An incident occurred in the days of Moses that will illustrate and also provide a precedent. A man named Zelophad of the tribe of Joseph had three daughters but no son. He died, and at the time of his death there was due to him a portion in the great inheritance to be divided among Israel on reaching Canaan. His daughters felt it bitterly that their sex should deny them their share. They came before Moses and Eleazer, and the grievance was placed before the Lord for a ruling (Numbers 27). The answer given was "the daughters of Zelophad speak right: thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them." So here was a new law - a girl, in absence of a brother, claiming an inheritance in her own name!
The new law soon caused another grievance (Numbers 36). The chiefs of the tribe of Joseph complained that if the daughters of Zelophad received their position of their fathers inheritance then the possession would pass on through their husbands to their husbands tribes, and so the possessions of Joseph as a tribe would get less, especially if many women of Joseph took advantage of the new law! This was also put before the Lord with this result "The Lord answered, the tribe of the sons of Joseph hath said well! Let the daughters of Zelophad marry whom they think best, only to the tribe of their father shall they marry. Thus will the inheritance be kept in the tribe of their father."
In Matthew 1 we find a long genealogical table - many names are not recognised because they are spelt according to the Greek, whereas in the Old Testament they are from the Hebrew. One name stands out and is Jeconias, known variously in the Old Testament as Coniah or Jehoiachin, and the Septuagint gives it as "Jeconias" as in Matt. 1. He was the last official king of Judah, for Zedekiah, who followed, was only a regent, placed in authority by the king of Babylon. The reign of Jeconias was an awful story - wickedness upon wickedness until Nebuchadnezzar besieged and sacked Jerusalem, taking the vessels of gold and silver, together with Jeconias and his people to Babylon. Jeremiah prophesied against him. Jeremiah 22 - "This saith the Lord God, write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David and ruling any more in Judah." So we see that the curse upon this man was not that he should have no children (for he had several), but that no one of his line should ever occupy the THRONE OF DAVID.
Here comes the question: how can Jesus be the King of Israel of the throne of David, if he is a descendant of one under a curse, of whom it is said, "His seed shall never occupy the throne"? From the days of Nebuchadnezzar until the coming of Jesus, the Jews studied and recorded the genealogy as never before. We see this in those dry genealogical pages of Chronicles and throughout he Maccabean period the curse still stood: no King of Israel upon the throne of David.
Now here is what I believe is one of the great wonders of the Bible. the curse of Jeconias was not the only reason for the Virgin Birth, but it certainly was one of them. Consider this: if Joseph (being of the line of Jeconias) married Mary and then in the ordinary way the child has been born, then Jesus would have been of earthly generation, in direct line of Jeconias. This would have effectively prevented Him occupying the throne of David. Now consider Mary. Undoubtedly she was of the line of David, but not through Jeconias; rather through Nathan and Ruth (see Kitto). Now, how could a woman pass on the royal line? Joseph could have done so, but his line was under a curse. Therefore, Mary had to do it. If Jesus was the King, He certainly was at the Annunciation before they were married. So, therefore, this makes it necessary for Mary to have been of the line of David. There is a strong parallel here between Mary and her lineage - the daughters of Zelophad and their inheritance. These daughters had no brother, neither does it seem that Mary had a brother or he would have rivalled Jesus in His claim. The injunction to the daughters of Zelophad was that they must marry into their own tribe. Mary and her unborn babe were married into the tribe of Judah, into the royal line with a curse. So by the fact that Jesus was begotten by the Holy Spirit it became possible (a) that Jesus shall be King in spite of the curse of Jeconias (b) that any royal lineage His mother might possess became His apart from Joseph, by right of Zelophad (c) the ratifying of the marriage of Mary and Joseph after the birth of Jesus closed the doors against the brethren of Jesus claiming the throne of David after the ascension of Jesus.
If Jesus claimed royal lineage and no one refuted His claim, then why was He not accepted? The trouble was the double claim: King of Israel and Son of God. Here we see the twofold reason for the Virgin Birth. First, to escape the curse of Jeconias. Second, that He might be the Incarnate Son of God. To have been born by natural generation would mean at the most being filled with the Spirit of God, like Moses or Elijah, certainly not God Incarnate. Nothing less than God Incarnate could have made your redemption or mine possible.
His Incarnation by an immaculate conception made His death to be more than the death of a patriot, made His resurrection more than the resuscitation of Lazarus, and made His ascension more to us than the chariot ascent of Elijah. In Jewry today there is no "pretender" claimant to the throne of David. Jesus is the Priest for all time, the King for all time. He ever liveth, the office is never vacant. For 2,000 thousand years they have had no earthly King. Jesus will be their King and ours, by way of His cross, under the covenant of Calvary. Even the mighty dictators of Europe are but His pawns.