July 28, 2002 / Volume 2, Issue 30
THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
2 Chronicles 36:9 says that Jehoiachin became king when he was eight years old, while 2 Kings 24:8 says he became king at the age of 18. Is there a contradiction?
Let us look at the passages in question:
2 Chronicles 36:9
Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD.
2 Kings 24:8
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His motherís name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
Indeed, the texts identify two different ages at which Jehoiachin became king, a difference of 10 years existing between them. A likely explanation for this supposed discrepancy is that he began to reign along side his father at the age of 8, and then took complete control of the throne at the age of 18, reigning from that point onward for approximately 3 months time.
The texts agree on the general length of his reign, 2 Chronicles being more specific that 2 Kings, as it mentions 3 months and 10 days. Of his reign, we are told "...he did evil in the sight of the LORD..." (2 Chronicles 36:9), and again, "...he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done." (2 Kings 24:9). It is very unlikely that these words are spoken of an 8 year old. However, as his father's apprentice for a 10 year period, no doubt he learned well the wickedness of his father, and repeated the same in his own short reign as king.
There is no contradiction.
This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible