Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah . . .
All his older brothers having been slaughtered by the Arab marauders,
the throne of Judah rightfully belonged to him as the only legitimate
2. Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign--(Compare
According to that passage, the commencement of his reign is dated in
the twenty-second year of his age, and, according to this, in the
forty-second year of the kingdom of his mother's family [LIGHTFOOT]. "If Ahaziah ascended the throne in the
twenty-second year of his life, he must have been born in his father's
nineteenth year. Hence, it may seem strange that he had older
brothers; but in the East they marry early, and royal princes had,
besides the wife of the first rank, usually concubines, as Jehoram had
he might, therefore, in the nineteenth year of his age, very well have
several sons" [KEIL] (compare
Athaliah the daughter of Omri--more properly, "granddaughter." The
expression is used loosely, as the statement was made simply for the
purpose of intimating that she belonged to that idolatrous race.
3, 4. his mother was his counsellor . . . they were his counsellors--The facile king surrendered himself wholly to the influence of his
mother and her relatives. Athaliah and her son introduced a universal
corruption of morals and made idolatry the religion of the court and
the nation. By them he was induced not only to conform to the religion
of the northern kingdom, but to join a new expedition against
5. went . . . to war against Hazael, king of Syria--It may be mentioned
as a very minute and therefore important confirmation of this part of
the sacred history that the names of Jehu and Hazael, his contemporary,
have both been found on Assyrian sculptures; and there is also a notice
of Ithbaal, king of Sidon, who was the father of Jezebel.
6. Azariah went down--that is, from Ramoth-gilead, to visit the king of
Israel, who was lying ill of his wounds at Jezreel, and who had fled
there on the alarm of Jehu's rebellion.
9. he sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (for he was hid in
The two accounts are easily reconciled. "Ahaziah fled first to the
garden house and escaped to Samaria; but was here, where he had hid
himself, taken by Jehu's men who pursued him, brought to Jehu, who was
still near or in Jezreel, and at his command slain at the hill Gur,
beside Ibleam, in his chariot; that is, mortally wounded with an arrow,
so that he, again fleeing, expired at Megiddo" [KEIL]. Jehu left the corpse at the disposal of the king
of Judah's attendants, who conveyed it to Jerusalem, and out of respect
to his grandfather Jehoshaphat's memory, gave him an honorable
interment in the tombs of the kings.
So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom--His
children were too young to assume the reins of government, and all the
other royal princes had been massacred by Jehu
10. Athaliah . . . arose and destroyed all the seed
Maddened by the massacre of the royal family of Ahab, she resolved that
the royal house of David should have the same fate. Knowing the
commission which Jehu had received to extirpate the whole of Ahab's
posterity, she expected that he would extend his sword to her.
Anticipating his movements, she resolved, as her only defense and
security, to usurp the throne and destroy "the seed royal," both
because they were hostile to the Phœnician worship of Baal, which she
was determined to uphold, and because, if one of the young princes
became king, his mother would supersede Athaliah in the dignity of
12. he was with them hid in the house of God--Certain persons connected
with the priesthood had a right to occupy the buildings in the outer
wall, and all within the outer wall was often called the temple.
Jehoiada and his family resided in one of these apartments.