Elihu Declares His Opinion, Part 4 of 5 & Josiah, Zechariah and Neco II

People today are just like Job’s friends, they assume they understand You and nobody can tell them anything different.

I’ve noticed that Job is the only one that actually addressed You directly.  I wonder why Job’s friends, and most people today don’t ask You anything?  Don’t they now that You’ll answer their questions?

Elihu Declares His Opinion
Part 4 of 5

Zechariah was a person in the Hebrew Bible and traditionally considered the author of the Book of Zechariah, the eleventh of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

He was a prophet of the two-tribe Kingdom of Judah, and like Ezekiel was of priestly extraction.

According to Ezra 5:1; 6:14 Iddo is the father of the prophet Zechariah, according to Zech 1:1 Berechiah is the father of Zechariah, and Iddo is his grandfather.

“This discrepancy is best explained on the supposition that the words ‘the son of Berechiah’ did not form part of the original text of 1:1 – had they done so, it is very improbable that they would have been omitted in the Ezra passages – but that they are an insertion on the part of someone who identified the prophet Zechariah with Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, who is mentioned in Is 8:2, Berechiah in Zech 1:1 being a corruption of Jeberechiah.”

His prophetical career began in the second year of Darius, king of Persia (B.C. 520), about sixteen years after the return of the first company from their Babylonian exile.

He was contemporary with Haggai (Ezra 5:1).

Not much is known about Zechariah’s life other than what may be inferred from the book.

It has been speculated that his ancestor Iddo was the head of a priestly family who returned with Zerubbabel (Neh 12:4), and that Zech may himself have been a priest as well as a prophet.

This is supported by Zechariah’s interest in the Temple and the priesthood, and from Iddo’s preaching in the Books of Chronicles.

Possibility of Martyrdom

In the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is quoted as stating that Zechariah son of Barachiah was killed between the altar and the temple.

A similar quotation is also found in the Gospel of Luke.

Although there is an indication in Targum Lamentations that “Zechariah son of Iddo” was killed in the Temple scholars generally understand this as a reference to the death of a much earlier figure, Zechariah ben Jehoiada.

As Abel was the first prophetic figure killed in the Hebrew Scriptures, and Zechariah ben Jehoiada was the last figure killed in those Scriptures, which conclude with 1 and 2 Chr, they represent the full historical scope of prophetic martyrdom.

By using their names Jesus brings to bear on the Jewish establishment of his day the cumulative guilt for killing those prophets, to which within a few days they would add his own death.

The logic of the accusation means that the reference is almost certainly to Zechariah ben Jehoiada.

The second of Elihu’s four speeches, divided into three sections:

(1) addressed to a group of wise men (vv 2-15), doubtless including the three friends;

(2) addressed to Job (vv 16-33); and

(3) addressed to himself (vv 34-37).

“Furthermore Elihu answered and said,

Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.

For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.

Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.

For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment.

Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression.

What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water?

Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men.

For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God” (Job 34:1-9).

Job hath said…For he hath said – Elihu again quotes Job and then goes on to defend God’s justice against what he considers to be Job’s false theology.

The substance of the quotation in v. 5 is accurate, and much of v 6 represents Job fairly – though Job had never claimed to be completely guiltless.  Verse 9 is not a direct quotation form Job, who had only imagined the wicked saying something similar. 

But perhaps Elihu derives it from Job’s repeated statement that God treats the righteous and the wicked in the same way, leading to the conclusion that it doesn’t pay to please God.  [Of course, that is incorrect, but it does matter how you please God].

“Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity” (Job 34:10).

Far be it from God, that he should do wickedness – See Gen 18:25 [this part of one of the conversations God has with Moses].  Elihu’s concern that Job was making God the author of evil is commendable.  Job, in his frustration, has come perilously close to charging God with wrongdoing. 

He has suggested that this is the only conclusion he can reach on the basis of his knowledge and experience.

“For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.

Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.

Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?

If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;

All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust” (Job 34:11-15).

Tomb of Zecharia
This grand monument is built into the rock on the foothills of Mount of Olives. According to tradition it is the tomb of the Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest.

The Tomb of Zechariah is a grand monument in the upper Kidron valley (Yehoshafat valley), on the foothills of Mount of Olives, and facing the temple mount. It is cut into the rock and made entirely from that rock.

Location
The tomb is built on the lower western foothills of Mount of Olives, facing the old city of Jerusalem, on the eastern side of Kidron valley.

This entire area is a large cemetery with thousands of tombs. It is located south to the tomb of Absalom, and adjacent to the Bnei-Hezir tombs cluster.

According to tradition, this tomb is named after Zecharia the prophet.

Who was Zecharia?
Zechariah was the son of Jehoiada the priest, who lived in the 9th C B.C. during the period of the first temple.

He was a priest and a prophet who delivered God’s message against the deviation from the Lord’s commandments.

The Bible tells us (2 Chr 24) that he was killed, stoned to death, in the temple by the orders of King Yoash (King of Judah, son of Ahaziah). There is no certainty, nor documentation, that certifies that this monumental tomb is indeed the tomb of Zechariah son of Jehodia.

The Jewish tradition of the name of the tomb is from the middle ages; it is first described in 1215 A.D. by Menachem Hachevroni (according to Z. Vilani).

The tomb was a site of Jewish prayers, especially in 9th of the month of Av – the day of the destruction of the temple.

There were some documented stories that told of prayers for rain on dry winters (such as in years 1651 and 1690) which succeeded and stopped the drought.

Prophet Zecharia (son of Berechiah)
There is another prophet Zecharia who lived 300 years later – a prophet in Judea in the second temple period (6th C B.C.), the son of Berechiah.

According to the Biblical dating his prophets were from 520-518 B.C. at the time Darius, as described in the book of Zechariah.

This book was written by the prophet, although the second part of the book (Chapters 9-14) may have been compiled earlier.

The place of the prophet’s tomb is not known and is not linked to this site. According to tradition, he is buried on Mount of Olives, in the nearby cluster called the tombs of the Prophets.

Elihu is zealous for God’s glory as the sovereign Sustainer who demonstrates His grace every moment by granting life and breath of man.

“If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words.

Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just?

Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly?

How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.

In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.

There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God.

He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.

Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.

He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;

Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways:

So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted” (Job 34:16-28).

God’s omniscience guarantees that He will not make any mistakes when He punishes evildoers.  It is not necessary for Him to set times to examine people for Judgment (see v 23).

When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:

That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.

Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more:

That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.

Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest” (Job 34:29-33).

First indirectly (vv 31-32) and then more directly (v 33) Elihu condemns Job and calls for his repentance.

“Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.

Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.

My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men.

For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God” (Job 34:34-37).

Necho II (sometimes Nekau, Neku, Nechoh, or Nikuu; or Νεχώ Β’of Kemet was a king of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt (c. 610 B.C.– c. 595 B.C.).
Necho undertook a number of construction projects across his kingdom. In his reign, according to the Greek historian Herodotus, Necho II sent out an expedition of Phoenicians, which in three years sailed from the Red Sea aroundAfrica to the mouth of the Nile. His son, Psammetichus II, upon succession may have removed Necho’s name from monuments.

Necho played a significant role in the histories of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the Neo-Babylonian Empire and the Kingdom of Judah. Necho II is most likely the pharaoh mentioned in several books of the Bible.

The second campaign’s aim of Necho’s campaigns was Asiatic conquest, to contain the Westward advance of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, and cut off its trade route across the Euphrates. However, the Egyptians were defeated by the unexpected attack of the Babylonians and were eventually expelled from Syria.

The Egyptologist Donald B. Redford observed that although Necho II was “a man of action from the start, and endowed with an imagination perhaps beyond that of his contemporaries, Necho had the misfortune to foster the impression of being a failure.”

Elihu’s third speech is addressed to Job.

“Elihu spake moreover, and said,

Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God’s?” (Job 35:1-2)

My righteousness – Elihu thinks that it’s unjust and inconsistent for Job to expect vindication from God and at the same time imply that God doesn’t care whether we are righteous.  But allowance must be made for a person to express his feelings. [3 Elihu is not completely wrong, but he certainly isn’t correct because God has always wanted us to be righteous.]

“For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?

I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.

Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.

If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?

If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?

Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.

By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.

But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;

Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?

There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men” (Job 35:3-12).

God doesn’t listen to arrogant men (see v 13).  Job himself might not be wicked, but he shares the arrogance of most men.  He too receives no answer, because he doesn’t ask rightly (see v 14).

“Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.

Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.

Ruins atop Tel Megiddo
Megiddo is a tell in northern Israel near Kibbutz Megiddo, about 30 km south-east of Haifa, known for its historical, geographical, and theological importance, especially under its Greek name Armageddon.

In ancient times Megiddo was an important city-state. Excavations have unearthed 26 layers of ruins, indicating a long period of settlement. Megiddo is strategically located at the head of a pass through the Carmel Ridge overlooking the Jezreel Valley from the west. The site is now protected as Megiddo National Park and is a World Heritage Site.

History
Megiddo was a site of great importance in the ancient world. It guarded the western branch of a narrow pass and trade route connecting Egypt and Assyria. Because of its strategic location, Megiddo was the site of several historical battles.

The site was inhabited from approximately 7000 B.C. to 586 B.C. (the same time as the destruction of the First Israelite Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and subsequent fall of Israelite rule and exile), though the first significant remains date to the Chalcolithic period (4500-3500 B.C.).

Megiddo’s Early Bronze Age I (3500-3100 B.C.) temple has been described by its excavators as “the most monumental single edifice so far uncovered in the EB I Levant and ranks among the largest structures of its time in the Near East.” The first wall was constructed in the Early Bronze Age II or III period.

However, the town experienced a decline in the Early Bronze-Age IV period (2300-2000 B.C.), but the city was somewhat revived around 2000 B.C. Following massive construction, the town reached its largest in the Middle Bronze-Age, at 10-12 hectares. Though the city was subjugated by Thutmose III, it still prospered, and a massive and incredibly elaborate palace was constructed in the Late Bronze Age.

The city was destroyed around 1150 B.C., and the area was resettled by what some scholars have identified as early Israelites, before being replaced with an unwalled Philistine town. When the Israelites captured it, though, it became an important city, before being destroyed, possibly by Aramaean raiders, and rebuilt, this time as an administrative center for Tiglath-Pileser III’s occupation of Samaria.

However, its importance soon dwindled, and it was finally abandoned around 586 B.C. Since this time it has remained uninhabited, preserving ruins pre-dating 586 B.C. without settlements ever disturbing them. Instead, the town of Lajjun (not to be confused with the el-Lajjun archaeological site in Jordan) was built up near to the site, but without inhabiting or disturbing its remains.

Megiddo is mentioned in Ancient Egyptian writings because one of Egypt’s mighty kings, Thutmose III, waged war upon the city in 1478 B.C. The battle is described in detail in the hieroglyphics found on the walls of his temple in Upper Egypt.

“But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:

Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge” (Job 35:13-16).

The reference here to Job in the third person doesn’t necessarily mean that someone other than Job is being addressed.

Elihu’s fourth and final speech is mostly addressed to Job.

“Elihu also proceeded, and said,

Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.

I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with the” (Job 36:1-4).

perfect in knowledge – Here Elihu applies the phrase to himself, while in 37:16 he applies it to God – thus appearing to make himself equal to God [which is what Satan had done – Is 14:13].  But the Hebrew for knowledge is not quite the same here as in 37:16.  Elihu is probably referring to his ability as a communicator, i.e., he claims perfection in the knowledge of speech.

“Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom. 

He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor” (Job 36:5-6).

preserveth not the life of the wicked – A classic statement of God’s justice in rewarding the righteous and punishing sinners (in contrast to what Job has been claiming).  In v 7 Elihu perhaps has in mind Job’s complaint that God will not leave him alone (see 7:17-19), and in v 9 he may be thinking of Job’s charge that God will not present His indictment against him (see 31:35-36).

“He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.

And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;

Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.

He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.

If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.

But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.

But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.

They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.

He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression” (Job 36:7-15).

Ruins atop Tel Megiddo
Megiddo is a tell in northern Israel near Kibbutz Megiddo, about 30 km south-east of Haifa, known for its historical, geographical, and theological importance, especially under its Greek name Armageddon.

In ancient times Megiddo was an important city-state. Excavations have unearthed 26 layers of ruins, indicating a long period of settlement. Megiddo is strategically located at the head of a pass through the Carmel Ridge overlooking the Jezreel Valley from the west. The site is now protected as Megiddo National Park and is a World Heritage Site.

History
Megiddo was a site of great importance in the ancient world. It guarded the western branch of a narrow pass and trade route connecting Egypt and Assyria. Because of its strategic location, Megiddo was the site of several historical battles.

The site was inhabited from approximately 7000 B.C. to 586 B.C. (the same time as the destruction of the First Israelite Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and subsequent fall of Israelite rule and exile), though the first significant remains date to the Chalcolithic period (4500-3500 B.C.).

Megiddo’s Early Bronze Age I (3500-3100 B.C.) temple has been described by its excavators as “the most monumental single edifice so far uncovered in the EB I Levant and ranks among the largest structures of its time in the Near East.” The first wall was constructed in the Early Bronze Age II or III period.

However, the town experienced a decline in the Early Bronze-Age IV period (2300-2000 B.C.), but the city was somewhat revived around 2000 B.C. Following massive construction, the town reached its largest in the Middle Bronze-Age, at 10-12 hectares. Though the city was subjugated by Thutmose III, it still prospered, and a massive and incredibly elaborate palace was constructed in the Late Bronze Age.

The city was destroyed around 1150 B.C., and the area was resettled by what some scholars have identified as early Israelites, before being replaced with an unwalled Philistine town. When the Israelites captured it, though, it became an important city, before being destroyed, possibly by Aramaean raiders, and rebuilt, this time as an administrative center for Tiglath-Pileser III’s occupation of Samaria.

However, its importance soon dwindled, and it was finally abandoned around 586 B.C. Since this time it has remained uninhabited, preserving ruins pre-dating 586 B.C. without settlements ever disturbing them. Instead, the town of Lajjun (not to be confused with the el-Lajjun archaeological site in Jordan) was built up near to the site, but without inhabiting or disturbing its remains.

Megiddo is mentioned in Ancient Egyptian writings because one of Egypt’s mighty kings, Thutmose III, waged war upon the city in 1478 B.C. The battle is described in detail in the hieroglyphics found on the walls of his temple in Upper Egypt.

Elihu understands that the basic spiritual need of man stems from his harness of heart – his refusal to yield to God, to cry out to God in his distress (see Ps 107), or to hear the voice of God in suffering.

“Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.

But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee.

Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.

Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.

Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.

Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction” (Job 36:16-21).

Elihu warns Job to respond to God’s discipline by turning away from evil (see v 21).  Verse 16 shows that the still views Job as a man of whom there is hope.

“Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?  Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?  Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.

Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off” (Job 36:22-25). 

God’s power and glory as reflected in creation are evident to all people (cf Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-32).

“Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out” (Job 36:26).

we know him not – See 37:5That 4 God’s ways and thoughts are infinitely higher than ours is an important theme in chs 38-41.

1 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (Jas 1:5).

2 The only way to please God is to have faith in Jesus, and if you do He does bless you:

“There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I swear unto their fathers to give them.

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Spouted vessel, Pottery Middle Chalcolithic period (c.3000 B.C.).
Chalcolithic Ceramics Cypriots expanded their ceramic expertise enormously, producing sophisticated pieces decorated with vivid designs in red and white. Ownership of these elegant wares was a mark of high status in Chalcolithic villages. They often served as grave goods.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest“(Josh 1:5-9)

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the Judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Ps 1:1-6).

3For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:

Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will Judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Act 17:28-31).

Funerary mask, Middle East, Chalcolithic period
Throughout recorded history, masks have been part of the human experience.

In nearly every culture, age, and inhabited region of the world, they have functioned as mediums of expression and transformation.

As works of art, masks embody dynamic visual energy; as cultural icons, they present the rich panoply of diversities and commonalities in mankind.

The need to mask, so vividly emphasized in this exhibition, reveals a human desire to transcend earthly limitations, penetrate alien environments, and be reinvented, renewed, strengthened, and protected.

4 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall nor return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the things whereto I sent it” (Is 55:8-11).

Josiah, Zechariah and Neco II

When Josiah, king of Judah (640-609 B.C.),made arrangements for celebrating the Passover, he and his administrators donated vast numbers of animals to be sacrificed (2 Chr 35:7-9).

One of the administrators was Zechariah, a temple official (v. 8). An ostracon (broken piece of pottery with writing on it), purchased on the antiquities market and now in a private collection, includes the names of both Josiah and Zechariah.

Josiah or Yoshiyahu (literally meaning “healed by Yah” or “supported of Yah”) was a king of Judah (641–609 B.C.),

According to the Hebrew Bible, who instituted major reforms.

Josiah is credited by most historians with having established or compiled important Hebrew Scriptures during the Deuteronomic reform that occurred during his rule.

Josiah became king of Judah at the age of eight, after the assassination of his father, King Amon, and reigned for thirty-one years, from 641/640 to 610/609 B.C.

He is also one of the kings mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

Josiah is only known through biblical texts.

No reference to him exists in surviving texts of the period from Egypt or Babylon, and no clear archaeological evidence, such as inscriptions bearing his name, has been found.

Apparently an order for a royal temple offering, it reads, “As Ashyahu the king has commanded you to give in the hand of Zakaryahu silver of Tarshish for the House of Yahweh: three shekels.”

The name Josiah is the English equivalent of Ashyahu in the inscription, and Zechariah is the equivalent of Zakaryahu.

In 609 B.C., when Josiah was in his 31st year of rule and still a young man of 39 (2 Kgs 22:1), the Egyptian army under Pharaoh Neco II (610-595 B.C.) marched north to aid the Assyrians in their attempt to stave off the Babylonians.

Neco II, known from both Egyptian and Bab­ylonian records, was among the stronger of ancient Egypt’s later rulers. The Assyrians were holding out at Carchemish, a prominent city on the Euphrates River (2 Chr 35:20).

Josiah, in an effort to undermine this force, which were dominant in the region, tried to head off Neco at Megiddo. Tragically, the Judahite army was defeated and Josiah lost his life (vv.21-24).

Judah then became subject to Neco until 605 B.C., when the Babylonians defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish (Jer 46:2). Following Josiah’s demise, his son Jehoahaz was made king.

After three months Neco removed Jehoahaz and imposed a hefty tribute on Judah (2 Chr 36:1-3). The Egyptian king placed Josiah’s eldest son, Jehoiakim, on the throne and banished Jehoahaz to Egypt, where he lived out the rest of his days (36:4).