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Fulton County Gospel News

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From Coniah to Christ

By Barry O’Dell

Who is Coniah and what does he have to do with the Christ?  Briefly, Coniah was the 19th king who reigned over the kingdom of Judah (2 Chr. 36:8-10).  He is mentioned 21 times in the Old Testament and 2 times in the New Testament.  It is interesting to note that he is referred to in four different ways in the Bible – Coniah (Jer. 22:24), Jeconiah (1 Chr. 3:16-17), Jehoiachin (2 Chr. 36:8-9), and Jechonias (Matt. 1:11-12).  So, what does this man have to do with Christ?  There are many people in the religious world who are waiting for Jesus to return to this earth and reign in Jerusalem for 1,000 years.  A study of various passages will show that because of the relation between Coniah and Christ, we know that Jesus cannot reign on the earth for 1,000 years on the throne of David in Jerusalem.

The monarchy of Israel began with Saul, the son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin who reigned for forty years (1 Sam. 9:1-3; Acts 13:21).  After Saul’s death (1 Sam. 30), David, the son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah became king of Israel (1 Sam. 17:12; 2 Sam. 5:1-5).  Following David’s forty year reign as king, Solomon his son sat on his (David’s) throne and was established as king and reigned for forty years (1 Kg. 2:10-12; 11:42).  For one-hundred and twenty years Israel was a united kingdom. 

Following the death of Solomon there was a struggle for control of the kingdom of Israel.  Rehoboam, the son of Solomon was to be made king (1 Kg. 12:1; 2 Chr. 10:1), but Jeroboam, a former servant of Solomon revolted and wanted the kingdom for himself (1 Kg. 11:26-40).  From that time forward the nation of Israel was divided into two groups – Northern Israel and Southern Israel (i.e. Judah).  For approximately 250 years Northern Israel was governed by nineteen kings who are all referred to as evil (1 Kg. 12-2 Kg. 17).  In 722 B.C. the Assyrians, led by Sennacherib, “carried away Israel unto Assyria…because the obeyed not the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them” (2 Kg. 18:11-12). Southern Israel, predominately known as Judah, lasted for approximately 350 years and was ruled by 20 different monarchs, some of which were good and some evil (2 Chr. 10-36).  On three separate occasions the Babylonian empire attacked and finally captured Judah (1 Kg. 24:1-25:21).

Before the kingdom of Israel was divided between Rehobaom and Jerobaom, Ahijah the prophet spoke to Jeroboam and said, “And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee” (1 Kg. 11:38).  The success and continuation of Jeroboam’s throne was based upon his compliance with the will of God.  First Kings 12:25-33 reveals just how quickly and completely Jeroboam forsook God, and his influence would remain in Israel until the day that it fell to Assyria.

Solomon’s son, Rehobaom, also ignored the wise counsel given to him by the older men who had served with Solomon and he also “forsook the law of the Lord” (2 Chr. 12:1).  Unlike Northern Israel though, Judah did have several kings who did what was right in the sight of the Lord.  Men like Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, and Josiah are commended in Scripture as being good kings in the sight of God.  Coniah, however, was not one of the good kings in the kingdom of Judah.  In fact, the Bible states of him, “and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Chr. 36:9). 

An important passage to study concerning the life of Coniah is Jeremiah 22:24-30.  Jeremiah wrote, “O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man [Coniah] 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” (Jer. 22:29-30).  In what sense was Coniah childless?  First Chronicles 3:17-18 states that he had children, but that it not what Jeremiah is referring to as being “childless.”  Coniah was going to be childless in reference to having an heir to the throne in Jerusalem, the capital city of Judah.  The next man on the throne of Judah after him was Zedekiah who was installed by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kg. 24:17-20).

It is necessary to understand all of the above mentioned passages along with what Matthew records in the lineage of Christ.  He wrote, “And Josias begat Jehonias [Coniah] 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” (Matt. 1:11-12).  Further into the genealogy of Matthew 1 it reads, “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (Matt. 1:16).  Jesus is a descendant of Coniah of whom it was said that “no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah” (Jer. 22:30).  The second article in this edition deals extensively with the throne of David, which is the throne of the Lord, which is the throne of Israel.  Five-hundred years before Jesus was born it was written with a “Thus saith the Lord” that the throne of David in Jerusalem was coming to an end with the lineage of Coniah.  Christ is reigning now in heaven at the right hand of God (Acts 2:25-36).

When Christ returns for judgment and the resurrection it will be “the end, when He [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:24-26).  Christ is not coming back to this earth to reign on a throne in Jerusalem for 1,000 years.  When He returns we will “meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thes. 4:13-18). 

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