Qualifications for Kingship under David: 2 Samuel 7:8-16
God established his covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7:8-16, and its terms are mentioned in places like Psalms 89 and 132. This covenant established David’s descendants as Israel’s permanent dynasty. God demonstrated great benevolence to David and to Israel by ensuring that David’s descendants would reign, and that Israel would enjoy the stability of dynastic succession. Consider God’s covenant promises to David in 2 Samuel 7:8-16:
I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel… Now I will make your name great … And I will provide a place for my people Israel … I will also give you rest from all your enemies… I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom… Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever (2 Samuel 7:8-16).
According to this divine covenant, God added a new qualification for kings in Israel: From this time on, God’s people were to be led by a son of David. Only his house could claim legitimate, perpetual rule over the entire nation.
As early as the book of Genesis, God blessed the tribe of Judah with Israel’s kingship. “The scepter will not depart from Judah,” Jacob said in Genesis 49. Since David was from the tribe of Judah, God’s promise to David was the fulfillment of this blessing in Genesis. God always intended that Israel would one day have a king from the tribe of Judah. Because of David’s obedience and devotion to God, he promised that Israel’s kingship would perpetually be traced through David’s line. No person could ever legitimately claim to be king in Israel unless he was from David’s house. That’s why it was so important for the writers of the Gospels to prove, not just that Jesus was called by God, but that he was a direct descendent of David with a legitimate claim to David’s throne.