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?


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.

  • I thought all descendents of Dovid Hamelech (except Bustenai) were killed in Bustenai's time? Aug 13 '13 at 1:24
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    @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. 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. Aug 13 '13 at 2:00
  • @ShmuelBrin … R' Sherira Gaon; see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bostanai 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. Apr 11 '14 at 18:33

However Vayikra Rabba 19:6 states that the curse was revoked and Zerubavel was part of the line of King David.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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