Did Mary Have Any Brothers?

Q. In one of your articles you state that Mary had no brothers.  I don’t believe I have read this in the Bible and I wondered where you got the information.

A. You can only find this in the Bible through deductive reasoning.  I believe this discovery was attributed to Dr. C. I. Scofield, editor of the Scofield Study Bible.  It was in support of his position that because of a blood curse on the Davidic royal line (Jer. 22:30), the Lord’s claim to the Throne of David could only have come through Mary, a descendant of David’s, and then only if she had no brothers.

According to Numbers 36:8 this would give her the right of inheritance as long as she married within the tribe of Judah.  (Joseph was of both the tribe of Judah and the cursed royal line.)   Conceiving the Lord without the participation of her betrothed husband sidestepped the blood curse because her son would have none of Joseph’s blood.  When Mary and Joseph were wed, Jesus became Joseph’s son and heir, the only man in the last 2600 years to have a legal right to the Throne of David.

Further evidence that Mary had no brothers is that after the crucifixion she became the responsibility of the apostle John, not a brother as would have been Jewish custom had she had any.  Knowing she had nowhere to go, the Lord saw to this from the cross (John 19:26-27).  Also, the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible indicates that it was Jewish custom for a son-in-law to be adopted when the father of the bride had no son, as was the case with Mary’s father. Some say this is why Joseph is called a son of Heli (Mary’s father) in Luke’s genealogy of the Lord (Luke 3:23).

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