Did you know that one of the sons of King Josiah was so evil that it was prophesied that he would be written out of the Bible? Now this particular prophecy is a wonderful tool for witnessing to those who believe that they can point out errors in the New Testament. This can be used in addition to whatever witnessing methods you’re already using. I’d like to know if anyone has ever explained how the prophecy I’m about to explain has been fulfilled; the prophecy that the son of King Josiah, Jehoiakim, would be written childless. The place where the prophecy is fulfilled is in the genealogy of Joseph, Jesus’ stepfather.
When you read the generations of King Solomon through Jehoiakim, there is no mention of Jehoiakim. This appears to decrease those generations to thirteen but knowing the fact that Jehoiakim, though unwritten, still represents a generation, there is no error. There are in fact fourteen generations as stated in Matthew even if one of the kings is erased in order to fulfill prophecy. If the reader does not know about the part of the lineage outlined in the Old Testament which Matthew left out and if they aren’t counting, they’ll be none the wiser but knowing this little known fact gives us one more prophecy fulfilled. Matthew, “writes Jehoiakim childless” in this fulfillment of prophecy by reckoning Jechonias to be the son of Josiah, his grandfather, instead of his father, Jehoiakim.
Here is where the prophecy concerning Jehoiakim is written:
Jeremiah 22:30 “Thus saith the LORD, 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.”
Jeremiah is speaking of Jehoiakim, the father of Jechoniah. The way that Jehoiakim is written childless is that Jechoniah is written to be the son of King Josiah, not Jehoiakim. Thus, Jehoiakim is childless because Jechoniah becomes the son of King Josiah. Jehoiakim has his position as a king in the generations to the Messiah taken away.
Jeremiah 22:24 “[As] I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah (Jeconiah) the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee (Jehoiakim) thence;”
Matthew 1:11 “And Josiah begat Jechoniah and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon.”
Matthew 1:17a “So all the generations from Abraham to David [are] fourteen generations;”
Matthew 1:17b “and from David until the carrying away into Babylon [are] fourteen generations;”
14. Jehoiakim – May his name be forgotten!
Matthew 1:17c “and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ [are] fourteen generations.”
14. Jesus, who is called Christ
I did a lengthy search through digitized Bible commentaries and could not find where scholars had explained how this prophecy of Jehoiakim becoming childless was fulfilled; how this verse that says Jehoiakim would have none to sit upon the throne of David would be fulfilled. Now we can point to Matthew for an explanation and hopefully an opportunity to witness to those claiming Matthew contains an error in the narrative because Jehoiakim is left out. But we know this is how the Lord has left him childless.
A note on counting in other languages or cultures:
Every culture and language has idiosyncrasies in the way numbers are counted. In these verses the prophetic numbers of three sets of fourteen are kept even though one of the kings is not named because of his wickedness. There would be no need to specify this if all Christians were avid Bible readers. Those of you who don’t read the Bible, it’s your own fault if you’re ignorant because God’s Word is free everywhere, hotel drawers and the Internet, and available for a buck at most dollar stores. Everyone who studies documents that are written in other languages (that’s everyone who reads the Bible) must remember that every word, including numbers, have cultural nuances that are not in common with the reader’s own language. This “common sense” that speakers of the same language share doesn’t exist when reading another language. Let’s have common sense when we study the Bible by looking for any cultural or language nuances in what we’re reading. In this case, a thorough reading explains it without any need to look for more.
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