It is written:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.’” (Jeremiah 22:30)
“And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.” (Matthew 1:12)
The question is often asked, “How could Jeremiah write that Jehoiachin (or Coniah/Jeconiah, cf. 2 Kings 24:6 & 1 Chronicles 3:16) would be childless, and yet he still have children?”
Is this a contradiction?
Notice that the text doesn’t say that Jeconiah would be “childless,” but that he would be “as” childless, the implication being that his children would not survive long on the throne.
“The term “childless” is explained by the statement that “no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.” With reference to a lineal successor, he was “childless.” Salathiel, or Shealtiel, probably married the daughter and heiress of Neri, hence is reckoned as his son (Luke 3: 27).” (John Haley, Alleged Discrepancies Of The Bible, 7895 (Kindle Edition); New Kensington, PA; Whitaker House)
Geisler and Howe concur:
“JEREMIAH 22:30 -Was Jehoiachin childless or did he have heirs? PROBLEM: Jeremiah was told here to “write this man down as childless.” However, Jechoiachin had a son, Shealtiel, who is listed in Matthew 1:12. SOLUTION: First of all, the verse does not say he would actually be childless. Jeremiah was simply told to write him down “as if childless” (NI ). Further, this is explained by the last part of the verse, namely, “none of his descendants shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah.” (Norman Geisler & Thomas Howe, The Big Book Of Bible Difficulties: Clear And Concise Answers From Genesis To Revelation, 3338-3342 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books)
This also helps us to understand how Christ could said to be a descendants of Jehoiachin, since he was a “legal” Descendant, not a biological one.
However, these facts also teach us some important facts about Christ and His throne. Simply stated, there is no way that Christ can sit on a literal throne of David in Jerusalem and reign as King (as many in the religious world teach must happen when Christ returns).
We will consider these things further in our next articles.