Who Was King Jehoiachin in the Bible?

By Petal Mashraki
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published October 29, 2021.

First book of the kings in the bible

Jehoiachin (born c.615BC) was a 6th-century BC king of Judah, and his story is told in the Old Testament (2 Chronicles 36:9–10; 2 Kings 24:6–17). The name Jehoiachin's meaning is "May the Lord Establish." Jehoiachin is also called Coniah, Jeconiah, and Joachin. Later in life, he was imprisoned and eventually ate at the new king's table.

Who Were Jehoiachin's Family Members?

  • Father Jeconiah's father was King Jehoiakim, a Godless tyrant who committed countless atrocities and sins, including incest, murder, and idol worship. Jeconiah's grandfather was the righteous King Josiah.
  • Mother His mother was Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem, but little else is said about her in the Bible. She followed her son into captivity and is believed to have been ungodly, although there is no mention of her character in the Bible.
  • Siblings It is unsure whether Jehoiachin had brothers. Matthew talks of "Jeconiah and his brothers" in the plural, while I Chronicles 3 mentions Zedekiah as his one brother, the word "brother" may have been used to mean kinsman.
  • Descendants A list of Jecohiah's descendants is given in Chronicles I 3:17-24. Including his seven children, one of whom was Pedaiah, the father of Zerubbabel, who led the first group of Jews returning from Babylon. In Matthew 1:11, the genealogy of Christ is listed and includes mention of Jeconiah as one of the ancestors of Joseph.

When Did Jehoiachin Become King?

Jehoiachin succeeded his father, Jehoiakim, at the age of 18 when his father was killed during the Chaldean invasion of Judah. He was coronated in 598BC and was the 19th King of Judah. Jehoiachin reigned for just three months and ten days before being dethroned by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon when he invaded and captured Jerusalem.

What Did Jehoiachin Do Wrong?

Jehoiachin continued in the pagan practices of his father (2 Kings 24: 8, 9). He did not lead the people to God. God decided to send the people into captivity because of their sins, and Jehoiachin, along with them.

Who Imprisoned Jehoiachin?

When King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem, he planned to capture the city's elite and bring them to Babylon where they would be assimilated into society. Jehoiachin and his household were among the 3,000 Jews captured and taken to Babylon.

One of the people who went into captivity with King Jehoiachin was the Prophet, Ezekiel. The first year of their imprisonment was in the spring and is also referred to as the Spring Reckoning. During Judah's captivity in Babylon, Jehoiachin received preferable treatment, probably because of his former royal status.

Why Was Jehoiachin Released?

The story of Jehoiachin's release is told in King 25:27-30. We learn how Jehoiachin was held captive for 37 years. Jehoiachin was released by the new king Evil-Merodach. The new king gave Jehoiachin a position in the Babylonian court. Merodach gave Jehoiachin a food allotment for life and treated him well.

Evil-Merodach ruled for two years before being assassinated. It is unknown why Evil-Merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, released Jehoiachin. But it could have been that he wanted to reverse his father's policies, or he had become friends with Jehoiachin. Or perhaps it is a message about paying for your sins (37 years in captivity) and gaining redemption.

Was Jehoiachin a Good King?

Because Jehoiachin did not lead his people towards God, he was not considered a good king. His sins led him to captivity. The most famous Jehoiachin Bible verse is the "Curse of Jeconiah," written in Jeremiah 22:28–30. The curse says that Jeconiah will not prosper in his lifetime and that none of his offspring would sit on the throne of David or rule Judah.

So what happened to Jehoiachin? He spent the rest of his days eating at the king's table and enjoying a comfortable life in the Babylonian court (2 Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34).