While Matthew traces the genealogy of David and Bathsheba’s son, Solomon, Luke traces the genealogy of Nathan, another son of David and Bathsheba. Because of the curse of Coniah, a descendant of Solomon, many attribute Matthew as having recorded the genealogy belonging to Joseph rather than Mary. However, Solomon’s lineage was restored by repentance, forgiveness, and grace.
When Jeconiah burnt the scrolls of Jeremiah, a curse was put upon him and his descendants, as stated by Jeremiah the prophet:
Jer. 22:24-25 As I live, says the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck you thence; And I will give you into the hand of them that seek your life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fear, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.
Jer. 22:30 Thus says the LORD, Write you this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
Although Jeconiah was banished from his country and served prison time in Babylon for thirty-seven years, apparently he repented. When Evil-Merodach became the new king of Babylon, he released Jeconiah from prison, and honored him. Did Jeconiah father any sons? Yes, he fathered seven sons, during his captivity in Babylon. Shealtiel is listed as his first son. Did any of his sons sit on the throne of David ruling in Judah? His grandson, Zarubbabel, Shealtiel’s son, became the governor of Judah. However, Haggai the prophet, says:
Hag. 2:23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
When comparing the lineages of Jesus given by Matthew and Luke, Shealtiel and his son are listed in both genealogies. Could it be coincidental that two different men named Shealtiel both have sons named Zerubbabel, a common name of that period meaning “descended from Babylon”? Or could it be possible that Jeconiah adopted Shealtiel, the son of Neri, from the line of Nathan? Either case is possible.
Whether the Lord forgave Jeconiah, since he was blessed in his latter part of life, and lifted the curse concerning the future throne of David, or whether Shealtiel was adopted from Nathan’s side or not, Jeconiah’s repentance led to God’s forgiveness and grace in the situation. Therefore, the lineage of Solomon recorded by Matthew does not have some kind of “Coniah curse“.
Copyright by Beth Piepenburg, 2013. All rights reserved.