"Mother Athaliah's Reign
over Judah [1-16]."
This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
Though all the sons and family of Ahab had been killed in Israel, God will use one of Ahab and Jezebel's own daughters to get the job done down in Jerusalem and Judah.
II Kings 11:1 "And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal."
Ahaziah was the king of Judah, the man that Jehu killed when he was visiting his relative, king Joram of Israel. Jehu killed him as he was fleeing from Jezreel, and caught him in Megiddo. So now this woman, the daughter of Jezebel herself was the one that would try to killed off all the sons that had the right to ascend to the throne of Judah. She is killing off her own kin. However Athaliah had a daughter that thinks that she is doing a great thing, for she is going to save one male child to nurse him and hide him away until he is seven.
II Kings 11:2 "But Jehosheba, the daughter of the 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."
Jehoshaba is not the daughter of Athaliah, because she was married to the high priest Jehoiada, for we know this from II Chronicles 22:11. Jehoiada then would be the brother in law to king Ahaziah, and therefore the uncle of this child that he was hiding in the temple that he was in charge of. Also be alert and recognize that this baby was there and among the sons that had been slaughtered, and assumed to be dead when he was taken from the pile those dead sons, to be raised from among the dead children.
There is no way that Athaliah, the daugher of Jezebel, also being a Baal worshipper, would have allowed one of her own daughers to have married a high priest of God. So she was a daughter of Joram, the son of Jehoshaphat but not the Joram of the house of Israel. Know that the seed of Ahab was done away with, however this infant is not of the seed of Ahab, and every thing will be well. There is just a small problem here in figuring out the family tree of Ahab, and that problem is to see who is of the tree of Ahab and who is not. Athaliah was of the seed of Ahab, whereas Jehosheba and Joash were not, but of the lineage of Jehoshaphat.
II Kings 11:3 "And he was with her hid in the house of the Lord six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land."
Of course Jehosheba lived with her husband Jehoiada the high priest, all the while this child Joash was being raised in the bedchambers of the Temple priests. Athaliah was in her palace and on the throne of Judah completely unaware that Joash was sucking his bottle and having his diapers changed off in the temple. This went on for six years.
During the six years that Athaliah reigned, she stripped the temple clean of all the vessels of God and moved them to the house of Baal, to be used for the sacrifices to heathen gods. The temple had been left alone and the condition of the temple had become in bad shape. Athaliah had refuse to go to the temple of God, and that is why Joash was not discovered over this six year period. Yet in this complete fallen state, the priests and their families continued to live there, and do their duties the best that they could. So we can see how their feelings would be against queen Athaliah and the wickedness that she brought to the nation of Judah. Again this is God's way of destroying the seed of Ahab, for He used this wicked old woman to kill off her own male kin, while all the time allowing one small child to rise from the heap of the dead bodies of the sons of Ahab. Think of the wickedness in her heart.
God allowed all those sons to be killed because they had become worse and more wicked than Ahab was. Their grandmother was Jezebel and she taught them to be very wicked, and deeply grounded in the worship of Baal. Those sons that were slaughter by Athaliah would have been the leaders of God's people, leading them away from God and into those Zidonian Kenite ways of Baal, and their grandmother Jezebel. They were terrible and they got exactly what they deserved and God wanted them to have.
Remember that their king visiting up north in the nation of Israel had already been purged by Jehu, and the reason for the killing in the first place was at the direction from God through his prophet Elisha. God does not destroy innocent little children, but Athaliah did. Athaliah killed all the children which had an heir to her throne in Judah, whether of Ahab and Jezebel ties or not. The only thing that mattered to her was that she become queen, and that there would be no seekers to the throne to dethrone her.
II Kings 11:4 "And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the Lord, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the Lord, and shewed them the king's son."
The high preist Jehoiada, the husband of Jehosheba, sought to have a meeting with the highest ranking leaders of the army of Judah, and he even included the queens guard. Jehoiada had them come to the Lord's temple and make an agreement with each of them individually. However, before Jehoiada told them of this child Joash, their future king, they were all made to take an oath of secrecy. Stop and think for a moment, for where would the most secure place be than in the house of the Lord, for Athaliah would never enter into it. She was a Baal worshipper, and she made sure that there was nothing left in God's house.
A lot of Christians feel that they should have nothing to do with covert activity, however, this is righteous covert activity by the high priest himself. The reasons are right for the activity, and in the end the priest is going to win. Many time things that are done for the glory of God, Christians in their ignorance will feel that it just is not right. However we are in a spiritual battle with Satan and his realm, and certain things have to be done in secrecy. Covert activity is a bold act, and it takes bold persons to get the job done, people that God can count on when the task is urgent. God is always fair, and this is an covert operation to destroy a daughter of Jezebel that is as bad as Jezebel herself.
So after the high priest gave their oath, he told them of the child king that was in the temple, being hid away, and raised by a nurse. Remember that God promised David that there would never be a time when one of his children would not sit over the children of Israel, and as of this time, Joash was the only child left of the seed of David that had the right to assume the throne. God is protecting the seed line of David.
II Kings 11:5 "And he commanded them, saying, "This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's house;"
The High priest is telling those military officers present how they shall fulfill this covert activity. The instructions to those leaders present, was that when they come into the temple on the Sabbath to worship, only a third of you come in as worshippers at a time.
II Kings 11:6 "And a third part shall be at the gate of Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard: so shall ye deep the watch of the house, that it be not broken down."
Then one third of the group would guard the temple at the gate out front, and a third part would go around to the back gate and stand watch there. The Sabbath is the time when people would enter into the temple, and it was a time when the child could most be detected. These men were there to stand guard to protect their child king. Think of it, Athaliah's own troops would be the ones protecting the child king that would take her throne.
II Kings 11:7 "And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of the Lord about the king."
There will be a rotation of guards standing watch, for when the group that was in the temple to worship were finished with their worshipping, they would go and relieve the ones outside standing their watch, and thus there would always be two parts of you standing watch continually, protecting the child king.
II Kings 11:8 "And ye shall compass the king round about, he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain: and be ye with the king as he goeth out and a he cometh in."
This is a bad translation into the king James version, for what it is saying in the Hebrew is that when you are changing of the guard with your comings and your goings, keep in mind that you are here not just for the sake of changing the guard, but the foremost duty is to protect your king.
With this many men that are going on the Sabbath to the house of God, and standing guard at the God's temple, old queen Athaliah will catch on shortly what is going on, and she will seek to get to the bottom of it all. Thus the instruction that as you are changing the guard, be secretive about it.
II Kings 11:9 "And the captains over the hundreds did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men that were to come in on the Sabbath, with them that should go out on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest."
This may sound a little confusing, but all it is saying that every man was obedient and did as they were suppose to be doing, and they did it exactly in the manner as Jehoiada instructed them to do. Whether they were coming or going to their worshipping that strength of the guard held fast. Remember that while in the temple, they were not allowed to bear arms, so all the weapons were to be exchanged outside in a manner not to draw attention.
II Kings 11:10 "And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David's spears and shields, that were in the temple of the Lord."
In other words, the weapons that these men used were the actually swords and shields that David wore on the field of battle that were stored in the temple. Those swords, spears and shields were probably considered sacred objects, that would be used to defend this baby infant laying in his cradle in the chambers of the temple. These would be used by those not allowed to bring their weapons for the first wave of worshippers.
II Kings 11:11 "And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, round about the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left corner of the temple, along by the altar and the temple."
This is the house of God being protected, and not one part of the entire place was overlooked. They protected every square inch of the temple, even at the altar of God. They are ready for action, should it come.
II Kings 11:12 "And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, "God save the king."
Of course God did save this little child out of the pile of the dead sons of Ahab, because God promised David; "that he would never want for someone to sit on the throne until Messiah came, whose rightful place it was".
Jeremiah 33:17 "For thus saith the Lord; `David shall never a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;"
This little child is the only son left in the lineage of David that is left to continue the lineage of David on the throne of Israel. When the two nations of Israel, that of Judah and the nation of Israel are torn apart and scattered, the throne will still be entact for Jeremiah is the prophet of God that takes the daughters of King Zedekiah, and the three overturning began. At the close of this chapter is the lineage tracing Queen Elizabeth's bloodline all the way through this child Joash, to his father David.
II Kings 11:13 "And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the People, she came to the People into the temple of the Lord."
The protection of the child had gone on for those six years, and now that the child was seven years old, the people of the Temple are going to make this little fellow their king. When the anointing ceremonies and the crowning takes place, of course queen Athaliah heard the noise that came from the temple, and when she saw the guards standing guard at the temple, she came over to the temple of God. Remember her place of worship was over on the other side of the mount, at the temple of Baal. She never waited for someone to come and tell her that she had problems, she was a take over type, just like her mother Jezebel. She was there by herself, without her guards, or her army following her. However those that stood guard over the king, were those of her own army.
II Kings 11:14 "And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the People of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, "Treason, Treason."
As Athaliah stood and observed this little pike standing by the pillar in his little kings garments, in the same manner that a king was suppose to stand, she knew instantly what was taking place. She then understood that there was a child left over that slipped by her killing of the royal sons of the kingdom, and they had just anointed and crowned him king. Her plan to completely control the kingdom had failed, and now she is about to be dethroned.
II Kings 11:15 "But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, "Have her forth without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword." For the priest had said, "Let her not be slain in the house of the Lord."
This order from Jehoiada comes from the high priest, and with God blessings. The order was to take the queen out of God's house and away from the premises. Form a line of ranks, and don't allow her to get out of your circle, and don't allow her blood to be spilt within the house of the Lord. If there is any one that follows her, kill them with the sword. This is the high priest giving God's order to them. However no one was to be killed within the Lord's house.
II Kings 11:16 "And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which the horses came into the king's house: and there was she slain."
They took old Athaliah not by the main gate to the castle, but out the back door where the horses are kept, and come and go from the city. Finally out there in the horse barn, she was slain.
II Kings 11:17 "And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the People, that they should be the Lord's people; between the king also and the People."
Stop and think for a moment, the king has been raised in the temple, with those around and loving him being the families of the priests. Joash has been raised to the age of seven to be an honest person, respectful of God, and the ways of God. He has now become king, and those that shall advise the king are the spiritual leaders, and the military men are also taking this covenant between them and the Lord. This is the first king of Judah for many years that has been free from the teachings and influence of wicked Jezebel.
Perhaps this is a lesson for us today, that we should be studying God's Word on our own, so that we do not fall under the vail of some false teacher. Though that teacher believes that what he is teaching is true, he could be absolutely wrong and teaching nothing but tradition. It is for you to make your own mind up, for those things that you believe to be true and follow is what your eternal salvation is hinged upon. This is why we are to check all teaching out for ourselves. Keep in mind that all people are not going to have the same level of understanding, for God will open your mind to that which you are capable to handle.
God saw to it that we could have the Scriptures, through King James of England. Along with the Bible God has saw to it that scholars could read and interpret it with understanding, such as Dr. Strong, Dr. E. W. Bullinger and many others to give us Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, along with concordances and a version, such as the Companion Bible that takes the scripture to level of understanding of even a child. We are living in the final days of this earth age, and God has given his elect the material necessary to be able to have complete understanding of our times. In our studies of the Old Testament, we see that there is nothing new under the sun, it is just that people grow weary and lazy to study and prepare themselves. When you become to involved in any church system, it is difficult to stay independent in trying to please our Father. You become more concerned with pleasing a religious system and those that are over the system. If you are studying under anyone, including this material, check out the material with God's word, and learn to the level of your understanding.
So God ordered that Athaliah be destroyed, and she was, and now this seven year old child has been made king, and the nation of Judah is heading into a new direction.
II Kings 11:18 "And all the People of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the Lord."
The people of the house of Judah cleaned house in Judah, just as Jehu did in Israel, for they completely destroyed the buildings and the altars with all that was part of that Baal system. They even killed Mattan the priest of Baal, just as Jehu killed the Baal priests that Jezebel brought into Israel. It is important that when you tare out those wicked habits in your life, and things that go against God's Word, that you utterly destroy the images that cause your mind to be drawn to those wicked ways. This did not bring back the two nations into one nation Israel, but God worked in a way to take Baal and grove worship out of His nations and restore the things of God to Judah. However, Israel to the north, with Jehu as their king are still bowing to the two calves that Rehoboam establish some two hundred years prior.
II Kings 11:19 "And he took the rulers over hundreds, and the captains, and the guard, and all the People of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of the Lord, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king's house. And he sat on the throne of the kings."
So Athaliah has been killed, and all her religious system with her. God's temple has been restored, and this boy is now sitting on the throne over Judah, and in his innocence, he shall be led by the priests in the ways of the Lord.
II Kings 11:20 "And all the People of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the kings house."
This was a happy time in Judah, for all influences of Jezebel and her daughters were gone. Worship was established in all the land for sacrificing God's way in the temple at Jerusalem.
II Kings 11:21 "Seven years old was Jehoash when he began to reign."
This name Jehoash, and Joash are the same name, and the same little boy. The name in the Hebrew tongue means, "whom God (Je) hastens". We will see that at a later date there will be another "Joash" reigning over the house Israel. Joash will go on to rule for another forty years, and we see that God's Word came to pass exactly as He was stated. Remember God had stated that all the male children that had moved into the heathen Baal worship will be destroyed, and with the help of Athaliah that was completed. Then out of the pile of dead bodies, this small baby was taken into the temple, healed, and raised to take the throne over Israel, and give it a fresh start.
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