In what some have referred to as “Coniah’s Curse”, the Lord revealed through the prophet Jeremiah that none of Coniah’s descendants would sit on David’s throne. Early in their history, the Lord had warned Israel about turning from Him to idolatry. After Solomon’s reign the Lord split the kingdom in two, the 10 northern tribes were called Israel or the northern kingdom, and the remaining two tribes Judah and Benjamin were called Judah or the southern kingdom (1 Ki. 11:9-13; 12:1-24). All of Israel’s kings and most of Judah’s kings were wicked and led the people away from the Lord.
Therefore, the Lord delivered the northern kingdom of Israel into the hand of Assyria in 722 BC (2 Ki. 17:18-23). At times, there were brief periods of revivals in Judah, the last one under King Josiah, Coniah’s grandfather. But they were short-lived and soon the Lord also brought judgment upon Judah, giving them into the hand of Babylon beginning in 605 BC, and culminating with the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC (2 Ki. 24-25; 2 Chron. 36:1-21; Jer. 52).
The Lord declared judgment upon King Coniah during his brief 3-month reign in 597 BC. The Lord stated that He would remove him as king, giving him and his mother into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar. Verse 30 says “write this man as childless.” We know this does not mean that he would have no children for he had at least seven sons and one grandson (1 Chron. 3:17-18). Instead, the verse goes on to indicate that he would not prosper because God would treat Coniah as if he were childless. None of his sons would be allowed to succeed him to the throne. David’s royal bloodline through his son Solomon ended with Coniah.
However, even though the Lord’s genealogy is traced from Solomon’s line, through His stepfather Joseph (Matt. 1), this did not disqualify Him from the throne of David. It was because He was virgin born. In the garden of Eden shortly after the fall of man, the Lord promised a Redeemer, the Seed of the woman who would crush the head of the devil. The term “seed of the woman” suggests virgin birth. Thousands of years later Isaiah prophetically authenticated this truth (7:14). Then in the fullness of time, the angel Gabriel announced it to Mary telling her that she would give birth to a child that would be conceived of the Holy Spirit and that the Lord would give Him the throne of David (Luke 1:30-35). Later, an angel appeared to Joseph telling him the same news about the virgin birth (Matt. 1:20-23).
Had Christ been in the bloodline of Joseph and not virgin born, He would have been disqualified as Israel’s King. Instead He is of David’s bloodline through His mother Mary (Luke 3). She is a physical descendant of David through David’s son Nathan, Solomon’s brother. Therefore, Christ is not affected by the judgment upon Coniah and his descendants.
Besides having the right lineage to the throne of David, the Lord must also have legal title to the throne. He does through His stepfather Joseph. Joseph, a descendant of Solomon, was His legal father. Therefore, the Lord’s royal title to the throne is traced through Joseph’s line. This means that through Joseph, Christ has a right to the throne politically and legally even though Joseph descended from Coniah. That is because God’s judgment was on Coniah’s seed. Though the royal title passed down from David through Coniah to Christ, Coniah’s seed does not. “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Rom. 11:33, NKJV).
1 In Scripture Coniah is sometimes referred to as Jeconiah (Jer. 24:1; 27:20) or Jehoiachin (2 Ki. 24, 25; 2 Chron. 36; Jer. 52).
by George Ferrier