King Ahaziah of Judah
1 The people of Jerusalem appointed Jehoram’s youngest son Ahaziah as their king, because the men from Philistia who had invaded Judah with some Arabs had killed all of Jehoram’s other sons. So Ahaziah started to rule Judah.
2 Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for one year. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel.
3 King Ahaziah conducted his life just like the members of Ahab’s family had done, because his mother encouraged him to do things that are evil. 4 He did things that Yahweh considers to be evil, like the descendants of Ahab had done, because after Ahaziah’s father died, they became his advisors. And Ahaziah died as a result of heeding their bad advice. 5 He also did what they advised when he went with Joram, the son of King Ahab of Israel, to fight against the army of Hazael, the king of Syria, at Ramoth-Gilead.
6 Then King Ahaziah went down to Jezreel city to see Joram, the son of King Ahab, because he had been wounded. 7 It was during that visit that God caused Ahaziah to die. When Ahaziah arrived, he went with Joram to meet Jehu, the son of Nimshi, whom Yahweh had appointed to kill all the descendants of Ahab. 8 While Jehu and the men who were with him were killing the descendants of Ahab, they found the leaders of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s relatives who had been working for Ahaziah, and they killed all of them. 9 Then Jehu went to find Ahaziah, and his soldiers found Ahaziah while he was hiding in Samaria city. They brought him to Jehu and executed him. Then they buried his corpse, because they said, “He deserves to be buried, because he was a descendant of Jehoshaphat, who tried hard to please Yahweh.” There were no descendants of Ahaziah who were powerful enough to become the kings of Judah.
Athaliah and Joash
10 When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son had been killed, she commanded that all the members of Ahaziah’s family who might become king must be executed. 11 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Joash, Ahaziah’s very young son, away from the other sons of the king who were about to be murdered, and she hid him and his nursemaid in a bedroom in the temple. Because Jehosheba, who was the daughter of King Jehoram and the wife of the Supreme Priest Jehoiada, was Ahaziah’s sister, she hid the child, with the result that Athaliah could not kill him. 12 He remained hidden there for six years while Athaliah ruled Judah.