12 And after the 1deportation to Babylon, Jeconiah begot aSalathiel, and Salathiel begot 2bZerubbabel,
122 "Jeconiah begot Salathiel, and Salathiel begot Zerubbabel." Compare this record with 1 Chron. 3:17-19, which says, "The sons of Jeconiah ... Salathiel ... and Pedaiah ... and the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel," showing that Zerubbabel was the son of Pedaiah, Salathiel's brother. Zerubbabel was not Salathiel's son but was his nephew, and he became his heir. Perhaps this was a case in accordance with Deut. 25:5-6. Even that word in Deuteronomy is related to the genealogy of Christ.
Zerubbabel was one of the leaders who returned to Jerusalem from the captivity in Babylon (Ezra 5:1-2). He was also a leader in the rebuilding of God's temple (Zech. 4:7-10). The Old Testament predicted that Christ, as a descendant of David, would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:4-6). Without the return from captivity, it would not have been possible for Christ to be born in Bethlehem. God's command that the captives return was not only for the rebuilding of the temple of God but also to prepare for Christ to be born in Bethlehem. Christ needed some people to be in the proper place to bring Him to earth the first time. Similarly, for His second coming Christ needs some of His people to return from their captivity to the proper church life.