1 Chronicles 3:15
And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) And the sons of Josiah.—The regular succession by primogeniture ceases with Josiah.

The firstborn Johanan (Iahweh bestowed) never ascended the throne of his fathers. He may have died early. He is not to be identified with Jehoahaz, who was two years younger than Jehoiakim (2Kings 23:31; 2Kings 23:36), and therefore could not have been the firstborn of Josiah.

The second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.—The order of succession to the throne after Josiah was this:—First, Shallum (= Jehoahaz, 2Kings 23:30; comp. Jeremiah 22:11); then Jehoiakim (= Eliakim, 2Kings 23:34; Jeremiah 22:18); then Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakini (= Jehoiachin, Jeremiah 22:24); and, lastly, Zedekiah (= Mattaniah, 2Kings 24:17),

The third Zedekiah.—Zedekiah was much younger than Shallum. Shallum was twenty-three when he came to the throne, which he occupied eleven years. Zedekiah succeeded him at the age of twenty-one (2Kings 23:31; 2Kings 24:18). The order of 1Chronicles 3:15 is not wholly determined by seniority any more than by the actual succession. If age were considered, the order would be Jehoiakim, Shallum, Zedekiah; if the actual succession, it would be, Shallum, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah. The order of the text may have been influenced by the two considerations—(1) That Jehoiakim and Zedekiah each enjoyed a reign of eleven years, while Shallum reigned only three months; (2) That Shallum and Zedekiah were full brothers, both being sons of Hamutal, whereas Jehoiakim was born of another of Josiah’s wives, viz., Zebudah.

1 Chronicles 3:15. The firstborn Johanan — This Johanan is thought by many to be the same with Jehoahaz, who succeeded Josiah in the throne. But it seems more probable, as he is not mentioned in the book of Kings nor elsewhere in the Scriptures, that he died before his father. The fourth Shallum — Of whom, at least under that name, there is no mention in the history of the reign of Josiah’s sons in 2 Kings: but in Jeremiah 22:11 there is mention of Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father; whom most conceive to be the same, who is otherwise called Jehoahaz, 2 Kings 23. And this seems most probable, 1st, From that phrase, He reigned instead of Josiah, which implies that he immediately succeeded his father, otherwise he would have been said to have reigned instead of his brother, as Zedekiah is said to have reigned instead of Jehoiachin, 2 Kings 24:17. 2d, From the order of that discourse of Jeremiah, which was directed to Zedekiah, and his servants, and people, and whom he admonisheth by the examples of the kings his predecessors, and of the sentence of God concerning each of them, and that in the order in which they reigned; of Shallum, 2 Kings 24:11, &c.; of Jehoiakim, 2 Kings 24:18, &c.; of Jechoniah or Coniah, Jeremiah 22:28. 3d, From the nature of that prophecy, Jeremiah 22:11-12, delivered concerning Shallum, which perfectly agrees to Jehoahaz, who was carried captive, not so far as Babylon, but only to Egypt, a very near country; whence the people hoped that he would speedily and easily return, or be re-established in his throne by the king of Egypt, in opposition to the king of Babylon. 4th, Because Jehoahaz was one of Josiah’s younger sons, (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Kings 23:36,) and this Shallum is here called his fourth son.

3:1-24 Genealogies. - Of all the families of Israel, none were so illustrious as the family of David: here we have a full account of it. From this family, as concerning the flesh, Christ came. The attentive observer will perceive that the children of the righteous enjoy many advantages.Of the sons of Josiah, Johanan, "the first-born," who is mentioned in this place only, must, it would seem, have died before his father, or with him at Megiddo; and Shallum (also called Jehoahaz, marginal note and reference) was considerably older than Zedekiah, and was consequently the third, and not the fourth, son. He is perhaps assigned the fourth place here by way of intentional degradation. Compare Jeremiah 22:10-12; Ezekiel 19:3-4. 15. Zedekiah—called the son of Josiah (compare Jer 1:3; 37:1), but in 2Ch 36:19 he is described as the brother of Jehoiachin, who was the son of Jehoiakim, and consequently the grandson of Josiah. Words expressive of affinity or relationship are used with great latitude in the Hebrew.

Shallum—No king of this name is mentioned in the history of Josiah's sons (2Ki 14:1-29; 23:1-37), but there is a notice of Shallum the son of Josiah (Jer 22:11), who reigned in the stead of his father, and who is generally supposed to be Jehoahaz, a younger son, here called the fourth, of Josiah.

Of whom, at least under that name, there is no mention in thee history of the reign of Josiah’s sons, 2Ki 23 2Ki 24. But in Jeremiah 22:11, there is mention of Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father; which most conceive to be the same who is otherwise called Jehoahaz, 2Ki 23. And this seems most probable,

1. From that phrase, he reigned instead of Josiah; which implies that he immediately succeeded his father; otherwise he would have been said to have reigned instead of his brother, as Zedekiah is said to reign instead of Jehoiachin, 2 Kings 24:17, because he was his next successor.

2. From the order of that sermon or discourse of Jeremiah, which was directed to Zedekiah, and his servants, and people, as appears by Jeremiah 21:1,2,11 22:1,2, whom he admonisheth by the examples of the kings his predecessors, and of the sentence of God concerning each of them, and that in order as they reigned:

1. Of Shallum, 1 Chronicles 3:11, &c.

2. Of Jehoiakim, 1 Chronicles 3:18, &c.

3. Of Jeconiah, 1 Chronicles 3:24, &c. Therefore Shallum is the same with Jehoahaz, who was the first king after Josiah, 2 Kings 23:30.

4. From the nature of that prophecy, Jeremiah 22:11,12, which best agrees to Jehoahaz, who was carried captive not so far as Babylon, but only to Egypt, a very near country whence the people hoped that he would speedily and easily return, or be re-established in his throne by the king of Egypt, in opposition to the king of Babylon.

5. Because Jehoahaz was one of Josiah’s younger sons, as appears by comparing 2 Kings 23:31,36. And this Shallum is here called his fourth son.

And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan,.... Of whom we nowhere else read; he probably died before his father Josiah:

the second Jehoiakim: whose name was Eliakim, changed for the former by the king of Egypt, when, he deposed his younger brother, and set him on the throne, 2 Kings 23:24.

the third Zedekiah; whose name was Mattaniah, but changed by the king of Babylon, when he placed him on the throne in the room of his brother's son, 2 Kings 24:17,

the fourth Shallum: the same with Jehoahaz, who was first made king in the room of his father; but reigning so short a time, and making so mean a figure, is mentioned last, see Jeremiah 22:11.

And the sons of Josiah were, the {e} firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.

(e) So called because he was preferred for the royal dignity before his brother Jehoiakim who was the elder.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. the firstborn Johanan] This son of Josiah never came to the throne, nor is anything known of him except from this passage. Perhaps he died before he grew up.

Zedekiah] Though reckoned third here, he was younger than Shallum (=Jehoahaz); cp. 2 Chronicles 36:2 (= 2 Kings 23:31) with 2 Chronicles 36:11 (= 2 Kings 24:18).

Shallum] To be identified with Jehoahaz; cp. 2 Chronicles 36:1 with Jeremiah 22:11.

Verse 15. - The first thing to be observed in this verse is that, though it lays stress on the mention of the name of Josiah's firstborn of four sons as Johanan, this is the only mention of him. Some, however, have taken the Jehoahaz of 2 Kings 23:30 for him. Next, that Jehoiakim was not the original name of the next brother, but a name slightly altered by Pharaoh-Necho from Eliakim (2 Kings 23:34). If the dates of 2 Kings 23:31, 34, 36, be correct, there is no doubt that, though Jehoiakim, i.e. Eliakim, reigned after Jehoahaz, yet he was the elder, and is in his right place in the present passage. Next, that Shallum (Jeremiah 20:11) is another name of the Jehoa-haz of 2 Kings 23:30, 31, 34, and several other places. It is possible that he finds the last place amid the four brothers of this verse because of his probable usurpation of the throne, in violation of the right of his elder brother, Jehoiakim, and the early fall he met with in consequence. Lastly, that the fourth brother, Zedekiah, whose name (2 Kings 24:17) was originally Mattha-niah, was put on the throne by the King of Babylon, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:18) after that his nephew Jehoiachin (who could have no son old enough to succeed) was (2 Kings 24:12, 15, 17) carried captive to Babylon. 1 Chronicles 3:15The kings of the house of David from Solomon till the exile. - Until Josiah the individual kings are mentioned in their order, each with the addition בּנו, son of the preceding, 1 Chronicles 3:10-14; the only omission being that of the usurper Athaliah, because she did not belong to the posterity of David. But in 1 Chronicles 3:15 four sons of Josiah are mentioned, not "in order to allow of a halt in the long line of David's descendants after Josiah the great reformer" (Berth.), but because with Josiah the regular succession to the throne in the house of David ceased. For the younger son Jehoahaz, who was made king after his father's death by the people, was soon dethroned by Pharaoh-Necho, and led away captive to Egypt; and of the other sons Jehoiakim was set up by Pharaoh, and Zedekiah by Nebuchadnezzar, so that both were only vassals of heathen lords of the land, and the independent kingship of David came properly to an end with the death of Josiah. Johanan, the first-born of the sons of Josiah, is not to be identified with Jehoahaz, whom the people raised to the throne. For, in the first place, it appears from the statement as to the ages of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim in 2 Kings 23:31, 2 Kings 23:36; 2 Chronicles 36:2, 2 Chronicles 36:5, that Jehoahaz was two years younger than Jehoiakim, and consequently was not the first-born. In Jeremiah 22:11 it is expressly declared that Shallum, the fourth son of Josiah, was king of Judah instead of his father, and was led away into captivity, and never saw his native land again, as history narrates of Jehoahaz. From this it would appear that Shallum took, as king, the name Jehoahaz. Johanan, the first-born, is not met with again in history, either because he died early, or because nothing remarkable could be told of him. Jehoiakim was called Eliakim before he was raised to the throne (2 Kings 23:24). Zedekiah was at first Mattaniah (2 Kings 24:17). Zedekiah, on his ascending the throne, was younger than Shallum, and that event occurred eleven years after the accession of Shallum equals Jehoahaz. Zedekiah was only twenty-one years old, while Jehoahaz had become king in his twenty-third year. But in our genealogy Zedekiah is introduced after Jehoiakim, and before Shallum, because, on the one hand, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah had occupied the throne for a longer period, each having been eleven years king; and on the other, Zedekiah and Shallum were sons of Hamutal (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Kings 24:18), while Jehoiakim was the son of Zebudah (2 Kings 23:36). According to age, they should have followed each other in this order - Johanan, Jehoiakim, Shallum, and Zedekiah; and in respect to their kingship, Shallum should have stood before Jehoiakim. But in both cases those born of the same mother, Hamutal, would have been separated. To avoid this, apparently, Shallum has been enumerated in the fourth place, along with his full brother Zedekiah. In 1 Chronicles 3:6 it is remarkable that a son of Jehoiakim's son Jeconiah is mentioned, named Zedekiah, while the sons of Jeconiah follow only in 1 Chronicles 3:17 and 1 Chronicles 3:18. Jeconiah (cf. Jeremiah 24:1; shortened Coniah, Jeremiah 22:24, Jeremiah 22:28, and Jeremiah 37:1) is called, as kings, in 2 Kings 24:8. and 2 Chronicles 36:9, Jehoiachin, another form of the name, but having the same signification, "Jahve founds or establishes." Zedekiah can only be a son of Jeconiah, for the בּנו which is added constantly denotes that the person so called is the son of his predecessor. Many commentators, certainly, were of opinion that Zedekiah was the same person as the brother of Jehoiakim mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:15 under the name Zidkijahu, and who is here introduced as son of Jeconiah, because he was the successor of Jeconiah on the throne. For this view support was sought in a reference to 1 Chronicles 3:10., in which all Solomon's successors in the kingship are enumerated in order with בּנו. But all the kings who succeeded each other from Solomon to Josiah were also, without exception, sons of their predecessors; so that there בּנו throughout denotes a proper son, while King Zedekiah, on the contrary, was not the son, but an uncle of Jeconiah (Jehoiachin). We must therefore hold צדקיּה for a literal son of Jeconiah, and that so much the more, because the name צדקיּה differs also from צדקיּהוּ, as the name of the king is constantly written in 2 Kings 24:17. and in 2 Chronicles 36:10. But mention is made of this Zedekiah in 1 Chronicles 3:16 apart from the other sons of Jeconiah (1 Chronicles 3:17 and 1 Chronicles 3:18), perhaps because he was not led away captive into exile with the others, but died in Judah before the breaking up of the kingdom.
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