Which (individual) sages of Talmud were said to be traced back to King David? IIRC, R. Hillel was one (?). Are there others? Sources are welcome.

  • sefaria.org/…
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Jul 31, 2019 at 16:03
  • 1
    IIRC, we can see from many examples, that both sides count (fraternal or maternal), like in Pinchas Ben Elazar (was called בן פוטיפרע).
    – Al Berko
    Jul 31, 2019 at 17:16
  • I don't have a source off hand but they say Rashi descended from King David through R'' Yochanan HaSandlar.
    – N.T.
    Sep 15, 2020 at 7:43
  • I don't have a source off hand but they say Rashi descended from King David through R'' Yochanan HaSandlar.
    – N.T.
    Sep 15, 2020 at 7:44

2 Answers 2


The Rashei Galusa in Bavel were descended from David, and we know that some of them were among the Amoraim. They include the earlier Rav Huna (a contemporary of R' Yehudah Hanassi, and possibly a teacher of Shmuel), Mar Ukva, and Rav Huna brei dR' Nosson. Also R' Nosson (the Av Beis Din in the time of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel II) was a son of the Reish Galusa (see Horios 13b and the elucidation of it cited in note ה here).

R' Sherira Gaon also identifies the better-known Rav Huna (disciple and successor of Rav) as מבי נשיאה, from the family of the Nasi (Reish Galusa), which might also mark him as a descendant of David (although not necessarily: it could just mean that he was related to them by marriage, as was Rav Nachman).


Ketubot 62b says that Rav Yehuda HaNasi was a descendent of King David. This most likely means his father Rav Shimon ben Gamliel (II) was as well.

The Wikipedia entry for Hillel says he also was a descendant of King David:

According to the "Iggeret of Rav Sherira Gaon" (a comprehensive history of the composition of the Talmud from the 10th century), Hillel descended from the Tribe of Benjamin on his father's side, and from the family of David on his mother's side.

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    Hillel, Rabban Shim'on ben Gamli'el and Rabbi Yehuda Hannasi were all from the same line. I didn't look at Rav Sherira's letter inside but I'm guessing his source is from Bereshit Rabba 33:3: Rabbi says וְאִין סָלֵיק רַב הוּנָא רֵישׁ גָּלוּתָא לְהָכָא, אֲנָא קָאֵים לִי מִן קֳדָמוֹהִי, לָמָּה דְּהוּא מִן יְהוּדָה וַאֲנָא מִן בִּנְיָמִין, וְהוּא מִן דִּכְרַיָא דִּיהוּדָה וַאֲנָא מִן נֻקְבְתָא
    – b a
    Jul 31, 2019 at 16:19
  • @ba could be- will try to see if I can find it in the letter later and if so will edit it in
    – alicht
    Jul 31, 2019 at 16:21
  • "This most likely means" - this doesn't. As I commented above we can conclude that if the Gemmorah mentions R"Y and not his father R'Shimon, R"Y was related by his maternal line. THis is very suspicious when any source mentions only one person and not all of his descendants (Hilel and not R"G, R"Y etc).
    – Al Berko
    Jul 31, 2019 at 17:23
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    @AlBerko There are other sources too (at least one). מגילת יוחסין מצאו בירושלם וכתוב בה הלל מן דדוד
    – b a
    Jul 31, 2019 at 19:16
  • @ba Right, those are with all the contradicting scrolls they have found. What does it mean הילל מן דדוד? SHouldn't it say מן דוד? How come Bavli didn't know of that?
    – Al Berko
    Jul 31, 2019 at 20:30

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