Jehoahaz, 4th son of Josiah

After the death Josiah, the people of the land took his youngest son Jehoahaz, anointed him, and made him king in his father's place.

“Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.” (2Ki 23:31-32)

After a brief three month reign, Jehoahaz was deposed by Pharaoh Necho II and imprisoned at his military headquarters at Riblah, which was located on the Orontes River in the Lebanon Valley about 180 miles north of Jerusalem. The Egyptian monarch imposed a tribute upon Judah of one hundred talents of silver (750 lbs) and a talent of gold (7.5 lbs). He then installed Jehoahaz's older brother Eliakim on the throne of Judah. Necho changed his name from Eliakim, meaning “God has established,” to Jehoiakim, meaning “the Lord has established.” This act of renaming, according to ancient near east custom, demonstrated his authority — that it was Necho who was the ultimate overlord of Judah. Necho then took Jehoahaz back to Egypt, where he died in captivity (2Ki 23:33-34; 2Ch 36:1-4).

Jeremiah prophesied of this event: “Weep not for the dead, nor bemoan him; Weep bitterly for him who goes away, For he shall return no more, Nor see his native country. For thus says the LORD concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, who went from this place: "He shall not return here anymore, but he shall die in the place where they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.” (Jer 22:10-12)

Shallum is yet another alternate name for Jehoahaz (1Ch 3:15). The people called him Shalom meaning “peace,” but the prophet tags him ironically as Shallum meaning “retribution.” Upon each anniversary of the death of his father Josiah, the good king was honored by open public weeping in which Jeremiah participated (2Ch 35:24-25). But here, Jeremiah says weep not for his saintly dead father, but weep bitterly for his living sinner son who is on his way to prison and death in Egypt.