Royal Family Tree

Question

Hi Rabbi, Is Judaism able to identify the descendants of King David in the modern world? If ‘Yes’ — who are they? And if not, when did the line end? Thank you.

, 9 months

Answers

  1. Yes! There are such people today who can say, “I am a descendant from King David.” In fact one of my sons-in-law can clearly trace his family tree back to King David. Jewish tradition teaches that the next “King of Israel” (Mashiach) — who will defeat all Israel’s enemies to safety and teach the world great knowledge — will be a descendant of King David. So my son-in-law could be him!

    In theory there should be plenty of Jews today who can trace their roots back to King David. What makes it difficult nowadays is the fact that so much Jewish history was lost during the Holocaust. Many Jews today cannot go very far back in their genealogical searches because their ability to go further than one hundred years is sorely hampered by many communities losing their entire registries during the Second World War.

    In addition, many families lost their lineage records due to the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition. There are, however, families from Europe, North Africa and other places who were successful in “going back in time” and finding that their family tree extends all the way back to King David. (See https://www.davidicdynasty.org/descendant-of-rashi/ to see how Rashi traces his roots to King David, and then https://www.davidicdynasty.org/ancestry-of-the-vilna-tree/ to see how the Gaon of Vilna traces his roots back to Rashi.)

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team