2 Kings 11:1-21
And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.…
Observe a very strong peculiarity in human nature, as shown in the conduct of Athaliah. She went into the temple and saw the young Joash with a crown upon his head, and she shrieked out, "Treason, treason!" Poor innocent Athaliah! Who would not pity so gentle a dove, with a breast of feathers and a cruel dart rankling in it. Sweet woman, gentle loving creature, injured queen — her hands were perfectly clean; she was the victim of a cruel stratagem; she was outwitted by heads longer than hers; she, poor unsuspecting soul, had been brought into this condition, and all she could do was to cry in injured helplessness, "Treason, treason!" How moral we become under some circumstances! How very righteous we stand up to be under certain provocations! Who could but pity poor Athaliah, who had nursed her grandchildren with a wolf's care? We do this very self-same thing very often in our own lives. Where is the man who does not suppose that he has a right to do wrong? But let other people do wrong, and then hear him. Given a religious sect of any name whatsoever, that has the domination of any neighbourhood, and the probability is that that religious sect will use its supremacy somewhat mischievously in certain circumstances. It will not let anybody who opposes its tenets have an acre of ground in that neighbourhood, nor will it allow any sect that opposes its principles to build a church there. No, it takes a righteous view of the circumstances; it will not trifle with its responsibilities; it can allow no encroachment; it is charged with the spirit of stewardship, and must be faithful to its sacred obligations. So it cants and whines, whatever its name be: if it be the name we bear religiously so much the worse. We speak of no particular sect, or of any sect that may be placed in such peculiar circumstances as to claim the domination and supremacy in any neighbourhood. Now let any member of that sect leave that particular locality and go to live under a different set of circumstances, and apply for a furlong of ground, or for a house that he may occupy as tenant; then let it be found that his religious convictions are a bar to his entrance upon the enjoyment of local properties and liberties, he will call "Persecution, persecution!" How well it befits his lips. The very man who in one district persecuted to the death those who opposed him removes to another locality where a screw is applied to his own joints, and he cries out, "Persecution — persecution!" It is Athaliah's old trick, and will have Athaliah's poor reward. See how the cry of the wicked is unheeded. She was a woman, and by so much had a claim upon the sympathy of the strong. No man's heart went out towards her in loyal reverence. With what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged. With what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again. "As I have done," said a sufferer of old, "to others, so the Lord hath requited me." Though hand join in hand, yet the wicked shall not go unpunished. If you are treating any of your family, your wife or husband or child, with base cruelty, it will surely come home to you some other day.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.