AMON


AMON
AMON (Heb. אָמוֹן, אָמֹן), son of manasseh ; became king of Judah (642–640 B.C.E.) at the age of 22. The author of Chronicles considered the "transgressions" of Amon to have been "more numerous" than those of his father Manasseh (II Chron. 33:23). The reasons for Amon's assassination by members of his court are not explained in the Bible, but the conspirators were put to death by the am ha-areẓ (i.e., "the people of the land," probably the large landowners). They enthroned his young son Josiah. It has been argued that the conspirators were opponents of the pro-Assyrian policies of Manasseh and Amon, while the am ha-areẓ were pro-Assyrian. Support for the hypothesis is based on synchronizing Amon's reign with the period of a rebellion in Syria against Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, which is reported in Assyrian sources. On this analysis, Amon, who is said to have followed the ways of his father Manasseh (II Kings 21:20–21), would have remained loyal to the Assyrian régime and opposed this rebellion, while the intervention of the am ha-areẓ and their crowning of the eight-year-old Josiah were intended to forestall eventual complications after the suppression of the rebellion by the Assyrians. But a revised chronology of Ashurbanipal's inscriptions militates against the suggested synchronism. -In the Aggadah Talmudic tradition considers Amon, in the light of what is said in Chronicles, as the worst of Judah's kings and concludes that his sins surpassed those of Ahaz and Manasseh. Ahaz put his seal on the Torah to prevent the reading of it; Manasseh erased the names of God from the Torah; while Amon ordered all of the Torah scrolls burned. Only one Torah scroll, which was found during the reign of Josiah, managed to escape his decree. The sins of Amon in the interruption of the Temple cult were also extremely severe (Sanh. 103b; SOR 24). Nevertheless, Amon is not enumerated among the kings (Jeroboam, Ahab, and Manasseh) who do not have a portion in the World to Come. This was a consequence of the merit of his son Josiah (Sanh. 104a). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Malamat, in: Tarbiz, 21 (1949/50), 123 ff.; idem, in: IEJ, 3 (1953), 26–29; Bright, Hist, 294–5; M. Streck (ed.), Assurbanipal, 1 (Ger., 1916), ccclxi ff.; EM, S.V. (includes bibliography); S. Yeivin, Meḥkarim be-Toledot Yisrael ve-Arẓo (1960), 254, 289, 317. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (1988), 275–76. IN THE AGGADAH: Ginzberg, Legends, 4 (1947), 281; 6 (1946), 267, 376.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Amon-Ra — n. 1. the ancient Egyptian sun god; supreme god of the universe in whom Amen and Ra were combined; principal deity during Theban supremacy. Syn: Amen Ra [WordNet 1.5] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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