A Messianic title of which the first documented occurrence is in the Pss. of Sol. (17: 21); used of Jesus (e.g. Mark 10: 47; Matt. 1: 1; 21: 9). It was part of Jewish Messianic expectation that the Messiah should be a descendant of King David, Israel's ideal king. Matthew emphasizes this claim: Jesus accepts the people's acclamation of him as such when he visits Jerusalem; and he confounds his critics when they question him about this at the climax of controversy in Jerusalem (Matthew 22: 41–6). The title is used nine times by Matthew and seems to be part of his answer to Jewish objections, when the gospel was compiled, about the Church's claims for Jesus. The child Jesus was a Son of David (2: 2); as Son of David he rode into Jerusalem (21: 9); but he is never addressed as such by Pharisees. He does not fit into current expectations of the Son of David. The liberation he offers is not like that of King David but of healings and love. The title does emphasize the Messiahship of Jesus but in Matthew it is a modification of Israel's hopes. Indeed it is used of him by a Gentile woman (Matt. 15: 22).
Subjects: Biblical Studies.