How old was Jehoiachin when he became king? 2 Kings 24:8 and 2 Chronicles 36:9

Question
How old was Jehoiachin when he became king; eighteen or eight? 2 Kings 24:8 and 2 Chronicles 36:9
Answer
2 Kings 24:8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mothers name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 36:9 Jehoiachin was eighteen [see note] years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD.

Note: One Hebrew manuscript, some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 2 Kings 24:8); most Hebrew manuscripts eight.

"Eight" is most likely a copyist error. Jehoiachin was probably 18 years of age when he became king. An eight-year-old, who only reigned for 3 months, is hardly likely to have merited the condemnation, "He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father had done" (2 Kings 24:9). Additionally, that he was condemned to prison in 597 B.C. indicates that was more than likely an adult.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).