- Earlier, when the Arabs led a raid against Judah, they killed all of Jehoram's sons, except Ahaziah, the youngest one. So the people of Jerusalem crowned him their king.
- He was twenty-two years old at the time, and he ruled only one year from Jerusalem. Ahaziah's mother was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel,
- and she encouraged her son to sin against the LORD. He followed the evil example of King Ahab and his descendants.
- In fact, after his father's death, Ahaziah sinned against the LORD by appointing some of Ahab's relatives to be his advisors. Their advice led to his downfall.
- He listened to them and went with King Joram of Israel to attack King Hazael and the Syrian troops at Ramoth in Gilead. Joram was wounded in that battle,
- and he went to the town of Jezreel to recover. And Ahaziah later went there to visit him.
- It was during that visit that God had Ahaziah put to death. When Ahaziah arrived at Jezreel, he and Joram went to meet with Jehu grandson of Nimshi. The LORD had already told Jehu to kill every male in Ahab's family,
- and while Jehu was doing that, he saw some of Judah's leaders and Ahaziah's nephews who had come with Ahaziah. Jehu killed them on the spot,
- then gave orders to find Ahaziah. Jehu's officers found him hiding in Samaria. They brought Ahaziah to Jehu, who immediately put him to death. They buried Ahaziah only because they respected Jehoshaphat his grandfather, who had done his best to obey the LORD. There was no one from Ahaziah's family left to become king of Judah.
- As soon as Athaliah heard that her son King Ahaziah was dead, she decided to kill any relative who could possibly become king. She would have done just that,
- but Jehosheba rescued Joash son of Ahaziah just as the others were about to be murdered. Jehosheba, who was Jehoram's daughter and Ahaziah's half sister, was married to Jehoiada the priest. So she was able to hide her nephew Joash and his personal servant in a bedroom in the LORD's temple where he was safe from Athaliah.
- Joash hid in the temple with them for six years while Athaliah ruled as queen of Judah.
It would seem that idolatry is really a disguised form of Satanism which distances its worshipers from God and opens the door to allow Satan's entry. He was the true motivator behind Jezebel and her daughter Athaliah, and we see his work come into full swing in this chapter.
As a young king who was 22 years of age, Ahaziah was easily influenced toward evil by his mother, Athaliah and his uncle, Joram, who was king of Israel. Verses 3 and 4 tell us that his mother gave him evil advice which he followed to his destruction. As a result, he ruled in Jerusalem only one year. His mother's evil advise influenced him to join his uncle, Joram, king of Israel to fight against king Hazael of Aram. This fight resulted in the wounding of Joram. While he was recovering from his injury he was visited by Ahaziah. Meanwhile, God was preparing Jehu to destroy the house of Ahab and become king of Israel. Ahaziah's visit to Joram made a convenient opportunity for Jehu to kill both kings. He made his move, killing Joram but Ahaziah escaped to Samaria. Jehu sent his soldiers after Ahaziah who brought him back to Jehu and he also was killed as were his nephew's who were serving him.
These events opened an opportunity for Athaliah to take things in hand and "she proceeded to annihilate all the royal heirs of the house of Judah." (22:10) This allowed her to take rule in Judah. Her actions can be seen as an attempt by Satan to cut off the messianic line through which Jesus was to come. But the plan failed, as all Satan's plans will ultimately be the case with all his plans. Ahaziah's sister, Jehoshabeath hid away one of the royal heirs who was just an infant, and Athaliah was not able to kill him. Jehoshabeath kept the child hidden in the temple for six years while Athaliah ruled in Judah.