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Athaliah Of Judah

Athaliah was the granddaughter of King Omri Of Israel (she was also known as "the daughter of Omri" according to the frequent Biblical custom, for both males and females, in which grandchildren and later descendants were sometimes called sons or daughters of a distant ancestor, just as Jesus Christ was known as the "son of man" i.e. son of Adam - see The Adam Family), daughter of Ahab and Jezebel of Israel (see Ahab Of Israel), the wife of Jehoram, king of Judah (see Jehoram Of Judah) and the mother of Ahaziah, king of Judah (see Ahaziah Of Judah).

"8:25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel [see The Northern Kingdom] did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah [see The Southern Kingdom] begin to reign. 8:26 Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel. 8:27 And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the LORD, as did the house of Ahab: for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab." (2 Kings 8:25-27 KJV)

"Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason"

Athaliah carried on the evil behavior of her notoriously-wicked parents (see The Fall Of Ahab and Jezebel). When her husband and son, both of whom had been reigning kings, were killed in separate incidents, Athaliah seized the throne of Judah for herself by putting to death all of the legitimate heirs to the throne. The royal slaughter would have been complete if not for the heroic action of the princess Jehosheba (also known as Jehoshabeath), the daughter of king Joram, who saved her infant nephew (i.e. "Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah") and hid him in the Temple (Jehosheba was married to the high priest Jehoiada i.e. 2 Chronicles 22:11) where the true royal heir had refuge for the six years of Athaliah's reign. In doing so, she preserved the unbroken royal line that extended from King David to Jesus Christ (see the Fact Finder question below).

The Holy Scriptures

"11:1 And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.

11:2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.

11:3 And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land." (2 Kings 11:1-2 KJV)

Athaliah held the throne of Judah for six years until Jehoiada the high priest declared it was time to restore the monarchy to the rightful heir. A coup resulted in the lawful restoration of the royal line, upon which Athaliah hypocritically accused the army and the priesthood of treason.

"11:4 And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and showed them the king's son. 11:5 And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's house; 11:6 And a third part shall be at the gate of Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard: so shall ye keep the watch of the house, that it be not broken down. 11:7 And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD about the king. 11:8 And ye shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain: and be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in.

11:9 And the captains over the hundreds did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that should go out on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. 11:10 And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David's spears and shields, that were in the temple of the LORD. 11:11 And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, round about the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left corner of the temple, along by the altar and the temple.

11:12 And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king [see Royal Democracy].

11:13 And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD. 11:14 And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason." (2 Kings 11:4-14 KJV)

The murderous Athaliah's own demise was then inevitable, as was that of all of the corrupt "priests of Baal" that had served Jezebel's daughter Athaliah.

"11:15 But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the priest had said, Let her not be slain in the house of the LORD. 11:16 And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which the horses came into the king's house: and there was she slain.

11:17 And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD's people; between the king also and the people. 11:18 And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.

And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD. 11:19 And he took the rulers over hundreds, and the captains, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of the LORD, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king's house. And he sat on the throne of the kings. 11:20 And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house." (2 Kings 11:15-20 KJV)

Fact Finder: How was the royal line to The Messiah preserved from King David?
See Israelite Dynasties

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