2 Chronicles 22
We read, in the foregoing chapter, of the carrying away of Jehoram's
sons and his wives; but here we find one of his sons and one of his
wives left, his son Ahaziah and his wife Athaliah, both reserved to be
the shame and plague of his family.
I. Ahaziah was the shame of it as a partaker,
1. In the sin, and,
2. In the destruction, of the house of Ahab,
2 Chronicles 22:1-9.
II. Athaliah was the plague of it, for she destroyed all the
seed-royal, and usurped the throne,
|Ahaziah Slain by Jehu.
||B. C. 884.|
1 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.
2 Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign,
and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also
was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.
3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his
mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.
4 Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house
of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his
father to his destruction.
5 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 smote Joram.
6 And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the wounds
which were given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of
Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to
see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick.
7 And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram:
for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the
son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of
8 And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment
upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the
sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he
9 And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid
in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain
him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of
Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house
of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.
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
(2 Chronicles 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
(2 Chronicles 22:2),
which could not be, for his father, his immediate predecessor, was but
forty when he died, and it is said
(2 Kings 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 twenty-two. 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.
The history of Ahaziah's reign is briefly summed up in two clauses,
2 Chronicles 22:3,4.
His mother and her relations were his counselors to do wickedly, and it
was to his destruction.
I. He did wickedly. Though by a special providence of God he was
preserved alive, when all his brethren were slain, and reserved for the
crown, notwithstanding he was the youngest of them--though the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, when they had buried his father
ingloriously, made him king, in hopes he would take warning by that not
to tread in his steps, but would do better for himself and his
kingdom--yet he was not influenced by the favours either of God or man,
but walked in the way of the house of Ahab, did evil in the sight of
the Lord like them
(2 Chronicles 22:3,4),
that is, he worshipped, Baalim and Ashtaroth, supposing (as the learned
bishop Patrick thinks) that by these demons, as mediators, they might
have easier access to the supreme Numen, the God of Israel, or
that these they might resort to at all times and for all
matters, as being nearer at hand, and not of so high a
dignity, but of a middle nature between the immortal God and
mortal men--deified heroes; so they worshipped them as the church of
Rome does saints and angels. That was sufficiently bad; but I wish
there was no reason to suspect worse. I am apprehensive that they
looked upon Jehovah, the God of their fathers, to be altogether such a
one as these Baalim, and them to be as great and as good as he, nay,
upon one account, more eligible inasmuch as these Baalim encouraged in
their worshippers all manner of lewdness and sensuality, which the God
of Israel strictly forbade.
II. He was counselled by his mother and her relations to do so. She
was his counsellor
(2 Chronicles 22:3)
and so were they, after the death of his father,
2 Chronicles 22:4.
While his father lived he took care to keep him to idolatry;
but, when he was dead, the house of Ahab feared lest his father's
miserable end should deter him from it, and therefore they were very
industrious to keep him closely to it, and to make him seven
times more a child of hell than themselves. The counsel of
the ungodly is the ruin of many young persons when they are setting out
in the world. This young prince might have had better advice if he had
pleased from the princes and the judges, the priests and the Levites,
that had been famous in his good grandfather's time for teaching in the
knowledge of God; but the house of Ahab humoured him, and he walked
after their counsel, gave himself up to be led by them, and did
just as they would have him. Thus do those debase and destroy
themselves that forsake the divine guidance.
III. He was counselled by them to his destruction. So it proved. 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 Chronicles 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 Chronicles 22:7-9.
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,
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 Kings 9:27,28.
It is here added that he was decently buried (not as Jehoram, whose
dead body was cast into Naboth's vineyard,
2 Kings 9:26),
and the reason given is because he was the son (that is, the grandson)
of good Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with his heart. Thus is
he remembered with honour long after his death, and some respect
shown even to his degenerate unworthy seed for his sake. The memory
of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot.
|Athaliah Usurps the Throne.
||B. C. 884.|
10 But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was
dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of
11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the
son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons that
were slain, and put him and his nurse in a 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.
12 And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and
Athaliah reigned over the land.
We have here what we had before,
2 Kings 11:1-16,
1. A wicked woman endeavouring to destroy the house of David, that she
might set up a throne for herself upon the ruins of it. Athaliah
barbarously cut off all the seed-royal
(2 Chronicles 22:10),
perhaps intending to transmit the crown of Judah after herself to some
of her own relations, that though her family was cut off in Israel by
Jehu it might be planted in Judah.
2. A good woman effectually preserving it from being wholly extirpated.
One of the late king's sons, a child of a year old, was rescued from
among the dead, and saved alive by the care of Jehoiada's wife
(2 Chronicles 22:11,12),
that a lamp might be ordained for God's anointed; for no word of
God shall fall to the ground.