Why Was Christ Jesus Born Of A Virgin?
Updated: Nov 27, 2021
It's that time of the year again. Christians all over the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus. This was a very significant event in history. But how many people understand why it was necessary for Jesus to be born of a young Jewish girl who was a virgin? Even more important is why she was betrothed to Joseph and not someone else. The answers are found in the Old Testament and in the genealogies recorded in Matthew Chapter 1 and Luke Chapter 3.
The Davidic Covenant
2nd Samuel 7:8-18 - “Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. “I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. “I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you. “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”
God promised David that He will raise up one of his descendants who will "establish the throne of his kingdom forever." 1st Chronicles 3:1-9 provides the names of David's sons and daughters. Two of his sons were Nathan and Solomon.
1st Kings 2:1-4 - As David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. “Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, so that the LORD may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
Note that the promise "you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel" was contingent upon the sons of David walking before the Lord "with all their heart and with all their soul."
"David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David....Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established" (1st Kings 2:10-12).
The End Of The Line
The last of the kings in the line of Solomon before the Babylonian captivity were Jehoiakim followed by his son Jeconiah.
2nd Kings 23:36-37 - Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
2nd Kings 24:8-9 - Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.
Both father and son "did evil in the sight of the Lord." As you read through 2nd Kings you will discover that several of the kings who reigned before Jehoiakim also did evil in the sight of the Lord. However this was different. God was about to inflict His judgment on the nation of Israel by taking them into captivity for seventy years. He will do this through Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.
Jeremiah 25:1-11 - The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. “And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the LORD has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’ “Yet you have not listened to Me,” declares the LORD, “in order that you might provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm. “Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Because you have not obeyed My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about; and I will utterly destroy them and make them a horror and a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. ‘Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. ‘This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
It is important to note that God called King Nebuchadnezzar "My servant." What this means is that God identified this heathen king as an agent to carry out His judgment against Israel. Jehoiakim became a servant to Nebuchadnezzar "for three years; then he turned and rebelled against him" (2nd Kings 24:1). Thus Jehoiakim rebelled against God's chosen servant.
Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, is also known as Jeconiah (1st Chronicles 3:16) and Coniah (Jeremiah 22:24, 37:1).
Jeremiah 22:24-25, 28-30 - “As I live,” declares the LORD, “even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off; and I will give you over into the hand of those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those whom you dread, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans....“Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known? “O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD! “Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.’ ”
God kept the promise He made to Solomon in 1st Kings 2:1-4. Israel will not lack a son born in the line of Solomon from sitting on the throne of David as long as they walked before the Lord "with all their heart and with all their soul." God kept His promise. Israel did not worship the Lord. Several of their kings did evil in the sight of the Lord. Jehoiakim rebelled against God's servant. There will never again be a king to sit on the throne of David.
IT IS THE END OF THE LINE!
or is it?
The Righteous Branch
God does not break His covenants. He made a covenant with David (2nd Samuel 7:8-18) that He "will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." Israel tried it their way. They wanted Samuel to "appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations" (1st Samuel 8:5). They got what they asked for. God will establish His king to sit on the throne of David in His time and in His way. God will raise up for David a righteous Branch! Unlike the kings who did evil in the sight of the Lord, this king will act wisely and execute justice and righteousness on the earth. God will keep the promise that He made to David: "you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel" (1st Kings 2:4).
Jeremiah 23:5-6 - “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’
Jeremiah 33:14-17 - ‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. ‘In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. ‘In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the LORD is our righteousness.’ “For thus says the LORD, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;
A Child Will Be Born To Us
Sometime between 740-701 B.C. the prophet Isaiah penned the following:
Isaiah 9:6-7 - For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
This child will be physically born. His name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." He will reign over his kingdom on the throne of David forever.
Earlier in Isaiah it is prophesied that this child will be born of a virgin. This virgin will call the name of her child Immanuel which literally means "God is with us."
Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
Jeremiah 26:18 states that Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah." Hezekiah reigned from 715-697 B.C. Micah prophesied the following:
Micah 5:2 - “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”
1st Samuel 17:12 - Now David was the son of the Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons.
Thus the child that will be physically born of a virgin and will come from Bethlehem - the city of David.
Genealogies Are Important
There are two very significant genealogies in the New Testament gospel records: Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38. These are the genealogies of Jesus. Both genealogies show that Jesus is in the line of David: Matthew 1:6, Luke 3:31. However these genealogies diverge with Solomon (Matthew 1:6-7) and Nathan (Luke 3:31).
Matthew 1:16 - Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.
Luke 3:23 - When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli.
In Matthew 1:16 it is recorded that Jacob was the father of Joseph. In Luke 3:23 we see that Joseph was the son of Eli (or Heli). Since Joseph was the husband of Mary, Eli is Joseph's father-in-law.
Matthew 1:18-25 gives the account of the birth of Jesus. Joseph is called "son of David" by "an angel of the Lord who appeared to him in a dream." The angel told Joseph to take Mary as his wife "for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." Luke 1:26 tells us that Mary was a virgin "engaged to a man named Joseph, of the descendants of David." Luke 2:4-7 records that Mary "gave birth to her firstborn son" in the "city of David which is called Bethlehem."
Joseph was in the kingship line of Solomon, the son of David. Mary was in the line of Nathan, also the son of David. Luke 3:38 ends the genealogy of Jesus with "the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God." Matthew 1:1 records "the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Joseph, the husband of Mary, is the stepfather of Jesus who is "the son of God." Therefore Jesus, the son of David and the Son of God, has the right to sit on the throne of David. God fulfilled his promise: "David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel."
There are those who would argue that the "Virgin Mary" should be venerated and prayed to. She is the Mother of God. Mary was just the woman that God used to bring His Son into the world. She could have been the worse of sinners yet that wouldn't stop God from using her to fulfill the covenant that He made with David. Jeremiah 7:13-14 says that the virgin birth was a sign that will be given by the Lord Himself to the house of David. The ultimate fulfillment of this sign points to the future restoration of God's relationship with His people, Israel, through the miraculous birth of God in human form.
Matthew 25:31 - But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
1st John 4:2-3 - By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth"
2nd Timothy 2:15
All scripture cited in this post is taken from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update.