In Jeremiah 22:24-30, we come to King Jeconiah, about whom there is a lot of history but with some confused statements, even in marginal references and among Bible scholars. The account is interesting because it bears on a lot of subjects that we would not normally think of.

    This part of history is more identifiable because it is duplicated in the books of Chronicles, Kings, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. The subject matter pertains to King Coniah (also called Jeconiah and Jehoiachin).

    Jer. 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.

    “Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man

[Coniah] childless.” Since Coniah had two sons, we have to consider this statement in connection with the time frame and certain modifying factors.  The names of Coniah’s two sons are listed in 1 Chronicles 3:17: “And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son.” However, at the time of verse 30, when Coniah was called “childless,” he had only one son, Assir. That prophecy was fulfilled when Coniah was taken to Babylon, for at that time, “his [only] seed” (Assir) was slain. The policy of victorious kings was to kill the defeated king’s posterity, the royal seed, so that there would be no danger of a future successor.

    A multitude of facts need to be harmonized. Coniah had a seed, but when he was taken captive, he became childless. However, he did penance in prison and was eventually elevated, being raised to the king’s table in the thirty-seventh year of his captivity. Not only was he raised up to King Nebuchadnezzar’s table, but favor was shown to him until his death. Thus Coniah died a rather pleasant death in Babylon.

    In regard to Coniah, the words “in his days” are the significant modifying factor. “Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days.” The point is that Jeconiah had two sons, Assir and Salathiel. Assir was killed, but when Jeconiah was elevated to the king’s table in Babylon, he had another son, Salathiel. Jeconiah and his son Salathiel are in Messiah’s lineage via Joseph (Matt. 1:11,12).

    Thus Coniah was “childless” for 37 years, and the situation seemed hopeless. And it is true that none of his seed returned to the land of Israel when Assir, his only son, was slain. Moreover, Coniah himself could not return. But Salathiel, the second son, survived and bore Zerubbabel, who returned to Israel at the end of the 70 years.

    Another place in the Bible also seems to emphatically say there was no hope of a future in Israel. However, as with Jeconiah, that Scripture is meant to be understood on a temporary basis. We have to keep in mind that, depending on context, the term “for ever” means “for an age.” And so Coniah was “childless” temporarily, not for eternity. He did not have a successor contemporary with him who sat on the throne of David. But Jesus, the son of David, is his successor. In the future, Jesus will sit on the throne of Israel as the King of the world.