Thursday, April 19, 2012




Jehoram was one of the poorest excuses for a king ever to ascend the throne of Judah.In reality he was handed the kingdom by his father, Jehoshaphat, because he was the firstborn (2 Chr. 21:3). His brothers, however, were better than he (2 Chr. 21:13). The dominant characteristic of Jehoram's eight-year reign was wickedness. One, not even one, redeeming quality or value is found in the Scripture of this son-in-law of Ahab [he is the son a Jehoshaphat, one of the best kings, the husband of Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. It is well worth noting the effect an evil spouse can have – is it any wonder we need to emphasize this type of teaching with our children?]. It is, in fact, nauseating to read of the deeds of this evil despot as he sowed the seeds of his own destruction.

Jehoram's first "kingly" act was, with the spirit of Cain, to murder his six brothers and the princes of Israel (2 Chr. 21:4). In this fashion, by these cowardly acts, he manifested both his weakness and wickedness. The fact that God had said, "Thou shalt not kill," [Exo. 20:13] did not restrain him!

Second, this king took a page from the life of Solomon by marrying a wife who was willing and able to orchestrate his evil ways (1 Kings 11:1-4). "And he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord" (1 Chr. 21:6).

The Edomites and Libnah rebelled against the authority of the throne of Judah because the king had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers (2 Chr. 21:8-10).

Not surprisingly, being a murderer and imitator of the kings of Israel, Jehoram was an agent of idolatry. In graphic and explicit language it is said that he "made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication and compelled Judah thereto" (2 Chr. 21:11).

Also, at this time, there came a written message from God to Jehoram via Elijah the prophet, reprimanding the king for his evil, and announcing a great plague to be visited upon him and those about him (2 Chr. 21:12-15). This message was unusual in that it was delivered after the translation of Elijah, apparently having been written beforehand in anticipation of its need.

The plague did come and it was awful in its devastation. Jehoram died in disgrace … stricken by the Lord with an incurable disease of the bowels, and after two years, died of this and other diseases (1 Chr. 21:18-19).

The response of the people to Jehoram's death was indicative of the lack of esteem in which he was held. First, "And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers" (2 Chr. 21:19), Second, he "departed without being desired" (2 Chr. 21:20). Third, "Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the king" (2 Chr. 21:20).[1]


The subject of this section was called by three names: Jehoahaz, Azariah, and Ahaziah. His mother was Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab.

King Ahaziah followed the pattern of his father by walking in the "ways of the house of Ahab" (2 Chr. 22:3). As was his father, he was a puppet with his wicked mother pulling the strings. Athaliah was a betrayer and a disgrace to motherhood. [What was the action of Godly son in relation to his mother who was an idolater? See 2 Chronicles 15:16.] She was unworthy of the name. Her evil influence upon her son is described in the following words: "For his mother was his counselor to do wickedly" (2 Chr. 22:3). As Solomon did, Ahaziah implemented bad counsel and followed the advice of the house of Ahab to his own destruction (2 Chr. 22:4). As did Jehoshaphat, his grandfather, he joined forces with the house of Ahab and became more interested in the affairs of Israel than the affairs of Judah.

The end of this very bad king came by the hands of Jehu. As he was doing the Lord's work to cut off the house of Ahab, he extended his judgment to the house of Ahaziah, who was given the honor of burial only "because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart" (2 Chr. 22:9). The one-year reign of this weak and inept king is described in the following words: "So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep the kingdom" (2 Chr. 22:9).[2]


Upon Ahaziah’s death at the hands of Jehu, Athaliah set out to kill every person who through David’s line might claim the throne. Jehoshabeath (Jehosheba) was the daughter of Jerhoram and the sister of Ahaziah. She acted quickly and wisely in taking Ahaziah’s young son, Joash, and hiding him in a room in the Temple. Jehoshabeath was also the wife of Jehoiada, the high priest. Jehoiada was destined to become the power behind the throne in Judah. Most likely, Athaliah feverishly hunted this little boy; however, his aunt was able to hide him for six years. During this difficult period, Athaliah reigned as queen over Judah. She did not fear Jehovah and she used her influence to establish Baalism in the southern kingdom.[3]

While the blood of the royal seed was being shed, a marvelous thing happened. Reminiscent somewhat of the preservation of Moses in Egypt, the wife of Jehoiada the priest took Joash, the baby son of Ahaziah, and hid him for six years in the house of God. This noble deed extended and kept the royal blood line flowing. During the growing up time of Joash, Athaliah reigned over the land of Judah, but it was not a legitimate reign. After six years Joash was crowned king and the royal line of David was continued on the throne. When this happened the usurper was slain and went to her grave in dishonor (2 Chr. 23:21).[4]


It must have been a sad sight to behold the state of Judah while Athaliah ruled the land. The circumstances were such that someone needed to step forward and restore the people to God. Jehoiada the priest proved to be such a person. With great wisdom and organizational skill, he brought together a group of men who went about Judah and called the Levites and chiefs of the fathers to Jerusalem. There they entered into a covenant to return a son of David to the throne, as the Lord had said (2 Chr. 23:3).[5]

Jehoiada proceeded with great care to organize the men at his disposal. One third of the patriots would be priests and Levites who would be stationed at the doors of Jehovah’s Temple. One third of the men would take up their positions at “the king’s house”, the place where Joash had been living. One third of the high priest’s helpers were assigned to guard a particular gate in the vicinity of the

Temple. The people would fill the courts to which they normally were allowed access. The Temple was not to be desecrated even for this important occasion. “The charge of Jehovah’’ concerning the sacredness of the Temple had to be observed. On this occasion the Levites were equipped with swords and at the proper time they were co form a protective shield around the boy, Joash. They were to guard this child with their own lives and they had orders to kill anybody who would attempt to harm him.[6]

With the preparations complete we come to verse 11: “Then they brought the king's son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king" (2 Chr. 23:11).

When Athaliah came to the temple and saw the newly crowned king, she rent her clothes and cried, "Treason, Treason" (2 Chr. 23:13). The priest had restored a rightful heir to the throne of Judah and the usurper knew that her time was up. After she was slain by order of the priest, an atmosphere unknown during the rule of Athaliah settled over the land . It is described as follows: "And all the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword" (2 Chr. 23:21).

With the destruction of the house of Baal, the temple services restored, and the people agreeing among themselves to be the people of God, there was truly a new day in Judah.[7]

[1] J. K. Gossett. “The Reigns of Various Kings, Evil and Good, in Judah” in Studies in 1, 2 Kings and 1, 2 Chronicles. Ed. By Dub McClish, Denton, TX: Valid Publications, Inc., 1993.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Robert E. Black. The Books of Chronicles in Bible Study Textbook Series. Joplin, MO: College Press, 1991.
[4] J. K. Gossett. “The Reigns of Various Kings, Evil and Good, in Judah” in Studies in 1, 2 Kings and 1, 2 Chronicles. Ed. By Dub McClish, Denton, TX: Valid Publications, Inc., 1993.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Robert E. Black. The Books of Chronicles in Bible Study Textbook Series. Joplin, MO: College Press, 1991.
[7] J. K. Gossett. “The Reigns of Various Kings, Evil and Good, in Judah” in Studies in 1, 2 Kings and 1, 2 Chronicles. Ed. By Dub McClish, Denton, TX: Valid Publications, Inc., 1993.

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