2 Kings 11: Queen Athaliah

The opposite of what a Godly woman is to be, Athaliah is ruthless and conniving.


Queen Jezebel is known for her idolatry and may be the more famous of Israel's queens, but Athaliah is just as ruthless. She stops at nothing to claim power for herself.

Becoming Queen

When Athaliah finds out that her son (Ahaziah) is dead, she kills anyone who would be in line for the throne! Assumably, her husband's other sons are for other wives but we learn that even her grandson was in danger of her violence. By the grace of God, Ahaziah's sister Jehosheba hides Ahaziah's son, Johash (also written Joash in some places). With all of the heirs dead (or in hiding), Athaliah assumes the throne.

The True King

Jehosheba keeps Johash hidden in the Temple for 6 years; she raises and protects him during this time. The 7th year, the high priest calls together the captains of the multitudes and has them swear an oath to protect the rightful king. The priest places the crown on his head while the armed soldiers protect him. The priest proclaims "God save the king," which could be the origin of this phrase.

Fight For the Throne

Athatliah hears the commotion at the Temple and comes to see what has happened. When she sees that they have anointed him king, she rents her close and decries the act as treason. The priest allows the army to pursue her and kill her but specifies that they must not kill her in the Temple. Not only do they kill Athaliah, they kill the priest of Baal and break the pagan altar. Jehoash becomes king at 7 years old.

Relating to Today

There are plenty of people who will do anything, including murder those closest to them, for power. However, the important thing to remember is that there are also people following God. God looks out for His people, just like He looked out for Jehoash, who grows up to be a great king. Jehoash is made king at only 7 years old when God places him on the throne, proof that even at a young age we may be called to the service of God.



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