Ahaziah

The following passage mentions that Ahaziah reigned in the place of Jehoram, the king of Judah.

(2Ch 22:1) And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned.
(2Ch 22:2) Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.
(2Ch 22:3) He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.
(2Ch 22:4) Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.
(2Ch 22:5) He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram.

By comparing 2Ki 8 with 2Ch 22 it can be seen that two kings with the same name (Ahaziah) reigned about the same time. One was 22 years old (2Ki 8:25) and the other one 42 (2Ch 22:2). Since the older Ahaziah was slightly older than Jehoram (2Ch 21:20), we could conclude that Jehoram adopted him as his son. Probably when Jehoram had married Athaliah, her son Ahaziah was adopted. In 2Ch 22:1 he is said to be "youngest". Actually, it should be translated "least important", for he was older than the others. Moreover, "eldest" should be translated "first" or "most important".

(2Ki 8:24) And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
(2Ki 8:25) In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign.
(2Ki 8:26) Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.
(2Ki 8:27) And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the LORD, as did the house of Ahab: for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab.
(2Ki 8:28) And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramothgilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram.
(2Ki 8:29) And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

Based on genealogies we know that Joash was a descendant of Joram and therefore a descendant of the younger Ahaziah. Thus, we can infer that the following passage refers to the younger Ahaziah.

(2Ch 22:10) But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.
(2Ch 22:11) But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.

Since 2Ch 22 begins by speaking about the older Ahaziah and ends by speaking of the younger Ahaziah, it must be that somewhere between verses 1 and 11 the chapter switches from one to the other. Now, from 2Ch 21 we learn the following.

(2Ch 21:16) Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians:
(2Ch 21:17) And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.

Note that Jehoahaz must be the same as the younger Ahaziah because no other son was left to Jehoram. In Hebrew, the names Jehoahaz and Ahaziah consist of the same two words but in different order. The names mean "Jehovah has seized". Moreover, based on the following passage, since no other son was left to Jehoram, we could infer that Azariah was another name of the younger Ahaziah.

(2Ch 22:6) ... And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick.

Thus, it appeats that 2Ch 22:7 refers to the same person, the younger Ahaziah:

(2Ch 22:7) And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.

About the younger Ahaziah, it seems that there are no indications that 2Ki 9 would refer to the older Ahaziah and not to the younger. Moreover, one indication that 2Ki 9 refers to the younger Ahaziah is as follows. There are two versions of the name Ahaziah used in Kings: Ahaziah and Ahaziahu. Both are rendered Ahaziah in English. Chronicles uses Ahaziahu, the longer version of the name. In 2Ki 11:2 Joash is son of Ahaziah and Jehosheba sister of Ahaziahu. Since genealogies indicate that Joash is a descendant of Jehoram, it follows that 2Ki 11:2 uses the short version of the name Ahaziah for the younger Ahaziah. Now, the two versions of the name seem to be equivalent (2Ki 9:23). Moreover, the longer version of the name is used in 2Ki 8:26, a verse that clearly refers to the younger Ahaziah. We conclude that both Ahaziah and Ahaziahu are used for the younger Ahaziah. Assuming that for the older Ahaziah only the long version of the name is used, we can conclude that 2Ki 9 refers to the younger Ahaziah, because 2Ki 9 uses often the short version of the name.

Having concluded that 2Ki 9 refers to the younger Ahaziah, we can find more detail about 2Ch 22:7 there:

(2Ki 9:21) And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.
(2Ki 9:22) And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?
(2Ki 9:23) And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.
(2Ki 9:24) And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.

The younger Ahaziah died this way:

(2Ki 9:27) But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.
(2Ki 9:28) And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.

The older Ahaziah died in this way:

(2Ch 22:8) And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them.
(2Ch 22:9) And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.

About "the brethren of Ahaziah", if any were present at that time, they were not sons of Jehoram, for those had been killed (2Ch 21:7). Moreover, any sons of the brothers of Ahaziah that ministered to Ahaziah were not grandsons of Jehoram, for there was not enough time for Jehoram to have mature grandsons. They might have been from the side of the family of Ahaziah's mother. Moreover, since the younger Ahaziah died in the context of 2Ch 22:7, it is clear that 2Ch 22:9 refers to the older Ahaziah. Note that the passage above mentions the detail that the older Ahaziah was a son of Jehoshaphat.

The fact that the older Ahaziah was a son of Jehoshaphat (2Ch 22:9) might imply that 2Ch 22:4 states that Ahaziah followed the counsel of the house of Ahab after the death of Jehoshaphat (not just after the death of Jehoram).

The younger Ahaziah was king of Judah at the time when the king of Israel died. The younger Ahaziah reigned in the eleventh year (2Ki 9:29) and the twelfth year (2Ki 8:25) of the king of Israel. English translations of 2Ki 9:29 and 2Ki 8:25 state that he began to reign in the eleventh year and the twelfth year, respectively. This does not mean that 2Ki 9:29 and 2Ki 8:25 refer to different persons because the verb "to begin" does not appear in Hebrew. Thus, 2Ki 8:25 and 2Ki 9:29 are interpreted as meaning that Ahaziah was reigning in the eleventh and twelfth years (though not necessarily during the entire eleventh year and the entire twelfth year). Now, the date of the reign of the older Ahaziah is not given. He probably began to reign when Jehoram was too sick to reign. When the older Ahaziah reigned either the younger Ahaziah was considered unable to reign or perhaps taken captive (2Ch 21:17). Anyway, eventually the younger Ahaziah took over the kingdom. Indeed, he was a biological son of the king Jehoram while his half brother was not. We know that both Ahaziahs reigned for about one year (2Ki 8:26, 2Ch 22:2).

We read in both 2Ki 9:21 and 2Ch 22:7 of Ahaziah coming out with the king of Israel to meet Jehu. The younger Ahaziah is meant.

(2Ki 9:21) And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.

Now, if the older Ahaziah was also there, he might have went out with the kings. Indeed, kings do not go out by themselves. The older Ahaziah was not king at that time, since the younger Ahaziah reigned. He might have been second to the king.

(2Ch 22:7) And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.

The two kings (the younger Ahaziah and Joram) are mentioned also here.

(2Ki 10:4) But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?

The older Ahaziah was not the most sought person of Jehu. If he was present when Jehu killed Joram, then he must have escaped to Samaria. Indeed, we know that he was found later in Samaria and then he was killed (2Ch 22:9).

(2Ch 22:10) But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.

(2Ki 11:1) And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.

Since the younger Ahaziah has been associated with 2Ki 8-9, we could assume that 2Ki 11:1 continues to refer to him and thus "her son" refers to him. Then, "her son" must refer to the same in 2Ch 22:10. That Athaliah had more than one son is mentioned, for instance, in 2Ch 24:7. Now, it seems that this is the order in which the events happened. First, the younger Ahaziah was wounded and eventually died in Megiddo (2Ki 9:27). Some time after Ahaziah was wounded, Jehu killed the princes of Judah who came to visit the king of Israel and his family (2Ch 22:8). Then, Jehu found the older Ahaziah in Samaria and killed him. Then, Athaliah found out that the older Ahaziah had died. Then, the servants of the younger Ahaziah brought his body to Jerusalem (2Ki 9:28). Then, Athaliah "arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah" (2Ki 11:1). Now, after the older Ahaziah was killed, "the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom" (2Ch 22:9). This would imply that only women and children were left.

(2Ki 11:2) But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.

Since the long version of the name Ahaziah appears in "sister of Ahaziah" and the short version in "son of Ahaziah", it may be that Jehosheba was a sister of the older Ahaziah. Based on 2Ch 22:11, we can identify Jehosheba with Jehoshabeath. Note that in Hebrew the first name is a shorter version of the second name. Then Jehosheba was the wife of Jehoiada the priest. Since Jehoiada was about 77 years old (see 2Ch 24:15, 2Ch 24:1, and 2Ki 11:3-4), it may be that Jehosheba was not very young. Thus, it is likely that she was from the generation of the older Ahaziah. This would not conflict with the fact that the she was a daughter of Jehoram (2Ki 11:2) if she became his daughter when her mother married Jehoram. (Indeed, the older Ahaziah became a son of Jehoram in the same way.)

In conclusion, there have been two kings Ahaziah. The following verses are about the older Ahaziah.

(2Ch 22:2) Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.
(2Ch 22:3) He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.
(2Ch 22:4) Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.
(2Ch 22:5) He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram.

(2Ch 22:8) And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them.
(2Ch 22:9) And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.

The following verses are about the younger Ahaziah.

(2Ki 8:26) Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.
(2Ki 8:27) And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the LORD, as did the house of Ahab: for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab.
(2Ki 8:28) And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramothgilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram.
(2Ki 8:29) And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

(2Ki 9:21) And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.
(2Ki 9:22) And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?
(2Ki 9:23) And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.
(2Ki 9:24) And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.

(2Ki 9:27) But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.
(2Ki 9:28) And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.

(2Ki 11:1) And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.


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