The importance of being Jehoiakim

I found something really cool while studying Matthew chapter 1 yesterday, as you probably already know Matthew 1 is the geneology of Christ beginning at Abraham.
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;
And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;
And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;
And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

Verse 17 (in bold) is important, read that again. For some reason while studying this I felt (probably being spirit lead) that I should count the generations, just to make sure there were 14 in each period and 42 overall (14×3). The names however from Abraham to Christ and including both Abraham and Christ came to only 41 there was either a name missing from the list or Matthew and therefore The Bible had got it wrong!
Let’s put the names in order from the time periods listed into the three groups:
Fom Abraham to David.
  1. Abraham
  2. Isaac
  3. Jacob
  4. Judas
  5. Phares
  6. Esrom
  7. Aram
  8. Aminadab
  9. Nasson
  10. Salmon
  11. Booz
  12. Obed
  13. Jesse
  14. David

From David until the captivity in Babylon.

  1. Solomon
  2. Roboam
  3. Abia
  4. Asa
  5. Josaphat
  6. Joram
  7. Ozias
  8. Joatham
  9. Achaz
  10. Ezekias
  11. Manasses
  12. Amon
  13. Josias
  14. Jechonias?

Because only 41 names are listed it’s hard to place Jechonias either at the end of the second list or at the beginning of the third list.

  1. Jechonias?
  2. Salathiel
  3. Zorababel
  4. Abiud
  5. Eliakim
  6. Azor
  7. Sadoc
  8. Achim
  9. Eliud
  10. Eleazar
  11. Matthan
  12. Jacob
  13. Joseph
  14. Jesus Christ

As I said before only 41 names are listed, the most likely place for any issues of name placement to happen is inevitably in the gaps between the three lists. I know the lineage well enough around Davids time to know there is no one missing there. It definitely goes Obed, Jesse, David, Solomon. David although mentioned twice in the lists of 14 (Abraham to David, David to Babylon) surely cannot be mentioned twice, David most certainly didn’t beget David. I however I didn’t know the geneologies to well at the time of Josias and Jechonias. If you count 14 names back from Christ you get Jechonias meaning someone is missing between Josias and Jechonias or after Jechonias. I tracked them down to 1Chronicles chapter 3 (after I remembered that in the KJV names like Josias and Jechonias end in ‘h’ instead of ‘s’):

“Amon his son, Josiah his son.
And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.
And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.”

So we have Jehoiakim listed as Jechoniah’s father Matthew wasn’t wrong because it really was 14 generations but only 13 of the names were mentioned. So why was Jehoiakim left out? After a quick wordsearch on Bible Gateway you’ll find that Jehoiakim is not a very nice guy but most importantly in Jeremiah 36:22-24:

“Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.
And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.
Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.”

and 28:

“Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.”

You see Jehoiakim removed and destroyed words of God, remember the words at the end of Revelation (22:18+19)?

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

So would that suggest that the Bible is the Book of Life mentioned in Revelation? Just a thought, but maybe all believers names are in the Bible itself in some form of code. Interesting stuff.

God bless!

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