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Who Is the David of Prophecy?

Hosea refers to “David” who shall be the king of Israel again—in a future context. To whom is this referring?

In Hosea 3 we find an amazing millennial promise, a promise of Israel’s future restoration and an individual named “David.” That scripture reads:

Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king: and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days (Hosea 3:5).

There are many other similar promises of Israel’s restoration and of an individual named “David.” Jeremiah 30:9 states: “But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king.” Who is the “David” of prophecy? Is it King David who will be resurrected in the future? Is “David” simply a reference to Jesus Christ the Son of David, or is it someone else?

Prophetic scholars have long discussed this issue. One view is that Jesus Christ and this individual called “David” are really the same individual. Since Jesus Christ is the Son of David, it is quite natural to believe that Jesus would be called “David” and associated with the throne of David.

There are many problems with this view. Jesus Christ is never actually called “David” in the Bible. He is called the Son of David, the Seed of David, and the Root and Offspring of David, but never just “David.” Furthermore in Hosea 3:5 and several other Old Testament passages (Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:21–25 ) the Lord is clearly distinguished from this individual called “David.” In other words, in these passages there is reference to “the LORD” and also to this individual named “David.” If “David” is a reference to Christ, this distinction would not be made since Jesus Christ is Lord.

Another view is that “David” is a reference to King David of the Old Testament who is resurrected in the Millennium and who rules as co-regent with Christ. The Bible suggests that there will be several rulers in the Millennium who rule under the Lordship of the Messiah. Since Jesus Christ will be “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16), He will be in authority over all those who rule in the Kingdom Age. Moreover, Isaiah 32:1 says, “Behold, a king [meaning Jesus Christ] shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.” The Messiah will rule with princes under Him. Supportive of this is Matthew 19:28 where the Lord Jesus Christ says, “ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

It seems best to conclude that in the Kingdom Age David will rule with others, all subordinate to the Lord Jesus Christ. This will be preceded by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit leading to Israel’s conversion, as described in Zechariah 12:10:

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him.

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