Jehoiachin, King of Judah

Jehoiachin Reigned in Judah Three Monts and had a Lifestyle of Depravity

Medieval King
Jehoiakim's son, Jehoiachin, was 18 years old when he became king and reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. Sadly, his lifestyle was one of depravity and he repeated the evils of his forerunners. He is also called Jeconiah in the Bible (1 Chronicles 3:16, 17; Esther 2:6; Jeremiah 24:1, 27:20, 28:4, 29:2; and Matthew 1:11, 12) and Coniah in Jeremiah 22:24, 28 and 37:1. The first syllable of Je was cut off symbolizing the departure of Jehovah, and that he himself would be cut off.

In Jeremiah 20:4 and 5, Jeremiah foretold the events which came to pass in Jehoiachin's time. “I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon and slay them with the sword. Moreover I will deliver all the wealth of this city, all its produce, and all its precious things; all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give into the hand of their enemies, who will plunder them, seize them, and carry them to Babylon.”

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, already had Judah under his thumb. Nebuchadnezzar had his own plans for Judah and Jehoiachin. He transported to Babylon all the treasures of the temple, the treasures of the king's house and all the vessels of gold which Solomon had made for the temple. Nebuchadnezzar carried Jehoiachin captive to Babylon, along with his mother, his wives, his officers, all of his army and all of the craftsmen. No one was left in Jerusalem and Judah except the poor. Jehoiachin was then imprisoned. Nebuchadnezzar appointed Jehoiachin's uncle, Mattaniah, to be a puppet king in Judah, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Remarkably, Jehoiachin spent 37 years in prison, a humiliated and forgotten man. He had lots of time to consider his life, and perhaps brought to mind stories he had heard about his grandfather, Josiah, and memories of the dishonorable death of his father. Perhaps he even prayed, and humbly sought mercy from the Lord.

With a change of Babylon's kings came a change in Jehoiachin's fate. Evil Merodach became the king of Babylon, and in the year he began to reign, he released Jehoiachin from prison. The new king was kind to him, and gave him a prominent position in his administration, better than all the other exiled kings who were with him in Babylon. Jehoiachin dined at the king's table regularly, and his needs were met by the king of Babylon for the remainder of his life. His children included Shealtiel, in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:12. (2 Kings 24:8-16; 2 Chronicles 36:9, 10)

Written by: Pete Miller