Daniel Agee

2nd Kings 11: Fall of the House of Ahab

Daniel AgeeYehu (Jehu) was told by God to kill all of the male’s of Ahab’s family line. He was able to do that in Israel, but he had no control over the land of Yehudah (Judah). Why are there descendants of Ahab in Yehudah? Despite the confusion about God that Ahab had spread in the northern kingdom of Israel, one of his descendants, Yoash (Joash), actually rolled back some of that damage early in his life.

Ahab and Yezebel (Jezebel) had children together but Ahab had 70 sons (most of them not mothered by Jezebel). Ahab had a daughter named Athaliah and Yehosophat (Jehosophat) had a son named Jehoram and they were married, so David’s royal line was mixed with the line of Ahab. 

Since Jehu was not able to kill all the sons of Ahab in Yehudah, God allowed Ahab’s own daughter Athaliah to kill off all of Ahab’s male descendants in Yehudah. God used an evil woman to do His will. She killed off her own offsprings to become Queen. Why did she want to do that? 

What do you remember about Yehosophat king of Yehudah? What did he do right? He sent his sons out all throughout the land of Yehudah and made sure they taught all the people of Yehudah about God. His sons acted as governors throughout the land. No other king before him did that. 

After Yehosophat died, his son Jehoram killed off all his brothers because he wanted exclusive control over the land. He was the one married to Athaliah. If Jehoram was willing to exterminate her own brothers, then Athaliah exterminating her own grandchildren is not that much of a stretch. 

“But Yehosheba (Jehosheba), the daughter of King Yoram (Joram), sister of Ahaziah, took Yoash (Joash) the son of Ahaziah and stole him from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So they hid him from Athaliah, and he was not put to death.” (2Kings 11:2)

How was Yoash hidden? When you read this same story in 2Chronicles 22-23, we see written that Athaliah sent a “plague” to kill off the male heirs. She could not have sent armed men to kill them would have sparked a rebellion because the people of Yehudah knew that God promised David that there would always be an heir of David on the throne. Poison was a more subtle way kill off the young men and would not have provoked a fight.

When God built the tabernacle in the wilderness, only God lived in the tabernacle. However, when Solomon built the Temple, it was a third story building and it had many rooms. Priests were allowed to live in the Temple. The only woman who would have lived there is the High Priest’s wife. This is how they could hide Yoash away. She was able to hide Yoash until he was 7 years old.

“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.” (2Kings 11:4)

At this time, most of the people assume that all of David’s heirs are dead. But once they see that Yoash, David’s heir is alive. They have hope. Up to this point, people didn’t have hope, and Athaliah was safe because there was no point in taking her off the throne since they had no one better to put on the throne in her place. 

Queen Athaliah has been in charge for seven years and she has developed a loyal following so they had to assume there would be people willing to fight to defend her. 

Yehoiada (Jehoiada) gathered up all the Levites and the chief fathers of the people of Yehudah and planned the coup against Queen Athaliah. The Levites served God and they had no loyalty to Athaliah whatsoever.  Chief Fathers had a Torah assignment not to be loyal to the queen. Their loyalty was to the king. 

Levites know how to use weapons, they were to guard the Temple from contamination. There were 12 large gates to the Temple so there were plenty of Levites with the skills of violence to pull off this coup. 

But the Levites didn’t plan and execute the coup alone. The chief Fathers and their infantry were also smuggled into the Temple in plain sight. 

God spends a lot of time documenting the planning of this coup. Why? All the kings of Yehudah exhibit Messianic characteristics. There’s something unique about Yoash and it’s not just his Davidic DNA. 

Yoash is a descendant of Ahab but he is also the only surviving royal heir of David. There are many biological descendants of David all over the place only one son per generation was the royal heir.  Athaliah didn’t kill over every single descendant of David, only the royal heirs who could have threatened her claim to the throne.

Strictly speaking, Yoash should have been killed because he was a descendant of Ahab but because he was also a descendant of David, and God had to keep his promise to David, Yoash was saved. God could have saved an older son but he saved the infant Yoash and “replanted” him in the Temple so he was raised in God’s house, not the royal house. Yoash was anointed king in God’s house by God’s high priest. 

The people understood enough about God’s word to be willing to swear allegiance to God. They removed the Baal and Athaliah. 

Yoash’s first job as king was to clean up and fix up God’s house. 

A man, raised in God’s house, anointed in God’s house, grows up and removes God’s competition. That is the job of the Messiah. 

What is the point of his chapter? This chapter is here so we would know what Messiah is supposed to do. Each chapter, each prophet shows us more details about the story of the Messiah. His name is changed from Yoash to Yehoash (Jehoash). When Yoash becomes king, he gets a new name, a new identity. Yoash is a human being, and imperfect and his entire reign is not a good one but one does not have to be perfect to be a Messianic figure. Here we see him in all his potential. Later, we’ll learn about his path. 

Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.

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