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2 Chronicles 22:2-9 – Ahaziah

Summary

Ahaziah is completely controlled by northern influences, more so than any other king. Chief among those northern influences is his mother Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel and granddaughter of Omri, the powerful king of Israel.

Analysis

Curiously, Ahaziah was older than his father (v. 2; see also 21:5, 20 where his father is forty years old at the time of his death!), unless we read "twenty" for "forty-two" (with the Septuagint) or "twenty-two" (with the NIV that accepts the Syriac and 2 Kings 8:26). Other matters are of greater significance:
  • As in Jehoram's reign, Ahaziah is under the influence of his mother Athaliah and thus becomes entangled in northern alliances (2 Chronicles 22:3-6).
  • Ahaziah dies in Jehu's bloody coup (2 Kings 8:28-10:31), though the details of that rebellion are differently construed and drastically abbreviated. No harmonization seems possible between the different circumstances of the king's death. The Chronicler, not concerned with the lengthy details, tips his hand in the words of verse 7, "But it [the death of Ahaziah] was ordained by God." Ahaziah died, in accordance with God's will, because of his northern alliances. Furthermore, his death precipitated a threat to the promise of an eternal dynasty (1 Chronicles 17:12) since now "the house of Ahaziah had no one able to rule [better, "seize hold of"] the kingdom" (2 Chronicles 22:9).

2 Chronicles 22:2-9

2Ahaziah was forty-two years old when he began to reign; he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri. 3He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counsellor in doing wickedly. 4He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done; for after the death of his father they were his counsellors, to his ruin. 5He even followed their advice, and went with Jehoram son of King Ahab of Israel to make war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram, 6and he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that he had received at Ramah, when he fought King Hazael of Aram. And Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah went down to see Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

7 But it was ordained by God that the downfall of Ahaziah should come about through his going to visit Joram. For when he came there he went out with Jehoram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab. 8When Jehu was executing judgement on the house of Ahab, he met the officials of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers, who attended Ahaziah, and he killed them. 9He searched for Ahaziah, who was captured while hiding in Samaria and was brought to Jehu, and put to death. They buried him, for they said, ‘He is the grandson of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart.’ And the house of Ahaziah had no one able to rule the kingdom.

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10 February 2011

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