Amon of Judah
|King of Judah|
|Reign||643/642 – 641/640 BC|
|Born||c. 664 BC|
|Died||c. 641 BC|
Garden of Uzza
|House||House of David|
Amon of Judah[a] was a 7th-century BC King of Judah who, according to the biblical account, succeeded his father Manasseh of Judah. Amon is most remembered for his idolatrous practices while king, which led to a revolt against him and eventually his assassination in c. 641 BC.
|Rulers of Judah|
Amon was the son of King Manasseh of Judah and Meshullemeth, a daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. Although the date is unknown, the Hebrew Bible records that he married Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. Amon began his reign of Judah at the age of 22, and reigned for two years. Biblical scholar and archeologist William F. Albright has dated his reign to 642–640, while professor E. R. Thiele offers the dates 643/642 – 641/640. Thiele's dates are tied to the reign of Amon's son Josiah, whose death at the hands of Pharaoh Necho II occurred in the summer of 609. The battle in which Josiah is said to have died, which is independently confirmed in Egyptian history, places the end of Amon's reign, 31 years earlier, in 641 or 640 and the beginning of his rule in 643 or 642.
The Hebrew Bible records that Amon continued his father Manasseh's practice of idolatry and set up pagan images as his father had done. II Kings states that Amon "did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did Manasseh his father. And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them." Similarly, II Chronicles records that "…he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed unto all the graven images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them." The Talmudic tradition recounts that "Amon burnt the Torah, and allowed spider webs to cover the altar [through complete disuse] ... Amon sinned very much." Like other textual sources, Flavius Josephus too criticizes the reign of Amon, describing his reign similarly to the Bible.
After reigning two years, Amon was assassinated by his servants, who conspired against him, and was succeeded by his son Josiah, who at the time was eight years old. After Amon's assassination his murderers became unpopular with the people, and were ultimately killed. Some scholars, such as Abraham Malamat, assert that Amon was assassinated because people disliked the heavy influence that Assyria, an age-old enemy of Judah responsible for the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel, had upon him.
Amon's reign was in the midst of a transitional time for the Levant and the entire Mesopotamian region. To the east of Judah, the Assyrian Empire was beginning to disintegrate while the Babylonian Empire had not yet risen to replace it. To the west, Egypt was still recovering under Psamtik I from its Assyrian occupation, transforming from a vassal state to an autonomous ally. In this power vacuum, many smaller states such as Judah were able to govern themselves without foreign intervention from larger empires.
- Edwin R. Thiele (1983). "9". The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications. ISBN 978-0-8254-3825-7.
- Leslie McFall (1991). "A Translation Guide to the Chronological Data in Kings and Chronicles" (PDF). Bibliotheca Sacra. Dallas Theological Seminary. 148: 3–45. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 21, 2011.
- Charles J. Mendelsohn; Kaufmann Kohler; Morris Jastrow (1906). "Amon, King of Judah". Jewish Encyclopedia. I (1st ed.). Funk & Wagnalls. pp. 526–527.
- Andrew Wood (1896). "The Kingdom of Judah". The Hebrew Monarchy: A Commentary, with a Harmony of the Parallel Texts and Extracts from the Prophetical Books. Eyre and Spottiswoode. ISBN 978-1-149-80041-6.
- Flavius Josephus (c. 93 CE). Antiquities of the Jews. Book X, Chapter 3, Section 2. Translated from the Latin by William Whiston from The Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
- 2 Kings 21:18-26
- D.J. Wiseman (1956). Chronicles of Chaldean Kings. Trustees of the British Museum. pp. 94–95.
- 2 Chronicles 33:22
- Tractate Sanhedrin, Folio 103a. 1902 Translation by Rabbi Isisdore Epstein.
- Christopher Begg (1996). "Jotham and Amon: Two Minor Kings of Judah According to Josephus" (PDF). Bulletin for Biblical Research. Institute for Biblical Research. 6 (1): 13.
- 2 Kings 22:1
- Henry Fowler (1920). Great Leaders of Hebrew History: From Manasseh to John the Baptist. The Macmillan Company. p. 11.
- Nili S. Fox; Malamat (2002). "History of Biblical Israel: Major Problems and Minor Issues". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. American Schools of Oriental Research. II (327): 90–92. doi:10.2307/1357868. ISSN 0003-097X. JSTOR 1357868.
- Kenneth Kitchen (1986). The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt, 1100-650 B.C. (2nd ed.). Aris & Phillips Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85668-298-8.
- James Allen and Marsha Hill (2004). "Egypt in the Late Period (ca. 712–332 B.C.)". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- Bernd Schipper (2010). "Egypt and the Kingdom of Judah under Josiah and Jehoiakim". Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University. Maney Publishing. 37 (2): 200–226. doi:10.1179/033443510x12760074470865.
Amon of Judah
| King of Judah