Matthew 1:12

Matthew 1:12

And after they were brought to Babylon
Not Jechonias, but the father of Jechonias, and the Jews.

Jechonias begat Salathiel.
Not Jechonias mentioned in the former verse, but his son, called Jehoiachin, ( 2 Kings 24:6 2 Kings 24:8 ) and Coniah, ( Jeremiah 22:24 Jeremiah 22:28 ) both which are rendered Jechonias by the Septuagint in ( 2 Chronicles 36:8 ) ( Jeremiah 22:24 ) and he is so called, ( 1 Chronicles 3:16 ) . Abulpharagius F3 calls him Junachir, and says he is the same who in Matthew is called Juchonia; and he asserts him to be the father of Daniel the Prophet. But here a considerable difficulty arises, how he can be said to beget Salathiel, called Shealtiel, ( Haggai 1:1 ) when he was pronounced "childless", ( Jeremiah 22:30 ) . To remove which, it may be observed, that the sentence pronounced may be considered with this tacit condition or proviso, if he repented not. Now the Jews have a tradition F4 that he did repent in prison, upon which the sentence was revoked; but there is no need to suppose this, though it is not an unreasonable supposition; for the sentence does not imply that he should have no children, but rather that he should, as will appear upon reading the whole; "thus saith the Lord, write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days; for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah". Besides, the Hebrew word (yryre) , rendered "childless", comes from (hre) , which signifies "to make naked" or "bare" and so denotes not only such as have no children, or are bereft of them, but such as are by any providence stripped of the blessings of life, and are left bare, destitute, and unhappy, as Jechonias and his posterity were: however, the Jews have no reason to find fault with our Evangelist, since Salathiel is expressly called Jechonias's son, ( 1 Chronicles 3:17 ) either he was his proper natural son, or, to use their way of speaking, (twklm Nb) "the son of the kingdom" F5, that is, his heir and successor in the kingdom, as some have thought; since it looks as if he was the son of Neri, ( Luke 3:27 ) though the chronicle of Jedidaeus of Alexandria F6, or Philo the Jew, says, that Jechonias was called Neri, because Ner, or the lamp of David, shined in him, which had been almost extinguished.

And Salathiel begat Zorobabel.
This account perfectly agrees with many passages in the Old Testament, where Zorobabel is called the son of Shealtiel or Salathiel, ( Ezra 3:2 Ezra 5:2 ) ( 12:1 ) ( Haggai 1:1 Haggai 1:12 Haggai 1:14 ) ( Haggai 2:2 Haggai 2:23 ) which is sufficient to justify the Evangelist in this assertion. There is indeed a difficulty which as much presses the Jews as the Christians, and that is, that Zorobabel is reckoned as the son of Pedaiah, ( 1 Chronicles 3:19 ) for the solution of which a noted Jewish commentator F7 observes, that

``in Haggai, Zachariah and Ezra, Zorobabel is called the son of Shealtiel, because he was his son's son; for Pedaiah was the son of Shealtiel, and Zorobabel the son of Pedaiah; and do not you observe (adds he) that in many places children's children are mentioned as children?''

No doubt there are many instances of this; but to me it seems that Pedaiah was not the son of Shealtiel, but his brother, ( 1 Chronicles 3:17 1 Chronicles 3:18 ) . And I greatly suspect that Shealtiel had no children of his own, since none are mentioned; and that he adopted his brother Pedaiah's son Zorobabel, and made him his heir and successor in the government of Judah. However, it is certain, as a genealogical writer F8 among the Jews observes, that he was of the son's sons of Jechonias, king of Judah, from whom our Evangelist makes him to descend.


FOOTNOTES:

F3 Hist. Dynast. p. 45. Vid. Hieron. Comment. in Dan. i. fol. 264. B.
F4 Kimchi in 1 Chron. iii. 17. & in Jer. xxii. 30.
F5 Ib. in 1 Chron. iii. 15.
F6 Apud Vorst. Observ. in Ganz. Chronolog. p. 310.
F7 Kimchi in 1 Chron. iii. 19. & in Hagg. i. 1.
F8 Juchasin, fol. 13. i.
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