2 Kings 11

2 Kings 11

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Athaliah Reigns in Judah

11 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the LORD, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

Joash Anointed King in Judah

But in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of the Carites and of the guards, and had them come to him in the house of the LORD. And he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the LORD, and he showed them the king’s son. And he commanded them, “This is the thing that you shall do: one third of you, those who come off duty on the Sabbath and guard the king’s house (another third being at the gate Sur and a third at the gate behind the guards) shall guard the palace. And the two divisions of you, which come on duty in force on the Sabbath and guard the house of the LORD on behalf of the king, shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand. And whoever approaches the ranks is to be put to death. Be with the king when he goes out and when he comes in.”

The captains did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and they each brought his men who were to go off duty on the Sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. And the priest gave to the captains the spears and shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of the LORD. And the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house on behalf of the king. Then he brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”

When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she went into the house of the LORD to the people. And when she looked, there was the king standing by the pillar, according to the custom, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. And Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” Then Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains who were set over the army, “Bring her out between the ranks, and put to death with the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest said, “Let her not be put to death in the house of the LORD.” So they laid hands on her; and she went through the horses’ entrance to the king’s house, and there she was put to death.

And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and people, that they should be the LORD’s people, and also between the king and the people. Then all the people of the land went to the house of Baal and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest posted watchmen over the house of the LORD. And he took the captains, the Carites, the guards, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king down from the house of the LORD, marching through the gate of the guards to the king’s house. And he took his seat on the throne of the kings. So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been put to death with the sword at the king’s house.

Jehoash Reigns in Judah

Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.


2 Kings 11 Commentary

by Hank Workman

This is a great obscure story!

For 6 years the mother of Ahaziah reigned. This self-proclaimed Queen Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab who had been given in marriage to Jehoram the King of Judah as an alliance between the southern and northern kingdoms. Being from the lineage of Ahab, she had been safe from Jehu’s slaughter as she was beyond the border. But the darkness of her heart is evident as she attempted to eliminate the heirs of David from ever taking control again. She killed her way to the top and remained there for those 6 years calling the shots.

She didn’t realize that not only did God plan to keep David’s lineage but her days were numbered – even if it did drag on for years. During the killing spree, God prompted the daughter of King Jehoram to hide Joash’s son from the slaughter. And indeed, he was spared and lived hidden from a baby to 7 years of age in the Temple. The priests looked after him as this hiding place was perfect – for a pagan woman like Athaliah would have never stepped foot in the Temple of God.

And so it would be at just the right time, the priest who had helped hide the true heir of the throne Joash, revealed his plan and this leader. Standing there before the people in the temple, this little guy was ushered out, and proclaimed the true King from the line of David. The coup was gobsmacking as it was done at literally the changing of the guards in their shifts and consequently 2 shifts, 2 large groups of men were there to protect.

Brilliant. Showing the King’s son was a dramatic moment and the people were stunned. They had lived under the tyranny of this evil Queen with no hope of anything changing. As far as they knew, the entire royal lineage had been slaughtered.

The coup brought not only the death of such an evil woman but renewed an over 100-year-old covenant between God and His people, which had been ignored. The hopes of the people was renewed and they stormed off in a holy zeal destroying the temple of Baal, smashing its altars and killing the priest who oversaw such horrific worship.

Now, I know there are a lot of names to wrap our mind around and it does get a bit confusing in this random story. But here’s the beauty of it. God had a plan even though it looked as though there was none. God had been in control even through those horrific years of evil reigning, it was hopeless. And it was at just the right time, God revealed his next move, literally within a day things were completely changed and evil was eradicated.

He still moves this way. There are so many times a situation seems out of control. There are so many times we may feel trapped in a situation where hope is not even on our breath. And yes, those times can stretch on for a very long time. But what we must not fail to remember is God is working behind the scenes, as He did with this little one, and in His timing will reveal a complete turnaround to what we’ve endured. Hold tight folks. Hang onto God no matter what the circumstance may look like. He is in control.

2 Kings 11 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The history can get pretty confusing when the stories switch back and forth from the northern kingdom to the southern kingdom. In addition, there are details outlined in the book of Chronicles that give us a more complete picture. The story here is taking place in Judah, the southern kingdom, and Athaliah has just set herself up to run the nation. How did this happen?


So, as you can see, the family tree is in shambles. After Jehu killed Jezebel (Athaliah’s mother) as well as her son (Ahaziah), Athaliah decided to eliminate all potential royal offspring (her grandsons) so that she could solely rule over Judah as queen. Apparently, she was the only remnant of the Baal-worshipers who escaped the mass slaughtering.

So, it makes sense that the chapter would open with her retaliation to Jehu’s actions. Why is this so significant? It would have seemed, at the time, that the house of Ahab had successfully eliminated the seed of David and the lineage of Jesus Christ.

When you lay out the facts of the situation, there was little hope. In one slick move, Athaliah had seemingly overcome God. 6 dark years passed and I’m sure most had lost hope in God’s promise. They had possibly even forgotten about it. What was that promise?

Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and his sons forever.

2 Chronicles 21:7 NASB

Out of the shadows, Jehosheba would arise. She is not a popular Biblical character (and I’m not sure why?), but she played a critical role in preserving the royal line of David which would usher in the Messiah. She would hide away young Joash until he could be crowned king. This is just another example of how God uses the humble to confound the strong.

7-year-old Joash was crowned king. There is no doubt that many were in shock, as it seems so ridiculous. God had a promise and He had a plan. It was far from what man thought it would be, but it allowed for the royal line to continue, and for God’s glory to be put on full display. Human sin cannot stop the plans of God. Where do you need to be reminded of this? Human sin cannot stop the plans of God!

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