Lesser known characters :: Ahikam

Ahikam which means “a brother who rises up” was the son of Shaphan, the scribe. He was one of the five, commissioned by the king of Judah, Josiah, to go an enquire of the LORD from the prophetess Huldah who lived in Jerusalem. The other four were Hilkiah the Priest, Ahikam’s father Shaphan the scribe, Asahiah the king’s servant and Achbor the son of Michaiah. (2 Kings 22: 12-15) The Bible states that these five did as they were told and took the word of the LORD back to king Josiah (2 King 22:20).

In addition to Ahikam, being known as a man, who as being part of a team, fulfilled the mission, entrusted to him by a king to get the word from the LORD (the King of kings and the Lord of lords), Ahikam is also known for the protection he offered God’s prophet, Jeremiah when king Jehoakim, the son of Josiah, an evil king who did not follow the godly ways of his father Josiah, sought to kill the prophets who prophesied against the land. The Bible states the priests and the prophets sought to kill Jeremiah, God’s prophet, when Jeremiah proclaimed the word of the LORD, that Judah would become desolate because of the wickedness of its people. They said to the princes and the people, that Jeremiah was worthy of death, because Jeremiah had prophesied against the city (Jeremiah 26:11). In fact, Jeremiah recognizes that his life was in danger and tells the princes (officials) and the people, that he was in their hands but they would be guilty of bloodshed should they choose to kill him. Some elders (officials) of the land, intervene by looking back into their history that those who brought the word of God were heeded to and not put to death, and they suggest that Jeremiah was not worthy to die. However, it seemed like the evil king, Jehoakim, did not intend to heed to their voice. Jeremiah’s life was in danger because king Jehoakim had demonstrated it, by killing another man named Urijah who had prophesied the same message (Jeremiah 26:20-23). As this unfolds, we see that Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, rises up and supports Jeremiah, so that he is not handed over to the people to be killed. This could very well be taken as a direct opposition to the edict of the king, but Ahikam, knew that he had to heed to the voice of the King of kings through the prophet Jeremiah and not the voice of the earthly king, Jehoakim.

What can we learn from Ahikam?
When we are entrusted to enquire of the LORD and bring his word, we must do so faithfully. We must take the word of the LORD to those who seek it. Also, we must rise up as brothers/sisters and supports God’s servants (apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and preachers), sometimes risking our very life.

2 Kings 22: 11-20 (KJV)
11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.
12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying,
13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.
14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.

20 …
And they brought the king word again.

Jeremiah 26:24 (KJV)
24 Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.