Josiah


Josiah
/joh suy"euh/, n.
1. Also, Douay Bible, Josias /joh suy"euhs/. a king of Judah, reigned 640?-609? B.C. II Kings 22.
2. a male given name.
[ Heb Yoshiyah God upholds]

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I
born с 640 BC
died 609 BC

King of Judah and religious reformer.

He became king at age 8 after the assassination of his father, Amon. As the Assyrian empire crumbled, Judah gained a measure of independence, and in 621 BC Josiah began a program of national renewal. He drove out foreign cults, abolished local sanctuaries, and centred the worship of Yahweh in the Temple of Jerusalem. As his reforms were under way, parts of the book of Deuteronomy were discovered in the Temple, giving added impetus to his efforts to revive observance of Mosaic law. Josiah hoped to reunify Judah and Israel, but he was killed in a battle against the Egyptians.
II
(as used in expressions)
Brewer David Josiah
Gibbs Josiah Willard
Gorgas Josiah
Royce Josiah
Wedgwood Josiah
Winslow Josiah

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▪ king of Judah
also spelled  Josias 

      king of Judah (c. 640–609 BC), who set in motion a reformation that bears his name and that left an indelible mark on Israel's religious traditions (2 Kings 22–23:30).

      Josiah was the grandson of Manasseh, king of Judah, and ascended the throne at age eight after the assassination of his father, Amon, in 641. For a century, ever since Ahaz, Judah had been a vassal of the Assyrian empire. Imperial policy imposed alien cults on Judah that suppressed or obscured the Israelite religious identity. After the death of King Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian empire fell into chaos; it could no longer assert its authority in Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Temple of). Egypt also was weak, and Judah thus obtained an unusual degree of independence from foreign powers. About 621 Josiah launched a program of national renewal, centred on the Temple in Jerusalem. A book believed to have contained provisions relating to covenantal traditions of premonarchic times deeply impressed him and gave a decisive turn to his reforms. The Temple was purged of all foreign cults and dedicated wholly to the worship of Yahweh, and all local sanctuaries were abolished, sacrifice being concentrated at Jerusalem.

      In Assyria, Babylonia, which had long been a restive province, led a coalition that sacked Nineveh. The empire was in desperate straits; the Babylonians seemed about to displace it. Hoping to keep Mesopotamia divided, Necho (Necho II), the Egyptian pharaoh, set out to aid the hard-pressed Assyrians. He landed a force on the territory of the northern kingdom of Israel. King Josiah had hopes of a reunification of Judah and Israel, making the latter territory part of his own realm under the aegis of Babylonia. Consequently he challenged the pharaoh to battle; but it is reported that “Necho slew him at Megiddo, when he saw him” (2 Kings 23:29). Soon thereafter Assyria was completely eliminated, the Egyptians retreated, and Josiah's son, Jehoiakim, whom Necho had placed on the throne of Judah as a vassal, had to submit to Babylonia, the new Mesopotamian empire.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • JOSIAH — (Heb. יׁאושִׁיּהוּ ,יׁאשִׁיָּהוּ), son of Amon, king of Judah (640–609 B.C.E.). When his father was assassinated, Josiah, then only eight years old, was proclaimed king. His reign was marked by a great national revival, and the author of the Book …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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