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In 2 Kings 24:8 it says "Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem." Then in 2 Chronicles 36:9 it says "Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord."

How is this reconciled?

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  • A related question. (See my comment on the main post). The Biblical genealogies of Genesis differ between the Masoretic Text and the Greek Septuagint in a very specific manner, namely that, in the latter, in almost all cases, the Patriarchs beget their firstborn son exactly a century later, and live exactly a century less after his birth. Unlike the chronological issue discussed in the linked question, where no variation exists between the two ancient versions, in this particular case, in the Greek, both passages read eighteen. – Lucian Sep 7 '20 at 16:57
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Yes. The commentators in both locations ask this contradiction.

The Metzudas Dovid explains here:

בן שמונה שנים. ובמ״ב נאמר בן שמנה עשרה שנה ואלו יהויקים אביו המליכו בחייו עשר שנים על כי ראה אשר עם הארץ המליכו לפניו את אחיו הקטן ממנו וחשש פן לאחר מותו ימליכו הקטן לפני הגדול לזה המליכו בחייו ואמר כאן עת מלכו בחיי אביו ובמלכים ב׳ עת מלכו לאחר מות אביו:‏

I.e. His father saw that the proletariat preferred his younger brother, and therefore he coronated him 10 years before his demise, to ensure he would reign.

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Danny's answer is indeed the consensus of most of the commentaries. However, it should be noted that Abarbanel (to II Kings 24:13) disagrees, and says that ועשרה ימים ("and ten days") in Chronicles actually means "and ten years" (the word ימים sometimes has this meaning, as in Lev. 25:29). So he understands the verse in Chronicles to be saying that Jehoiachin reached his eighteenth birthday after ruling for three months.

(Although it is true that Malbim ibid. 24:8 finds this to be a very forced explanation, and agrees with the explanation given in Danny's answer and the reason behind it.)

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