Jehoahaz

(Jehovah-seized)

(2 Kings 23:30-34; 2 Chron. 36:1-4)

Contemporary Prophets: Jeremiah; Habakkuk; Zephaniah.

“The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.”—Lamentations 4:12

“Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the I son of Josiah, and made him king in his father’s stead in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.”

The regular succession to the throne of Judah ceased with the lamented Josiah. Jehoahaz was not the eldest son of the late king. Johanan and Jehoiakim were both older than he (1 Chron. 3:15). He was made king by popular choice: it was the preference of the multitude, not the appointment of God. “And his mother’s name was Hamutal (delight), the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done.” He and Zedekiah, the last of Judah’s nineteen kings, were born of the same mother (2 Kings 24:18). He was about nine years older than his brother Zedekiah, though in 1 Chron. 3:15 his name is placed last, because of his much shorter reign, probably. He is likened in Ezekiel 19:1-4 to “a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men.” This is the only hint given us as to the character of his sin. Josephus says of him that he was “an impious man, and impure in his course of life.” He was probably guilty of deeds of violence. In Jer. 22:11 he is called, significantly, Shallum (to whom it is requited); and by this name he is registered in the royal Judean genealogy (1 Chron. 3:15). His name is omitted from among those of our Lord’s ancestors in Matt. 1. Necho, it is said, made his half-brother Eliakim “king in the room of Josiah his father” which may imply that God did not recognize Jehoahaz, the people’s choice, as being in a true sense the successor.

“And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.” It is elsewhere stated that he was taken to Riblah in the land of Hamath and bound; which in no wise contradicts what is quoted above. History informs us that after his victory at Megiddo, Necho intended to march to the Euphrates; but, hearing of Jehoahaz’ elevation to the throne by popular acclamation, he sent a division of his army to Jerusalem, which deposed him, and brought him captive to Riblah, where Necho and his chief forces were. This he did, it is said, because he believed Jehoahaz leaned toward an alliance with Assyria against him.

“And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.” He never returned from Egypt. Jehoahaz (Jehovah - seized) had seized the throne that was not his by right, and in turn was seized by Necho, God’s instrument, and carried to a land of exile, there to find a grave afar from the sepulchres of his fathers.

He was “anointed” at his coronation, but no extraordinary ceremony could make up for his defective title to the crown. Men have similar thoughts to-day; and as they feel they have no real title to a throne in heaven with Christ, they “are going about,” increasing forms and elaborating ceremonies. Hence the rapid growth of Ritualism. “And the end is not yet.”