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A male Jew is the direct patrilineal genetic offspring of King David, and he marries a non-Jewish woman. Then their son converts to Judaism. Could their son potentially be Moshiach? If not: why not? Is “Davidic lineage” a status just like Kohanim which is lost after intermarriage, never to be regained even if the progeny converts? If so, what are the sources for that?

If the answer is no, then in identifying a potential Moshiach one would have to prove that there isn’t even a single instance of intermarriage through the paternal line going back to King David. In other words: if a direct patrilineal descendant from King David marries a non-Jewish woman, and then their son converts and rejoins the Jewish people (which is not unheard of) then none of his direct patrilineal offspring could ever be considered to be a potential Moshiach. Over many generations this could mean a tremendous amount of people. I admittedly don’t know much about it, but are Jews really that sure that there were no such instances through their patrilineal lines? I guess families with Kohanim status might keep really strict genealogical records, but I imagine most Jews certainly don’t.

I do not intend to offend anyone or start any kind of trouble; I’m not even a Jew myself. So forgive me for my ignorance if you perceive it as such. I’m just curious as to how it works, considering so many Jews are sincerely expecting the arrival of Moshiach.

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    Generally speaking there is no legal filiation between Jews and non-Jews. A Jew who marries a non-Jew would not be legally related to his children. For instance, if the daughter of such a relationship converted, she could marry her biological father since they aren't legally related – Double AA Apr 23 '18 at 1:36
  • Welcome to MiYodeya Red Fire. Hope to see you around! – mbloch Apr 23 '18 at 3:08
  • @DoubleAA Concerning the last line of your comment: are you sure that is the halacha? For sure that would be halacha v'ein morin kein if it is. – ezra Apr 23 '18 at 4:38
  • It's funny to me how you end with "considering so many Jews are sincerely expecting the arrival of Moshiach". As if the dearth of potential candidates should make us doubt that he'll arrive. All we need is one. (And that's assuming you're right that there's a dearth.) – msh210 Apr 23 '18 at 4:49
  • @ezra No halakha vein morin kein. The halakhot of arayot for gerim are discussed in YD 269. Certain relationships are forbidden Derabanan and most are permitted. See there for details. – Double AA Apr 23 '18 at 13:36
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The converted child cannot potentially be Moshiach because he is not an inheriting son from the biological father. He is considered descended from the gentile mother and not from Israel.

Kingship, including the kingship of the house of David is a hereditary possession. Like is found in Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim 1:7 which states:

ומאחר שמושחין המלך הרי זה זוכה לו ולבניו עד עולם. שהמלכות ירשה שנאמר (דברים יז כ) "למען יאריך ימים על ממלכתו הוא ובניו בקרב ישראל". הניח בן קטן משמרין לו המלוכה עד שיגדיל. כמו שעשה יהוידע ליואש. וכל הקודם בנחלה קדם לירשת המלוכה. והבן הגדול קודם לקטן ממנו.

In Mishnah Torah, Laws of Inheritance, chapter 1, laws 1 and 3 it establishes the principle of inheritance.

לפיכך אין לך אדם מישראל שאין לו יורשין:

The Maggid Mishneh to this Rambam points to the last chapter of HaGozel (there are 3 chapters) in Tractate Bava Kama as the source.

The idea here is that all legally valid heirs inherit from such a person.

The idea that a child born from a non-Jewish mother and a Jewish father is not a legally valid heir is mentioned explicitly in the Laws of Inheritance 1:7 which states:

כָּל הַקְּרוֹבִין בַּעֲבֵרָה יוֹרְשִׁין כִּכְשֵׁרִים. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ בֵּן מַמְזֵר אוֹ אָח מַמְזֵר הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כִּשְׁאָר בָּנִים וְכִשְׁאָר אַחִים לַנַּחֲלָה. אֲבָל בְּנוֹ מִן הַשִּׁפְחָה אוֹ מִן הַנָּכְרִית אֵינוֹ בֵּן לְדָבָר מִן הַדְּבָרִים וְאֵינוֹ יוֹרֵשׁ כְּלָל:

This subject as it relates to the Kingship of Israel in the land of Israel, like the Kingship of the house of David, is also brought from Metzudat David to Daniel 3:1:1 which specifically states that the gentiles will not inherit the Malucha (Kingship).

And the last source to consider on this is what is stated explicitly in regard to the throne of Kingship of Malchut Beit David which is one of the three blessings made at the conclusion of the reading of the haftorah each Shabbat.

שמחנו...באליהו הנביא עבדך ובמלכות בית דוד משיחך. במהרה יבוא ויגל לבנו. על כסאו לא ישב זר ולא ינחלו עוד אחרים את כבודו. כי בשם קדשך נשבעת לו שלא יכבה נרו לעולם ועד

Zar is referring to gentiles. Ode acherim (additional others who are excluded) is a category which would include the type of Jewish convert that you describe in your question. And this is in keeping with the halacha brought by Rambam in Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim 1:4 which says:

אין מעמידין מלך מקהל גרים אפלו אחר כמה דורות עד שתהיה אמו מישראל. שנאמר (דברים יז טו) "לא תוכל לתת עליך איש נכרי אשר לא אחיך הוא".

  • Comments or suggestions from the silent downvoter to improve the answer? – Yaacov Deane Apr 23 '18 at 17:03
  • Didn't downvote, but I can see two things that people might disagree with: 1) Source for your last sentence (i.e. that two classes of people are being discussed, and that the second one is a Ger with Davidic blood in him, and not just any random non-Davidic Jew). 2) A source that the monarchy falls under the standard rules of inheritance. – Salmononius2 Apr 23 '18 at 18:15
  • @Salmononius2 Regarding your 1st point, the fact that the blessing uses 2 distinct terms clearly indicates there are 2 categories that don’t inherit. The 1st term is used frequently throughout Torah to indicate non-Jews. The 2nd expression would not fall into the 1st group but would still be disqualified. Your 2nd point would fall on the one saying the laws of inheritance don’t apply. The language used in Torah on this subject and in particular about Malchut Beit David speaks explicitly about inheritance. – Yaacov Deane Apr 23 '18 at 20:23
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    1) Why would you assume Od Acherim refers to the weird edge case of a descendant of David who was born to a non-Jewish mother then converted? The simple explanation is that it refers to a 'regular Jew' not qualified to be the king (i.e. someone from the tribe of Reuven, Shimon, etc.) 2) I don't claim to be an expert on the rules of inheritance, but from what I understand, every male child inherits, with the firstborn getting double. That clearly doesn't apply to the monarchy. How do you know other rules of inheritance do apply? – Salmononius2 Apr 23 '18 at 20:59

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