Matthew 1:11
And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
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(11) Jechonias and his brethren.—Here again there is a missing link in the name of Eliakim, or Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah (2Kings 23:34). Jeconiah was therefore the grandson of Josiah. The alternative reading mentioned in the margin rests on very slight authority, and was obviously the insertion of some later scribe, to meet the difficulty. The word “brethren” was probably meant to include Mattaniah or Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, who was the son of Josiah, and therefore uncle to Jechoniah.

Matthew 1:11. Josias begat Jechonias — According to the Bodleian and other MSS., (of which notice is taken in the margin of our Bibles,) we must read Josiah begat Jehoiakim, and Jehoiakim begat Jechoniah. And this indeed seems absolutely necessary to keep up the number of fourteen generations; unless we suppose, with Dr. Whitby, that the Jechoniah here is a different person from that Jechoniah mentioned in the next verse, which seems a very unreasonable supposition, since it is certain that throughout this whole table each person is mentioned twice, first as the son of the preceding, and then as the father of the following. And his brethren — Jehoahaz and Zedekiah, who were both kings of Judah, the former the predecessor to Jehoiakim, and the latter the successor of his son Jehoiachin. Of the history of these persons see the notes on 2 Kings 23:30-31; and 2 Kings 24:1-20; and 2 Kings 25:1-7. About the time they were carried away to Babylon — There were two transportations to Babylon of the tribes which composed the kingdom of Judah. The first happened in the eighth year of the reign of Jehoiachin the son of Jehoiakim. For Jehoiachin delivered up the city to Nebuchadnezzar, and, by treaty, agreed to go with the Chaldeans to Babylon, at which time the princes and the mighty men, even 10,000 captives, with all the craftsmen and smiths, were carried away to Babylon. 2 Kings 24:12-16. The second transportation happened in the 11th year of the reign of Zedekiah, when the city was taken by storm, and all the people made prisoners of war and carried off. The seventy years of the captivity were dated from the first transportation, here properly called μετοικεσια, a removal or migration: and it is of this that the evangelist speaks in this genealogy: the other is more properly termed αιχμαλωσια, a being taken and carried away captive.

1:1-17 Concerning this genealogy of our Saviour, observe the chief intention. It is not a needless genealogy. It is not a vain-glorious one, as those of great men often are. It proves that our Lord Jesus is of the nation and family out of which the Messiah was to arise. The promise of the blessing was made to Abraham and his seed; of the dominion, to David and his seed. It was promised to Abraham that Christ should descend from him, Ge 12:3; 22:18; and to David that he should descend from him, 2Sa 7:12; Ps 89:3, &c.; 132:11; and, therefore, unless Jesus is a son of David, and a son of Abraham, he is not the Messiah. Now this is here proved from well-known records. When the Son of God was pleased to take our nature, he came near to us, in our fallen, wretched condition; but he was perfectly free from sin: and while we read the names in his genealogy, we should not forget how low the Lord of glory stooped to save the human race.These verses contain the genealogy of Jesus. Luke also Luke 3 gives a genealogy of the Messiah. No two passages of Scripture have caused more difficulty than these, and various attempts have been made to explain them. There are two sources of difficulty in these catalogues.

1. Many names that are found in the Old Testament are here omitted; and,

2. The tables of Matthew and Luke appear in many points to be different.

From Adam to Abraham Matthew has mentioned no names, and Luke only has given the record. From Abraham to David the two tables are alike. Of course there is no difficulty in reconciling these two parts of the tables. The difficulty lies in that part of the genealogy from David to Christ. There they are entirely different. They are manifestly different lines. Not only are the names different, but Luke has mentioned, in this part of the genealogy, no less than 42 names, while Matthew has recorded only 27 names.

Various ways have been proposed to explain this difficulty, but it must be admitted that none of them is perfectly satisfactory. It does not comport with the design of these notes to enter minutely into an explanation of the perplexities of these passages. All that can be done is to suggest the various ways in which attempts have been made to explain them.

1. It is remarked that in nothing are mistakes more likely to occur than in such tables. From the similarity of names, and the different names by which the same person is often called, and from many other causes, errors would be more likely to creep into genealogical tables than in other writings. Some of the difficulties may have possibly occurred from this cause.

2. Most interpreters have supposed that Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph, and Luke that of Mary. They were both descended from David, but in different lines. This solution derives some plausibility from the fact that the promise was made to David, and as Jesus was not the son of Joseph, it was important to show that Mary was also descended from him. But though this solution is plausible, and may be true, yet it wants evidence. It cannot, however, be proved that this was not the design of Luke.

3. It has been said also that Joseph was the legal son and heir of Heli, though the real son of Jacob, and that thus the two lines terminated in him. This was the explanation suggested by most of the Christian fathers, and on the whole is the most satisfactory. It was a law of the Jews that if a man died without children, his brother should marry his widow. Thus the two lines might have been intermingled, According to this solution, which was first proposed by Africanus, Matthan, descended from Solomon, married Estha, of whom was born Jacob. After Matthan's death, Matthat being of the same tribe, but of another family, married his widow, and of this marriage Heli was born. Jacob and Heli were therefore children of the same mother. Heli dying without children, his brother Jacob married his widow, and begat Joseph, who was thus the legal son of Heli. This is agreeable to the account in the two evangelists. Matthew says that Jacob begat Joseph; Luke says that Joseph was the son of Heli, i. e., was his legal heir, or was reckoned in law to be his son. This can be seen by the plan on the next page, showing the nature of the connection.

Though these solutions may not seem to be entirely satisfactory, yet there are two additional considerations which should set the matter at rest, and lead to the conclusion that the narratives are not really inconsistent.

1. No difficulty was ever found, or alleged, in regard to them, by any of the early enemies of Christianity. There is no evidence that they ever adduced them as containing a contradiction. Many of those enemies were acute, learned, and able; and they show by their writings that they were not indisposed to detect all the errors that could possibly be found in the sacred narrative. Now it is to be remembered that the Jews were fully competent to show that these tables were incorrect, if they were really so; and it is clear that they were fully disposed, if possible, to do it. The fact, therefore, that it is not done, is clear evidence that they thought it to be correct. The same may be said of the acute pagans who wrote against Christianity. None of them have called in question the correctness of these tables. This is full proof that, in a time when it was easy to understand these tables, they were believed to be correct.

2. The evangelists are not responsible for the correctness of these tables. They are responsible only for what was their real and professed object to do. What was that object? It was to prove to the satisfaction of the Jews that Jesus was descended from David, and therefore that there was no argument from his ancestry that he was not the promised Messiah. Now to make this out, it was not necessary, nor would it have conduced to their argument, to have formed a new table of genealogy. All that could be done was to go to the family records - to the public tables, and copy them as they were actually kept, and show that, according to the records of the nation, Jesus was descended from David. This, among the Jews, would be full and decided testimony in the case. And this was doubtless done. In the same way, the records of a family among us, as they are kept by the family, are proof in courts of justice now of the birth, names, etc., of individuals. Nor is it necessary or proper for a court to call them in question or to attempt to correct them. So, the tables here are good evidence to the only point that the writers wished to establish: that is, to show to the Jews that Jesus of Nazareth was descended from David. The only inquiry which can now be fairly made is whether they copied those tables correctly. It is clear that no man can prove that they did not so copy them, and therefore that no one can adduce them as an argument against the correctness of the New Testament.

11. And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren—Jeconiah was Josiah's grandson, being the son of Jehoiakim, Josiah's second son (1Ch 3:15); but Jehoiakim might well be sunk in such a catalogue, being a mere puppet in the hands of the king of Egypt (2Ch 36:4). The "brethren" of Jechonias here evidently mean his uncles—the chief of whom, Mattaniah or Zedekiah, who came to the throne (2Ki 24:17), is, in 2Ch 36:10, as well as here, called "his brother."

about the time they were carried away to Babylon—literally, "of their migration," for the Jews avoided the word "captivity" as too bitter a recollection, and our Evangelist studiously respects the national feeling.

In this Jechonias 1 Chronicles 3:15,16 (whoever he was) determined the evangelist’s second period of fourteen generations. But there is much dispute, both about the Jechonias who is here mentioned, and the sons of Josiah as they are reckoned up 1 Chronicles 3:15, where it is said: The sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. It is plain that Jehoahaz succeeded Josiah his father, 2 Kings 23:31 2 Chronicles 36:1. It is certain that amongst the Jews it was very ordinary for persons to have two names; thus king Uzziah in the Book of Kings is called Azariah, 2 Kings 14:21. Most if not all of Josiah’s sons had two names: it is plain that Jehoahaz his eldest son is the same who in 1 Chronicles 3:15 is called Johanan; but he reigned but three months, probably set up by the people, and put down by Pharaoh-necho, in a battle against whom Josiah was slain; he pursuing his victory put him down and set up Eliakim his next brother, calling him Jehoiakim, as he is called 1 Chronicles 3:15. He reigned eleven years, 2 Chronicles 36:5. The king of Babylon puts him down, and setteth up Jehoiachin his son, who is also called Jeconiah, and Coniah. He reigned but three months and ten days, 2 Chronicles 36:9; and the king of Babylon fetcheth him away, and sets up his uncle Zedekiah, called also Mattaniah. He reigned eleven years, as appeareth by 2 Chronicles 36:11; then the whole body of the Jews were carried away captive into Babylon. 2 Kings 24:14-16 2 Kings 25:11 2 Chronicles 36:10,20 Jer 27:20 39:9 52:11,15,28-30 Da 1:2 We do not read, either in the Book of Kings or Chronicles, that Shallum (Josiah’s fourth son) ever reigned, yet it should seem that he did, by Jeremiah 22:11. Some think that he was set up instead of Jehoahaz, when he was carried away. But the Scripture saith nothing of it, nor is it very probable that the conqueror should skip over the second and third son, and set up the fourth. But it is not my present concern to inquire after Shallum, but only after Jechonias mentioned in this verse, and the other Jechonias mentioned in Matthew 1:12, as the head of those generations which make up the last period. As to this Jechonias, the most probable opinion is, that it was Jehoiakim, who was also called Jeconiah, and that the Jechonias mentioned Matthew 1:12 was Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim. In this I find some of the best interpreters acquiescing, nor indeed is there any great difficulty in allowing Jehoiakim the father, as well as Jehoiachin the son, to be called Jeconiah (so near are the names akin, and the signification of both the same); but then the question is, how Josiah could be said to beget Jehoiakim about the time of the carrying into the captivity of Babylon; for it appeareth by 2 Chronicles 36:5, that Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years; and in his time was the first carrying into Babylon; so that there must be thirty-seven years betwixt the begetting of Jehoiakim and the first transportation into Babylon. The margin of our Bibles tells us of another reading, Josias begat Jakim, ( Jakim and Jehoiakim are the same), and Jakim begat Jechonias (that is, Jehoiachin). Beza thinks this the truest reading, taken out of an old copy of R. Stephens, magnified by Stapulensis and Bucer. But he thinks it should be thus, Josias begat Jakim and his brethren, ( for we know that Josiah had four sons), and Jakim begat Jechonias (that is, Jehoiachin) about the time of the carrying into the captivity o Babylon. For Jehoiachin or Jeconiah was not nine years old when himself was carried away, and his father was carried away before. About the carrying away into Babylon: the Greek preposition epi doth not signify any determinate certain time, but doth include sometimes many and distinct times, as it must do here; for Josiah began to reign at eight years old, and reigned thirty-one years, so that he died at thirty-nine years of age, 2 Chronicles 34:1. Jehoahaz (or Johanan) his eldest son succeeded him at twenty-three years old, so he must be born when Josiah was sixteen years of age; Jehoiakim began to reign at twenty-five years of age; Zedekiah at one and twenty; as appeareth from 2 Chronicles 36:2,5,11. So that Zedekiah must be but about nine years old when his father died, which was not twelve years before, Jehoiakim was carried into Babylon, as appeareth by the history, 2 Chronicles 36:1-23. Thus the persons in this period (which was the flourishing time of the kingdom of Judah) are fourteen: Solomon, Rehoboam, Abia, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoiakim; only here is no mention made of Jehoahaz’s reign, who was Josiah’s eldest son, who, it may be, is not mentioned by the evangelist, either because Jehoiakim (here called Jechonias) was a second son of the same father, or in regard of his short reign (for it was but three months and odd days); or, it may be, because in all probability he was tumultuously set up by the people, and not fixed in his throne before he was turned out by the conqueror Pharaoh-necho; nor do we read of any sons he left; to be sure he left none who could succeed him in the throne, for Jehoiakim was set up, and his son Jehoiachin succeeded him, as the history telleth us.

And Josias begat Jechonias,.... This Jechonias is the same with Jehoiakim, the son of Josias, called so by Pharaohnecho, when he made him king, whose name before was Eliakim, 2 Kings 23:34 begat of Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah, 2 Kings 23:36.

and his brethren. These were Johanan, Zedekiah, and Shallum. Two of them were kings, one reigned before him, viz. Shallum, who is called Jehoahaz, 2 Kings 23:30 compared with Jeremiah 22:11, the other, viz. Zedekiah, called before Mattaniah, reigned after his son Jehoiakim: these being both kings, is the reason why his brethren are mentioned; as well as to distinguish him from Jechonias in the next verse; who does not appear to have had any brethren: these were

about the time they were carried away to Babylon, which is not to be connected with the word "begat": for Josiah did not beget Jeconiah and his brethren at that time, for he had been dead some years before; nor with Jechonias, for he never was carried away into Babylon, but died in Judea, and slept with his fathers, 2 Kings 24:6 but with the phrase "his brethren": and may be rendered thus, supposing understood, "which were at", or "about the carrying away to Babylon", or the Babylonish captivity.

and Josias begat {d} Jechonias and his brethren, at the time of the carrying away of Babylon.

(d) That is, the captivity fell in the days of Jakim and Jechonias: for Jechonias was born before the carrying away into captivity.

Matthew 1:11. The son of Josiah was Joakim, and his son was Jechoniah. Here, consequently, a link is wanting, and accordingly several uncials, curss., and a few versions[353] contain the supplement: ἸΩΣΊΑς ΔῈ ἘΓΈΝΝΗΣΕ ΤῸΝ ἸΩΑΚΕΊΜ· ἸΩΑΚΕῚΜ ΔῈ ἘΓΈΝΝΗΣΕ ΤῸΝ ἸΕΧΟΝΊΑΝ (1 Chronicles 3:15-16). The omission is not, with Ebrard, to be explained from the circumstance that under Joakim the land passed under the sway of a foreign power (2 Kings 24:4), and that consequently the theocratic regal right became extinct (against this arbitrary view, see on Matthew 1:8); but merely from a confusion between the two similar names, which, at the same time, contributed to the omission of one of them. This clearly appears from the circumstance that, indeed, several brothers of Joakim are mentioned (three, see 1 Chronicles 3:15), but not of Jechoniah. Zedekiah is, indeed, designated in 2 Chronicles 36:10 as the brother of the latter (and in 1 Chronicles 3:16 as his son), but was his uncle (2 Kings 24:17; Jeremiah 37:1). That our genealogy, however, followed the (erroneous, see Bertheau, p. 430) statement in 2 Chronicles 36:10, is not to be assumed on account of the plural τοὺς ἀδελφούς, which rather points to 1 Chronicles 3:15 and the interchange with Joiakim. It is quite in an arbitrary manner, finally, that Kuinoel has assigned to the words ΚΑῚΑὐΤΟῦ their place only after ΣΑΛΑΘΊΗΛ, and Fritzsche has even entirely deleted them as spurious.

ἘΠῚ Τῆς ΜΕΤΟΙΚ. ΒΑΒΥΛῶΝΟς] during (not about the time, Luther and others) the migration. See Bernhardy, p. 246; Kühner, II. p. 430. The statement, however, is inexact, as Jechoniah was carried away along with others (2 Kings 24:15). The genitive Βαβυλ. is used in the sense of ΕἸς ΒΑΒΥΛῶΝΑ. Comp. Eurip. Iph. T. 1073: γῆς πατρῷας νόστος. Matthew 10:5 : ὉΔῸς ἘΘΝῶΝ; Matthew 4:15, al. Winer, p. 176 [E. T. p. 234].

[353] Amongst the editions this interpolation has been received into the text by Colinaeus, H. Stephens, and Er. Schmidt, also by Beza (1James , 2 d); by Castalio in his translation. It has been defended by Rinck, Lucub. crit. p. 245 f.; Ewald assumes that ver. 11 originally ran: Ἰωσίας δὲ ἐγένν. τ. Ἰωακὶμ καὶ τοῦς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ· Ἰωακὶμ δὲ ἐγένν. τὸν Ἰεχονίαν ἐπὶ τῆς μετοικ. Βαβ. The present form of the text may be an old error of the copyists, occasioned by the similarity of the two names.

Matthew 1:11. Ἰωσίας ἐγεν. τὸν Ἰεχονίαν. There is an omission here also: Eliakim, son of Josiah and father of Jeconiah. It was noted and made a ground of reproach to Christians by Porphyry. Maldonatus, pressed by the difficulty, proposed to substitute for Jeconiah, Jehoiakim, the second of four sons ascribed to Josiah in the genealogist’s source (1 Chronicles 3:14), whereby the expression τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ would retain its natural sense. But, while the two names are perhaps similar enough to be mistaken for each other, it is against the hypothesis as a solution of the difficulty that Jehoiakim did not share in the captivity (2 Kings 24:6), while the words of Matthew 1:11 seem to imply that the descendant of Josiah referred to was associated with his brethren in exile. The words ἐπὶ τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος probably supply the key to the solution. Josiah brings us to the brink of the period of exile. With his name that doleful time comes into the mind of the genealogist. Who is to represent it in the line of succession? Not Jehoiakim, for though the deportation began in his reign he was not himself a captive. It must be Jeconiah (Jehoiakin), his son at the second remove, who was among the captives (2 Kings 24:15). His “brethren” are his uncles, sons of Josiah, his grandfather; brethren in blood, and brethren also as representatives of a calamitous time—(vide Weiss-Meyer). There is a pathos in this second allusion to brotherhood. “Judah and his brethren,” partakers in the promise (also in the sojourn in Egypt); “Jeconiah and his brethren,” the generation of the promise eclipsed. Royalty in the dust, but not without hope. The omission of Eliakim (or Jehoiakim) serves the subordinate purpose of keeping the second division of the genealogy within the number fourteen.—Μετοικεσίας: literally change of abode, deportation, “carrying away,” late Greek for μετοικία or μετοίκησις.—Βαβυλῶνος: genitive, expressing the terminus ad quem (vide Winer, § 30, 2 a, and cf. Matthew 4:15, ὁδὸν θαλάσσης, Matthew 10:5, ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν).—ἐπὶ τ. μ., “at the time of, during,” the time being of some length; the process of deportation went on for years. Cf. Mark 2:26, ἐπὶ Ἀβιάθαρ, under the high priesthood of Abiathar, and Mark 12:26 for a similar use of ἐπὶ in reference to place: ἐπὶ τοῦ βάτου—at the place where the story of the bush occurs. Μετὰ τ. μ. in Matthew 1:12 means after not during, as some have supposed, misled by taking μετοικεσία as denoting the state of exile. Vide on this Fritzsche.

11. Josias begat Jechonias (Jehoiakim)] but in the next v. Jechonias = Jehoiachin. Read, as in the margin, “Josias begat Jakim (Jehoiakim), and Jakim begat Jechonias (Jehoiachin).

Jechonias and his brethren] Jehoiachin had no brethren, but Jehoiakim had three: a further proof that Jechonias in this verse=Jehoiakim.

Matthew 1:11. Ἰωσίας δὲ ἐγέννησε τὸν Ἰεχονίαν, But Josiah begat Jechoniah) Many transcribers both in ancient and in modern times, and those principally Greeks, have inserted Jehoiachim here, because, firstly, the Old Testament had that name in this situation, and secondly, the number of fourteen generations, from David to the Babylonian captivity, given by St Matthew, seemed to require the insertion. Jehoiachim, however, must not be inserted: for history would not suffer Jehoiachim to be put without his brothers, and brothers to be thus given to Jechoniah, who had none. Some have sought for Jehoiachim in St Matthew’s first mention of Jechoniah; Jerome[12] has done so especially, when answering Porphyry’s[13] objections to this verse on the ground of the hiatus. No transformation, however, will produce Jechoniah (in the LXX. ἸΕΧΟΝΊΑς) from the Hebrew יהויקים, the ἸΩΑΚΕῖΜ (Joakim) of the LXX., so as to make them one and the same name: nor have we any more reason for supposing that Jehoiachim and Jechoniah are intended by the repetition of the former, than that two separate individuals are intended by the repetition of Isaac’s name; and so on with the other names in the genealogy. The same Jechoniah is twice introduced under his own name: he was descended from Josiah through Jehoiachim, whose name is omitted. St Matthew calls Jechoniah’s uncles his brothers (cf. Genesis 13:8), and that with great felicity; for Zedekiah came to the throne after the commencement of the captivity, to the exclusion of the sons of Jechoniah, whom he succeeded, and who, though his nephew, was born eight years before him. The brothers, therefore, of Jehoiachim, of whom Zedekiah was chief, who is expressly called the brother in 2 Chronicles 36:10, and 2 Kings 24:17, instead of the uncle of Jechoniah, are appropriately mentioned after Jechoniah as his brothers.[14]—ἘΠῚ ΤῊς ΜΕΤΟΙΚΕΣΊΑς, about the time of the migration[15]) The preposition ἘΠῚ, which is contrasted with ΜΕΤᾺ (after) in the twelfth verse, is also employed sometimes to denote the immediate sequence of that, during or about the time of which something else takes place.—See Gnomon on Mark 2:26. The Hebrew præfix ב has the same force in Genesis 10:25. The birth of Jechoniah was followed immediately by the removal to Babylon,—which is called by the LXX. both ἈΠΟΙΚΕΣΊΑ (the emigration), and μετοικεσία (the migration, immigration, or sojourning); the former with reference to Palestine, the latter with reference to Babylon.—Βαβυλῶνος, of Babylon) i.e. to, or into Babylon. In like manner ὁδὸς Αἰγύπτου, in Jeremiah 2:18, signifies the way into Egypt.

[12] One of the most celebrated Fathers of the Christian Church, born of Christian parents at Stridon, on the borders of Pannonia and Dalmatia, in the year 331. Educated at Rome under the best masters. After travelling through France, Italy, and the East, he adopted the monastic life in Syria in his 31st year. He died A.D. 422.—(I. B.)

[13] A Platonic philosopher, born at Tyre, A.D. 223. Studied under Longinus and Plotinus. He was a man of great talent and learning, and one of the most able opponents of Christianity. He died in the reign of Diocletian.—(I. B.)

[14] Irenœus, 218, writes, “Ante hunc Joachim (Joseph enim Joachim et Jechoniæ filius ostenditur, quemadmodum et Matthæus generationem ejus exponit).” So M Cod. Reg. Paris of 9th century, and U Cod. Venetus of same date, in opposition to the ancient authorities, insert Ἰωαχείμ.—ED.

[15] sc. to Babylon.—(I. B.)

Verse 11. - Josias ( Josiah, Revised Version) begat Jechonias ( Jechoniah, Revised Version). Here we come upon another omission. Josiah was the father of Jehoiakim, and he the father of Jechoniah (called also Jehoiachin); see 2 Kings 23:34; 2 Kings 24:6. The omission is supplied in some few manuscripts; but it may be only the case of a marginal note in a previous copy having found its way into the text. There is, however, something to be said in favour of its acceptance. The similarity between the names Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin is very great, especially in some of the Greek forms, so that they might easily be confused, and thus a verse be omitted in some very early text. Then Jehoiachin (Jechonias) apparently had no brethren (but see 1 Chronicles 3:16), whereas Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, had two or three (1 Chronicles 3:15). To make the whole pedigree agree with the Old Testament records some addition in this form would appear necessary; Josiah begat [Jehoiakim and his brethren, and Jehoiakim begat] Jechoniah about the time, etc. But manuscript evidence for this is extremely slight ( vide Westcott and Hort, 'App.,' i,). Yet the supposition that the name of Jehoiakim has been omitted removes what has seemed to many another difficulty. As the list now stands, to make up the fourteen in the third as well as in the second section of the genealogy it is necessary to count Jehoiachin - a king whose reign lasted only three mouths (2 Kings 24:8) - twice over. He closes the second fourteen and begins the third. There is nothing like this found at the other division. To substitute Jehoiakim after Josiah would avoid this repetition of the name of such a very insignificant person, especially as the reign of Jehoiakim lasted eleven years (2 Kings 23:36). And to mention Jehoiakim as the father of Jehoiachin "at the time of the carrying away to Babylon" would be very appropriate, whereas to say Josiah begat his children at that date is not so strictly correct. It seems, then, probable that we have here some clerical error, which may have existed already in the list which St. Matthew used. About the time. The preposition in the Greek means rather, "at the time." The Authorized Version, however, gives the sense, for the birth of Jehoiachin must have been some years before the commencement of the Babylonish conquest, which may be said to have begun with Nebuchadnezzar's invasion of the land in Jehoiakim's days (2 Kings 24:1). Matthew 1:11
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