Zerubbabel: Type of Messiah

Although Jeconiah’s descendants were cursed in that they could not sit on the throne of David as the king of Israel , clear messianic promises were made to Jeconiah’s grandson, Zerubbabel.  Zerubbabel returned from the Babylonian captivity and helped rebuild the temple.  Because he was a direct descendant of David, Solomon and Rehoboam, he was eligible to sit as king.  The Scriptures are clear, from Zerubbabel’s genealogy, that he is from King David through Rehoboam and Jeconiah.  Zerubbabel’s genealogy follows:


1 Chronicles 3:10 “And Solomon's son was Rehoboam, Abia his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, (11) Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son,(12)  Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13  Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, (14) Amon his son, Josiah his son.(15) And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. (16) And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son. (17) And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son, (18) Malchiram also, and Pedaiah, and Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. (19) And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah,”


However, the kingdom was taken away from the Jews, and Israel was under the authority of a foreign power.  Zerubbabel was recognized only as the governor and not the king of Israel .  The curse was in effect as Zerubbabel did not sit as the king of Israel .


Haggai 1:1 “In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah,”


There is no Scripture in the Bible to indicate that the curse was lifted off Jeconiah’s descendants which would include his grandson, Zerubbabel.  Although the curse was not lifted off Jeconiah’s descendants, clear messianic promises were made to Zerubbabel by the prophet Haggai.  The prophet Haggai shows a direct link between Zerubbabel and the Messiah.  The Messiah is addressed and described by Haggai under the name of Zerubbabel.  By addressing the Messiah in the name of Zerubbabel, a clear messianic link was established from David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Jeconiah to Zerubbabel. The Scriptures by Haggai follow:


Haggai 2:21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah , saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;

(22) And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.

(23) In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.”


The above Scriptures could not have been about Zerubbabel, but have to be directly related to the Messiah.  There are several indicators in Haggai 2:21-23 which completely rule out Zerubbabel.  In Zerubbabel’s day, God did not shake the heavens and earth.  The kingdoms of the Gentiles were not overthrown.  Zerubbabel was never made as a signet as he never was the king of Israel but only a governor of Judah .  The person of the Messiah is God’s signet.

This promise by God was to show that although the kingdom was taken away, under the Messiah it would be restored.  All of this awaits for a time in the future and the rule of the King Messiah.  The key is the Messiah is addressed as Zerubbabel.  This means the messianic line must continue through him.

God will shake the heavens and the earth at the time the messianic kingdom is being set up. The Bible refers to this time as the Day of the LORD.


Isaiah 13:9 “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. (10) For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

(13) Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.”


During the Day of the LORD the nations of the earth will be united in an attempt to destroy Israel and take Jerusalem .  This event will trigger the coming of the Messiah to overthrow these nations and set up His everlasting Kingdom over all the earth.  The Messiah will stand on the Mount of Olives and destroy the armies that attempt to destroy Jerusalem .  With His Divine power, He will annihilate these armies.  The prophet Zechariah shows this:


Zechariah 14:1 “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. (2) For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

(3) Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. (4) And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof

(12) And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem ; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

(9) And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

(16) And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

(17) And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.”


Only three people in the Hebrew Scriptures are addressed as the Messiah: David, Solomon and Zerubbabel.  They are all of the kingly line and all become a type of the Messiah.  Zerubbabel was addressed as the Messiah in Haggai 2:23.  Solomon was addressed as the Messiah in Psalm 72, and David was addressed in several places as the Messiah.  One example from Ezekiel follows:


Ezekiel 34:23 “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.”


The genealogy of King David through Rehoboam was maintained until the close of the Old Testament about 400 BC.  The only progenitor for King Messiah, as recorded in the Bible, has to come through Zerubbabel.  The only genealogical line from David to King Messiah, after the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity, is that of Zerubbabel. There are no others that are recorded.  God has very carefully narrowed the Messianic line directly through Zerubbabel.  The Bible lists the descendants of Zerubbabel to the sixth generation after him.

There is no other descendant of King David whose genealogy is maintained after the captivity. Zerubbabel is the only progenitor in the Bible for King Messiah. The Scriptures to show that Zerubbabel’s genealogy was maintained until the sixth generation follow:


“And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister:  And Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushabhesed, five.  And the sons of Hananiah; Pelatiah, and Jesaiah: the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shechaniah.  And the sons of Shechaniah; Shemaiah: and the sons of Shemaiah; Hattush, and Igeal, and Bariah, and Neariah, and Shaphat, six. And the sons of Neariah; Elioenai, and Hezekiah, and Azrikam, three.  And the sons of Elioenai were, Hodaiah, and Eliashib, and Pelaiah, and Akkub, and Johanan, and Dalaiah, and Anani, seven.” 1 Chronicles 3:19-24


The genealogy of Zerubbabel, as recorded in the Book of 1 Chronicles has a very unique factor.  This further shows the Bible’s special attention given to Zerubbabel and his descendants.  The Book of 2 Chronicles ends with Cyrus, the King of Persia, allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.  Zerubbabel was with the first group of Jews that returned.  This event occurred in approximately 535 BC.  The last verse recorded in 2Chronicles follows:


“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia , All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem , which is in Judah . Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.” 2 Chronicles 36:23


The unique factor is that Zerubbabel’s genealogy was kept for six generations after the close of 2 Chronicles!  The genealogy of Zerubbabel was maintained by some person or persons for approximately 100-150 years after the completion of 2 Chronicles. God sent several prophets to Israel after the return from Babylon .  These prophets included Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.  It is entirely probable that the prophets were monitoring Zerubbabel’s genealogy because they were aware of the Messianic significance.

Haggai was well aware of Zerubbabel as he prophesied of King Messiah in the name of Zerubbabel, Haggai 2:21-23.  Malachi was the last prophet of Israel until the coming of King Messiah.  Because Malachi was a prophet, he would have the authority to add to the Bible.  Malachi probably updated Zerubbabel’s genealogy until he passed away.  With his passing, no person would have the authority to add to the Bible; thus Zerubbabel’s genealogy ended.  The last progenitor of King Messiah’s line in the Bible is Zerubbabel.

The Messianic line runs from David to Solomon to Rehoboam to Jeconiah to Zerubbabel to the Messiah.  There is no place in the Bible which shows the curse on the kingly line has been lifted.  Because of the curse, anyone born of a human father and claims to be the Messiah will have the curse of Jeconiah to block such a claim.  The Messiah of Israel cannot have a human father.




By John McTernan
Defend and Proclaim the Faith

Blog: John McTernan’s Insights at www.johnmcternan.name

Meet author John McTernan
During numerous appearances on television, radio and in seminars, he has publicly defended Israel in light of Biblical prophecy. His current best selling book is As America Has Done To Israel.
He is author of the acclaimed book God's Final Warning to America, and co-author of the bestseller Israel: The Blessing or the Curse. From his experience debating, John wrote the Only Jesus of Nazareth series. This series includes: Only Jesus of Nazareth Can Sit on the Throne of David and Only Jesus of Nazareth Can Be Israel's King Messiah. Additionally, he has written several tracts, including Muhammad or Jesus: The Prophet Like Unto Moses, and The Koran vs the Bible.

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