Q: I am studying your “Life of Messiah from a Jewish Perspective” and I also purchased your “Jesus's Right to David's throne”. Your teachings are excellent. Thank you. I have 3 questions:
1. How can Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel be in both Matthews and Luke's genealogy? An obvious answer is that only the names are the same but it seems unlikely to have two Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel to me. From your study I conclude the Zerubbabel in Mary's line cannot be the same as in Joseph's or the Jeconiah curse would apply. Please help me answer this question. I have to teach on this.
2. Have you pondered Haggai 2:23 juxtaposed to Jeremiah 22:24? Its interesting that the “signet ring” seems to be transferred from Jeconiah (royal Davidic line) to Zerubbabel. I am curious on your thoughts on this also.
3. It also seems that the inheritance rules of the Daughters of Zelophehad: Numbers: 26:33, 27:1-11; 36:1-13 apply here. Mary did indeed marry within the tribe and Heli must have had no sons. Is this true?
A: I will go ahead and answer your questions in the same order they were asked.
1. My own conclusion is that the Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel in the Matthew account cannot be the same as in the Luke account because all of the names listed previously and what follows are quite different. It would not be all that unusual to have father and son names being the same without the persons being the same. Another example of this is in Matthew 1:16 that says “Jacob begat Joseph”, but obviously it is not the Jacob and Joseph of the Book of Genesis. So again, I would say these are two different people or sets of people that probably come from the same time zone since the name “Zerubbabel” means “the seed of Babylon”. So it is obvious that both Zerubbabels were born in Babylon during the 70 years of captivity and the name was to commemorate the exile. So two Shealtiels having sons both named Zerubbabel would not be uncommon for that period of time, but the previous and following names would indicate they were not the same people.
2. It is possible that the signet ring of Jeremiah 22:24 has been transferred to Zerubbabel in Haggai 2:23. The reason (I do not take the view per se) is that Jeremiah 22:24 does not say that Jeconiah was the signet ring but only that even if he happened to be the signet ring, God would still cast him away. Haggai 2:23 does not say Zerubbabel would be a signet ring only that he will be “as” a signet ring. So because he is using the signet ring symbolically in both passages, I am not sure we can conclude an exact transfer from Jeconiah to Zerubbabel. However, it is still a possibility, so if someone else teaches that then that is something I would not object to.
3. I think this is concluding a bit too much from the evidence that we have. I do not think the passage is really dealing with the inheritance that a daughter would have if the father had no sons. Here we are not dealing with the rules of inheritance, but are dealing with the rules of succession. Ultimately, the son of Miriam (Mary) was chosen to be the Davidic king, because on one hand he was of the line of David apart from Jeconiah, and secondly, he had divine appointment. But I do not think the inheritance rule of Zelophehad would be applicable in this case.