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Answering The Atheist
November 4, 2007 / Volume 7, Issue 44

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Who succeeded Jehoiakim as king, was it his son Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:6) or no one (Jeremiah 36:30)? Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim attempted to become the king of Judah, but unsuccessfully so. 2 Kings 24:8 reveals that "Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months." Nebuchadnezzar almost immediately besieged Jerusalem and Jehoiakim's reign ended as abruptly as it began (2 Kings 24:11-15). Jehoiachin's uncle, Mattaniah (renamed Zedekiah) was raised to the throne by Nebuchadnezzar.

Jehoiakim's reign ended without honour, and his son Jehoiachin failed at being king. Not only did he do evil, but quite simply, he no sooner was received as king than he was pulled from the office not of his own accord.

When Jeremiah prophesied that "...He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David...", did he mean that not even an attempt at such would be made? The questioner would be hard pressed to establish that. With but a three month reign for Jehoiachin, the record of history agrees with the prophecy of Jeremiah, the succession of the monarchy failed.

One might reason, ‘but Jehoiachin did reign as king.' Yes, but it would be much akin to speaking of the NHL career of a man who played but a single game in the league. In both cases, a failure has occurred.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible