4

From 2 Chronicles 36:

And the people(A) of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father.

2 Jehoahaz[a] was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. 3 The king of Egypt dethroned him in Jerusalem and imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents[b] of silver and a talent[c] of gold. 4 The king of Egypt made Eliakim, a brother of Jehoahaz, king over Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. But Necho(C) took Eliakim’s brother Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt.(D)

5 Jehoiakim(F) was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years.

It appears from this text that Eliakim was actually older than the brother he replaced. That being said, why wasn't he made king in the first place?

I am aware of at least one other case in the Bible where a younger brother was made king. For example, Solomon had several older brothers (but in that case, he was explicitly designated by David as his successor). That being said, it occurs to me: what would have been "normal" for succession then? Would it have been a common occurrence for younger brothers to succeed their father? Was there any particular law on that point? (Please feel free to let me know if this should be split out into a follow-up question).

1

Josiah fought Necho and lost his life.

2 Chronicles 35:20

After all this, when Josiah had set the temple in order, Necho king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah marched out to meet him in battle. ...

23Archers shot King Josiah, and he told his officers, “Take me away; I am badly wounded.” 24So they took him out of his chariot, put him in his other chariot and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his ancestors, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him.

There was no clear successor appointed by Josiah. The people liked the younger Jehoahaz.

2 Chronicles 36:1 And the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father.

But Necho didn't like Jehoahaz and replaced him with his older brother.

2 Jehoahaz a was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. 3The king of Egypt dethroned him in Jerusalem and imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents b of silver and a talent of gold. 4The king of Egypt made Eliakim, a brother of Jehoahaz, king over Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. But Necho took Eliakim’s brother Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt.

Why was Josiah's younger son made king initially?

Jehoahaz was picked by the people probably for political reasons. Jehoahaz stood with the people against Necho.

What would have been "normal" for succession then?

The oldest son was expected to succeed but it was not guaranteed.

After the death of his elder brothers Amnon and Absalom, Adonijah considered himself the heir-apparent to the throne.

1 Kings 2:15 "As you know," he [Adonijah] said, "the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king. But things changed, and the kingdom has gone to my brother; for it has come to him from the LORD.

Was there any particular law on that point?

Kind of but not exactly. It is the law of primogeniture.

Deuteronomy 21:15 If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love, 16when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love. 17He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father’s strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.