God Promised David an Everlasting Throne—What Happened to It?

God promised this throne would be “established forever.” Did He lie?
The Stone of Destiny in the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey.
Public Domain

King Zedekiah was captured during King Nebuchadnezzar’s final siege on Jerusalem. His sons were rounded up and killed before his eyes, then Zedekiah was blinded and taken to Babylon to rot in prison. Such was the ignominious end of the last Judahite king.

But wait: Hadn’t God promised that the throne of David would never end—even in spite of the wickedness of its rulers? “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever” (2 Samuel 7:16). “Thus says the Lord: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time, then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne” (Jeremiah 33:20-21).

So what happened? These were ironclad promises from God—no qualifiers, no “ifs” or “buts.” How could the throne of David end, just like that? If it did end there, an honest person would have to admit that God is a liar! But the Bible states that God “cannot lie.” Psalm 89 says as much, specifically about this promise: “Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever …” (verses 35-37).

What happened? Most consider the throne to have simply ended at Zedekiah’s death. But that simple assumption directly condemns God as a liar. For God to be true, that throne has to be still around to this day. Where is it? What happened to it after Jerusalem was destroyed?

As Herbert W. Armstrong stated, “We come now to one of the most fascinating and gripping phases of this strange story of Israel—indeed, the very connecting link between prophecy and present-day fulfillment—yet totally unrecognized by theologians.” The continuing article is excerpted from his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy (click here to receive your own free copy).

Jeremiah’s Strange Commission

God raised up a very special prophet whose real call and commission few indeed understand. This prophet was Jeremiah. Jeremiah played a strange and little realized role in this captivity. This vital yet little-known call and commission is described in the opening verses of the first chapter of the book of Jeremiah. …

I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant (verses 9-10). …

Jeremiah was used of God as a prophet to warn the nation Judah of their transgressions against God’s government and ways. He was sent to warn this rebellious nation of impending punishment—their invasion and captivity at the hands of the Chaldean armed forces—unless they acknowledged their guilt and changed their ways. He was used as a go-between—an intermediary—between the kings of Judah and Babylon.

It is well known that Jeremiah was used in warning Judah of the impending captivity, and the “pulling down” or “overthrowing” of the throne of David in the kingdom of Judah. …

But note it! See it in your own Bible! Jeremiah was divinely commissioned to pull down and to overthrow that very throne of David in Judah—but notice the second half of the commission. To build and to plant! To build and to plant what?

Why, naturally, that which he was used in “rooting out” of Judah—the throne of David which God swore He would preserve forever! …

Map distinguishing the separate kingdoms of Judah (the Jews) and Israel.

So far as the world knows, the last king to sit on that throne of David was Zedekiah of Judah. … What happened to that throne? … We know Jeremiah did not plant and rebuild it in Babylon. God had promised that David’s throne should rule over Israelites through all generations—not over Gentiles. …

David’s throne was never again planted or built among the Jews! [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as much as his opponents may claim otherwise, is certainly not sitting on a throne!] … But that throne was divinely commissioned to be planted and rebuilt by the Prophet Jeremiah—during his lifetime! Jeremiah was set over both Judah and Israel. To be used in rooting out David’s throne in Judah. But more! To plant and to build, then, of necessity, among the house of Israel … among lost Israel, now supposing herself to be Gentile! Therefore the identity and location of the replanting must remain hidden to the world until this time of the end in which we live. …

“In the mountain of the height of ISRAEL will I plant it” (Ezekiel 17:23).

Where Did Jeremiah Go?

Jeremiah was among these captive Jews. He must be free to carry out the second part of his commission. … So, “Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee” (Jeremiah 39:11-12). … “So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward [money], and let him go” (Jeremiah 40:2-5).

So Jeremiah was left absolutely free to do as he pleased, supplied even with expense money, and given complete freedom, so that he might perform the second half of his mission. Where did he go?

We come now to an amazing, fascinating, thrilling part of the book of Jeremiah, which has been almost entirely overlooked. “Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land” (verse 6).

Now this Gedaliah had been made governor over a remnant of Jews in the land by the king of Babylon, and since Jerusalem was destroyed, he had made Mizpah his headquarters. But the king of Ammon plotted with a Jew named Ishmael to assassinate Gedaliah. The plot was executed; the governor and part of the Jews were slain. Jeremiah was among the survivors.

Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king’s daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard [from Babylon] had committed to Gedaliah … and … carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites. (Jeremiah 41:10)

Ah! Did you catch it? Read that passage again. Among these Jews were the king’s daughters! Daughters of Zedekiah, king of Judah, and of David’s dynasty!

King Zedekiah had died in prison in Babylon (Jeremiah 52:11). All his sons had been killed. All the nobles of Judah had been killed. All possible heirs of Zedekiah to David’s throne had been killed—except the king’s daughters! Now we see why Jeremiah chose to go to Mizpah!

Jeremiah Escapes

Soon a man named Johanan replaced Ishmael as leader. And in fear of reprisals from Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean army, Johanan and the captains appealed to the prophet, “And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God … That the Lord thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk …” (Jeremiah 42:2-3). …

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, and He told them not to fear, that He would protect and deliver them. But the people wanted to flee to Egypt. This the Lord warned them not to do. If they did, the sword of Nebuchadnezzar which they feared would overtake them there, and they would die. … But, as people usually do, they rejected God’s warning. … And so Johanan “took all the remnant of Judah …

Even men, and women, and children, and the king’s daughters … and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah [Jeremiah’s scribe, or secretary]. So they came into the land of Egypt …” (verses 5-7)

[The entourage came into Egypt, and took up residence at Tahpanhes (Jeremiah 43-44). This is a well-known ancient Egyptian city. The Arabs called it Qasr Bint al-Yahudi—the “Castle of the Jew’s Daughter.” Artifacts discovered at the site have been dated around the first part of the 6th century b.c.e.—the very time that Jeremiah, Baruch, and Zedekiah’s daughters were present! More on this city further down.]

On reaching Egypt, God warned these Jews again through Jeremiah that they would die there by the sword and famine, and “none shall return but such as shall escape! (Jeremiah 44:12-14). Yes, a few in this company were under divine protection! … “Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah …” (verse 28).

Under Divine Protection

Baruch was Jeremiah’s constant companion and secretary. It is important to note here God’s promise of protection to him:

“Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch …. Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. … [B]ut thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest” (Jeremiah 45:2-5).

Baruch’s life, like Jeremiah’s, was under divine protection!

Now previously the Eternal had said to Jeremiah, “Verily it shall be well with thy remnant.” The only “remnant” left for Jeremiah’s mission of transplanting the throne was the king’s daughters. “Verily,” continued the Eternal, same verse, “I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction” (Jeremiah 15:11). …

So Jeremiah and his little royal remnant are to escape out of Egypt, return to Judah, and then—where? To the place where the “lost 10 tribes” had gone, as we shall see!

Now let Isaiah complete this prophecy:

For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this. And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. (Isaiah 37:32, 31)

… This remnant with Jeremiah—at least one of the king’s daughters—shall take root downward! That is, be replanted!

And then bear fruit upward! Be built! …

A ‘Riddle’ and a ‘Parable’ Tell!

The strange truth of the planting and the rebuilding of David’s throne is revealed in “a riddle and a parable” couched in symbolic language never understood until this latter day. Yet it stands today so clearly explained a little child could understand!

It fills the 17th chapter of Ezekiel’s prophecy. The whole chapter should be carefully read. Notice, first, this prophetic message is addressed, not to Judah, the Jews, but to the house of Israel. It is a message to give light to the lost 10-tribed house of Israel in these latter days! First, Ezekiel is told to speak a riddle, and then a parable.

The riddle is found in verses 3 to 10. Then, beginning in verse 11, the Eternal explains its meaning. “Say now to the rebellious house [God says, the “rebellious house,” being 10-tribed Israel (Ezekiel 12:9), to whom Ezekiel is set a prophet (Ezekiel 2:3; 3:1, etc.)], Know ye not what these things mean? tell them …” and then the riddle is clearly explained.

A great eagle came to Lebanon and took the highest branch of the cedar. This is explained to represent King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon who came to Jerusalem and took captive the king of Judah. The cropping off of the cedar’s young twigs and carrying them to a land of traffic is explained to picture the captivity of the king’s sons. “He took also of the seed of the land” means Nebuchadnezzar took also of the people, and the mighty of the land of Judah. He “set it as a willow tree. And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature” means the Jews were given a covenant whereby, although they were ruled over by the Chaldeans, they might live in peace and grow. The other “great eagle” is explained to represent Pharaoh of Egypt.

Thus the riddle covers the first half of Jeremiah’s commission. Now notice what is revealed concerning the second part—the planting of David’s throne! It comes in the parable, verses 22-24: “Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar …” From God’s own explanation we have learned that the cedar tree represents the nation of Judah; its highest branch is Judah’s king. The riddle told us Nebuchadnezzar took the highest branch—the king. The parable now tells us God— not Nebuchadnezzar, but God—will take of the highest branch. Not the branch, but of the branch—of Zedekiah’s children. But Nebuchadnezzar took, and killed, all his sons.

God, through his Prophet Jeremiah, is now going to take of this highest branch and “set it” (verse 22). “I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent,” continues the Almighty! Ah! A tender young twig! The twigs of this highest branch represent the children of King Zedekiah! Certainly a tender young twig, then, represents a daughter! “… and will plant it.” Could symbolic language say plainer this young Jewish princess is to become the royal seed for planting again of David’s throne? Where? “… upon an high mountain and eminent,” says the Eternal! A “mountain” in symbol always represents a nation.

But Which Nation?

“In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it,” answers the Eternal! David’s throne now is to be planted in Israel, after being thrown down from Judah! Could language be plainer? …

We are ready now to search out the actual location of the lost tribes of the outcast house of Israel. … And when we find them, we shall find the throne of David! Many passages of prophecy tell of these people in these latter days. Prophecies not to be understood until this “time of the end.” …

According to Hosea 12:1: “Ephraim … followeth after the east wind. …” An “east wind” travels west. Ephraim must have gone west from Assyria. When the Eternal swore to David that He would perpetuate his throne, He said: “I will set his hand [scepter] also in the sea …” (Psalm 89:25). The throne is to be “set,” planted, “in the sea.”

Through Jeremiah the Eternal said: “[B]acksliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord …” (Jeremiah 3:11-12). Of course Israel was north of Judah while still in the Holy Land—but when these words were written by Jeremiah, Israel had been removed from the land more than 130 years prior and had long since migrated, with the Assyrians, north (and west) of Assyria’s original location. … So the location, we now find, is toward the north, also west, and in the sea. …

After saying, “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim?” the Eternal, speaking through Hosea, says: “[T]hen the children shall tremble from the west” (Hosea 11:8, 10).

Again: “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth…” (Jeremiah 31:8). This prophecy is for consideration in the “latter days” (Jeremiah 30:24; 31:1), and is addressed to “Israel” (verses 2, 4, 9), to “Ephraim” (verses 6, 9), and “Samaria” (verse 5). Here is added another hint—“the coasts of the earth” (verse 8)—evidencing they are dominant at sea and indicating they have spread abroad widely by colonization.

Referring to the house of Israel, not Judah (Isaiah 49:3, 6), God says: “Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim” (Isaiah 49:12). In the Hebrew, the language in which this was originally inspired, there is no word for “northwest,” but this term is designated by the phrase, “the north and the west.” It means, literally, the northwest! The Vulgate renders “Sinim” as “Australi,” or “Australia.” So we now have the location northwest of Jerusalem and even spreading around the world. …

The same 49th chapter of Isaiah begins with this: “Listen, O isles, unto me.” The people addressed, Israel, are called “O isles” in the first verse and “O Israel” in the third verse. This term “isles” or “island” is sometimes translated “coastlands.” …

In Jeremiah 31:10, the message is to be declared “in the isles afar off” and is to be shouted in “the chief of the nations” (verse 7). So, finally, today, as in Jeremiah’s day, the house of Israel is in the isles, which are “in the sea,” the chief of the nations, northwest of Jerusalem. A coast-dwelling, and therefore sea-dominant, people. Certainly there can be no mistaking that identity!

Take a map of Europe. Lay a line due northwest of Jerusalem across the continent of Europe, until you come to the sea, and then to the islands in the sea! This line takes you directly to the British Isles! …

Ancient Annals of Ireland

Now briefly let us consider what is found in the ancient annals, legends, and history of Ireland, and we shall have the scene of Jeremiah’s “planting” and the present location of “lost” Israel.

The real ancient history of Ireland is very extensive, though colored with some legend. But with the facts of biblical history and prophecy in mind, one can easily sift out the legend from the true history in studying ancient Irish annals. Throwing out that which is obviously legendary, we glean from various histories of Ireland the following: Long prior to 700 b.c.e. a strong colony called “Tuatha de Danaan” (tribe of Dan) arrived in ships, drove out other tribes, and settled there. Later, in the days of David, a colony of the line of Zarah arrived in Ireland from the Near East.

Then, in 569 b.c.e. (date of Jeremiah’s transplanting), an elderly, white-haired patriarch, sometimes referred to as a “saint,” came to Ireland. With him was the princess daughter of an eastern king and a companion called “Simon Brach,” spelled in different histories as Breck, Berech, Brach, or Berach. The princess had a Hebrew name, Tephi—a pet name—her full name being Tea-Tephi. … [It is interesting to speculate here on the origin of the name “Tephi”—could it be related to the city, Tahpanhes—also called Taphnas and Daphnae in the Greek—the “Castle of the Jew’s Daughter”?]

This royal party included the son of the king of Ireland who had been in Jerusalem at the time of the siege. There he had become acquainted with Tea-Tephi. He married her shortly after 585—when the city fell. Their young son, now about 12 years of age, accompanied them to Ireland. Besides the royal family, Jeremiah brought with them some remarkable things, including a harp, an ark, and a wonderful stone called “lia-fail,” or “stone of destiny.” A peculiar coincidence (?) is that Hebrew reads from right to left, while English reads from left to right. Read this name either way—and it still is “lia-fail.”

Another strange coincidence—or is it just coincidence?—is that many kings in the history of Ireland, Scotland, and England have been coronated sitting over this stone—including the present queen. The stone rests today in Westminster Abbey in London, and the coronation chair is built over and around it. A sign beside it labels it “Jacob’s pillar-stone” (Genesis 28:18). … [Since writing, the sign has long since been removed, and the stone itself returned to Scotland. More on this further down.]

Arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Another interesting fact is that the crown worn by the kings of ancient Ireland had 12 points! … [Further, the heraldry used in Ireland and the British Isles links back to the royal line of king David. Note in particular the Irish harp, as well as the lion motif used throughout Scotland and England—countries that are certainly not native to the animals. But the lion, of course, was the motif on the standard of the tribe of Judah!]

The royal husband of the Hebrew princess Tea was given the title Herremon upon ascending the throne of his father. … The son of this … King Herremon and Hebrew princess continued on the throne of Ireland and this same dynasty continued unbroken through all the kings of Ireland; was overturned and transplanted again in Scotland; again overturned and moved to London, England, where this same dynasty continues today in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (1953). The queen sits atop the coronation chair containing Jacob’s Pillar Stone, and the crowd sings “Zadok the Priest” and chants “God save the Queen!” (1 Kings 1:39, 2 Kings 11:14)

As Herbert Armstrong plainly showed above in The United States and Britain in Prophecy, the throne of David was preserved and transferred from Judah to England. He continued to explain that not only was the transfer of the throne from Judah prophesied, but also the number of times it would be overturned—as in Ezekiel 21:26-27:

Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.

Thus, these three overturns are as follows: 1) Judah to Ireland; 2) Ireland to Scotland; 3) Scotland to England.

Click here to request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

Such was the epic journey of the throne of David—preserved for thousands of years, just as God had promised, right on into our modern age. This fact is one of the great proofs of the existence, power, infallibility and authority of God!

Much more detail about this transfer of the throne of David, as well as the prophesied course of modern-day Israel (Judah), Britain (Ephraim), and the United States of America (Manasseh), can be read in our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. It is an absolute must-read, and is Herbert W. Armstrong’s most popular book, requested by over 6 million people.

Where Is That Throne Today?

But the story does not stop there. When Mr. Armstrong died in 1986, Queen Elizabeth ii reigned on the throne of David. But during these last days before the coming of the Messiah, things have changed! While Queen Elizabeth ii continues to reign over the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth, she no longer sits on the throne of David! No longer does England even have the stone of destiny—in a contemptuous display before God, the stone was returned to Scotland in 1996. But neither is Scotland over the throne of David!

This change was also prophesied. Hosea 3:4 states that these end-time descendants of Israel (not Judah) would actually lose the throne, as well as the stone! (The word translated “image” in this verse is the same one used for Jacob’s pillar stone.)

Notice again Ezekiel 21:27: “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” “Until he come whose right it is” is clearly referring to the Messiah (Genesis 49:10 also affirms this). But just before the coming of the Messiah, “it shall be no more.”

What is this referring to? Again we ask: Has God contradicted His eternal promise to King David?

Click here to request your free copy of The New Throne of David.

Of course not. There is no fourth overturn. Why not? Because there is something new! The throne of David was not to continue in its current state (of rebellion and disobedience). In a sign of the Messiah’s coming, and the eventual transfer of that royal throne to Him, it would first be reestablished in a new and completely different manner!

So, we come back to the original question: Where is the throne of David? You can know! The dramatic answer to what has miraculously happened to that throne in just the last two years can be found in our free book The New Throne of David.