2 Kings 24:8—How old was Jehoiachin when he became king?

Problem: The record in 2 Kings 24:8 states that Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king. However, in 2 Chronicles 36:9 we find the claim that Jehoiachin was age 8 when he became king. Which is correct?

Solution: This is probably a copyist error. Most likely, Jehoiachin was 18 when he became king. The observation that he “did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done” (2 Kings 24:9), is a description of an older man rather than a young boy. Additionally, the fact that the Chaldeans condemned him to prison in 597 b.c., indicates that they considered him to be a responsible adult.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.