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The Reish Galuta, or Exilarch, was, from the time of Zerubavel until the abolition of the office ca. 1000 C.E. (with interregna), a Jewish political leader descended from malchut beit David. In some ways (see the Wikipedia article) he was treated as a legitimate king and heir to the Davidic line.

Was it assumed that the then-current Reish Galuta would reign as Melech haMoshiach if we were to have merited Melech haMoshiach's reign?

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Seder Olam Zutta seems to imply that the Reish Galuta was from the line of Yehoaichin, who was cursed by Yirmiyahu that none of his descendants should ever be king.

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  • I thought all descendents of Dovid Hamelech (except Bustenai) were killed in Bustenai's time? – Shmuel Aug 13 '13 at 1:24
  • @ShmuelBrin interesting, I'm not familiar with this tradition. David and Shlomo had many sons, though --- it seems plausible that male-line descendants who were not part of the reigning dynasty of Judah would have survived. – Shivaram Lingamneni Aug 13 '13 at 1:50
  • @ShmuelBrin One of the Geonim (I forget which) is quoted as claiming descent from beit david, but not through Bustenai: neither his Jewish nor his (born) Persian wife. – J. C. Salomon Aug 13 '13 at 2:00
  • @ShmuelBrin … R' Sherira Gaon; see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bostanai – J. C. Salomon Aug 13 '13 at 2:01
  • I’m not sure @sabbahillel’s edit is appropriate. The original answer was a negative, backed by Seder Olam Zutta. Bringing in Vayikra Rabba opens the question back up. – J. C. Salomon Apr 11 '14 at 18:33
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However Vayikra Rabba 19:6 states that the curse was revoked and Zerubavel was part of the line of King David. I go into detail on this answer at which kings must Moshiach descend from?. Among other sources (besides Vayikra Raba) I point to the Abarbanel and Metzudas Dovid in Chagai and Zecharya as well as several possible lists of descendants into relatively modern times.

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