Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament2 CHRONICLES 22
THE BRIEF EVIL REIGN OF AHAZIAH
VI. AHAZIAH (842 B.C.)
AHAZIAH MADE KING OF JUDAH
And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead; for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned. Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab; for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.
Ahaziah his youngest son
(2 Chronicles 22:1). The youngest son of Jehoram is called Jehoahaz in the previous chapter (2 Chronicles 21:17); But Jehoahaz and Azariah are equivalent names.F1 There was nothing unusual about variations in Hebrew names. Bathsheba was also known as Bathshua; and her father was called Amiel or Eliam. Either spelling of such duplicate names gave the same meanings in Hebrew.F2
Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign
(2 Chronicles 22:2). Ahaziah's father was only forty-two years old when he died (2 Chronicles 21:5), so we should follow later renditions which read, Twenty and two years instead of Forty and two.
Athaliah the daughter of Omri
(2 Chronicles 22:2). She was actually the daughter of Ahab and a granddaughter of Omri; but such a loose usage of the terms son or daughter is quite common in the O.T.
CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO THE DEATH OF AHAZIAH
And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, as did the house of Ahab; for they were his counsellors after the death of his father, to his destruction. He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead: and the Syrians wounded Joram. And he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
Joram king of Israel. Jehoram king of Israel
(2 Chronicles 22:5,6). This is another example of alternate names for the same person.
This paragraph reveals that the king of Judah was at that time totally dominated by his mother's family, namely, the house of Ahab; and by Ahaziah's leaving his capital city to visit his sick relative in Jezreel, it gave Jehu the opportunity to exterminate both royal houses, both that of Jehoram king of Israel and that of Ahaziah king of Judah.
The first nine verses here are parallel with 2 Kings 8:24b-29, and 9:21,27-28). See our comments under those verses.
AHAB'S HOUSE DESTROYED; THE DEATH OF AHAZIAH
Now the destruction of Ahaziah was of God, in that he went unto Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom Jehovah had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. And it came to pass, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, that he found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, ministering to Ahaziah, and slew them. And he sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (now he was hiding in Samaria), and they brought him to Jehu, and slew him; and they buried him, for they said, He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought Jehovah with all his heart. And the house of Ahaziah had no power to hold the kingdom.
The destruction of Ahaziah was of God
(2 Chronicles 22:7). This means that it was due to God's providential arrangements that Ahaziah was found in close companionship with Ahab at the very moment when God's appointed exterminator of the house of Ahab appeared and included Ahaziah in the slaughter, quite properly enough; because by Jehoshaphat's foolish marriage of Ahaziah to Athaliah, Ahab's daughter, he had made his son Ahaziah definitely a part of `the house of Ahab.'
The house of Ahaziah had no power to hold the kingdom
(2 Chronicles 22:9). This was the power vacuum that enabled the evil Athaliah to seize the throne and to proceed with her intention of destroying the last vestiges of the house of David, a purpose which, in the providence of God, was thwarted.
GOD SAVED JOASH ALIVE FROM THE WRATH OF ATHALIAH
Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king's sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in the bedchamber. 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 slew him not. And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.
Our comments on the narration in these three verses are found in the parallel account in 2 Kings 11:1-3.
Footnotes for 2 Chronicles 22
1: Albert Barnes, Chronicles, p. 402.
2: A. L. Breslich in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 416.