[1-3: Trustworthy; Faithful; Long-Lasting]
1. A chief of the city of Samaria when Ahab, king of Israel, was ruling (c. 940-920 B.C.E.). The prophet Micaiah was put in his care while Ahab warred against Ramoth-gilead.—1Ki 22:10, 26; 2Ch 18:25.
2. A king of Judah (661-660 B.C.E.), and son of wicked King Manasseh. He began to rule at the age of 22 and followed the idolatrous course of his father’s earlier years. The bad conditions described at Zephaniah 1:4; 3:2-4 doubtless were developing at this time. After two years on the throne, he was murdered by his own servants. “The people of the land [ʽam ha·ʼaʹrets]” put the conspirators to death, placed his son Josiah on the throne, and buried Amon in “the garden of Uzza.” (2Ki 21:19-26; 2Ch 33:20-25) The genealogy of Jesus includes his name.—Mt 1:10.
4. A local god of Thebes, or No-Amon, who rose to the position of “king of the gods” under the name Amon-Ra and whose high priest became head of all the Egyptian priesthoods. Amon is generally represented as a man wearing a crown surmounted by two tall parallel plumes. Like many of the other Egyptian deities, he is frequently shown holding the crux ansata, the “sign of life.” Amon, his wife Mut, and Khonsu (his adopted son) made up the Theban triad.
A large part of Egypt’s spoils of war found its way into the treasury of Amon, whose priesthood became very powerful and wealthy. In his work A History of Egypt (1902, Vol. V, pp. 205-217), E. A. W. Budge suggests that the priesthood may actually have encouraged warfare for their own benefit. In time the high priests of Amon, whose office had become hereditary, exercised even greater power than the pharaohs. One of them, Herihor, succeeded the last of the Ramses to the throne. According to J. H. Breasted’s History of Egypt, under Hrihor (Herihor) “whatever the High Priest wished legally to effect could be sanctioned by special oracle of the god [Amon] at any time, and by prearrangement the cultus image before which the High Priest made known his desires invariably responded favourably . . . Priestly jugglery, ruling if necessary in utter disregard of law and justice, thus enabled the High Priest to cloak with the divine sanction all that he wished to effect.”—1937, p. 523.
A number of adversities came to Thebes and her god Amon. Two of these are mentioned in the Scriptures. In the seventh century B.C.E., the conquering Assyrians under the command of Ashurbanipal razed Thebes to the ground, stripping her of all her wealth. The prophet Nahum refers to this event, using it as an illustration of Nineveh’s coming destruction. (Na 3:8) Thebes recovered somewhat from the blow meted out to her by Assyria, regaining a measure of prosperity, but even this was to be short-lived. Jeremiah indicated that Jehovah’s judgment was against Egypt and her gods, including Thebes and her god Amon. Into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, Egypt would be given, bringing shame to her and to her gods, especially to Amon from No (Thebes).—Jer 46:25, 26; see NO, NO-AMON.