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.
Verse 1. - This verse does not so much purport to say how the inhabitants of Jerusalem proceeded to appoint Ahaziah, in default of any previous appointment on the part of his father, but merely that whereas they appointed him, the youngest son, it was because they had no choice, the elder brothers having been slain (2 Chronicles 21:17). though the deceased Jehoram possibly might not have known up to the time of his death, for certain, of their several deaths. This, if we may judge from the particular language here used, had been brought about at the bands of the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp, now first particularized. The parallel (2 Kings 8:25), wanting both of these items, states that this reign began in the twelfth year of Joram of Israel.
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.
Verse 2. - Forty and two; read, twenty and two, and see parallel, 2 Kings 8:26; and note on our 2 Chronicles 21:5. Daughter of Omri; i.e. granddaughter of Omri, as Omri was the father of Ahab.
He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counseller to do wickedly.
Verse 3. - The mother and the house of Ahab had become a proverb and a by-word for their evil. In this and the following two verses stress is laid on the evil counsel and the sources of it that prejudiced Ahaziah to his ruin. Although the parallel wants these direct statements, perhaps it scarcely says less, when it says (ver. 27), "For he was the son-in-law of the house of Ahab."
Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellers after the death of his father to his destruction.
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.
Verse 5. - He... went with Jehoram the son of Ahab. So the evil example of even the good lives after them. See Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:29; 2 Chronicles 18:8) followed by his son Jehoram first (2 Kings 3:9), and now by his grandson Ahaziah. The words of this verse and the next are almost identical with the parallel (2 Kings 8:28, 29). Ramoth-Gilead. It will be remembered that Ahab failed when he solicited and obtained the help of Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:3-36; 2 Chronicles 18:3-34) in his enterprise against Ramoth-Gilead. The present attempt, however, seems to have had a different issue (2 Kings 9:14, 15). The Syrians; Hebrew, הָרַמִּים. The initial radical here should be א, from neglect of observing which the Septuagint has translated "archers" (relate).
And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the wounds which were given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick.
Verse 6. - Both places (this and the parallel) tell first that Ahaziah went with Joram against Hazael; then that Joram, being smitten, returned for healing to Jezreel; next that Ahaziah, out of compassion in some sort, went down to see Joram in Jezreel; and lastly, it is here signalized that in that very deed of his, Providence brought it about that Jehu lighted upon the track of him (vers. 7-9), and he met his end. This feature of the history the writer of Chronicles wishes to exhibit, as usual. Ramah; i.q. Ramoth-Gilead. Jezreel. This was a town in the Plain of Jezreel (Esdraelon), belonging to the tribe of Issachar. For Azariah read Ahaziah; compare אֲחַזְיָהוּ (Ahaziah) and יְהואָחָז (Jehoahaz), the meaning of both being "held" or "upheld of the Lord."
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.
Verse 7. - He went out with Jehoram against Jehu. The "against" is the simple preposition אֶל, and need intend nothing more than "to meet" Jehu; not to meet him hostilely. What the manner of the meeting was, however, we know from 2 Kings 9:21, 22, 27, 28. The history of this and following two verses is here given very briefly; much must be filled in to give its full explanation, as in 2 Kings 9:11-29. Whom the Lord had anointed to out off the house of Ahab; i.e. had raised him to the throne, possessed of the characteristic qualities which he had for this purpose (2 Kings 9:1-7; 1 Kings 19:16). Jehu the son of Nimshi. Strictly, "the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi" (2 Kings 9:2).
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.
Verse 8. - Executing judgment upon the house of Ahab. The description of all this is sufficiently graphically scattered along the verses of 2 Kings 9:24 - 11:20. And found the princes of Judah (see especially 2 Kings 10:7, 11; 2 Kings 11:13-20). And the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah. This both explains and is explained by 2 Kings 10:12-14. That ministered to Ahaziah. Even this enigmatical little clause receives its probable explanation from the last clause of ver. 13 in last quotation foregoing.
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.
Verse 9. - And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him... brought him... buried him. This verse, which at the first sight seems at variance with 2 Kings 9:27, 28, is perhaps a simply surprising instance of undesigned corroboration of history by the treatment of different historians. The verse, e.g., corrects the italics of 2 Kings 9:27; expunging them throws their proper force into the words, "at the going up to Gur," showing that Jehu reckoned on that steep kill to enable his pursuing warriors to overtake Ahaziah; makes a sufficiently possible harmony, to say the least, in respect of the remaining incidents narrated of his life - that he made for the time a successful flight to Megiddo, afterwards sought to hide in deeper retirement in Samaria, was thence brought to Jehu at Megiddo, there eventually slain before his eyes, and by his own servants, who must be supposed to have had some attachment to him, but probably with the sanction of Jehu himself, conveyed "in a chariot to Jerusalem" for sepulture "in the sepulchre of his fathers in the city of David" (2 Kings 9:28). The fact that he received decent burial being due to the God-fearing character of his grandfather, and that this should find its record on the page of the book that will last while the world lasts, that very page already two thousand five hundred years old, is a most touching consideration. Megiddo was on the Esdraelon or Jezreel plain, that stretched between the hills of Galilee and those of Mount Ephraim or Samaria. Had no power to keep still the kingdom. The undoubted meaning of this clause is that there was no one of the house of Ahaziah who could succeed him. The Hebrew text does not say, "no one left," etc. But the allusion can scarcely be to anything but the fact that transpires in our ver. 11 (where only Joash is mentioned as a son, and with him a nurse), viz. that his only surviving son was an infant, The king's sons (presumably sons of Ahaziah and grandsons of her own) were among the "seed royal," whom the wicked Athaliah had "destroyed." Gesenius says that the words that wrap in them the slight ambiguity, עָצַר כֹחַ, are a phrase peculiar to the later Hebrew, and he instances nine examples, all of which come from Daniel or Chronicles, the virtue of the phrase amounting to the ports ease of the Latin. Translate, And there was no one of the house of Ahaziah able for the kingdom, the exacter conditions of the case not being recorded.
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.
Verse 10. - But when Athaliah. For parallel to the end of the chapter, see 2 Kings 11:1-3. The words, of the house of Judah, are here carefully supplied, wanting in parallel.
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.
Verse 11. - After of the king, the parallel conveniently certifies the name, Joram, and adds, "sister of Ahaziah" (very possibly half-sister, though), and afterwards particularizes the hiding, as from Athaliah, as in the latter part of this verse. We are here told, what is not mentioned in the parallel, that Jehosheba was "wife of Jehoiada the priest," probably the high priest. Nor is this negatived by the fact that the name is not found (1 Chronicles 6.) in the line from Aaron to Jozadak; for this is only the line of Jozadak's ancestors, all of whom were not high priests. Joash is to be heard of again (2 Kings 11:21; 2 Chronicles 24:1).
And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.
Verse 12. - With them hid in the house of God six years. During this time evidently Athaliah reigned. There were in the "house of God" chambers sacred to the use of either priests or temple officials (1 Kings 6:5-10).