Three Kings and Their Names

In 2 Kings 21, there are three kings of Judah mentioned – Manasseh, Amon, and Josiah.

Hezekiah had removed the false worship from Judah. He was a godly king. But, Manasseh, his son, was the exact opposite. He was perhaps the most wicked of the kings of Judah in that he reintroduced all of the false worship his father had removed. Manasseh began to reign at 12 years old, right about the age a child becomes an adult. So, Manasseh’s entire adult life was given to false worship. And, he reigned for 55 years, which was the longest reign of any king of Judah. Manasseh means causing to forget. Indeed, in every way for his entire adult life for a longer period of time than any other king, Manasseh caused Judah to forget God.

Manasseh’s son was Amon. Amon did just like his father. The Bible says “he abandoned the Lord.” Amon means builder, faithful, true, and the name comes from a root word meaning to support or confirm. So, Amon’s reign was the confirmation of Manasseh’s. However, Amon’s reign lasted just two years, which was almost a blip on the radar compared with his father’s reign.

Interestingly, the names Manasseh and Amon are perhaps the only two names of the kings of Judah that do not have a shortened form of Yahweh or Jehovah (the name of the Lord) in them. Clearly, these two kings had nothing to do with the Lord.

But, Amon had a son, Josiah. What does Josiah mean? Jehovah has healed. Out of the utter ruin and destruction brought about by forgetting God (Manasseh) and remaining faithful to a false way and the abandonment of the Lord, God was going to bring healing.

It really is amazing how every single detail in the Bible is important to the story it is telling.

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