2 Chronicles 22 Commentary

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The Kingdom of Israel
From Splendor to Disaster
Splendor Disaster
King Solomon
of Judah
2 Chronicles 1-9
Successive Kings
of Judah
2Chr 10-36
2Chr 10:1-19
Rulers of the Southern
Kingdom of Judah
After the Split
The Exile
of Judah
2Chr 36:17-23

2Chr 1:1-17

2Chr 2:1-7:22
2Chr 8:1-9:31
of the Temple
Decline & Destruction
of the Temple
~40 Years ~393 Years

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Chart from Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Click Chart from Charles Swindoll









1Samuel 2 Samuel 1Kings 1Kings 2 Kings


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1 Chronicles 10



2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.

ESV chart - kings of Israel - more information
ESV chart - kings of Judah - more information
Another Chart with Variable Dates for Reigns of Kings



2 Chronicles 22:1 Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, for the band of men who came with the Arabs to the camp had slain all the older sons. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign.

Related Passages: 

2 Kings 8:24-29  So Joram (TO AVOID CONFUSION NOTE HE IS CALLED "JEHORAM" 6X IN 2Ch 21:1-16) slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.  25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. 27 He walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did evil in the sight of the LORD, like the house of Ahab had done, because he was a son-in-law of the house of Ahab.  28 Then he went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, and the Arameans wounded Joram. 29 So King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. Then Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel because he was sick.

Duguid: The future of the Davidic throne seemed precarious: the crisis that had brought Ahaziah to the throne is highlighted by repetition of the circumstances that led to only the “youngest son” surviving (2 Chron. 22:1). Further, his reign was brief (2Ch 22:2), and the Chronicler emphasizes that “he also” followed the “ways of the house of Ahab” (2Ch 22:3). Policies leading to disaster continued. By the end of the chapter a glimmer of hope is expressed in the contrast between a very young royal child “hidden in the house of God” and a cruel, idolatrous daughter of Ahab, Athaliah, “reign[ing] over the land” (2Ch 22:12). Human plans and actions are evident throughout, but central in the chapter are references to God’s activity (2Ch 22:7).

Andrew Hill: The Chronicler hurries to tell the story of Jehoram’s son Ahaziah. His version abridges the fifty-six verses of 2 Kings 8:25 – 10:14 in just nine verses. The broad relationship of the two accounts may be represented as follows:

  • 2 Chron. 22:1-6 = 2 Kings 8:25-29
  • 2 Chron. 22:7 = 2 Kings 9:21
  • 2 Chron. 22:8 = 2 Kings 10:13-14
  • 2 Chron. 22:9 = 2 Kings 9:28 

The account of King Ahaziah’s reign consists of three brief reports: -

  • The regnal resume and theological review (2Ch 22:1-4), -
  • The alliance with Joram of Israel (2Ch 22:5-6a), and -
  • The death report (2Ch 22:6b-9).

The one-year reign of Ahaziah is dated anywhere from 845-841 B.C., depending on the source. His brief tenure in the royal office is best placed in 842 or 841 B.C.  (The NIV Application Commentary – 1 & 2 Chronicles.)

August Konkel: The decimation of the royal household of Jehoram left Judah and Jerusalem in the precarious situation of disorderly succession. It left the territory in substantial control of the queen mother. She held the position of sovereign, an exalted ceremonial position with considerable influence on matters of state. Athaliah was the mirror image of Jezebel, wife of Ahab. Athaliah is said to be a daughter of Omri in the MT of 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2, though she is a daughter of Ahab according to 2 Kings 8:18 and 2 Chronicles 21:6. The apparent discrepancy is easily resolved if she was the granddaughter of Omri: the Hebrew term for “daughter” can also mean “granddaughter.” The inhabitants of Jerusalem installed the remaining son of the royal family as king. These may be the equivalent of the people of the land who participated in the installation of a king in times of dynastic crisis (2 Chron 23:20-21; 26:21; 33:25; 36:1). They must be associated with landed aristocracy or officials within civil service. Perhaps in the immediate crisis the decision was made by leaders in Jerusalem without further consultation. (Multipart Video Series on 1-2 Chronicles)

J. Barton Payne: These verses furnish a historical demonstration of how, in God’s providence, the results of a sin may bring about that very sin’s punishment. In the case of Ahaziah it was the evil alliance of Judah with Israel that brought about the king’s death (vv. 4, 7), after a reign of only a few months.

Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, for the band of men who came with the Arabs to the camp had slain all the older sons. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram (AKA "JORAM") king of Judah began to reignAhaziah can be very confusing because he was the nephew of a man by the same name, King Ahaziah of the Northern Kingdom (see description of these two kings below) and he was also the grandson of Ahab. Not surprisingly he followed Ahab's wicked ways as 2Ki 8:27 explains recording that Ahaziah "did evil in the sight of the LORD, like the house of Ahab had done, because he was a son-in-law of the house of Ahab." To add to the confusion, King Ahaziah of Judah is called Jehoahaz in 2Ch 21:17. Now are you really confused? 

Walton raiders with Arabs. The raiders mentioned as having come with the Arabs are likely related to those mentioned in 2 Chronicles 21. Thus they may have been Philistines and other diverse groups who sought to capitalize on the weakness of the Judahite monarchy. They certainly concluded that Judah was weaker without the Davidic dynastic line in power. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 443)

Raymond Dillard: The “marauders who had come with the Arabs” would have included the Philistines (2Ch 21:16–17). The Chronicler’s mention of their attack reiterates his convictions regarding retributive justice: Jehoram, the king who had slain all his brothers, lived to witness the death of his own sons (2Ch 21:4, 13, 16–17). (BORROW 2 Chronicles)

J.A. Thompson: The raiders who came with the Arabs into the camp represented an invasion that may not have been great and probably included the Philistines (2Ch 21:16-17). This raid was for the Chronicler further evidence of God’s retributive justice. Jehoram, who killed all his brother, lived to witness the death of his own sons (2Ch 21:4, 13, 16-17). (The New American Commentary – Volume 9 – 1, 2 Chronicles.)

Norman Geisler - When Critics Ask - 2 Ch 22:1—Were Jehoram’s sons taken captive or were they killed?

PROBLEM: According to 2 Chronicles 21:16–17, Jehoram’s sons were only taken captive by the Philistines and the Arabians. By contrast, this passage says they “killed all the older sons.”

SOLUTION: There is no contradiction here for two reasons. First, it was only the “older” sons who were killed, not all of them. The others could have been taken captive. Second, they could have first taken them captive and then afterward killed them.

QUESTION - Who was King Ahaziah in the Bible?

ANSWER - There are two kings named Ahaziah in the Bible; one ruled in the northern kingdom of Israel and the other in the southern kingdom of Judah. In a long line of righteous and unrighteous kings that ruled in the northern and southern kingdoms, these men were both evil kings.

Ahaziah of Israel was king from 853—852 BC. He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel, who were among the most wicked rulers Israel ever had. Ahaziah’s parents brought Baal worship into the land and turned God’s people away from Him; although Ahaziah reigned for only two years, he was just as evil as his parents. He “aroused the anger of the LORD” (1 Kings 22:53) due to his own worship of Baal, which continued to lead the people into sin and idolatry. At one point King Ahaziah of Israel tried to ally with King Jehoshaphat of Judah, but, after a warning from one of God’s prophets, Jehoshaphat severed ties with the wicked king (verse 49; cf. 2 Chronicles 20:37).

At some point during his reign, King Ahaziah of Israel fell out of a window, injuring himself badly. He was confined to bed, and, rather than inquire of the Lord, Ahaziah sent messengers to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the “god” of Ekron, to see if he would recover (2 Kings 1:2). The Lord sent His prophet, Elijah, to confront the messengers and give them God’s message for King Ahaziah: he would never recover from his injuries and would die in his bed.

When the messengers returned to King Ahaziah and relayed what Elijah had told them, Ahaziah was angry and sent his captain and 50 soldiers to fetch Elijah. The captain demanded that Elijah come down from the hill he was sitting on, but the prophet refused; instead, he announced, “May fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” (2 Kings 1:10). The Lord allowed this miracle, and all King Ahaziah’s men were consumed by fire. Ahaziah sent men to Elijah twice more. In the second instance, the same thing happened as in the first: Elijah called down fire to kill the soldiers. However, the third captain begged for his life, and the Lord spared the company. Elijah came to the king. God’s Word had not changed: Elijah repeated God’s message of judgment directly to Ahaziah, and soon Ahaziah died. As Ahaziah had no sons, he was succeeded by his brother Joram, who was also a sinful ruler—although not as evil as his brother and parents before him (verse 17).

The other Ahaziah, King Ahaziah of Judah (who is also called “Jehoahaz” in some translations), was the nephew of King Ahaziah of Israel and the son of Jehoram, the evil son of the righteous king Jehoshaphat. Judah’s King Ahaziah was related to King Ahaziah of Israel through his mother, Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. Ahaziah of Judah walked in the ways of his father, and because of this the Lord allowed him to reign less than one year in 841 BC. He was only 22 years old (2 Kings 8:26–27).

King Ahaziah immediately allied with his other uncle, King Joram, in a war against the king of Aram. King Joram was wounded and went to Jezreel to rest (2 Kings 8:28–29), and Ahaziah of Judah joined him there. During this time, a man named Jehu was anointed by the Lord as king of Israel with the command to destroy the house of Ahab (see 2 Kings 9:1–10). Jehu knew King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah were in Jezreel, and so he rode to that city (verse 16). When King Joram and King Ahaziah went down to meet Jehu, Joram guessed Jehu’s plan and tried to flee (verse 23). Jehu, however, shot Joram with an arrow and killed him instantly (verse 24). Ahaziah tried to run as well, but Jehu’s company pursued him, mortally wounding him. Ahaziah made it to Megiddo but died there (verse 27). Jehu continued his campaign, killing Jezebel and eventually destroying all of Ahab’s family.

Not only are the stories of King Ahaziah of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah a part of the history of the Jewish people, they are also a cautionary tale of the consequences of leading God’s people away from the Lord. Both the northern and southern kingdoms were eventually destroyed as a result of God’s judgment for their evil ways. While a remnant that spent 70 years in captivity was eventually able to return to Judah, the kingdom was never the same again. GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 22:2 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri.

  • twenty-two years old:  2Ki 8:26 
  • Athaliah: 2Ch 21:6 1Ki 16:28 


Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king - Be aware that the KJV rendering says Ahaziah was 42 years old (2Ch 22:2KJV), but the correct reading in 2Ki 8:26 is "Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king." (See explanation below

And he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri - There was no one from his father’s side of the family to counsel him. His only influence was Athaliah who was the daughter of wicked Ahab (2 Chronicles 21:6) who in turn was the son of wicked Omri. You have heard the phrase "the gift that keeps on giving." Well, in this case we see some of the rotten fruit being reaped as consequence of the seed sown years before when King Jehoshaphat made a disastrous alliance with wicked King Ahab (2Ch 18:1). Oil and water do not mix, and neither does good and evil! 

THOUGHT - Be careful with whom you make close alliances, for your offspring may become beneficiaries of the "gift that keeps on giving" if it is a wicked, ungodly alliance! 

Duguid: The role of queen mother was significant, although ill-defined. In this case she acted as “counselor” alongside others from the northern house, a major function in the court (cf. Ahithophel; 1 Chron. 27:33). Ahaziah was surrounded by people who would ensure that he followed the “ways of the house of Ahab” and that he supported his uncle Jehoram, son of Ahab, in seeking to regain a key city.

Matthew Henry: We have here an account of the reign of Ahaziah, a short reign (of one year only), yet long enough, unless it had been better. He was called Jeho-ahaz (2 Chron. 21:17); here he is called Ahaz-iah, which is the same name and of the same signification, only the words of which it is compounded are transposed. He is here said to be forty-two years old when he began to reign (2 Chron. 22:2), which could not be, for his father, his immediate predecessor, was but forty when he died, and it is said (2 Kgs. 8:26) that he was twenty-two years old when he began to reign. Some make this forty-two to be the age of his mother Athaliah, for in the original it is, he was the son of forty-two years, that is, the son of a mother that was of that age; and justly is her age put for his, in reproach to him, because she managed him, and did what she would—she, in effect, reigned, and he had little more than the title of king. Many good expositors are ready to allow that this, with some few more such difficulties, arise from the mistake of some transcriber, who put forty-two for twenty-two, and the copies by which the error should have been corrected might be lost. Many ancient translations read it here twentytwo. Few books are now printed without some errata, yet the authors do not therefore disown them, nor are the errors of the press imputed to the author, but the candid reader amends them by the sense, or by comparing them with some other part of the work, as we may easily do this.

QUESTION - Was Ahaziah 22 years old (2 Kings 8:26) or 42 years old (2 Chronicles 22:2) when he started his reign? SEE VIDEO

ANSWER - The books of Kings and Chronicles cover much of the same history of God’s chosen people. The books of 1 and 2 Kings take the perspective of the northern kingdom of Israel, and the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles focus more on the southern kingdom of Judah. But the same kings are mentioned in both histories. There is some question about King Ahaziah’s age when he started to reign (this is King Ahaziah of Judah, not King Ahaziah of Israel). One record (2 Kings 8:26) says Ahaziah was 22 years old at the start of his reign, but the other record (2 Chronicles 22:2) says he was 42 years old—at least in some translations. 

All translations of 2 Kings 8:26 are in agreement that Ahaziah of Judah was 22 years old at the start of his reign. And most translations of 2 Chronicles 22:2 also have his age at 22. However, some versions, such as the KJV, NKJV, ASV, and NRSV, state that Ahaziah acceded to the throne when he was 42 years old, not 22.

There are several theories to explain the discrepancy between 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2. Here are four of them:

1. Second Kings 8:26 records when Ahaziah began co-ruling with his father Jehoram, while Second Chronicles 22:2 records when Ahaziah began ruling on his own once his father Jehoram died.

2. The 42-year age is that of Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah. This theory is based on the peculiar wording of the Hebrew in 2 Chronicles 22:2, which literally says that the king was “a son of forty-two years.”

3. The 42 years is a reference not to Ahaziah’s age but where he came in the history of his family’s dynasty. Ahaziah was in the family of King Ahab of Israel, which 2 Chronicles 22:2–3 points out. That dynasty began with his grandfather Omri. The lengths of the reigns of all the kings in this family are as follows:

Omri — 6 years
Ahab — 22 years
Ahaziah (of Israel) — 2 years
Joram (or Jehoram) — 12 years

Total — 42 years

Since Ahaziah began to reign in Judah in the last year of Joram’s reign in Israel (2 Kings 8:25), Ahaziah would have ascended the throne in the 42nd year of that dynasty in Israel, which explains his being called “a son of forty-two years.” Ahaziah was a “son” of the dynasty of Omri, which was in its 42nd year when he took the throne. If this theory is correct, then 2 Kings 8:26 gives us Ahaziah’s age, and 2 Chronicles 22:2 gives us the age of his family’s rule.

4. Somewhere in the centuries-long copying process, a scribe made an error, changing the “22 years” of 2 Chronicles 22:2 to “42 years.” Not all the Hebrew manuscripts reflect the error, as a couple of ancient translations, the Syriac and the Arabic, each have “22 years,” thus bringing 2 Chronicles 22:2 and 2 Kings 8:26 into perfect agreement.

Adding support to this fourth theory is the biblical historian’s note in 2 Kings 8:17 that Ahaziah’s father, Joram, died at the age of 40. Therefore, Ahaziah could not have been 42 years old when he took over. Joram could not have had children before he himself was born, and so Ahaziah’s age when he began to reign must have been 22.

The original manuscript of each book of the Bible, being directly inspired by God, was free from all error. However, a few copyist errors crept into the Hebrew manuscripts as they were passed down from one generation to the next. In this case, the numerical notations in question varied so slightly that a smudge of ink, a wrinkle, or a tear on one copy could have led a scribe to write “42” rather than “22.”

The Bible today is just as authoritative as it was when originally written. We can completely trust the Bible as being God’s message to us. God’s Word endures forever, despite the occasional scribal mistake. Such errors are readily identified, and the issues they give rise to can be resolved. GotQuestions.org

QUESTION - Who was Athaliah in the Bible?

ED COMMENT - MENTIONS OF "ATHALIAH" 2 Ki. 8:26; 2 Ki. 11:1; 2 Ki. 11:2; 2 Ki. 11:3; 2 Ki. 11:13; 2 Ki. 11:14; 2 Ki. 11:20; 1 Chr. 8:26; 2 Chr. 22:2; 2 Chr. 22:10; 2 Chr. 22:11; 2 Chr. 22:12; 2 Chr. 23:12; 2 Chr. 23:13; 2 Chr. 23:21; 2 Chr. 24:7

ANSWER - Athaliah was queen of Judah from 841–835 BC and the only female monarch to sit on David’s throne in biblical history. Athaliah was the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of Israel, and she married Jehoram, the eldest son of Judah’s King Jehoshophat. Her time as queen is nestled amid centuries of evil monarchs who reigned over Judah and Israel. An avid Baal zealot, Athaliah rivaled the wickedness of the kings who came before and after her. Her story can be found in 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 22–23.

Athaliah’s husband, Jehoram, was king of Judah until his death in 841 BC. Unlike his father (KING JEHOSHAPHAT), Jehoram was a wicked king. Athaliah’s son, Ahaziah, at the age of 22, ascended to the throne, and proved himself just as evil as his father (2 Kings 8:18, 25–27). Athaliah counseled her son in his devilish schemes (2 Chronicles 22:3). Ahaziah served as king of Judah for less than one year, for he was assassinated along with Israel’s ailing king, Joram. Their assassin was Jehu, who had originally been a commander in King Ahab’s army (2 Kings 9:5, 25). The prophet Elisha had anointed Jehu as the new king of Israel and commissioned him as an instrument of the Lord to carry out God’s judgment on King Ahab and his entire idolatrous family (1 Kings 19:1–17; 2 Kings 9:1–13). Jehu’s mission of ending Ahab’s dynasty included putting Jezebel and her sons to death. Ahaziah happened to be visiting Joram when Jehu arrived to assassinate Joram, and Ahaziah (GRANDSON OF JEZEBEL) was killed, too.

When Athaliah received word that her son was dead, she seized the opportunity to usurp the throne by murdering Ahaziah’s sons—her own grandsons—thus eradicating the entire royal family so she could take the throne. Unbeknownst to Athaliah, a single grandchild escaped the massacre. Jehosheba, the baby’s aunt and the wife of the high priest Jehoiada, took the infant Joash and hid him and his nurse in a bedroom. Joash was later smuggled out of the castle and taken to the temple, where he remained hidden for six years while Queen Athaliah reigned over the land (2 Kings 11:1–3).

As queen, Athaliah used her influence to further establish Baal worship in Judah, installing priests and building altars for her idol in the very temple of the Lord (2 Kings 11:18; 2 Chronicles 24:7). In this way Athaliah followed the footsteps of her mother, Jezebel. Interestingly, the name Athaliah means either “God is exalted” or “dealt violently with by God.” Queen Athaliah did not exalt God with her life; instead, God dealt violently with her.

After Athaliah had reigned six years, the high priest Jehoiada set guards around the temple and publicly crowned the young Joash as the rightful king. As the new king was anointed, “the people clapped their hands and shouted, ‘Long live the king!’” (2 Kings 11:12). Athaliah heard the commotion, realized what was happening, and ran out of the palace shouting, “Treason! Treason!” (2Ki 11:13). Jehoiada commanded the troops to capture Athaliah and execute her, and so they killed the queen “where the horses enter the palace grounds” (2Ki 11:16). Seven-year-old King Joash, under the direction of the faithful high priest Jehoiada, tore down the temple of Baal, smashed the altars and images of Baal, and killed the priest of Baal. And “all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain” (2Ki 11:20). GotQuestions.org

QUESTION - Who was King Omri in the Bible?

ANSWER - King Omri was the sixth king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Despite his precarious ascension to the throne, Omri ruled for twelve years (885–874 BC) before his son, King Ahab, succeeded him. As the others before him, Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, but Omri is noted in the Bible for being the worst of the kings to that point (1 Kings 16:25).

mri’s reign began amidst turmoil. King Elah had reigned for two years before he was assassinated by one of his officials, Zimri (1 Kings 16:8–14). Zimri reigned for only seven days (1 Kings 16:15–20). The Israelites heard of Zimri’s plot against Elah and “proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp” (1 Kings 16:16). Omri and his men laid siege to the capital city of Tirzah. Upon seeing this, Zimri went into the royal palace and set it on fire, killing himself. Not everyone was sure they wanted Omri to be their king; the people of Israel were split over whom to support. Half of them rallied to Omri, but the other half preferred Tibni for king (1 Kings 16:21). “But Omri’s followers proved stronger than those of Tibni son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri became king” (1 Kings 16:22).

Omri took undisputed control of Israel during the thirty-first year of King Asa’s reign in the southern kingdom of Judah (1 Kings 16:23). Omri died in the thirty-eighth year of Asa’s reign, which accounts for only eight years of the twelve that Omri ruled. This means that Omri must have first risen to power in the twenty-seventh year of Asa and then spent four years in conflict with Tibni. Omri ruled for six years in Tirzah, and during his reign he purchased a hill called Samaria, an easily defended natural stronghold (1 Kings 16:23–24). Samaria remained the capital of Israel for as long as the northern kingdom lasted. The city of Samaria and its surrounding area would later become the home of the despised Samaritans during Jesus’ time.

As did the kings of the ten northern tribes of Israel before him, Omri committed the same sins as Jeroboam, and increasingly so. 1 Kings 16:25–26 says, “Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him. He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols.” Ahab, Omri’s infamous son, went on to do even more evil in God’s eyes (1 Kings 16:30–33). The dynasty begun by Omri lasted four generations before God judged their wickedness and brought an end to Omri’s line. GotQuestions.org

Gleason Archer - How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign (cf. 2 Kings 8:26 with 2 Chron. 22:2) and Jehoiachin when he began to reign (cf. 2 Kings 24:8 with 2 Chron. 36:9–10)? (New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties)

Copyists were prone to making two types of scribal errors. One concerned the spelling of proper names (especially unfamiliar proper names), and the other had to do with numbers. Ideally, we might have wished that the Holy Spirit had restrained all copyists of Scripture over the centuries from making mistakes of any kind; but an errorless copy would have required a miracle, and this was not the way it worked out.

It is beyond the capability of anyone to avoid any and every slip of the pen in copying page after page from any book—sacred or secular. Yet we may be sure that the original manuscript of each book of the Bible, being directly inspired by God, was free from all error. It is also true that no well-attested variation in the manuscript copies that have come down to us alter any doctrine of the Bible. To this extent, at least, the Holy Spirit has exercised a restraining influence in superintending the transmission of the text.
These two examples of numerical discrepancy have to do with the decade in the number given. In 2 Chronicles 22:2 Ahaziah is said to have been forty-two; in 2 Kings 8:26 he is said to have been twenty-two. Fortunately there is enough additional information in the biblical text to show that the correct number is twenty-two. 2 Kings 8:17 tells us that Ahaziah’s father Joram ben Ahab was thirty-two when he became king, and he died eight years later, at the age of forty. Therefore Ahaziah could not have been forty-two at the time of his father’s death at age forty!

Similar is the case of Jehoiachin, whose age at accession is given by 2 Chronicles 36:9–10 as eight but by 2 Kings 24:8 as eighteen. There is enough information in the context to show that eight is wrong and eighteen is right. That is to say, Jehoiachin reigned only three months; yet he was obviously a responsible adult at the time, for he “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” and was judged for it.

Observe that in each case it is the decade number that varies. In Ahaziah’s case it is forty-two as against twenty-two. In Jehoiachin’s case it was eight as against eighteen. It is instructive to observe that the number notation used by the Jewish settlers in the Elephantine in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (fortunately we have a large file of documents in papyrus from this source) consisted of horizontal hooks to represent decades. Thus eight would be /III IIII, but eighteen would be /III IIII, with a horizontal hook over the Is. Similarly twenty-two would be I, followed by two horizontal hooks, one over the other; but forty-two would be /I, followed by two sets of horizontal hooks, one hook over the other in each set. If, then, the manuscript being copied out was blurred or smudged, one or more of the decade notations could be missed by the copyist.

The same was probably the case with the date of Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah in 701 B.C. This is stated in 2 Kings 18:13 to have occurred in the “fourteenth” year of Hezekiah, which implies that Hezekiah must have begun his reign in 715. Yet the other six references to Hezekiah’s chronology in 2 Kings make it clear that he was crowned as assistant king in 728 and became sole king in 725. Since Sennacherib did not become king in Assyria until 705 and the invasion occurred in the fourth year of his reign, the 701 date for the invasion is absolutely certain. Therefore we are to understand the “fourteen” in 2 Kings 18:13 as a miscopying of an original “twenty-four”. The difference in the Hebrew notation would have been as follows: fourteen was /III, with a horizontal hook over the Is, and twenty-four was /III, with two horizontal hooks over the Is, one over the other. A blurred manuscript probably confused the scribe of Isaiah 36:1, who originated the error; and it may have been that the later scribe of 2 Kings 18 was so impressed by the number fourteen with which he was familiar in the Isaiah text that he decided to “correct” v.13 to conform with it. At least that is the likeliest explanation I know of. (See also the discussion of Sennacherib’s invasion in Hezekiah’s fourteenth year at 2 Kings 18:13.)

2 Chronicles 22:3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly.

  • his mother (KJV): Ge 6:4,5 De 7:3,4 13:6-10 Jud 17:4,5 Ne 13:23-27 Mal 2:15 Mt 14:8-11 
  • his counsellor (KJV): Ge 27:12,13 Mt 10:37 Ac 4:19 


He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly - He lived and ruled just like the Ahab family had done, his mother training him in evil ways. One is reminded of the proverb which says "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Pr 22:6). In Athaliah's case "the way he should go" was into the way of wickedness, from which he did not depart! 

Note the term of explanation "for" which explains why Azariah walked in the same wicked ways of King Ahab of the northern kingdom. Mothers can exert a strong influence on their sons and this mother's influence was evil. Notice the transmission of evil ways from father Ahab, to daughter Athaliah, to son Azariah. 

THOUGHT - What is your lineage, godly or ungodly? If godly, stop and thank God for this great gift! If you come from a lineage of men or women who have walked in wickedness, do not despair because God's grace can break into any lineage and bring forth righteous men and women by the power of His Gospel and His Spirit. And while there is no guarantee, the subsequent generations can also come forth as redeemed men and women in the eyes of the LORD. My father was a gambler, a womanizer and an alcoholic but was saved before he died and began praying for my salvation. I subsequently became a believer (age 39, I'm 77 now - my testimony). My son then became a believer. And in Dec, 2023 my teenage grandson, a strong believer, will be baptized. God's grace intervened in my family line, so be encouraged that He can do the same in any lineage! 

Morris - If anything, Athaliah was worse than her mother Jezebel, not only bringing the corrupt Baal worship religion into Judah, and probably inciting her husband to slay his brothers, then counseling her son "to do wickedly," but also slaying all her own grandsons and any others who might have a claim on the throne which she coveted (2 Chronicles 22:10).

Mark Boda: The concern expressed over inappropriate northern religious practices may be a reminder to the Chronicler’s audience that although members of the northern tribes are truly part of “all Israel,” there will be no compromises in religious purity. (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary – 1-2 Chronicles.)

Bob Utley  - What a tragedy! Israel and Judah had reunited, not around YHWH but around Ba'al. The judgment of YHWH (i.e., Jehu) on Ahab's house (including later, Athaliah) fell on Jehoram, the short-lived king of Judah. This northern king was the one who popularized Ba'al worship because of the encouragement of his Phoenician wife, Jezebel (cf. 1 Kgs. 16:29-22:40). SPECIAL TOPIC: FERTILITY WORSHIP OF THE ANE

2 Chronicles 22:4 He did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab, for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction.

  • they were his (KJV): 2Ch 24:17,18 Pr 1:10 12:5 13:20 19:27 


He did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab, for they were his counselors after the death of his father (King Jehoram / Joram), to his destruction - The message from this verse is be careful from whom you receive your counsel! Wicked counsel begats wicked behavior. The Message Bible says "After the death of his father, he attended the sin school of Ahab, and graduated with a degree in doom."

Bob Utley"He did evil in the sight of the Lord" This is theologically parallel to "walked in the ways of the house of Ahab." It denotes idolatry and covenant disobedience. YHWH is described in anthropomorphic language. Humans use earthly, time-oriented language to describe an eternal, spiritual Being! "his counselors" The ones we listen to and seek advice from are crucial people in our spiritual lives! Be careful!

Mark Boda: The account of this evil is dominated by references to the intrusion of the northern kingdom, an intrusion emphasized by the Chronicler’s threefold use of the Hebrew root counsel appearing in 22:3 (“his mother encouraged him in doing wrong”), 22:4 (“they even became his advisers . . . and they led him to ruin”), and 22:5 (“following their evil advice”). . . The Chronicler’s account thus casts Ahaziah “as a victim rather than as an instigator” (Japhet 1993:821). The seeds planted when Jehoshaphat made alliances with the Omride dynasty had now germinated and grown as weeds about to choke out the dynastic promise given to David. (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary – 1-2 Chronicles.)

2 Chronicles 22:5 He also walked according to their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. But the Arameans wounded Joram.

  • He walked (KJV): Ps 1:1 Mic 6:16 
  • went with (KJV): 2Ki 8:28,29-9:13 
  • Ramoth gilead (KJV): 2Ch 18:3,31 19:2 1Ki 22:3 Da 5:22 

Related Passage:

2 Kings 8:28  (DON'T BE CONFUSED BY THE DIFFERENT NAME JORAM) Then he (AZAHIAH) went with Joram (AKA "JEHORAM") the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, and the Arameans wounded Joram.

Location of Ramoth-Gilead East of Jordan River

He also walked according to their counsel - Remember that according to 2Ch 22:4 he is walking to his destruction! And so Azariah follows the counsel of his family from the north, and like King Jehoshaphat (2Ch 18:1) makes another disastrous alliance with the northern kingdom allying himself with King Joram (Jehoram)

And went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram (AKA "SYRIA") at Ramoth-gilead. But the Arameans wounded Joram (AKA "JEHORAM"). Once again it is easy to become confused with these names, for Ahaziah's deceased father was also named Jehoram, and was king in the southern kingdom of Judah. The Joram/Jehoram he forms an alliance with is the king of the northern kingdom. It is fascinating that Joram/Jehoram was wounded in battle just as his father Ahab had been wounded (see 2Ch 18:33,34). 

EXPLANATION - There are two kings in the Bible referred to as King Jehoram/Joram.

(1) KING OF JUDAH - The first was the son of King Jehoshaphat, and he ruled in the southern kingdom of Judah from 853 to 841 BC. The other King Jehoram was the son of the wicked King Ahab, and he ruled in the northern kingdom of Israel from 852 to 841 BC . The name Joram is a shortened form of Jehoram. Complicating matters is the fact that both Jehorams were brothers-in-law to each other. (AHAZIAH'S FATHER) Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat was 32 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for four years with his father and another eight years on his own in Judah (2 Kings 8:16–17)—a total of twelve years. Although Jehoshaphat had been a good and godly king, Jehoram did not follow in his father’s footsteps. He married Athaliah, daughter of King Ahab (and sister of Ahab’s son Joram), and he became an evil ruler. But, in spite of King Jehoram’s wickedness, God kept his covenant with David and refrained from destroying Judah (2 Kings 8:19).....

(2) KING OF NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL -...The other Jehoram (or Joram), son of Ahab, took the throne of Israel in the second year of his brother-in-law’s reign in Judah, and he was just as corrupt. He certainly had a poor example in his father. Ahab had turned the people to idolatry, leading them away from the true God of their fathers to the worship of his wife Jezebel’s god, Baal. (GotQuestions.org)

Frederick Mabie: Ahaziah’s reliance on the counsel of the ungodly (cf. vv. 3-4) leads to his agreement to help the northern kingdom in battle alliance against Aram at the Transjordanian city of Ramoth Gilead, in similar manner to his grandfather Jehoshaphat (cf. 18:2-34). Ramoth Gilead (likely Tell Ramith) was situated along the King’s Highway about thirty miles east of the Jordan River. Control over Ramoth Gilead meant control over the lucrative north-south trade caravans that passed through it. (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition – 1 & 2 Chronicles.)

Ramoth-gilead [NAVE]

  • Called also Ramah, 2Ki 8:29; 2 Chr. 22:6.
  • A city of Gad, and a city of refuge, Dt. 4:43; Josh. 20:8; 1Ch 6:80.
  • One of Solomon's commissaries at, 1 Ki 4:13.
  • In the possession of the Syrians, 1 Ki 22:3.
  • Besieged by Israel and Judah; Ahab slain at, 1Ki 22:29-36; 2Ch 18:2, 3, 5, 11, 14, 19, 28.
  • Recovered by Joram; Joram wounded at, 2Ki 8:28, 29; 9:14, 15; 2Ch 22:5, 6.
  • Elisha anoints Jehu king at, 2Ki 9:1-6.

RAMOTH-GILEAD [ISBE] - ra'-moth-gil'-e-ad (ramoth gil'adh): (20v - 1 Ki. 4:13; 1 Ki. 22:3; 1 Ki. 22:4; 1 Ki. 22:6; 1 Ki. 22:12; 1 Ki. 22:15; 1 Ki. 22:20; 1 Ki. 22:29; 2 Ki. 8:28; 2 Ki. 9:1; 2 Ki. 9:4; 2 Ki. 9:14; 2 Chr. 18:2; 2 Chr. 18:3; 2 Chr. 18:5; 2 Chr. 18:11; 2 Chr. 18:14; 2 Chr. 18:19; 2 Chr. 18:28; 2 Chr. 22:5) (ED NOTE: DO NOT BE CONFUSED FOR RAMOTH-GILEAD IS CALLED "RAMAH" IN 2Chr 22:6). A great and strong city East of the Jordan in the territory of Gad (see map above), which played an important part in the wars of Israel. It is first mentioned in connection with the appointment of the Cities of Refuge (Dt 4:43; Josh 20:8). It was assigned to the Merarite Levites (Josh 21:38; 1 Ch 6:80). In these four passages it is called "Ramoth in Gilead" (ramoth ba-gil'adh). This form is given wrongly by the King James Version in 1 Ki 22:3. In all other places the form "Ramoth-gilead" is used.e to the shape of a jaw-bone (Jdg 15:9,14,19). It may have been in Wady es-Sarar, not far from Zorah and Timnath; but the available data do not permit of certain identification.

History: Here Ben-geber was placed in charge of one of Solomon's administrative districts (1 Ki 4:13), which included Havvoth-jair and "the region of Argob, which is in Bashan." The city was taken from Omri by the Syrians under Ben-hadad I (Ant., VIII, xv, 3 ff), and even after the defeat of Ben-hadad at Aphek they remained masters of this fortress. In order to recover it for Israel Ahab invited Jehoshaphat of Judah to accompany him in a campaign. Despite the discouragement of Micalab, the royal pair set out on the disastrous enterprise. In their attack on the city Ahab fought in disguise, but was mortally wounded by an arrow from a bow drawn "at a venture" (1 Ki 22:1-40; 2 Ch 18). The attempt was renewed by Ahab's son Joram; but his father's ill fortune followed him, and, heavily wounded, he retired for healing to Jezreel (2 Ki 8:28 ff; 2 Ch 22:5f). During the king's absence from the camp at Ramoth-gilead Jehu was there anointed king of Israel by Elisha (2 Ki 9:1ff; 2 Ch 22:7). He proved a swift instrument of vengeance against the doomed house of Ahab. According to Josephus (Ant., IX, vi, 1) the city was taken before Joram's departure. This is confirmed by 2 Ki 9:14 ff. The place is not mentioned again, unless, indeed, it be identical with "Mizpeh" in 1 Macc 5:35. W. Ewing

QUESTION - Who was Hazael in the Bible?

ANSWER - Hazael, whose name is translated “God has seen,” was a high-ranking officer in the court of Ben-Hadad II, king of Aram (Syria). Later, Hazael became king of Aram himself, in fulfillment of the word of Elijah, the prophet of Israel. Hazael was an ambitious and ruthless man who ruled over Aram about 46 years.

Hazael is first mentioned in 1 Kings 19:15 when God told Elijah the prophet to “go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.” Elijah obeyed, but Hazael was not made king until years later.

Hazael’s Wickedness

Hazael remained a court official under Ben-Hadad until the time of Elisha, Elijah’s successor as Israel’s prophet. Ben-Hadad was gravely ill. Elisha traveled to Damascus and was met by Hazael, who had brought “forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus” as a gift from the king (2 Kings 8:9) along with a query from the king about whether he would recover from his illness. Elisha gave Hazael a paradoxical answer: “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’ Nevertheless, the Lord has revealed to me that he will in fact die” (2 Kings 8:10).

Elisha, in speaking with Hazael, began to weep (2 Kings 8:11). Hazael asked why the prophet was weeping, and Elisha said, “I know the harm you will do to the Israelites” (2 Kings 8:12). Hazael expressed doubt, citing his lack of authority, and Elisha repeated God’s prophecy that Hazael will be king (verse 13). Hazael returned to Ben-Hadad, and “the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it over the king’s face, so that he died. Then Hazael succeeded him as king” (2 Kings 8:15). It is likely that Hazael had been planning the murder for some time and that his response to Elisha’s prophecy was feigned surprise. God had seen the treachery in his heart.

Hazael’s Military Might

During his reign as king, Hazael led the Arameans in battle against the combined forces of King Jehoram (Joram) of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah, whom he attacked at Ramoth-Gilead (2 Kings 9:14). Jehu became king of Israel, and Hazael went on to take more Israelite territory: “Hazael overpowered the Israelites throughout their territory east of the Jordan in all the land of Gilead (the region of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh), from Aroer by the Arnon Gorge through Gilead to Bashan (2 Kings 10:32–33). Israel suffered these losses due to the idolatry of King Jehu; it was the Lord who “began to reduce the size of Israel,” using Hazael as the means (verse 32).

Hazael also seized the city of Gath (2 Kings 12:17) and came against Jerusalem in Judah. There his military campaign ended. “Joash king of Judah took all the sacred objects dedicated by his predecessors—Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, the kings of Judah—and the gifts he himself had dedicated and all the gold found in the treasuries of the temple of the Lord and of the royal palace, and he sent them to Hazael king of Aram, who then withdrew from Jerusalem” (2 Kings 12:18).

God’s Providence

God used the cruel Hazael to punish the nation of Israel for her wickedness. During the entire reigns of Joab and Jehoahaz of Israel, Hazael and his son oppressed Israel. The reason was the evil that Israel pursued (2 Kings 13:2–3). Hazael’s oppression was so severe that “nothing had been left of the army . . . except fifty horsemen, ten chariots and ten thousand foot soldiers, for the king of Aram had destroyed the rest and made them like the dust at threshing time” (2 Kings 13:7). Eventually, King Jehoahaz sought the Lord’s favor, and “the Lord provided a deliverer for Israel, and they escaped from the power of Aram” (2 Kings 13:5). This prophecy was fulfilled when Jehoash was able to recapture the towns that Hazael had taken from Israel (verse 25).

Elisha’s Prophecy

In the midst of the oppression of Hazael, King Jehoash of Israel went to Elisha the prophet to inquire about what God said about the matter. Elisha, who was on his deathbed, told Jehoash to shoot an arrow out the window to the east. Elisha called it “The Lord’s arrow of victory” and said, “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek” (2 Kings 13:17). Then Elisha told Jehoash to shoot arrows into the ground. The king shot three arrows and then stopped. Elisha was angry with the king’s lack of zeal, saying, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times” (2 Kings 13:19).

Hazael’s Death

In time, God put an end to Hazael’s reign, and he was succeeded by his son, Ben-Hadad III (2 Kings 13:24). God raises up kings and puts them down again (Daniel 2:21; cf. Romans 13:1). He can even use a wicked man like Hazael to orchestrate His plan. And, afterward, Aram was held accountable for their cruelty: “This is what the Lord says: ‘For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not relent. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth, I will send fire on the house of Hazael that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad’” (Amos 1:3–4).

Through all the trouble that Israel has suffered, from Aram and other countries, God remains faithful to His covenant with them. As the biblical historian noted, even during the oppression of Hazael, “the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence” (2 Kings 13:23).GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 22:6 So he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. And Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.  

HCSB so he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds they inflicted on him in Ramoth-gilead when he fought against Aram’s King Hazael. Then Judah’s King Ahaziah son of Jehoram went down to Jezreel to visit Joram son of Ahab since Joram was ill.

  • And he returned (KJV): 2Ki 9:15 
  • which were given him (KJV): Heb. wherewith they wounded him, Azariah. Ahaziah, ['chzyhw, <Strong's H274>,] and  Jehoahaz, [yhw'chz <Strong's H3059>,] are essentially the same both in letters and sense, the word [yhw,] {yeho,} or [yh, <Strong's H3050>,] {yah,} being merely transposed:  but Azariah, [`zryhw, <Strong's H5838>,] seems to have been a distinct name by which he was known. 2Ch 22:1,7, Ahaziah, 2Ch 21:17, Jehoahaz
  • to see Jehoram (KJV): 2Ki 8:29 10:13,14 

So he (Joram/Jehoram) returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Aram (AKA "SYRIA") - Do not be confused by the name Raman, for it is identical with Ramoth-Gilead (see HCSB rendering above) in the previous verse 2Ch 22:5. It is not clear why the name was changed here. 

And Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram (JORAM/JEHORAMthe son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick - Jezreel had been the chief residence of his father Ahab. Ahaziah went to support his wounded uncle Jehoram, whose sister Athaliah was Ahaziah’s mother (2Ch 21:6; 22:2–3). Are you confused again? You have to read this section very slowly and compare the passages or you will easily get lost in the details. The main point is that clearly Ahaziah of Judah is being faithful to his alliance and is supporting Joram/Jehoram of Israel (northern kingdom). But his "faithfulness" to this wicked alliance would end up costing his life as explained in the following passages. In short, Ahaziah was caught in the line of fire of Jehu who had been charged by God to obliterate Ahab's line.

Walton Jezreel. Jezreel has been identified with Zerin/Tel Yizra’al at the east end of the Jezreel Valley in the territory of Issachar. The city was about fifteen miles southeast of Megiddo. It was the winter capital of the Israelite kingdom by the reign of Ahab. With the destruction of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians (722/21 B.C.), Jezreel lost its importance, which it failed to regain. For more information see 1 Kings 21:1. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 443)

JEZREEL - (SEE ALSO WIKIPEDIA) A city situated in the plain of the same name between Gilboa and Little Hermon, now generally called Esdraelon (see note). It appears in (Joshua 19:18) but its historical importance dates from the reign of Ahab, B.C. 918-897, who chose it for his chief residence. The situation of the modern village of Zerin still remains to show the fitness of his choice. Int he neighborhood, or within the town probably, were a temple and grove of Eastward, with an establishment of 400 priests supported by Jezebel. (1 Kings 16:33; 2 Kings 10:11) The palace of Ahab, (1 Kings 21:1; 18:46) probably containing his "ivory house," (1 Kings 22:39) was on the eastern side of the city, forming part of the city wall. Comp. (1 Kings 21:1; 2 Kings 9:25,30,33) Whether the vineyard of Naboth was here or at Samaria is a doubtful question. Still in the same eastern direction are two springs, one 12 minutes from the town, the other 20 minutes. The latter, probably from both its size and its situation, was known as "the spring of Jezreel." With the fall of the house of Ahab the glory of Jezreel departed.

2 Chronicles 22:7 Now the destruction of Ahaziah was from God, in that he went to Joram. For when he came, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.

  • destruction (KJV): Heb. treading down, Mal 4:3 
  • was of God (KJV): 2Ch 10:15 De 32:35 Judges 14:4 1Ki 12:15 22:20 Ps 9:16 Isa 46:10 Ho 14:9 
  • he went out (KJV): 2Ki 9:21 
  • the Lord had (KJV): 1Ki 19:16 2Ki 9:1-7 

Related Passages: 

2 Kings 9:1-7 Now Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins, and take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2 “When you arrive there, search out Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in and bid him arise from among his brothers, and bring him to an inner room. 3“Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’ Then open the door and flee and do not wait.”  4 So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5 When he came, behold, the captains of the army were sitting, and he said, “I have a word for you, O captain.” And Jehu said, “For which one of us?” And he said, “For you, O captain.” 6 He arose and went into the house, and he poured the oil on his head and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel. 7 ‘You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.


Now the destruction of Ahaziah was from God, in that he went to Joram - The downfall of Ahaziah was ordained by God. God used this visit to Joram to bring about Ahaziah’s downfall. In other words, as a result of his alliance with Joram and his visit to see him on his sickbed, Ahaziah made himself a target and would be killed by Jehu who came to kill Joram as part of God's charge to annihilate the house of Ahab. 

Bob Utley - Ahaziah's (Jehoahaz) demise is attributed to a direct influence by YHWH because of his disobedience (cf. 2 Chr. 21:14-15). This is characteristic of the Chronicler! He saw YHWH's hand in all of Judah/Israel's affairs. "Jehu" He is characterized as "whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab" (cf. 2 Kgs. 9:6,7). This was a prophetic anointing by Elisha! The full account or Jehu is found in 2 Kgs. 9:1-10:31.

For when he came, he went out with Jehoram (JORAM) against (TO FIGHT) Jehu (see note) the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab (2Ki 9:6,7) - NET = "God brought about Ahaziah's downfall through his visit to Joram. When Ahaziah arrived, he went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had commissioned to wipe out Ahab's family." The Lord had already told Jehu to kill every male in Ahab's family thus destroying Ahab's dynasty. 

Raymond Dillard: In Kings the death of Ahaziah appears to result more from the excessive zeal of Jehu’s coup—perhaps it is precisely this excess in murdering the Judean king and members of the royal household that prompted Hosea’s oracle about God’s avenging the “blood of Jezreel” (Hos 1:4). For the Chronicler, however, the death of Ahaziah was the result of divine will, the inevitable outcome of his following in the ways of the house of Ahab. (BORROW 2 Chronicles)

Martin Selman: Ahaziah is probably not condemned for participating in the war as such. Rather, by failing to separate himself from Jehoram, he made himself liable to suffer the same punishment that God had previously announced against Ahab’s house and which he had chosen Hazael and Jehu to carry out (cf. 1 Kgs 19:15-17; 2 Kgs 8:11-13). This lack of discernment shows itself in several attendant ironies. - Firstly, though Israel and Judah had been reunited, it was on the basis of selfinterest and idolatry rather than the covenant. - Secondly, joint action against the Syrians at Ramoth Gilead had already led to one disaster (ch. 18). - Thirdly, Jehoram’s attempt to recover (v. 6, NIV, REB, NEB, etc.), literally “be healed” (NRSV, RSV) at Jezreel is probably a tacit rejection of the Lord’s offer of healing through repentance (cf. 2 Chr. 7:14; 30:20). His action may also have been compounded by further idolatry if family tradition is an adequate guide (cf. 2 Kgs 1:2-6, 15-17). (BORROW 2 Chronicles : a commentary)

Duguid The following section (vv. 7–9) shows awareness of details in 2 Kings 9:1–10:36 but deals very briefly with Jehu’s purge of the house of Ahab. The Chronicler simply summarizes how it came about that “the house of Ahaziah had no one able to rule the kingdom” (his addition). This outcome was due not merely to human scheming or folly: “It was ordained by God [lit., “It was from God”] that the downfall of Ahaziah should come about. . . . [For] the Lord had anointed [Jehu] to destroy the house of Ahab” (cf. 2 Kings 9:1–13).

QUESTION - Who was King Jehu in the Bible?

ANSWER  - Before his reign as king, Jehu functioned as a commander in the army of Ahab (2 Kings 9:5, 25) in the northern kingdom of Israel. Jehu was the son of Jehoshaphat, although he is more commonly mentioned as son of Nimshi, his grandfather, perhaps because Nimshi was more well-known. Jehu’s name, meaning “Yahweh is he,” portrays well his future, God-given task: to obliterate the house of Ahab along with the worship of Baal that pervaded Israel at the time.

Jehu was a reformer of sorts who was used by God to clean up the mess that Ahab had made. Of King Ahab it is recorded that he “did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him” (1 Kings 16:30). Marrying Jezebel, daughter of the king of the Sidonians, Ahab was seduced into her idolatrous worship of Baal and Ashtoreth. Although God was patient for a time with Ahab, his many sins eventually brought God’s judgment upon his family line (1 Kings 21:20–22). This judgment first lands upon Ahab’s own head, as he is shot and killed in a battle against the Arameans (1 Kings 22:34–38).

God chose Jehu as one of three men who would enact His judgment upon Ahab’s family. God told the prophet Elijah, “Anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu” (1 Kings 19:15–17). One way or another, Ahab’s dynasty would be destroyed.

God also chose Jehu to be the king of Israel. After he was anointed king, Jehu immediately took steps to secure the throne. Knowing that Joram, son of Ahab, had recently gone to Jezreel to recover from wounds in a battle against the Arameans, Jehu ordered his men to seal the city so that no one could alert Joram of Jehu’s anointing (2 Kings 9:1–16). Jehu made haste to Jezreel and killed two of Ahab’s progeny—Joram, king of northern Israel; and Ahaziah, king of Judah (2 Kings 9:14–29). Jehu then proceeded to Jezebel’s palace in Jezreel, where the queen stood watching for him at her window. At Jehu’s command, eunuchs surrounding Jezebel threw her down from the window. Jezebel’s blood splattered over the pavement, and her body was eaten by dogs (2 Kings 9:30–37).

Jehu left no man standing who was in alliance with King Ahab, as God had commanded long before through Elijah. Entering the temple of Baal, Jehu slaughtered all the priests of Baal and destroyed the temple and its sacred stone, thus eradicating Baal worship in Israel (2 Kings 10:23–28).

The Lord blessed Jehu for his obedience, granting him a dynasty that would last to the fourth generation (2 Kings 10:30). However, because Jehu continued to hold on to the idolatrous worship of King Jeroboam (2 Kings 10:29, 31; 2Ki 12:26–30), God began to reduce the size of Israel, gradually giving them over to the power of even Hazael of Syria (2 Kings 10:32–33). Jehu reigned over Israel a total of twenty-eight years and was succeeded by his son Jehoahaz (2 Kings 10:35–36).

Through Jehu we can learn that, although it is true that God blesses and grants success to those who seek to obey Him, God also can and will pull away His blessing from one who willfully chooses to live in sin. As Jesus says in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” We cannot serve God while continuing to hold on to false gods. As Joshua said, we must “choose for [ourselves] this day whom [we] will serve” (Joshua 24:15). Where does your allegiance lie?GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 22:8 It came about when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers ministering to Ahaziah, and slew them.

MSG The fate of Ahaziah when he went to visit was God’s judgment on him. When Ahaziah arrived at Jezreel, he and Joram met with Jehu son of Nimshi, whom God had already authorized to destroy the dynasty of Ahab. Jehu, already at work, executing doom on the dynasty of Ahab, came upon the captains of Judah and Ahaziah’s nephews, part of the Ahaziah delegation, and killed them outright. Then he sent out a search party looking for Ahaziah himself. They found him hiding out in Samaria and hauled him back to Jehu. And Jehu killed him. They didn’t, though, just leave his body there. Out of respect for his grandfather Jehoshaphat, famous as a sincere seeker after God, they gave him a decent burial. But there was no one left in Ahaziah’s family capable of ruling the kingdom.

  • when Jehu (KJV): 2Ki 10:10-14 


It came about when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers ministering to Ahaziah, and slew them (read 2Ki 10:10,11,12,13,14).

Norman Geisler - When Critics Ask - 2 CHRONICLES 22:8—Were Ahaziah’s brothers slain or were they his brother’s sons?

PROBLEM: Here we are told that it was king Ahaziah’s brother’s “sons” who were killed. But 2 Kings 10:13–14 says it was Ahaziah’s “brothers” that were slain.

SOLUTION: The Hebrew term for “brother” can mean “near relative.” For example, Abraham’s nephew Lot was called his “brother” (Gen. 14:12, 16). Since Ahaziah, the youngest son, was born when his father was only 18, he could have had many nephews and cousins or “brethren.” Since the 2 Chronicles passage refers to his brother’s sons, the word “brother” can be taken in the strict sense here.

It is also quite possible that both statements are literally true. Since Jehu was commanded by God to exterminate the house of Ahab, and since Ahaziah “walked in the way of the house of Ahab,” it is conceivable that Jehu took it upon himself to destroy the house of Ahaziah also, including his brothers and his brothers’ sons. In fact, in the 2 Kings passage, the report of the killing of Ahaziah’s brothers (2 Kings 10:13–14) takes place after Jehu had killed Ahaziah (2 Kings 9:27), while the 2 Chronicles passage reports the killing of the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers before the killing of Ahaziah (2 Chron. 22:8–9).

2 Chronicles 22:9 He also sought Ahaziah, and they caught him while he was hiding in Samaria; they brought him to Jehu, put him to death and buried him. For they said, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart.” So there was no one of the house of Ahaziah to retain the power of the kingdom.  

  • in Samaria (KJV): 1Ki 13:21 
  • Because (KJV): 1Ki 14:13 2Ki 9:28,34 
  • the son of Jehoshaphat (KJV): 2Ch 17:3,4 21:20 
  • the house (KJV): 2Ch 22:1,8 21:4,17 


He also sought Ahaziah, and they caught him while he was hiding in Samaria; they brought him to Jehu, put him to death and buried him. For they said, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart.” - This is a sad note that it was the father who had sought the LORD, but the son failed to follow in his footsteps. 

Walton - Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel for two centuries. Omri constructed the city in the early ninth century B.C., and it was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722/21. The city was built on a hill rising three hundred feet above the nearby valleys. It was located along the crossroads of major trade routes that lead to Shechem, the Jordan Valley, Megiddo, Jezreel and Jerusalem. The site has been extensively excavated in this century. For more information see comment on 1 Kings 16:24. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 443) (See also Wikipedia)

Bob UtleyJehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart" This theological statement is a key to Chronicles. It is the way kings are evaluated.

  1. Rehoboam ‒ did not, 2 Chr. 12:14
  2. Asa ‒ did, 2 Chr. 14:7; did not, 2 Chr. 16:12
  3. Jehoshaphat ‒ did, 2 Chr. 19:3; 22:9
  4. Uzziah ‒ did, 2 Chr. 26:5
  5. Hezekiah ‒ did, 2 Chr. 31:12
  6. Josiah ‒ did, 2 Chr. 34:3

Because they did, the blessings of Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28 are given to them and their people (cf. 2 Chr. 14:7; 17:5,11-12; 26:5; 31:21).

So there was no one of the house of Ahaziah to retain the power of the kingdom - there was no one left in Ahaziah’s family capable of ruling the kingdom. This power vacuum would soon be filled by Ahaziah's evil mother. Again we see the rotten fruit of Jehoshaphat’s earlier alliance with Israel. 

Eugene Merrill: The chronicler seems to have implied that Ahaziah died at Jezreel (2 Chron. 22:9), while the author of Kings wrote that Ahaziah died at Megiddo (2 Kings 9:27). Probably the two accounts are supplementary. Ahaziah fled to Samaria and was captured there by Jehu’s men, who brought him back to Jehu. Meanwhile Jehu left Jezreel and met Ahaziah as he was being returned. Jehu’s men wounded him and Ahaziah escaped to Megiddo where he died.

Raymond Dillard: The infidelity of Jehoram and Ahaziah had brought the Davidic succession to the same point as that of Saul—no one left who could assume power over the kingdom (2Ch 22:9; 1 Chr 10; cf. Mosis, Untersuchungen, 179). . . The Chronicler spoke of a time in the past when there was no one left of the Davidic line “who could assume power over the kingdom” (2Ch 22:9). Surely the lesson was not lost on his post-exilic audience: even in adversity the royal line was preserved and would eventually regain the kingdom. Davidic hopes did not die at the time of Ahaziah, Athaliah, and Joash; they should not die in the post-exilic period. The flame from the promise of God that David would never lack a descendant to rule Israel (1 Chr 17:11– 14; 2 Chr 21:7) may have become little more than a smoldering wick—but it could not be extinguished. (BORROW 2 Chronicles)

Duguid The Chronicler’s concluding addition (2 Chron. 22:9b) illustrates the striking reversal: just seven years after Jehoshaphat’s godly reign, his grandson died and there is no descendant “able to rule the kingdom.” The omission, as for Jehoram, of the usual details of sources and resting with his fathers, as well as the absence of a successor, indicates that Ahaziah’s reign is also an aberration.

J.A. Thompson: It was in God’s purpose to destroy the house of Ahab, and Jehu had been “anointed” (masah) to carry out God’s intention. If Ahaziah placed himself at risk by foolishly visiting the king of Israel, it was almost inevitable that events would turn out as they did. The Chronicler was thus able to provide one more expression of his theology of immediate retribution. The comment in v. 9 gives us the reflections of the Chronicler. Whatever his defects, Ahaziah was a descendant of Jehoshaphat. As a descendant of one who sought the Lord with all his heart, his corpse could hardly be left exposed. Respect for the godliness of Jehoshaphat extended even to his unworthy descendants. With the death of Ahaziah the promise of God that David would never lack a descendant to rule over Israel (1 Chr 17:11-14; 2 Chr 21:7) seemed to be failing. The lamp God had given David (2Ch 21:7) was now only a flickering wick. But God would not allow that, faint as it was, to be extinguished. He had Joash, only a child, waiting to be crowned (2Ch 22:10 – 24:27). (The New American Commentary – Volume 9 – 1, 2 Chronicles.)

Mark Boda: Whereas at the end of the reign of each of the previous kings of the southern kingdom there has been an heir waiting in the wings, this time there is none, a reality that deepens the crisis in Judah, creating a parallel to the crisis at the end of the reign of Saul (see 1 Chr 10:6, 13-14) and providing a segue to Athaliah’s reign of terror (2Ch 22:10-12). (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary – 1-2 Chronicles.)


1) How can family connections lead to poor spiritual counsel?

2) How can we develop our discernment so we are not easily led astray by poor counsel?

3) Why do ecumenical alliances seem so innocent and expedient, yet prove to be so dangerous?

4) When circumstances look the darkest, what gives us encouragement that God is still in control and orchestrating His kingdom agenda?

Geoffrey Kirkland: The Catastrophe of Corrupt Counselors: The Kingship of the Wicked King Ahaziah:





Duguid From a human perspective the future of the house of David was in the hands of two royal women. Athaliah, as a daughter of Ahab, either was fiercely angry and revengeful or saw her own life at risk (or both), and acted decisively and brutally. We can only guess at the level of support for her policies (cf. 2 Chron. 22:9b; and the uprising seven years later), but she ruthlessly sought to ensure there would be no potential claimants to the Davidic throne, and so the Chronicler plainly states, “Athaliah reigned over the land.” The absence of the usual regnal formula (cf. 2Ch 21:1, 5; 2Ch 22:1) points to the illegitimate hiatus. In the middle of the account, however, we read of how Jehoshabeath (2 Kings 11:2: Jehosheba), “daughter of King Jehoram,” by stealth took Joash, a baby “son of Ahaziah,” and with his wet nurse hid him in a bedroom. As the wife of the high priest and brother of Ahaziah, she knew well the intricacies of the temple and palace buildings. She took risks not for her own sake (she was not Joash’s mother; 2 Chron. 24:1) but for the future of Davidic kingship, and we might assume for worship of the Lord and not of Baal. Hope is found in the statement, “So [Athaliah] did not put him to death.” The mention of “six years” linked with Joash (and not with Athaliah’s reign) prepares for the next chapter, which begins “But in the seventh year” (23:1).

Frederick Mabie: In addition to Jehu’s killing Ahaziah and Joram, the Aramean official Hazael assassinated Ben-Hadad in Damascus and seized control of Aram. The Tel Dan Inscription indicates that King Hazael takes credit for the deaths of Joram and Ahaziah, implying that Jehu may have acted in collusion with Hazael/Aram. (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition – 1 & 2 Chronicles.)

Martin Selman: The real subject of chapter 22 is the house of Ahab (2Ch 22:3, 7, 8) rather than the rulers of Judah, Ahaziah (2Ch 22:1-9) and Athaliah (2Ch 22:10-12). The influence of Ahab’s house was felt during Ahazziah’s brief reign through Athaliah’s role as queen mother (2Ch 22:2) and through various advisers (2Ch 22:4-5). External pressure was brought to bear by Jehoram king of Israel (also called Joram), who in one case is given the full title of son of Ahab king of Israel (2Ch 22:5; cf. 2Ch 22:6, 7, 8). Ahaziah was little more than a puppet, and, after his death, Athaliah ruled Judah while there was no effective control of Judah. The unity of Judah and Israel is eloquently symbolized by the names of their kings. No other Israelite king was called Jehoram or Ahaziah, yet both names are used of successive contemporary rulers in Judah and Israel. Ahaziah and Athaliah represent two further stages in the subversion of Judah by Ahab’s dynasty before the denouement in chapter 23. While Jehoram of Judah is merely open to its influence (ch 21), Ahaziah if fully co-operative. When Ahaziah dies, however, the situation becomes even more desperate. No male in David’s house can assume kingship (2Ch 22:9), and remnants of hope are dashed by Athaliah’s violent purge of what was left of the royal family (2Ch 22:10-12). The overwhelming threat is no more evident than in the repeated group murders which affect the Davidic house four times within two generation (2Ch 21:4; 22:1, 8, 10). It is true that one baby escapes Athaliah’s cruelty (2Ch 22:11-12), but what could one baby do against such a tyrant? In all this, God’s own integrity is increasingly under question, for he seems to have failed to keep his promises, and to have left his people utterly defenseless. . . Assurance of God’s sovereign control was just as appropriate in the troubles of the postexilic period when the Davidic house had become no more than a memory (cf. Ezra 9:6-7; Neh. 9:36-37). It is equally applicable to suffering believers of every generation who feel that God seems to have relinquished effective control over their situation. Such an assurance brought comfort too to the apostles (cf. 2 Cor. 1:3-11; 6:3-10; 1 Pet. 2:20-25), and the biblical witness as a whole encourages believers to look to the unseen hand of God even when the darkness is at its thickest. (BORROW 2 Chronicles : a commentary)

August Konkel: The Chronicler assumes that his readers are familiar with the details of why Ahaziah would go to see Jehoram in Jezreel, which led to his fate in the purge of Jehu. For the Chronicler, this decision was a divine initiative (2 Chron 22:7). The death of Ahaziah is a punishment for allying with the king of Israel. This was an ironic justice; the king who lived by the counsel of the Omrides shared their fate. He had taken advice form Samaria, but found no refuge there at the time of his death. The Chronicler leaves Ahaziah in exile, as he does with Jehoiakim and the three last kings of Judah (Dillard 1987:175). The much-longer account of Kings explains that Ahaziah was buried in Jerusalem. The details of Kings cannot be reconciled with the impression left by the Chronicler without a measure of credulity. In Kings, Ahaziah flees south toward Samaria but is overtaken at Beth Haggan; he is shot and wounded at Gur, near Ibleam. Knowing that he cannot count on the speed of his chariot in the hills, he turns west toward Megiddo, seeking refuge. There he dies from his wounds and is brought back to Jerusalem. Apparently the Chronicler gives a rather schematic version of the events that leave Ahaziah in exile. He closes with the note that Ahaziah was given a proper burial as a son of righteous Jehoshaphat. (Multipart Video Series on 1-2 Chronicles)

Andrew Hill: The Chroniclers’ theological commentary bluntly states that God “brought about Ahaziah’s downfall” (2Ch 22:7). Wilcock notes three reasons for Ahaziah’s downfall: - foreign influence in the form of false religion, - family inheritance (with respect to the alliance by marriage of Judah and Israel), and - personal responsibility (because neither true spirituality nor impiety is hereditary). Jehu son of Nimshi becomes God’s agent of justice in punishing the evil of both Joram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah (2Ch 22:7-8; cf. 2 Kings 9:24-29). While 2 Kings 9 related the parallel destruction of “two houses” (Judah and Israel), the focus of Chronicles is exclusively on the “house of Judah.” The message of the passage is alarmingly clear: God repays evil for evil almost immediately on those who fail to emulate David’s example of righteous rule.  (The NIV Application Commentary – 1 & 2 Chronicles.)

Matthew Henry: Those that counsel us to do wickedly counsel us to our destruction; while they fawn, and flatter, and pretend friendship, they are really our worst enemies. Those that debauch young men destroy them. It was bad enough that they exposed him to the sword of the Syrians, drawing him in to join with Joram king of Israel in an expedition to Ramoth-Gilead, where Joram was wounded, an expedition that was not for his honour. Those that give us bad counsel in the affairs of religion, if regarded by us, may justly be made of God our counsellors to do foolishly in our own affairs. But that was not all: by engaging him in an intimacy with Joram king of Israel, they involved him in the common ruin of the house of Ahab. He came on a visit to Joram (2 Chron. 22:6) just at the time that Jehu was executing the judgment of God upon that idolatrous family, and so was cut off with them, 2 Chron. 22:7-9. Here, 1. See and dread the mischief of bad company—of joining in with sinners. If not the infection, yet let the destruction be feared. Come out from Babylon, that falling house, Rev. 18:4. 2. See and acknowledge the justice of God. His providence brought Ahaziah, just at this fatal juncture, to see Joram, that he might fall with him and be taken as in a snare. This we had an account of before, 2 Kgs. 9:27, 28.

G Campbell Morgan -2 Chr 22.9.
Ahaziah was the youngest son of Jehoram. Immediately succeeding his father, he reigned for the brief space of one year, during which he was completely under the evil influence of his mother, Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab. In these words of the chronicler we are reminded of a truth of invariable application, that, namely, of the powerlessness of evil. There are hours in human history when it seems as though evil were almost all-powerful. It entrenches itself in great strength; it builds up great ramparts; it inaugurates policies characterized by the utmost craft and cleverness. It seems to be able to bind together a kingdom which is invincible. All this is false seeming. There is no finality, no security, in the apparent might of iniquity. Sooner or later, irrevocably, inevitably, the trenches are broken through, the ramparts are flung down, the policies fail, and the kingdom which seemed so secure is dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel, by the strength of God, which is ever the strength of righteousness and goodness. Neither powerful autocrat, nor mighty confederacy of statesmen, can establish a kingdom or an empire by fraud, by violence, by corruption. Nothing will hold a kingdom or an empire or a commonwealth together in strength other than truth and justice and purity, the things of goodness, which are the things of God. Once again we have to say this is ancient history, but it is as modern as the break-up and disintegration of those great powers which in our day we have seen crumble to dust.

2 Chronicles 22:10 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah.

  • Athaliah (KJV): 2Ch 22:2-4 2Ki 11:1-2

Related Passage: 

2 Kings 11:1  When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring. 


Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah - All the royal offspring refers to all she could find! 

Moody Bible Commentary - The crisis of Ahaziah’s death led to one of the most troublesome eras in the nation’s history and brought the only regnant queen of Judah to the throne. Athaliah’s reign was one of the lowest points in the history of the Davidic line. The appalling indifference of Athaliah at the news of her son’s death was exceeded only by her shocking cruelty and lust for power. (BORROW Moody Bible commentary)

Andrew Hill: Athaliah tyrannizes Judah for six years . . . She attempts to do what God himself will not do – completely destroy the house of David (2Ch 22:10; cf. 21:7). The term “destroy” (Piel of dbr) has the sense “obliterate” or “exterminate” here. Whatever her motivation, Athaliah seeks to eliminate all rivals to the throne of David. According to Gray, much like Jehoram she seeks to quell any nationalist uprising under a prince from the royal family by massacring the Davidic line.  (The NIV Application Commentary – 1 & 2 Chronicles.)

Frederick Mabie: Athaliah takes the killing of her son Ahaziah by Jehu (cf.2Ch 22:7-9) as an opportunity to expand her power beyond her position as Queen Mother. In the aftermath of the chaos and instability within the southern kingdom, she proceeds to eliminate all Davidic claimants to the Judean throne (with the unintentional exception of Joash; cf. 2Ch 22:11-12) and rules for about six years (ca. 841-36 BC). The six/sevenyear reign of Athaliah is the only time ancient Judah or Israel is ruled by a queen. Athaliah’s ability to engineer this anti-Davidic coup and reign for about six years in Judah implies a considerable amount of preexisting power, authority, and influence. This dark episode in Judah’s history provides the Judahites with a taste of exile without actually leaving the land. (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition – 1 & 2 Chronicles.)

McConville: The story of Athaliah, like that of Jehoram and Ahaziah, is a testimony to the ephemeral and ultimately illusory character of brute power exercised in a self serving way. (BORROW I & II Chronicles

Walton - Athaliah’s executions. As queen mother (see comment on 1 Kings 2:19) during the reign of her son Ahaziah, Athaliah enjoyed an exalted position as “sovereign,” which was evidently an official title. This afforded her a special influence on ceremonial and political matters. Following the custom of other dynasts, the usurper Athaliah attempted to destroy the members of the previous Davidic dynasty, in the same fashion that usurpers in the northern kingdom had killed off members of the previous dynasty. Such annihilations of ruling families was common practice both in Israel and in the ancient Near East at large. There is wide precedent in Mesopotamian texts for the elimination of all rival claimants to the throne when a king comes to power.(IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 443) (See also Wikipedia)

John Kitto -   Athaliah—II Kings 11:1–2; II Chronicles 22:10

Jezebel is dead; but her daughter Athaliah lives, and the mother’s spirit yet haunts the earth in her.

Athaliah had been married to Jehoram, the eldest son of Jehoshaphat, the good king of Judah. We hear nothing more of her than the simple fact of this marriage, until the time to which we have come; but, considering the spirit she now evinces, and recollecting the nature of the influence which her mother had set her the example of exerting over first her own husband, and then her sons, we may not be far wrong in ascribing to this true daughter of Jezebel, much of the evil which characterized the reign of her husband Jehoram, and her son Ahaziah. The former no sooner mounted the throne than he destroyed all his brothers,—a piece of eastern state policy, indeed, but alien to the spirit of Judaism; and which her own later conduct enables us to attribute to her influence over her weak husband.

To that also may be ascribed the extent to which this king went into “the ways of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab.” Indeed, it is all but expressly said so; for, as a cause for this, it is immediately added—“for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife.” So Ahab-like, indeed, was Jehoram’s conduct, that it was only the Lord’s regard for his covenant with David which prevented the same doom upon his house as had been denounced upon Ahab’s. He was, however, not suffered to escape punishment. His realm was invaded by the Philistines and Arabians, he was bereft of all his treasures, and his wives and children were carried away captive. Athaliah only remained, and the youngest of his sons, Ahaziah. To crown all, his latter days were full of torture from a grievous disease, of which he prematurely died; and the people marked their sense of the ignominy of his reign by refusing his corpse a royal burial. No burnings of costly incense honored his funeral; and although his remains were not cast out from the city of David, he was denied a place in the sepulcher of the kings.

His son Ahaziah reigned but one year; and being as much under Athaliah’s influence as his father had been, he followed the same course. It is expressly stated that “his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.” The end of this unhappy prince we have already seen.

When the corpse of her son was brought to Jerusalem,—when she heard how horridly her mother, and how treacherously her brother, had been slain,—that her son’s kindred had been cut off at “the pit of the shearing-house,” and that the worshippers of Baal had been immolated in Samaria,—she caught the strong contagion of blood-thirstiness from the report of these doings. She saw herself a stranger in a strange land—an alien by birth and by religion,—without common sympathies between herself and the people among whom she occupied so high a place, and without support from the remaining members of the family to which she had become allied. All the strong ones were gone. What hindered that she should herself seize the dropped reigns of the government, and guide the fierce steeds of ruin which threatened to whirl her to destruction? Her son had been slain because he was the grandson of Ahab and Jezebel;—what had she, their daughter, to expect from the spirit which had gone abroad, and from the ulterior designs of Jehu, unless she entered upon a bold course of re-action, which might in sure both her safety and her greatness? There have been those who deemed themselves compelled to leap into a throne to save themselves from utter ruin; and we would fain believe that this was the case with Athaliah.

But what of the house of David,—surely that was not extinct? No: there were many who had a right to the throne,—all of them young, children of Ahaziah, her own grand children. These stood in her way; or, though in now, might live to become a terror to her. Such natures as hers are incapable of relentings or tenderness, or account the feelings of natural pity as weaknesses to be crushed down, when they stand in the way of selfish interests or daring hopes; so, though blood of her blood, the young princes perished. As mother of the king, she had great power, high influence, and many dependents, which rendered her, in the absence of the king and of a reigning heir, the most powerful person in the land. She was thus enabled to accomplish all her objects; and Judah beheld the strange sight of a woman seated on the throne of David. She lacked not ability for that place. The conception and the realization of this object by a woman, among a people to whom the ostensible rule of females was unknown, shows that her talents were great; but far greater was her wickedness, and had she been as eminent for virtues as she was for crimes, it would have been impossible for her long to maintain her footing in a station promised and covenanted to the house of David. With that house her connection had been extinguished by the very steps which she had took, to

  “Wade through slaughter to a throne,”

and she stood in Judah as a princess of Tyre and of Israel—in the former capacity an upholder of Baal, and in the latter the representative and avenger of Ahab’s slaughtered house. Under such auspices, idolatry became rampant in Judah; the very abominations which, with his strong and bloody hand, Jehu had put down in Israel, re-appeared in the neighboring realm, which had hitherto been comparatively free from these grosser abominations. It would have seemed to a cursory observer, that nothing had been gained by the repression of idolatry in Israel; that the same thing existed still, the place only having been changed, just as the piece of wood which disappears for a moment under the water comes up again a little way off. No doubt the cause of the Baalite worship was strengthened by large accessions of fugitives, who stole away from Israel when the change of affairs in Judah offered them a prospect of that safety and protection which they could no longer find in Israel.

It does not appear that Athaliah attempted to avenge on the priests of Jehovah the massacre which Jehu had made of the priests of Baal, or that the worship of the Lord was forbidden by her, or his worshippers persecuted. Had that been the case, the temple itself would probably have been applied to idolatrous uses. From this she abstained, partly, as we have already explained, because idolatry was not adverse to the worship of other gods; and partly, because her sagacity must have shown her the danger of the attempt. The worship of Jehovah was therefore permitted to exist on sufferance. It was tolerated, while that of Baal was patronized and favored. A temple had been erected to the Phoenician god in the holy city; and for its furniture and decoration, the Lord’s house was stripped of its treasures and 

“dedicated things,”—a fact which transpires incidentally in II Chronicles 24:7; and it is there ascribed, it is curious to observe, not to Athaliah herself, but to her sons. What sons? We thought they had all been destroyed. Certainly her sons by Jehoram had been lost in captivity; and her grandsons, the children of Ahaziah, had also perished. Some suggest that, after the death of her husband, she had married another man, and that these were her children by him, But this is untenable; because Ahaziah, who succeeded his father, had reigned but a year; and even supposing that she had married immediately on the death of Jehoram, and assuming that this sacrilege took place towards the close of her reign, the eldest of any children she might have had by a second marriage could not have been more than six years old. It is not even said that the Baalite temple was built by her. It merely transpires that it was in existence at the time of her death. Putting all these circumstances together, it would appear that the erection of this temple was among the enormities committed at her suggestion in the time of Jehoram, and in which, particularly, the sons of Jehoram, brought up under the influence of such a mother, actively exerted themselves. We thus arrive at the fact, that it was not less for their own sins, than for the sins of their father and their mother, that these princes were sold into captivity, and heard of no more.  

2 Chronicles 22:11 But Jehoshabeath the king’s daughter took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that she would not put him to death.

AMP But Jehoshabeath, the king’s daughter, took Joash the [infant] son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram [of Judah] and wife of Jehoiada the priest, hid Joash from [his grandmother] Athaliah so that she did not murder him (for Jehoshabeath was the sister of Ahaziah).

MSG When Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah saw that her son was dead, she took over. She began by massacring the entire royal family. Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram, took Ahaziah’s son Joash, and kidnapped him from among the king’s sons slated for slaughter. She hid him and his nurse in a private room away from Athaliah. So Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and Ahaziah’s sister—she was also the wife of Jehoiada the priest—saved Joash from the murderous Queen Athaliah. He was there with her, hidden away for six years in The Temple of God. Athaliah, oblivious to his existence, ruled the country.

  • Jehoshabeath (KJV): 2Ki 11:2 
  • bedchamber (KJV): Eze 40:45,46 
  • Jehoiada (KJV): 2Ch 23:1 
  • she slew him not (KJV): 2Ch 21:7 2Sa 7:13 1Ki 15:4 Ps 33:10 76:10 Pr 21:30 Isa 65:8 Ac 4:28 

Related Passage:

2 Kings 11:2  But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So they hid him from Athaliah, and he was not put to death.


But - This is a strategic term of contrast! 

Jehoshabeath (Jehosheba) the king’s daughter took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that she would not put him to death - This passage is evidence of the amazing sovereignty of God for the line of David had been reduced to one child—Joash, the son of Ahaziah. If Joash had been killed then the promise to David (1Ch 17:10–14) could not be fulfilled and the Messiah could not have come from his line! God's sovereignty clearly was in play and yet we see Him use a courageous woman who surely knew she was taking her life in her hands by thwarting evil Athaliah's plans.

Bob Utley - Irony—two royal children saved; one is evil, Ahaziah and one is godly, Joash. The Messianic line from David continues! There were still godly, faithful people in Judah. Jehoshabeath is

  1. King Jehoram of Judah's daughter
  2. wife of Jehoida the priest
  3. sister of King Ahaziah
  4. Athaliah's daughter or the daughter of another wife/concubine of Jehoram

This woman's name of Jehoshabeath ( "Jehovah is an oath") is mentioned only here and in 1Ki 11:2 (Jehosheba) but is memorialized for all eternity for her part in preserving the line of the Messiah! This woman reminds us that even in the midst of spiritual darkness and great evil, God has faithful followers, much like in the dark days of the Judges (Jdg 21:25+), which had the shining lights of Ruth and Boaz, who also were instrumental in propagating the line of the Messiah. 

THOUGHT - Days are dark in America in 2023 but God has His faithful remnant and His purposes will not be thwarted but will be accomplished. If God is calling you to be a "Jehoshabeath" or a "Ruth" or a "Boaz," then may He give you the grace to answer His call and carry out the "good works" (Eph 2:10+) He has prepared for you in Christ Jesus, for His glory and honor. Amen.

Duguid: The future of the Davidic kingdom being centered in a baby, rescued from a murderous ruler by a young woman, finds an echo in the young Son of David being rescued by his parents from the paranoid King Herod, a time at which several innocent children were killed (Matt. 2:13–18).

Raymond Dillard: The fact that royal infants may regularly have been put into the care of wet nurses or foster mothers becomes the key to Josheba’s frustrating Athaliah’s plans; the suckling child was overlooked and could have escaped detection as he grew by mingling with other priests’ children or perhaps as a temple devotee like the young Samuel (Gray, 570; 1 Sam 1:21–28; 3:1). (BORROW 2 Chronicles)

Andrew Hill: The name Jehosheba (Chronicles actually uses Jehoshabeath, a variant form of the name) means “Yahweh vows.” Fittingly, God uses this faithful woman to keep his oath to maintain the lamp of David (cf. 2Ch 21:7). No matter how gloomy the prospects, the destiny of the nation is secure in God’s hands. The Chronicler’s audience needs that reminder too?  (The NIV Application Commentary – 1 & 2 Chronicles.)

2 Chronicles 22:12 He was hidden with them in the house of God six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.

  • hid in the house (KJV): Ps 27:5 
  • Athaliah (KJV): Ps 12:8 73:14,18,19 Jer 12:1 Hab 1:12 


He was hidden with them in the house of God six years while Athaliah reigned over the land - Ahaziah's one surviving son Joash was hidden away for six years in The Temple of God. Athaliah, oblivious to his existence, ruled the country.

F B Meyer - Hid in the House of God - Safe from Athaliah, who would have ruthlessly destroyed him if she had had an inkling of his existence, the young Joash was reared beneath the care of Jehoiada and his wife within the precincts of the house of God. He was hidden in the secret place of the Most High, and abode under the shadow of the Almighty. There let us also live. Let us know what it is to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our life, and all this day. Let us cultivate the life which is hid with Christ in God.

It is well often to remind ourselves that we are in God, and that the film of His environing presence is about us like a wall of thick-ribbed steel. We are in Him as the jewel in the casket; as the chick under the feathers of the hen; as the child in the warm embrace of its mother. And so long as we stay there we are invulnerable. Therefore our great enemy is continually endeavoring to allure us into the open; he knows he can do as he likes with us, if only he can induce us to venture beyond our hiding-place. Therefore, beware of any temptation to worry, to amass this world’s goods, or to seek the indulgence of appetite; it is by such lures and baits that Satan seduces unwary souls from their safe hiding.

If a day in God’s courts is better than a thousand, what must it be to dwell in the house of the Lord all one’s days, to behold His beauty, and enquire in His temple. The rarest visions, the fairest fellowship, the most entrancing joys, the most confident outlook on life and the hereafter, are the accompaniments of such a residence. The altar of incense, the laver of daily cleansing, the light of the Shekinah, the holy psalm and song, the great altar of sacrifice, are familiar objects to the hidden soul.



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