Bible Question:

Jechonias was the son of Jehoakim and Jeremiah 22:30 says that God cursed the seed of Jehoakim. Then how can Jesus, being the descendant of Jechonias, fulfill the role of the Messiah?

Bible Answer:

Before we can answer the question how can Jesus fulfill the role of the Messiah, we must learn who Jechonias is. In the New Testament, Jeconiah’s significance is traced to the fact that he is an ancestor of Jesus according to Matthew 1:11-12. The King James Version uses the name “Jechonias.” However, the NASB, NIV and NKJV use the name “Jeconiah.”

And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel . . . (KJV) Matthew 1:11-12

. . . and to Josiah were born Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon, to Jeconiah was born Shealtiel; and to Shealtiel, Zerubbabel . . . (NASB) Matthew 1:11-12

In Jeremiah 24:1 we discover that Jeconiah’s father was Jehoiakim, a king of Judah. In 2 Kings 24:6 Jeconiah is called Jehoiachin. 2 Kings 24:8 says he became king when he was eighteen years old and reigned for only three months in Jerusalem. He was a wicked king (2 Chron. 36:8). The scriptures say he did evil in the sight of the Lord and eventually surrendered to King Nebuchadnezzar when he laid siege against Jerusalem. Esther 2:6 makes this comment using his other name.

. . . who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the captives who had been exiled with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had exiled. (NASB) Esther 2:6

Jeconiah was taken into exile in 604-605 B.C. at the age of eighteen or nineteen. Consequently when 1 Chronicles 3:16-18 states that he had seven sons, it is safe to assume that most, if not all, of them were born while Jeconiah was in exile: Shealtiel, Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah.

Scriptures uses three different names for Jeconiah. We have already discovered that one of them is Jehoiachin. Another one is an abbreviation of Jeconiah – “Coniah.” Coniah appears to have been his throne name. Your question comes from the “curse” found in Jeremiah 22:30.

“As I live,” declares the LORD, “even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off . . .

Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out and cast into a land that they had not known? “O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.'” Jeremiah 22:24, 28-30

The Hebrew word that is translated as “prosper” is saleah which means “to prosper, to succeed, or to be profitable.” That is, no descendant will succeed in being king on David’s throne or a king in Judah. The last line of verse 30 simply adds emphasis – no one of his descendants is ever again to reign on David’s throne. The ESV is a better translation of the ending of this verse,

. . . for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David and ruling again in Judah. (Jer. 22:30 (ESV)

The passage simply says that none of his descendants will sit on the throne of David. This passage does not mean that Jeconiah had no sons. If it did, it would be in contradiction to 1 Chronicles 3:17 which says that Jeconiah had seven sons. The last part of verse 30 is the “curse.” It simply says that none of Jeconiah’s sons would sit on his throne as king. That is what happened. Jeconiah was the last Jewish king to reign as a king in Judah.

Conclusion:

Jesus was not conceived by Joseph, who was a descendant of Jeconiah since He was virgin born by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:35). Had Joseph been his actual physical father, Jesus would not have been able to sit on the throne of David as the Messiah-King. Jesus’ only human parent was Mary. Consequently, He inherited the royal blood line through Mary and the legal right to be king through his father, Joseph. By not being a direct descendant, He avoided the “curse.” Praise God . . . some day we will see Jesus reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords on the throne of David. Praise Jesus!

Reference Links:

Peace With God
Jeconiah in Jesus' linage (Matthew 1:16)