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2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 22
Ahaziah is made king; reigneth wickedly, 2 Chronicles 22:1-4.
In his confederacy with Joram the son of Ahab he is slain by Jehu, 2 Chronicles 22:5-9.
Athaliah destroyeth all the seed royal, save Joash, who was hid, and usurpeth the kingdom, 2 Chronicles 22:10-12.
Men that came with the Arabians; either,
1. A cruel sort of men who came along with the Arabians, and therefore slew those whom the Arabians had spared, and only carried into captivity. Or,
2. The Philistines, who did accompany the Arabians in this expedition, 2 Chronicles 21:16, who lived near the kingdom of Judah, and therefore thought to make as sure work as they could in destroying all the branches of the royal family, who otherwise, they expected, would recover strength, and revenge themselves upon them.
Forty and two years old was Ahaziah.
Object. He was then only twenty-two years old, as is affirmed, 2 Kings 8:26. Besides, Joram his father died in his fortieth year, as is twice noted, 2 Chronicles 21:5,2 Chronicles 21:20; how then can this be true?
Answ. 1. In the Hebrew it is, a son of forty-two years, &c., which is an ambiguous phrase; and though it doth for the most part, yet it doth not always, signify the age of the person, as is manifest from 1 Samuel 13:1, See Poole "1 Samuel 13:1". And therefore it is not necessary that this should note his age (as it is generally presumed to do, and that is the only ground of the difficulty); but it may note either,
1. The age of his mother Athaliah; who being so great, and infamous, and mischievous a person to the kingdom and royal family of Judah, it is not strange if her age be here described, especially seeing she herself did for a season sway this sceptre. Or rather,
2. Of the reign of that royal race and family from which by his mother he was descended, to wit, of the house of Omri, who reigned six years, 1 Kings 16:23; Ahab his son reigned twenty-two years, 1 Kings 16:29; Ahaziah his son two years, 1 Kings 22:51; Joram his son twelve years, 2 Kings 3:1; all which, put together, make up exactly these forty-two years; for Ahaziah began his reign in Joram’s twelfth year, 2 Kings 8:25. And such a kind of computation of the years, not of the king’s person, but of his reign or kingdom, we had before, 2 Chronicles 16:1, See Poole "2 Chronicles 16:1". And so we have an account of the person’s age in 2 Kings 8:26, and here of the kingdom to which he belonged.
Answ. 2. Some acknowledge an error in the transcribers of the present Hebrew copies, in which language the numeral letters for twenty-two and forty-two are so like, that they might easily be mistaken. For that it was read twenty-two here, as it is in the Book of Kings, in other Hebrew copies, they gather from hence, that it is at this day so read in divers ancient Greek copies, as also in those two ancient translations, the Syriac and the Arabic, and particularly in that famous and most ancient copy of the Syriac, which was used by the church of Antioch in the primitive times, and to this day is kept in the church of Antioch, from which that most reverend, learned, pious, and public-spirited archbishop Usher did at his own great charge get another copy transcribed, in which he hath published to all the world that he found it here written twenty and two years old, &c. Nor doth this overthrow the authority of the sacred text, as infidels would have it, partly because it is only an historical passage, of no importance to the substantial doctrines of faith and a good life; and partly because the question here is not whether this text be true, but which is the true reading of the text, whether that of the generality of present copies, or that which was used in the ancient copies, which the ancient and venerable translators above mentioned did follow; for it seems unreasonable and uncharitable to think that all of them would have conspired to have changed the text, and put in twenty and two for forty and two, if they had so read it in their Hebrew copies. Nor can this open any great door to those innumerable changes which some have boldly and rashly made in the Hebrew text without any such pretence of authority, as there is for this, which as they are affirmed without reason, or authority, or necessity, so they may as easily be rejected. If all this will not satisfy our present infidels, I desire them only to consider what hath been hinted before upon such occasions, that many difficulties which did seem unanswerable, being now fully cleared by later writers, it is but reasonable to think that this may be so in after-times, either by finding of some Hebrew copies in which it may be twenty and two years, &c., or by some other way.
The daughter of Omri, i.e. of Omri’s family; or of Ahab, Omri’s son. Grandchildren are oft called sons and daughters, as Matthew 1:1, Luke 3:26.
Being a crafty and au imperious woman.
After the death of his father; who, whilst he lived, seduced his son by his counsel and authority, and made other evil counsellors then unnecessary.
Went with Jehoram to war against Hazael; following the evil example of Jehoshaphat therein, 2 Chronicles 18:0, though he would not follow him in what was good. But of this and the following verses, see 2 Kings 8:28,2 Kings 8:29; 2 Kings 9:21,2 Kings 9:27.
The destruction of Ahaziah was of God; by his providence so disposing occasions and Ahaziah’s inclinations, that he should come at that season to receive his deserved judgment.
The sons of the brethren of Ahaziah; either properly so called; or the sons of his cousins or near kinsmen, who are oft called
brethren; for his brethren were slain, 2 Chronicles 22:8.
That ministered to Ahaziah; that came thither to wait upon their king Ahaziah, as is here implied, and withal to visit Joram and his children, as is noted, 2 Kings 10:13.
He sought Ahaziah; who, though wounded, had made an escape, 2 Kings 9:27.
He was hid in Samaria; either,
1. In the kingdom of Samaria, to wit, in Megiddo; or,
2. In the city of Samaria: and so he fled first to Megiddo; and not thinking himself safe there, he fled to Samaria; where he was taken, and sent thence by Jehu’s order to Megiddo, where he received the sentence of death. See more of this matter upon 2 Kings 9:27.
They buried him; they gave his servants leave to carry him away to Jerusalem, and bury him there, 2 Kings 9:28. Both God and men are ofttimes said to do what they and others do by their permission, when they could hinder them.
The house of Ahaziah, i.e. his posterity, because they were young and feeble, being ground between two millstones, the great and growing power of Jehu, and the craft and tyranny of Athaliah.
Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah: this, and 2 Chronicles 22:11,2 Chronicles 22:12, are explained on 2 Kings 11:1-3.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 22". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
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