Matthew 1:17 says there were fourteen generations from Jeconiah to Jesus, but by my count there are only twelve. Matthew does have fourteen generations from Abraham to David and another fourteen from David to the Exile, but did he do his math wrong from the Exile to Jesus?
Quite a few people have pointed this out, and some anti-Christian speakers have harped on the apparent discrepancy in an effort to weaken the faith of believers. You will notice the character at the start of the third section, Jeconiah. Who is he? He is King Jehoiakim. If you are familiar with the accounts in Kings and Chronicles, you are already wondering, has someone skipped Jehoiachin, the next to rule? The answer is quite simple.
The Hebrew scriptures often refer to Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin by the same name, “Jeconiah.” The Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures, the common Bible of the early Christians, used both Jeconiah and Jehoiakim for both Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin. Matthew, whose gospel has come to us in Greek, uses Jeconiah, which does double duty–for two kings, not one. Thus there are fourteen generations from Jeconiah to Christ, just as the Bible says.
But there is an even better explanation, and it is provided in this short video by NT scholar Michael Licona.
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