… For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret …
At the time of Jechonias, the last Davidic king to ever sit on the throne of Jerusalem, we find the following words in an oracle pronounced by the prophet Jeremiah: Thus says Adonai: "Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days, for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David and ruling again in Judah" (Jeremiah 22:30). These words are troubling because according to the prophets Samuel and Nathan, the lineage of David was to be never-ending culminating to the Messiah. If this Davidic king was to remain childless the hope of Israel was gone and with it the hope of the world.
As we continue looking into the Davidic genealogy, we realize that Jechonias has a son, Salathiel who dies. Pediaiah, the brother of Salathiel fulfills the levirate law and marries his brother’s widow thus raising seed to him in Zerubabel whom God chooses to continue the Davidic line (Haggai 2:23). It is then fair to ask the question: did God reverse Jechonias’ curse? But we also should ask another question: Did God annul the blessing on the Davidic line and the world because of the iniquity of one? These are very serious question imbedded in the reading of the genealogies.
It would not be the first time that because of our unfaithfulness towards our covenant made with Him God would decide to annul the whole thing. We have seen it happen in the Sinai desert. One thing we learn from our dear Hashem is that ‘though we are faithless, He remains faithful’: Blessed be His Name. Jewish sages knew that so in Talmudic literature they conclude that Jechonias repented while in exile, thus even though his son died, God reversed the curse through the accepted Toratic principle of levirate marriage. The repentance of Jechonias cannot be documented but what this shows us is that the people of Israel looked at God as a One of mercy who reverses the fruits of our disobedience because of our repentance. Repentance therefore becomes essential to renewal and fulfillment of God’s promises.
Come to think of it, it is not the first time that levirate law comes to the rescue of the covenantal lineage. It happened with Judah and Tamar, Boaz and Ruth, and in the immediate family of the Master Himself (Julius Africanus).
The Davidic Messianic line is filled with people of disrepute who desperately needed absolution and renewal through sincere and true repentance. So when you feel that you’ve really blown it this time and that there is no hope left for you, look at whom God chose; look at the descendance of Messiah and know that Hashem is a God who rewards true and sincere repentance. David, more than anyone else knew it. He was destined to death because of murder and adultery, so he said, If you, O Adonai, should mark iniquities, O Adonai, who could stand (Psalms 130:3)?