JEHOAHAZ (Heb. יוֹאָחָז ,יְהוֹאָחָז; "YHWH has grasped"), son of *Josiah and Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah (II Kings 23:31), king of Judah (609 B.C.E.). At first his name was Shallum (Jer. 22:11) but it was later changed to Jehoahaz, apparently when he was made king. The new name with the theophoric element referring to YHWH may be a reflection of the reforming spirit of Josiah. In the genealogical list of the descendants of David in I Chronicles 3:15, Shallum is entered as the fourth son of Josiah, whereas the first born was Johanan. It seems probable therefore that despite the Septuagint, which reads Jehoahaz instead of Johanan in I Chronicles 3:15, Jehoahaz was not the first born and that the Am ha-Areẓ ("People of the land") deliberately gave him precedence (II Chron. 36:1). Jehoahaz was made king, at the age of 23, in the summer of 609 B.C.E., after Josiah his father had been killed in the battle against Pharaoh *Necoh at Megiddo. It has been suggested that he was the nominee of the circles which favored the alliance with the ascending Neo-Babylonian Kingdom – bitter enemies of Assyria – who were hostile to Egypt's attempt to save Assyria from total destruction. Three months later, when Necoh returned from fighting the Babylonians and their allies – the Medes (from the district of Haran) – he deposed Jehoahaz and put his elder brother Eliakim, i.e., *Jehoiakim, in his place (II Kings 23:33–34; II Chron. 36:3–4). Accordingly,
Bright, Hist, 303; Tadmor, in: JNES, 15 (1956), 226–30; Vogt, in: VT, Supplement, 4 (1957), 92–97; S. Yeivin, in: Tarbiz, 14 (1941), 264–5; Malamat, in: IEJ, 18 (1968), 137–44. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: N. Avigad, Eretz Israel, 9 (1969), 9; B. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB; 1988), 303–4; S. Ahituv, Handbook of Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions (1992), 118.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.