Jul. 26. Josiah’s Death; Succeeded by Jehoahaz

II Kin. 23:28-34; II Chron. 35:20-36:4; Jer. 22:10-17

The life of a king was one of boldness and danger. As Egypt’s King Necho aided the Assyrians at Carchemish, King Josiah of Judah went up against the Egyptian king. Even though the Egyptian battle did not directly pertain to Judah, Josiah perceived it as an Egyptian/Assyrian threat and disguised himself to fight Necho. King Josiah was mortally wounded in that battle after serving thirty one years as one of Judah’s greatest kings. His death ended Judah’s years of glory as his sons who succeeded him refused to follow his righteous ways.

Jehoahaz was the first of Josiah’s sons to succeed him to the throne. After an evil reign of only three months he was captured by King Necho and imprisoned in Riblah, Hamath in the northern part of what had once been Israel. Upon returning to Egypt, Necho brought the prisoner, Jehoahaz with him. He then made Eliakim, another son of Josiah a puppet king instead of Jehoahaz. Eliakim’s name was changed to Jehoiakim.

There continued to be great mourning for Josiah in the land of Judah. Jeremiah instructed the people to mourn instead for the king, Jehoahaz who had been taken away and would never return. He warned the new king against greed and oppression of his people.