Amon

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ā´mon (אמון, 'āmōn, "builder"):

A name identical with that of the Egyptian local deity of Thebes (No); compare Jeremiah 46:25. The foreign name given to a Hebrew prince is remarkable, as is also the fact that it is one of the two or three royal names of Judah not compounded with the name of Yahweh. See Manasseh. It seems to reflect the sentiment which his fanatical father sought to make prevail that Yahweh had no longer any more claim to identification with the realm than had other deities.

(1) A king of Judah, son and successor of Manasseh, and fourteenth king of Judah; reigned two years and was assassinated in his own palace by the officials of his household. He restored idolatry, and set up the images which his father had cast down. Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:4; Zephaniah 3:4, Zephaniah 3:11) refers to the moral depravity prevailing in this king's reign. The story of his reign is told briefly in 2 Kings 21:19-26, and still more briefly, though in identical terms, so far as they go, in 2 Chronicles 33:21-25. His short reign was merely incidental in the history of Judah; just long enough to reveal the traits and tendencies which directly or indirectly led to his death. It was merely a weaker continuation of the régime of his idolatrous father, though without the fanaticism which gave the father positive character, and without the touch of piety which, if the Chronicler's account is correct, tempered the father's later years. He was assassinated (2 Kings 21:18-26; 2 Chronicles 33:20-25) by his own servants, who conspired against him.

If the assassination was the initial act of a revolution the latter was immediately suppressed by “the people of the land,” who put to death the conspirators and placed Amon's eight-year-old son Josiah on the throne. In the view of the present writer the motive of the affair was probably connected with the perpetuity of the Davidic dynasty, which, having survived so long according to prophetic prediction (compare 2 Samuel 7:16; Psalm 89:36, Psalm 89:37), was an essential guarantee of Yahweh's favor. Manasseh's foreign sympathies, however, had loosened the hold of YHWH on the officials of his court; so that, instead of being the loyal center of devotion to Israel's religious and national idea, the royal household was but a hotbed of worldly ambitions, and all the more for Manasseh's prosperous reign, so long immune from any stroke of Divine judgment. It is natural that, seeing the insignificance of Amon's administration, some ambitious clique, imitating the policy that had frequently succeeded in the Northern Kingdom, should strike for the throne. They had reckoned, however, without estimating the inbred Davidic loyalty of the body of the people. It was a blow at one of their most cherished tenets, committing the nation both politically and religiously to utter uncertainty. That this impulsive act of the people was in the line of the purer religious movement which was ripening in Israel does not prove that the spiritually-minded “remnant” was minded to violence and conspiracy, it merely shows what a stern and sterling fiber of loyalty still existed, seasoned and confirmed by trial below the corrupting cults and fashions of the ruling classes. In the tragedy of Amon's reign, in short, we get a glimpse of the basis of sound principle that lay at the common heart of Israel.

(2) A governor of Samaria (1 Kings 22:26; 2 Chronicles 18:25) in the time of Ahab; the one to whom the prophet Micaiah was committed as a prisoner by King Ahab, after the prophet had disputed the predictions of the court prophets and foretold the king's death in battle.

(3) The head of the “children of Solomon's servants” (Nehemiah 7:59) who returned from captivity; reckoned along with the Nethinim, or temple slaves. Called also Ami (Ezra 2:57).

(4) An Egyptian god, usually depicted with a human body and the head of a ram, referred to in Jeremiah 46:25, where the word “multitudes” in the King James Version is more appropriately rendered “Amon” in the Revised Version. In Nahum 3:8 the expression “populous No” the Revised Version “No-amon.” Amon is identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis.

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