The Root and The Offspring of David

By Phil Luna

There have been many books and articles written through the ages about the names and titles associated with Jesus Christ. Many of them are familiar to us. Names and titles such as Savior (Matthew 1:21), Immanuel (Matthew 1:23), Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32), Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11), the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13). As the Messiah, Jesus is referred to in the Old Testament as Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). But of all of the names given to Jesus, of all the titles conferred upon Him, one of the most curious titles is one that Jesus Himself chose to use.

In the twenty-second chapter of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find the only occurence of this title in scripture. The sixteenth verse reads:

"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and The Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."

Many people have never stopped to consider the paradox that is inherent in this verse. How can someone be "the Root" and "the Offspring" of the same person?


The Greek word which is translated "Root" in our English Bibles is the Strong's word #4491 Rhiza. It is the same word that John the Baptist used in Matthew 3:10 when he said,

"And even now the ax is laid to the root (Rhiza) of the trees.
Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

Jesus used this word also in His Parable of the Sower found in Mark 4:6. He said,

"But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root (Rhiza) it withered away."


The Greek word which is translated "Offspring" in our English Bibles is the Strong's word 1085 Genos. It is also translated "Generation" in other verses in scripture referring to a family's descendants.

Isaiah the prophet told us that the coming Messiah would be the offspring of David in Isaiah 11:1,
"There shall come forth a Rod (Shoot) from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots."

Jesse, being the father of King David, is identified as a genealogical precursor to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.


After the Triumphal Entry Jesus spent the next four days being examined by the religious leaders in the Temple courts. On one occasion Jesus posed this very same question to the Pharisees.

Matthew 22:41-46
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of David." He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying:

'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool'"?

"If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?"
And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

In Jesus' day no one was able to answer Him a word. It was a paradox that they were unable to understand. However, by examining scripture this paradox can be understood.


Both Matthew's gospel and Luke's gospel list for us the genealogies of Jesus. In the gospel of Matthew Jesus' lineage is listed beginning with Abraham and ending with Jesus. But Luke is concerned with presenting Jesus as the "Son of Man" so he begins his genealogical listing with Jesus and goes backwards through Abraham all the way to Adam.

Luke 3:23
"Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,"

Luke 3:38
"the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God."

Adam was created by God (Genesis 1:26). We are further told in Colossians 1:16 tells us that Jesus is the creator.

Colossians 1:16
"For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him."

Jesus, as part of the Triune God, was Adam's creator. So Jesus was at the beginning of Luke's genealogy and at the end.

Therefore Jesus was truly the Root and Offspring of David.

Phil Luna is an ordained Assemblies of God minister. He teaches a weekly Bible study verse by verse through the Bible. His favorite area of study is the Hebraic roots of Christianity.

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