The crime of Queen Athaliah (2 Chr 22:10-22:12)

“When Queen Athaliah, King Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son was dead, she set about to destroy all the royal family of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the king’s daughter, took Joash son of King Ahaziah. She stole him away from among the king’s children who were about to be killed. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus Jehoshabeath, daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, hid him from Queen Athaliah.  Jehoshabeath was a sister of King Ahaziah. He remained with them six years, hidden in the house of God, while Queen Athaliah reigned over the land.”

This is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 11, with a few minor changes. Queen Athaliah was the daughter of King Ahab of Israel and Jezebel. She had married King Jehoram of Judah. Their son, King Ahaziah was the king of Judah, who had been killed by King Jehu of Israel. She decided to kill off all the heirs to the throne in Judah. This seems strange since this might include her own children and grandchildren. Jehoshabeath, or Jehosheba in 2 Kings, was the daughter of King Jehoram and thus the sister of King Ahaziah. There is speculation that her mother might not have been Queen Athaliah. However, she married a high priest, which was very unusual. She stole the young son of her brother, Joash, with his nurse. She hid him in the temple of Yahweh, while Queen Athaliah ruled Judah for 6 years.

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