Ahaziah Succeeding Jehoram, Reigns
1. the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah
… king—or Jehoahaz (2Ch 21:17). All his older brothers having been
slaughtered by the Arab marauders, the throne of Judah rightfully
belonged to him as the only legitimate heir.
2. Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he
began to reign—(Compare 2Ki 8:26). 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 (2Ch 21:17);
he might, therefore, in the nineteenth year of his age, very well have
several sons" [Keil] (compare 2Ch
21:20; 2Ki 8:17).
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 Ramoth-gilead (see 2Ki 9:10).
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
9. he sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (for he
was hid in Samaria)—(compare 2Ki 9:27-29). 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
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 (2Ch 22:8).
2Ch 22:10-12. Athaliah,
Destroying the Seed Royal Save Joash, Usurps the Kingdom.
10. Athaliah … arose and destroyed all the
seed royal—(See on 2Ki 11:1-3).
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.