|Amon - ā´mon
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
A name identical with that of the Egyptian local deity of Thebes (No);
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; reigned two years and was assassinated in his own palace by the officials of his household. The story of his reign is told briefly in2Ki_21:19-26, and still more briefly, though in identical terms, so far as they go, in 2Ch_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.
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 (compare2Sa_7:16; Psa_89:36, Psa_89:37), was an essential guarantee of Yahweh's favor. Manasseh's foreign sympathies, however, had loosened the hold of Yahweh 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 (1Ki_22:26); 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” (Neh_7:59) who returned from captivity; reckoned along with the Nethinim, or temple slaves. Called also Ami (Ezr_2:57).
Taken from: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia by James Orr, M.A., D.D., General Editor