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Ahaziah, King of Judah, and Zibiah

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Ahaziah. King of Judah. [CHART A7].
Son of Jehoram, King of Judah.

Ahaziah of Judah, or Jehoahaz (2 Chronicles 21:17; 25:23), was a king of Judah, and the son of Jehoram and Athaliah, the daughter (or possibly sister) of king Ahab of Israel. According to 2 Kings 8:26, Ahaziah was 22 years old when he began to reign, and reigned for one year in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 22:2 gives his age as 42 years when his reign began in Jerusalem. Most scholars regard the 42 years in 2 Chronicles 22:2 as a copyist's error for an original 22 years. The age of 22 is also found in some Greek and Syrian versions of 2 Chronicles 22:2.
William F. Albright has dated his reign to 842 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the date 841/840 BC. As explained in the Rehoboam article, Thiele's chronology for the first kings of Judah contained an internal inconsistency that placed Ahaziah's reign one year after his mother Athaliah usurped the throne. Later scholars corrected this by dating these kings one year earlier, so that Ahaziah's dates are taken as one year earlier than Thiele's in the present article. (S2).

Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 1 Chronicles 3:11.

24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead. 25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign. 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. 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. 28 And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramothgilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram. 29 And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick. 2 Kings 8:24-29.

14So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria. 15But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, [then] let none go forth [nor] escape out of the city to go to tell [it] in Jezreel. 16So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram. 17And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, [Is it] peace? 18So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, [Is it] peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again. 2 Kings 9:14-18.

19 Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. 20 And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. 21 And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many? 23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah. 24 And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. 25 Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him; 26 Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the LORD. 27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there. 28 And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David. 29 And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah. 2 Kings 9:19-29.

13Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who [are] ye? And they answered, We [are] the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen. 14And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, [even] two and forty men; neither left he any of them. 2 Kings 10:13-14.

1And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal. 2But 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. 3And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land. 2 Kings 11:1-3.

17Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem. 18And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat, and Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold [that was] found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king's house, and sent [it] to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem. 2 Kings 12:17-18.

2 Chronicles, Chapter 22:
1 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned. 2 Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. 3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly. 4 Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction. 5 He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram. 6 And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the wounds which were given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick. 7 And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. 8 And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them. 9 And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom. 10 But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not. 12 And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land. 2 Chronicles, Chapter 22.

Under the influence of his mother Athaliah, Ahaziah introduced forms of worship that offended the Yahwistic party. (S2).
< br> Members of her family became his advisors and encouraged him to join his uncle Jehoram, king of Israel, in an expedition against Hazael, king of the Arameans. Jehoram was wounded in the battle, and went to recuperate at Jezreel. Ahaziah also left the field of conflict in Gilead, and, after a visit to Jerusalem, came to Jezreel for a conference with Jehoram, and was caught up in the revolt by Jehu.[5] According to the account given in the Second Book of Kings, Ahaziah and Jehoram both went out to meet the rebellious general, with Jehoram learning too late of Jehu's murderous intentions. Ahaziah watched as his uncle was shot by Jehu, who was armed with a bow. Ahaziah fled for his life, but was wounded at the pass of Gur in Ibleam and had strength only to reach Megiddo, where he died (2 Kings 9:22-28). 2 Chronicles, however, gives a somewhat different account of Ahaziah's death, which has him hiding in Samaria after Jehu's coup, only to be found and killed by Jehu's henchmen on their king's orders. (S2).
< br> Tel Dan Stele.
The author of the inscription on the Tel Dan Stele (found in 1993 and 1994 during archeological excavations of the site of Lashish) claimed to have slain both Ahaziah, son of Jehoram, and Jehoram; the most likely author of this monument is Hazael of the Arameans. Although the inscription may be a contemporary witness of this period, kings of this period were inclined to boast and make exaggerated claims; it is not clear whether Jehu killed the two kings (as the Bible reports) or Hazael (as the Tel Dan Stele reports), or if Jehu acted in concert with Hazael. Bryant G. Wood notes that in 1 Kings 19:15 the prophet Elijah was directed by God to go to Damascus and anoint Hazael king of Aram, "an unusual circumstance". Hazael later resumed his attacks on Israel. (S2).

Chronological notes
The calendars for reckoning the years of kings in Judah and Israel were offset by six months, that of Judah starting in Tishri (in the fall) and that of Israel in Nisan (in the spring). Cross-synchronizations between the two kingdoms therefore often allow narrowing of the beginning and/or ending dates of a king to within a six-month range. For Ahaziah, the Scriptural data allow the narrowing of his accession to some time between Nisan 1 of 841 BC and the day before Tishri 1 of the same BC year. For calculation purposes, this should be taken as the Judean year beginning in Tishri of 842/841 BC, or more simply 842 BC. His death occurred within this six-month period. These dates are one year earlier than those given in the third edition of Thiele's Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, thereby correcting an internal consistency that Thiele never resolved, as explained in the Rehoboam article. (S2).

Leslie McFall proposed a coregency between Ahaziah and his father Jehoram that was occasioned by the disease Jehoram contracted one year before he died (2 Chronicles 21:18-19).[7] McFall's conception of a one-year coregency is consistent with the seriousness of the disease contracted by Jehoram, such as would make it a matter of common sense to appoint a coregent. It would explain the apparent discrepancy between 2 Kings 8:25 and 2 Kings 9:29. In the first reference, Ahaziah is said to begin in the 12th year of Jehoram of Israel, whereas the second gives it as Jehoram's 11th year. The first reference would be to the start of the sole reign, the second to the start of the coregency, one year earlier. Thiele's explanation of the apparent discrepancy between these two verses was that 2 Kings 8:25 was by non-accession reckoning and 2 Kings 9:29 by accession reckoning, reflecting the transition that Thiele said was taking place at this time from non-accession reckoning back to accession reckoning for the kingdom of Judah.[8] Although Thiele's suggestion has merit, McFall's coregency has been adopted in the infobox below. This begins one-year coregency sometime in the six months on or after Nisan 1 of 842 BC, which was in the 11th year of Jehoram of Israel (2 Kings 9:29) by Israel's Nisan calendar and non-accession reckoning (2 Kings 9:29). By a Judean calendar the year would be 843/842 BC, i.e. the year starting in Tishri of 843 BC. The start of his sole reign would be in the six months following Nisan 1 of 841 BC, in the 12th year of Jehoram of Israel (2 Kings 8:25); his death also occurred in this six-month interval. By Judean reckoning, this would have been in the regnal year 842/841, i.e. the year that started in Tishri of 842 BC. (S2).

WIFE:
Zibiah
Zibiah, or Sibia, was the consort of King Ahaziah of Judah, and the mother of King Jehoash of Judah. She was from Beersheba. She is mentioned only in 2 Kings 12:1 and 2 Chronicles 24:1. The biblical references give no information about her other than her association with Beersheba and Joash. (S3).

CHILDREN of Ahaziah and Zibiah:
  1. Joash. [CHART A7].


SOURCES:

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