2 Kings 24:8 – Jehoiachin’s Reign

2 Kings 24:8— “Did king Jehoiachin rule over Jerusalem for three months (2 Kings 24:8), or for three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)?”

The numbering given in Chronicles is more specific, whereas the Kings figure simply rounds off the number of months, assuming that the additional ten days is not significant enough to mention. Recording times always involves rounding, otherwise we should have to insist on always reading the hours, minutes and seconds as well, which is rather ridiculous. Three months is a perfectly normal way of expressing three months and ten days.

In reconciling two passages in the Qur’ān , we must accept rounded figures. Sura Luqman 14 and Baqara 233 tell us that weaning is complete in two years, while Sura Al-Ahqaf 46:15 tells us that the total period of carrying a baby in the womb (gestation) and weaning is thirty months. If we subtract 24 months from thirty, we are left with only six months for gestation, which actually takes ten lunar months.

In a similar way Ibn Abbas rounded Muhammad’s years in Mecca, saying in one place 13 years1 and in another 10 years.2 The Qur’ān has similar numerical discrepancies—Sura ‘Imran describes multiple angels announcing to Maryam Jesus’ birth, whereas in Sura Maryam 19:17-21 it only indicates one angel. Sura Qamar 54:19 says Allah took one day to destroy the people of Aad, but Sura Hakka 69:6-7 says it was eight long days.

  1. Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol 5, p.242.
  2. Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol 5, p.156.

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