Amon

(Training, or skilled)

(2 Kings 21:19-26; 2 Chron. 33:21-25)

“Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly?”—Job 34:18

“Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh did. And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them: and he forsook the Lord God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the Lord.”

He was probably born after his father’s return from Babylon, so must have had a godly training. The expression, “he forsook the Lord,” would seem to indicate that he had in his earlier days professed to worship Him. His mother’s name, Meshullemeth (reconciliation, or, to be safe), might have reference to his having been born subsequently to her husband’s reconciliation to the Lord, or his safe return from his Babylonian captivity. This would increase Amon’s responsibility,—having had such advantages,—and consequently enhance his guilt. Her father’s name, Haruz (earnest) of Jotbah (pleasantness) leads to the supposition that Anion’s mother, like his grandmother, must have been a good woman. But all good women do not always prove to be good mothers; and it would be no strange or unusual thing if some of these Hebrew “heirs-apparent” to the throne were permitted to do pretty much as they pleased, and in this way prepared to act the part of self-willed transgressors and rebels against God, when the time came for them to take the kingdom. For “a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Prov. 29:15).

There is not one bright spot in this king’s character to relieve the darkness of his life’s brief record. He “humbled not himself before the Lord,” it says, “as Manasseh his father humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more” (or, “multiplied trespass,” marg.). So odious did he make himself, even to the backslidden people, that they rid themselves of his unwelcome presence by the hand of assassins. “And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house.” His subjects must have been reduced to desperate straits when they would thus violate God’s expressed prohibition—”Touch not Mine anointed.” Jeremiah and Zephaniah must have been youths about this time, and the former’s reluctance to taking up the prophetic work to which he was called can well be understood when the true condition of affairs in Judah at that time is known. Both could see quite plainly what they might expect if faithful to their trust.

“But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.” “The people of the land,” or country, may be in contradistinction to the “inhabitants of Jerusalem.” The centre of light and privilege is not always the seat of righteousness and “godly sincerity,” but commonly the reverse, as here, apparently. The “provincial” is frequently more loyal and upright than the imperious citizen of the capital.

The record of the reign of Amon is most briefly told—in but sixteen verses. And well it should be so. There is enough for our admonition, after the lessons given in his father’s history.

“And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his stead.” Uzza means strength; and death, the strong one, overcame this king of Judah, trained, or skilled, in wickedness, in his twenty-fourth year.

“He passed away, and, lo, he was not; yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.”