Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 1:11 - 1:11

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Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 1:11 - 1:11


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In this Jechonias 1Ch_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 1Ch_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, 2Ki_23:31 2Ch_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, 2Ki_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 1Ch_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 1Ch_3:15. He reigned eleven years, 2Ch_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, 2Ch_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 2Ch_36:11; then the whole body of the Jews were carried away captive into Babylon. 2Ki_24:14-16 2Ki_25:11 2Ch_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 Jer_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 Mat_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 Mat_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 2Ch_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, 2Ch_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 2Ch_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, 2Ch_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.