The End of Wicked Athaliah

August 16, 2016

When Jehu (841 BC) killed King Jehoram (Israel) and King Ahaziah (Judah), Ahaziah’s mother, Queen-mother Athaliah (daughter of Ahab and Jezebel) moved quickly to position herself in power as ruler of Judah. Called “that wicked woman Athaliah” (2 Chron. 24:7, NIV), she killed all of her son Ahaziah’s children, her own grandchildren, and proclaimed herself ruler of Judah. Only one-year-old Joash was spared (unknown to Athaliah) by faithful priest Jehoiada and his wife Jehosheba (sister to Ahaziah! (2 Kings 1:1-3)

Jehoiada waited six years to make his move:

Now in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of hundreds of the Carites and of the guard, and brought them to him in the house of the LORD. Then he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the LORD, and showed them the king’s son (2 Kings 11:4).

Then on a Sabbath at the time of the shift change, so as to include all who were finishing their duties as well as those who were arriving, armed with swords, spears and shields, and surrounding young Joash, Jehoiada “put the crown on him and gave him the testimony; and they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, ‘Long live the king!'”

Model of Temple Mount and city of David. Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Model of Temple Mount and city of David. Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

The inspired historian continues:

When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people in the house of the LORD. 14 She looked and behold, the king was standing by the pillar, according to the custom, with the captains and the trumpeters beside the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced and blew trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” 15 And Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of hundreds who were appointed over the army and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks, and whoever follows her put to death with the sword.” For the priest said, “Let her not be put to death in the house of the LORD.” 16 So they seized her, and when she arrived at the horses’ entrance of the king’s house, she was put to death there. 17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they would be the LORD’S people, also between the king and the people. 2 Kings 11:13-17.

Our photo shows a very nice model of the temple and city of David, featured at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. This can help us visualize the setting for the events of our text of 2 Kings 11.

Jezebel’s Violent Death

August 7, 2016

I am enjoying being with the church of Christ in Chipley, FL, for a 3-day meeting conducting a Visualized Survey of the Bible. This morning we will include that challenging period of Israel’s Divided Kingdom.

Once Jehu was anointed to be king of Israel (841 BC) he immediately killed King Jehoram. But the Queen-mother Jezebel (wife of deceased King Ahab) had to be reckoned with also.

Woman Looking Out Window. Phoenician Art. Hecht Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin

Woman Looking Out Window. Phoenician Art. Hecht Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin

The biblical text reads:

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. 31 As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?” 32 Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him. 33 He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot. 34 When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” 35 They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 Therefore they returned and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, This is Jezebel.'” (2 Kings 9:30-37).

For the prophecy referenced by Jehu, see 1 Kings 21:23.

Our photo is from the Phoenician exhibit at the Hecht Museum at the University of Haifa, Israel. The placard dated this artifact at 8th century bc, which would be just slightly after the time of Jezebel. It well illustrates her looking out the window at Jehu before she was thrown to her death below.

Click image for larger view.

%d bloggers like this: