it depicts how God, the Father, together with His son Jesus the reigning King and Messiah, now work as ‘ONE’ in the ongoing construction (i.e. - building the house, which is the church).  The foundation is already laid by the apostles and prophets, Jesus is the chief cornerstone, walls and roof, siding and other framework in place, and now the heavenly Carpenter is doing the ‘finishing’ work by perfecting it in truth and in love.  Also read Psalms 118:22; Isaiah 8:14,15; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; Romans 9:33; 10:11)


1 Peter 2:4-7 As you come to him, the living Stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him, you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’  Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.  But to those who do not believe, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.’  New International Version


E. 1 Chronicles 17:13 – “I will be HIS Father, and he shall be My son…” This cannot refer to Solomon; Jesus alone bears the title, “the only begotten son of God,” which is fulfilled at the resurrection.  His ‘kingdom’ reign began in the spirit at Pentecost, when Jesus as God only ‘begotten’ son started in on the task of building the true and eternal house upon the foundation laid by the prophets and apostles, Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone that the ‘Builder’ (Yahweh) uses to support the structure of his spiritual habitation (Hebrews 1:5-6).  Jesus, now glorified in heaven, said in Revelation 3:12 (below):


Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my new name.”  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


F. 1 Chronicles 17:14 “I {Yahweh} will settle him {Jesus} in MY house and in MY kingdom forever.”  Again, these words only finds the target in Jesus; Jesus told his disciples just before he was crucified, “In my Father’s ‘house’ are many ‘dwelling places.’  This of course, refers to the spirits of righteous men, who are ‘made perfect’ on the basis of HIS righteous, given by faith, and not thru the works of the law, or the works of the flesh, lest anyone should boast.


John 14:1-3, 6 “… believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also… I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.”  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


Hebrews 12:22-24  But ye have approached unto Zion’s mountain, and unto the city of a Living God, a heavenly Jerusalem, and unto myriads of messengers,  in high festival, and unto an assembly of firstborn ones, enrolled in the heavens, and unto God, judge of all, and unto the spirits of righteous ones made perfect, and unto the mediator of a new covenant, Jesus…  Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible


G. 1 Chronicles 17:15 “His throne shall be established forevermore.”  The use of a possessive, male pronoun, (“his throne”), depicts a heavenly belonging solely to Yahweh, but in relation to the ‘new creation’ in Christ, the throne is often used with language that illustrates interchangeable use between God the Father and His reigning, glorified son Jesus.  When Jesus was not yet conceived, God sent an angel to Mary and told her that when her son grows up, he ‘will be’ (future tense) great, and he ‘will be known,’ (again, future tense), as the ‘son of the Most High.’  Then the angel told her in Luke 1:32, “… The Lord God will give him the throne of his forefather, David,” indicating it would be given far into Jesus’ future. 


Jesus now shares in the use of the Father’s throne because he overcame sin and death and on this basis, he also now offers to individual believers a future tense position in his throne as reigning king.  This same ruling position becomes available the spiritual children (seed) or seed of the true David, meaning those in the church that have ‘ears to hear’ Jesus and overcome, just as he did.  One day, they too will share his throne, as he shares it with Yahweh, the Father and only true God.


Hebrews 8:1; 12:2  Now to sum up, we have an ideal High Priest such as has been described above.  He has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of Heavenly majesty… our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith. For he himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering; and he is now seated at the right hand of God’s throne.


Jesus, once glorified in heaven, said in Revelation 3:21-22 “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne.  He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  NASU


H. 1 Chronicles 17:25 “You, O my God… You will build for him a house.”  King David’s acknowledgment is final proof of his future expectation, knowing the Heart and Presence of Yahweh could not be constrained in any edifice.  Below are two psalms that use zera of David’s future spiritual seed, and as always, Yahweh’s covenant with man is conditional.  These psalms can easily be contrasted and shown distinctly different from the throne, which Jesus inherits, sitting upon and sharing his Father Yahweh’s throne (Revelation 3:21-22).  {I have inserted bracketed words to illustrate the new covenant fulfillment}:


Psalms 132:11-12 The LORD {Yahweh} has sworn to David {Jesus, His Beloved} a truth from which He {Yahweh} will not turn back: Of the fruit (zera = seed) of your body {of Christ} I {Yahweh} will set upon your {Jesus’} throne.  IF your sons will keep My {Yahweh’s new} covenant and My testimony {concerning My son Jesus} which I will {future tense} teach them, their sons {i.e. – the fruit of church as Christ’s life-giving seed} also shall sit upon your {Jesus’} throne forever."  NASU


Psalms 89:2-4 For I have said, “Lovingkindness will be built up forever; in the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness.” 3 I {Yahweh} have made a covenant with My chosen {Jesus’}; I have sworn to David My {old covenant} servant, 4 I will establish your {Messianic} seed (zera) forever and build up your {Messianic}  throne to ALL {Jewish & Gentile} generations.” Selah.  NASU


The seed of Abraham, the promised seed, (which has its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus) is another important use and connection to zera (Genesis 12:7; 15:3) and Isaiah uses zera in describing the seed or posterity of the Messiah in Isaiah 53:10.


Isaiah 53:10 Yet, Yahweh, purposed to bruise him, He laid on him sickness: If his soul become an offering for guilt, He shall see a seed (zera), He shall prolong his days…  Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible


David acknowledges the promise of Yahweh reaches far into the future:


2 Samuel 7:18-19 Then entered King David, and tarried before Yahweh, and said, “Who am, I, my Lord, Yahweh, and what is my house, that thou hast brought me, hitherto; 19 and hast yet further made this seem little in thine eyes, my Lord, Yahweh, in that thou hast spoken, even of the house of thy servant, for a great while to come?  This then is the law of manhood, O my Lord, Yahweh!”  Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible


The Hebrew word rachowq (OT: 7350) is translated as, “for a great while to come,” and literally means, “remote, far, distant; used of distance, time.”  Rachowq indicates time far away, far off (Ezekiel 12:27), or the space between two points (Genesis 22:4); it also refers to distant time, long ago (Isaiah 22:11).  Rachowq is used for prophecies that realize fulfillment far into the future, depicting what is to come, such as in 2 Kings 19:25 and Isaiah 37:26.  King David makes use of rachowq in 2 Samuel 7:19 above and this use proves indisputably that he did not expect his physical kingdom or his physical house (thru his son Solomon’s reign) to be the fulfillment of his royal spiritual legacy.


The true and enduring seed or offspring of a particular nation must be properly characterized in moral and spiritual terms.  For example, the Old Testament Hebrew scriptures oftentimes allude to the seed of Israel as ‘a holy seed’ such as found in Isaiah 6:13.  In Ezra 9:2, the physical and spiritual seed of Israel corrupted itself by mixing with the peoples around them, thereby invalidating any possibility of passing on the kingly heritage of David.  Therefore, the seed or ‘zera’ of the true Israel is a seed of God’s own son Jesus, which He (Yahweh) plants in the fertile soil of the earth; soil is symbolic for hearts of men and women. 


In Luke 8:6-15, Jesus tells the parable of the sower, which sowed seed in different kinds of earth, symbolizing the way people embrace or reject the seed of truth, found in the precepts taught in Scripture.  This depiction is particularly applicable nowadays, when many professing born-again Christians are like seed by the roadside; no sooner do they hear truth than the Devil snatches it from them, they rationalize their sin of pornography, or gossip, so they won’t believe and be saved.  Other born-again Christians are like the seeds in the gravel; they get ‘saved’ at a Billy Graham crusade, or bow their knee at a church service alter call, and praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with enthusiasm; however, the enthusiasm doesn’t go very deep.  It becomes for them like just another reality television program… just another fad, and the moment there’s trouble it’s gone. 


But perhaps the most poignant of all the four types of soil mentioned by Jesus in his parable of the sower is the seed that fell in the thorny weeds.  I picture in my mind the variety of blackberry and other invasive vine-type weeds we have here in the Pacific Northwest.  These are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out by worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun.  It’s the day-to-day mundane apathy that like blackberry weeds, takes over everything, and chokes the spiritual life to death.  The good earth is rare, but yields bountiful fruit of the spirit; these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest.” 


Whether in the old covenant (Malachi 2:15), anticipating the future messiah, or in the new covenant, David’s seed or offspring is realized spiritually, through a person’s relationship with God’s spirit, which is only thru the man Christ Jesus, the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5 with 2 Peter 1:4).


Galatians 3:15-16 Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it.  Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.  He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘and to your seed’ that is, Christ.’  NASU


As believers individually, we the church are Yahweh’s offspring and the fruit of His spirit.  We are able to approach His throne of grace for help in time of need ONLY because He (Yahweh) gave His OWN SON an offering for sin.  We have a spiritual king as our great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.  He does not ‘rule over’ us like an angry despot, but he is a compassionate king, who can sympathize with our weaknesses, because he has been tempted in all things, just as we have, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16).  On THIS basis alone, we draw near to Yahweh’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  What a friend we have in Jesus!


What finished his offering, thereby assuring Yahweh’s acceptance that it would be redemptive for atonement, was the fact that Jesus, as a man, willingly counted the cost of his sacrifice; then, in the greatest conceivable human anguish of soul, he chose to obey the will of his Father.


Matthew 26:36-39, 42, 44 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane…he began to show grief and distress of mind and was deeply depressed… then he said to Peter, James, and John, “My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow… he threw Himself upon the ground on his face and prayed three times in successive order, agonizing over his decision, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I will, not what I desire, but as You will and desire… my Father, if it is not possible for this cup to pass from me without my drinking it, then your will must be done …dear Father all things are possible to you.  Let me not have to drink this cup!  Yet it is not what I want but what you want.”  (36-39 Amplified Bible ), (42, 44 Phillip’s New Testament)


Thru his travail of soul and spirit, Jesus gave his life as the only offering that was or ever could be acceptable and pleasing to Yahweh.  The Amplified Bible renders Isaiah 53:10 with an embellishment about the spiritual seed, (also see John 1:29).


Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick.  When You and He make His life an offering for sin and He has risen from the dead, in time to come, He shall see His spiritual offspring… He shall see the fruit of the travail of His soul and be satisfied My uncompromisingly righteous One, My Servant, {shall} justify many and make many righteous…for He shall bear their iniquities and their guilt.”  Amplified Bible


Jesus IS the Man after God’s Own Heart

In the context of Acts 13:20-41 (below) the apostle Paul, along with Barnabas, shares this message at a synagogue on the Sabbath; his spoken message was used by Luke the physician as part of his inspired record of the acts of the apostles; it remains as part of the written text of scripture.  I have omitted a few verses to conserve space, but have the main body of text as it applies to the fulfillment of Yahweh’s oath of promise concerning the true David of Israel, Jesus of Lord.  I have inserted {bracketed words} to enhance the text by clarifying characters and context.


Jesus, the true David, gave insight to the apostle Paul insight as he spoke to his countrymen, fulfilling prophecy in their company, and those of the proselytes who were present on that glorious Sabbath!  The scriptures prove, beyond any doubt, that Jesus is the prophetic fulfillment Yahweh’s appointment of a king to shepherd His people Israel after God’s own heart.  Below are some select verses and comments following; bracketed words are added by me for clarity:


Acts 13:21-23 “…for some four hundred and fifty years, after that he {Yahweh} gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel.  21 Then when they {Israel} begged for a king God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, to be their king for forty years.  22 After he {Yahweh} had deposed him, “He raised David to the throne,” a man of whom God himself bore testimony in the words, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who shall do all my will.’  23 From the descendants of this man, according to his promise, God has brought Jesus to Israel to be their savior.  Phillip’s New Testament


The Hebrew meaning of the word translated in Acts 13:22 as David is, “Beloved,” and this fits nicely with Jesus the Christ, who at the beginning and finish of his earthly messianic role is addressed directly by the Father, “This is My beloved son.”  The word, “throne,” points only to Jesus, fulfilling the promise Yahweh made to David and to Israel, that from his descendents, one would come, whose throne would endure forever.


In the Greek, the construction of Acts 13:22 negates king David’s involvement or any of his bloodline descendents.  The words translated, “have found,” are from the Greek word heúron, meaning, “to find,” but this word is constructed in the aorist indicative active, as opposed to being constructed in the middle voice.  In Greek, the middle voice connotes action done for one’s purpose (i.e. – for self interest), whereas the aorist indicative active construction connotes the exact opposite of the middle voice, depicting simple action done for the benefit of another. 


This construction gives evidence for transferring the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy in 1 Samuel 13:14, and subsequently applying it via the new covenant in Jesus.  Below are contrast comparisons between the old covenant words Samuel spoke, and the new covenant words spoken by the apostle Paul’s message to the devote Jews in the synagogue in Acts 13:23.


OT prophet (1 Sam 13:14) - Yahweh has sought out for Himself

NT apostle  (Acts 13:23)    - God has brought Jesus to Israel


OT prophet (1 Sam 13:14) – Yahweh appointed him as ruler over His people

NT apostle  (Acts 13:23)    - God has brought Jesus to Israel to be their savior


The phrase in Acts 13:22 that reads, “I have found David, the son of Jesse,” is a mistranslation; the Greek text purposely omits the usual word huios for ‘son of.’  For the student familiar with Greek, the text reads, “Heúron Dauíd tón toú Iessaí,” (with huios for ‘son’ noticeably absent).  This is done purposely, with the objective pointing us Christ, who is the greater David.  Because the verse is prophetic, as a result, the figurative and metaphorical definitions apply.  Taken in context the word meanings and applications dramatically change the English translation of Acts 13:22, as found in The Appropriate Translation below:

The Appropriate Translation

Acts 13:22


Acts 13:22 And when He {Yahweh} changed the situation {by} transferring {from old to new covenant}, He raised His Beloved up from the sleep of death, into the position as prince and leader of the people.  This is the one of whom He bore an honorable testimony saying, ‘I have scrutinized my beloved and found {him} to be the sacrificial gift, a man whose standard of heart agrees with the values, affections and passions of my own, who will do everything I determine.


In Acts 13:22, the Greek word for “throne” is basiléa, which means, “leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.”  Jesus taught his disciples and the church to follow only one leader:


Matthew 23:10 "Do not be called leaders; for one is your Leader, that is, Christ.”  NASB


The common Hebraism, “son of David,” or simply, “David,” was often used by Jews who were eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promises to king David, looking to one of his descendents to ascend the throne of Israel, and deliver them from the yoke of oppression under Rome.


Matthew 9:27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”  NASU


Matthew 15:22 And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.”  NASU


Matthew 20:30-31 And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”  31 The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  NASU


Matthew 21:15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant.  NASU


Even the magi, or wise men from the east, (astronomers or astrologists), came to the place where Jesus was born, in Bethlehem.  Matthew 2:1-2 tells how they were guided by a starry sign in the heavens and were asking, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?  For we have seen his star in the east...”


Below is the remainder of select excerpts pertaining to the narrative of Acts chapter 13:22-42, which I have pasted from Phillip’s New Testament and once more added {bracketed words to clarify context and application}.  As a reminder, Acts 13:22ff is the message spoken by the apostle Paul, as Barnabas and he were in the synagogue on the Sabbath, speaking to devout Jews and Greek converts or proselytes to Judaism.  This explanation is noteworthy, since it was to Israel, (i.e. – the Jewish people), to whom the oath of promise concerning David’s descendent has its roots.


Acts 13:24-29 John came before him to prepare his way, preaching the baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel.  25 Indeed, as John reached the end of his time, he said these words: ‘what do you think I am?  I am not he.  But know this, someone comes after me whose shoelace I am not fit to untie!’  26 Men and brothers, sons of the race of Abraham, and all among you who fear God, it is to us that this message of salvation has now been sent!  27 For the people of Jerusalem and their rulers refused to recognize him or to understand the voice of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day; even though in condemning him {Jesus} they {the Jews} fulfilled these very prophecies {i.e. – the prophecies of Samuel concerning a man after God’s own heart.}  28 For though they found no cause for putting him to death, they begged Pilate to have him executed.  29 And when they had completed everything that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 


30 But God raised him from the dead.  31 For, many days he was seen by those who had come up from Galilee to Jerusalem with him, and these men are now his witnesses to the people.  32 And as for us, we tell you {Jews} the good news that the promise made to our forefathers, 33 has come true; that, in raising up Jesus, God has fulfilled it for us, their {the forefather’s} children.  This is endorsed in the second psalm: ‘Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.’ 


34 And as for the fact of God’s raising him from the dead, never to return to corruption, he has spoken in these words: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’  35 And then, going further he says in another psalm, ‘Thou shalt not suffer thine holy one to see corruption.’ 36 For David, remember, after he had served God’s purpose in his own generation fell asleep and was laid with his ancestors.  He {David} did in fact ‘see corruption’, 37 but this man {Jesus} whom God raised never saw corruption!  38 It is therefore imperative, men, and brothers, that every one of you {Jews} should realize that forgiveness of sins is now proclaimed to you through THIS MAN. 39 And through faith IN HIM, a man is absolved from all those things from which the Law of Moses could never set him free.”


40 “Take care then that this saying of the prophets should never apply to you:  41 ‘Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work IN YOUR DAYS; a work which you shall in no wise believe, if one declare it unto YOU.’” 


42 As they were going out the people kept on asking them to say all this again on the following Sabbath.  43 After the meeting of the synagogue broke up many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas who spoke personally to them and urged them to put their trust in the grace of God.  Phillip’s New Testament


Jesus Christ IS the true man after God’s own heart because, unlike David, during his brief 33 ½ years on earth, he ALWAYS did the Father’s will.  In the original context, (1 Samuel 13:13-14), Samuel makes no mention of David, and as I have already proven, knew nothing of the young shepherd’s identity until after Yahweh sent him to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse, to anoint him.  Paul’s discourse, which adds the words, “I have found David, the son of Jesse,” is borrowed from Psalms 89:20. 


Those familiar with the psalms realize that it is purely messianic, and finds its fulfillment only in Jesus Christ.  Below are excerpts taken from Psalms 89:19-22, which verify Jesus is the object of the apostle Paul’s references to David in Acts 14:22.  The believing Jews knew Jesus was their Messiah, or Christ, calling him, “the son of David,” or simply, “David,” (both terms are Hebraisms for the Messiah, or the anointed one of Yahweh; see also Acts 7:46-51).


Psalms 89:19-22 Once You spoke in vision to Your godly ones, and said, “I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. 20 I have found David My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him, 21 with whom My hand will be established; My arm also will strengthen him.  22 The enemy will not deceive him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him.”  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


In Psalms 89:19, note the words, “David, My servant,” because this is further testimony of Jesus as Messiah and king of the spiritual Israel.  Common sense dictates that king David is not to be described as he whom, “the enemy will not deceive.”  Jesus Christ is the only man who was tempted in all points, did not sin, and was he deceived.  Everyone else has gone astray and fallen short of the glory of Yahweh.  I have again added {bracketed words} for clarity.


Psalms 89:26-29, 35-37 “He {Jesus} will cry to Me {Yahweh}, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’  27 I also shall make him {Jesus} My {Yahweh’s} firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.  28 My lovingkindness I {Yahweh} will keep for him {Jesus} forever, and My {Yahweh’s} covenant shall be confirmed to him {Jesus}.  29 So I {Yahweh} will establish his {Jesus} descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven…35 Once, I {Yahweh} have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David {Jesus}.  36 HIS {Jesus} descendants shall endure forever and HIS {Jesus} throne as the SUN before Me {Yahweh}.  37 "It shall be established forever like the moon, and THE witness in the sky is faithful.” Selah.  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


Throughout both Old and New Testament we find Jesus is called by the name, “David,” (e.g. – “son of David”) in his role, position and function as the Christ (NOTE: ‘Christ’ is the Greek New Testament word equivalent to the Hebrew title, ‘Messiah’ and both words mean, “anointed one.”).  Jesus is likened to David because his eternal kingdom endures forever, fulfilling Yahweh’s covenant promise made to king David, that someone from his “seed” would ascend to the throne of Israel, and reign in righteousness and justice forever.


Jesus is also likened to David because David represents to physical Israel, the loving shepherd-king, (NOTE: The Hebrew word David, OT: 1732 = Daviyd; it means, “beloved,” and offers yet another proof the true David is Jesus, who is called by God, the Father, “My beloved son.”  See Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7; Luke 3:22; 20:13). 


In 2 Peter 1:17, the apostle Peter, when writing in his first epistle, describes what he heard as one of three witnesses that Jesus shared the vision of his glorification with, “and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’” 


Psalms 89:3-4 “I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, ‘I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations.’”  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


Psalms 89:20-22 “I have found David My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him, with whom My hand will be established; My arm also will strengthen him.  The enemy will not deceive him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him.”  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


Psalms 89:26-29 “He will cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’  I also shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.  My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall be confirmed to him.  So I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven.”  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


In closing this lengthy study, I have only scratched the surface of the plethora of scripture passages concerning Jesus as the true, spiritual David.  Before I did the research for this study, I was unaware of the extent and ways that scripture address David, and I hope you too will never read and interpret the scriptures about David without taking time to reflect upon Jesus.  As you read the closing passage, ponder why Jesus speaks to the religious Jews about David following his mention of the most important of all the commandments below.


Matthew 22:35-46

35-36 And one of their number, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him. “Teacher, which kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law?”  [Some commandments are light — which are heavy?] 


37-40 And He replied to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). [Deuteronomy 6:5.]  38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.  [Leviticus 19:18.]  40 These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.”


41-42 Now while the Pharisees were still assembled there, Jesus asked them a question, 42 Saying, “What do you think of the Christ?  Whose Son is He?”  They said to Him, “The Son of David.”


43-46 He said to them, “How is it then that David, under the influence of the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord,’ saying, 44 ‘The Lord said to My Lord, Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet?’ [Psalms 110:1.]  45 If then David thus calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”


46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day did anyone venture or dare to question Him. Amplified Bible


Here’s some help… enjoy!

Matthew 22:41-45 Now while the Pharisees were still assembled there, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think of the Christ?  Whose Son is He?”  They said to Him, “The Son of David.” 


He said to them, “How is it then that David {OT king of Israel}, under the influence of the Spirit, calls Him {future messiah} ‘Lord,’ saying, 44 “‘The Lord {Yahweh} said to my Lord {David’s future messiah}, ‘Sit at My right hand until I put your enemies under your feet?’  {Quoting from David’s Psalm 110:1}


45 If then David {OT king of Israel} thus calls him {future messiah} ‘Lord,’ how is He {the Christ} his {David’s} son?” 






Craig Bluemel - The Bible Answer Stand Ministry

1 Peter 3:15 Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.   



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[1] The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament Copyright © 2003 by AMG Publishers