Oct 27, 2012

Daniel and the Times of the Gentiles (Part 3)

Tony GarlandBy Dr. Tony Garland

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Davidic Throne Is on Earth

The continuation of the Times of the Gentiles provides additional proof that Jesus does not presently occupy the throne of David. Showers explains some of the many distinctions between the presently unoccupied throne of David on earth and God’s throne in heaven which Jesus is presently seated to the right hand of:

Several factors indicate that David’s throne is separate and distinct from God’s throne in heaven. First, several descendants of David have sat on his throne, but only one of his descendants ever sits on the right hand of God’s throne in heaven. That descendant is Jesus Christ (Ps. 110:1; Heb. 8:1; 12:2). Second, David’s throne was not established before his lifetime (2 Sam. 7:16-17). By contrast, since God has always ruled over His creation, His throne in heaven was established long before David’s throne (Ps. 93:1-2). Third, since God’s throne in heaven was established long before David’s throne and since God’s throne was established forever (Lam. 5:19), then it was not necessary for God to promise to establish David’s throne forever (2 Sam. 7:16) if they are the same throne. Fourth, David’s throne was on the earth, not in heaven. David and his descendants who sat on his throne exercised an earthly, ruling authority. They never exercised ruling authority in or from heaven. By contrast, as noted earlier, the Bible indicates that God’s throne is in heaven. Fifth, the Bible’s consistent description of David’s throne indicates that it belongs to David. When God talked to David about his throne, God referred to it as "thy throne" (2 Sam. 7:16; Ps. 89:4; 132:12). When God mentioned David’s throne to others, He referred to it as "his throne" (Ps. 89:29; Jer. 33:21), "David’s throne" (Jer. 13:13), and "the throne of David" (Jer. 17:25; 22:2, 4; 22:30). By contrast, the Scriptures’ consistent description of the throne in heaven indicates that it belongs to God the Father. [1]

Lacking an understanding of the difference between the Davidic throne based in Jerusalem ruling over Israel [2] and the throne of the Father in heaven, we cannot make full sense of the Gospel record where Jesus arranges His fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 by riding into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey (Luke 19:30-31), presenting Himself as the promised Davidic king. This was "Shiloh" (He Whose right it was to rule) arriving to take up His rule as Zechariah had predicted:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:9-10)

Zechariah indicates that the coming of this Ruler to His throne will usher in a time of worldwide peace due to His righteous global rule. But, as prophesied by many passages in the OT (including Dan. 9:26), instead of being crowned with a royal crown, Messiah was given a crown of thorns and "cut off." In the context of Jesus' presentation to Israel as the promised Davidic king, the response of the chief priests to Pilate are of particular significance: We have no king but Caesar! (John 19:15)

With these very words, the religious leaders chose a Gentile king over their promised Davidic king and ensured the continuation of the Times of the Gentiles. Thus our age is not characterized by global peace and the throne of David remains unoccupied until Jesus returns to take up His throne and rule from Jerusalem (Isa. 9:7; Luke 1:32-33; Mt. 25:31-32). [3]


[1] Renald Showers, Israel My Glory, January/February 2001, 30.

[2] The eventual Davidic rule of Jesus will span the entire globe and include dominion over all nations (Isa. 9:6; Zec. 14:9-16; Rev. 11:15).

[3] We disagree with Keil who makes the deportation to Babylon the end of the Davidic rule for all time. "Accordingly the exile forms a great turning-point in the development of the kingdom of God which He had founded in Israel. With that event the form of the theocracy established at Sinai comes to an end, and then begins the period of the transition to a new form, which was to be established by Christ, and has been actually established by Him. The form according to which the people of God constituted an earthly kingdom, taking its place beside the other kingdoms of the nations, was not again restored after the termination of the seventy years of the desolations of Jerusalem and Judah, which had been prophesied by Jeremiah, because the Old Testament theocracy had served its end."—Carl Friedrich Keil, Daniel in Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), 9:489.