Jehoahaz Ruled For 3 Months in 609 BC

Josiah was killed in a battle with Egypt by Pharaoh Necho II on the plain of Megiddo in 609 BC (Second Kings 23:29-30; Second Chronicles 35:20-35). The people then chose Jehoahaz, Josiah’s fourth son,who was only 23 years old, as the new king of Judah. His throne name was Jehoahaz (meaning ADONAIseizes), but his personal name was Shallum (First Chronicles 3:15). Opposed to his righteous father, He was an evil king.

Another important event happened that same year. The last Assyrian king, Ashur-uballit II, was defeated in Harran by the Babylonians. So while Assyria was still in existence, her authority and influence in the holy land was non existent. This began seventy years of Babylonian domination until 539 BC when the Persian king, Cyrus the Great, captured Babylon without a fight and executed the Babylonian king Belshazzar (Dani’el 5:1-31 and 2 Chronicles 36:20-23).

The international scene helps us understand the events in Y’hudah. The last Assyrian King Ashur-uballit II refused to submit to the Babylonians. Consequently, his capital city of Nineveh had been overrun in 612 BC and the Assyrians were forced to move their capital Harran. In 610 BC the Babylonian king Nabopolassar also conquered Harran. Evidently recognizing the danger of the Babylonian advance, Pharaoh Necho II marched his large Egyptian army towards Harran in 609 BC to support the remaining Assyrian forces in a last ditch attempt to retake the lost territory of his ally. Moving north, He quickly assumed control of Syria-Palestine and set up headquarters at Riblah. Necho II then called Jehoahaz to meet him there, but removed him from the throne and sent him in chains back to Egypt (2 Kings 23:31-35; Second Chronicles 36:1-4; also see By – Concerning Shallum, Otherwise Known as King Jehoahaz). Once Pharaoh’s army reached Harran, however, it was driven back by general Nebuchadnezzar. Once Egypt retreated, Assyria had no more allies and her dominance in the holy land was over. Babylon was the new power to be reckoned with and seventy years of Babylonian dominance over Judah had begun (see Gu – Seventy Years of Imperial Babylonian Rule).

609 BC Defeat of the Assyrian Empire by General Nebuchadnezzar
- 539 BC Defeat of the Babylonian Empire by Cyrus the Great
70 years of Babylonian domination


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