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The consequences of Jehoram’s marriage to Athaliah can be seen in the history of the people, which we have before us in these chapters. These are consequences that cannot be undone. In the genealogy of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 1 three names are missing: Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah (Matthew 1:8). This are the three generations born out of Athaliah.
Ahaziah King of Judah
When Jehoram died, the inhabitants of Jerusalem make the youngest son of Jehoram, Ahaziah, king in his place (2 Chronicles 22:1). He is the only candidate. His older brothers were all killed by the band that came with the Arabs (2 Chronicles 21:16-Esther :).
Three times there has been a slaughter of members of the royal family, the royal house of David. First Jehoram killed all his brothers after he himself had taken the reign into his own hands as the eldest son (2 Chronicles 21:4). Then all the sons of Jehoram are murdered by Philistines and Arabs (2 Chronicles 21:16-Esther :). Only Ahaziah – in the previous chapter he is called Jehoahaz – the youngest son, remains, which is repeated here. The third slaughter we see later in this chapter. There the brothers of Joash are murdered, a murder that only Joash escapes from (2 Chronicles 22:10-1 Kings :). This means three slaughters with one exception each. This is because of the lamp God promised to always keep burning in the house of David.
The age of Ahaziah mentioned here (2 Chronicles 22:2) is a transcription error. His father Jehoram is forty when he dies (2 Chronicles 21:20). Then Ahaziah can hardly be forty-two. In the same history in 2 Kings it says that he is twenty-two when he becomes king (2 Kings 8:26). He reigns for only one year. During that one year his wicked mother, whose name is mentioned here, Athaliah, is his counselor (2 Chronicles 22:3). Then nothing good can come.
Athaliah is the daughter of Ahab (2 Chronicles 21:6). The fact that she is called “the granddaughter of Omri” here, shows all the more the malice of her performance, in which there is no respect for the LORD at all. Omri is the father of Ahab and the founder of a wicked reign that through his son has developed further in wickedness. He is the inventor of a religion without God that has been practiced by Ahab, as the prophet Micaiah tells the people (Micah 6:16). Athaliah is a fervent supporter of Omri’s statutes and very diligent in performing those statutes.
Ahaziah, through his upbringing, is completely imbued with the wicked atmosphere of the house of Ahab. During his upbringing he was given all the elements to allow him to continue on his evil path. It has deformed his mind. When he is in power, his mother does not stop giving him instructions. On the contrary, she smells the power. Not only his mother, but also the members of Ahab’s house give him evil advice (2 Chronicles 22:4). Everything they whisper to him is to his ruin. For example, Ahaziah has been surrounded by evil people who let him tumble down on the way of and to destruction.
On their advice, Ahaziah commits himself to his uncle Jehoram in his fight against the Syrians (2 Chronicles 22:5). Following this advice leads to his destruction (2 Chronicles 22:4). Jehoram is wounded in the fight against the Syrians, in which he is defeated (2 Chronicles 22:6). Jehoram then goes to Jezreel to heal. When Ahaziah hears about it, he visits him. When Jehoram is restored, Ahaziah connects again with Jehoram, now to meet Jehu together with him (2 Chronicles 22:7).
Jehu is the man anointed by the LORD to exterminate the house of Ahab. The history of Jehu is described in 2 Kings 9-10. Ahaziah will be dragged into ruin because of his ties with Ahab’s house. He has bound himself to a wicked man and will share in the judgment of that wicked man. This is a warning to us that we do not engage in religious wickedness. If we do, we will share in the plagues that have been predicted about it (Revelation 18:4).
That Ahaziah goes with Jehoram is “from God”. We see here that God is above the events. He uses the self-willed actions of man to carry out His intentions. Thus He brings together the object of His anger and the means of the exercise of His anger. First of all, Jehu executes judgment on the house of Ahab (2 Chronicles 22:8). Then he goes in search of Ahazia, who hides in Samaria (2 Chronicles 22:9). Because of the good memory of Jehoshaphat his (grand)son Ahaziah gets a place in the grave.
The final line states that after Ahaziah’s death no direct succession is possible, because there is nobody in his house who is powerful enough to reign. This notice is the introduction to the next section, in which we are told that there is still a successor, but one that is not yet able to reign (2 Chronicles 22:10-2 Kings :).
The end of Ahaziah as described (2 Chronicles 22:9), does not resemble the way Ahaziah ends according to the historiography in 2 Kings (2 Kings 9:27). These are two different stories. The key is that the chronicler, writing after the exile, does not write about the city of Samaria, but about the entire landscape of Samaria. We must first read the story of 2 Kings and then the story in 2 Chronicles.
Slaughter by Athaliah; Joash Saved
When Ahaziah is dead, Athaliah kills “all the royal offspring of the house of Judah” (2 Chronicles 22:1). The murderousness of Athaliah must have focused mainly on the sons of her son Ahaziah. After all, there is not much else to eradicate, given the two previous slaughters. That she is out to kill even her own grandchildren, proves once again that she is a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. She wants to have the power herself and strengthen herself against Jehu to avenge himself against him. All this is the result of the marriage connection Jehoshaphat arranged between his son and the daughter of Ahab (2 Chronicles 18:1).
Then the miracle of God’s grace happens. He has Joash, who is a baby, rescued by his aunt Jehoshabeath (2 Chronicles 22:11). Jehoshabeath is a daughter of Jehoram, but of another mother. She is a special woman. Twice she is referred to as the daughter of the king, while she is also “the wife of Jehoiada the priest”. We can say that she is a ‘royal-priestly’ woman. It gives her a great dignity which makes her far superior to the pretentious person Athaliah. Jehoshabeath is out for salvation, Athaliah is out for destruction. Jehoshabeath serves God’s people, Athaliah serves herself.
There is another God-fearing woman who, together with Jehoshabeath, withstands the wicked woman Athaliah. That is the nurse of Joash. Joash is still so little, that the nurse has to come along to feed and care for him in secret. What an important task this unknown woman, whose name we do not even know, gets!
Joash is raised in the temple for six years (2 Chronicles 22:12). Like Samuel, from his earliest existence he has been in a place where God is present more than anywhere else, and he is formed by the atmosphere that prevails there. Unlike Samuel, Joash lives six years in the deepest secrecy of the temple. No one knows that there is another descendant of David’s house alive. The thought that there is no one left of David’s house must be a great trial for the faithful for six years.
Joash passed through death, as it were, because he is kept hidden. The time of the apparition comes and then he starts to reign, along with Jehoiada, the priest. Here we see a reference to the kingdom of peace. After being hidden with God, the Lord Jesus appears to establish His kingdom of peace (Colossians 3:3-Numbers :). Moses is also hidden for a time (Exodus 2:2).
While Joash is hidden, Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel, reigns over the house of David. She is connected in name with God’s people, but she is essentially a great enemy of God. We see that in the great Babylon of whom she is a picture. From Babylon we read that she sits as queen and rules over God’s people (Revelation 17-18). Babylon does not tolerate opposition and does not live in the lack of the beloved (Revelation 18:7). But it will not always remain like that.
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 2 Chronicles 22". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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