Mass Murder – A Historical Background to a very confusing historical text – Friday, 11th week in ordinary time – 2 Kings 11:1-4, 9-18 and 20

The united Kingdom of Israel divided after the death of Solomon (931 BC). The ten northern tribes follow King Jeroboam into idolatry. He is succeeded by 18 wicked kings, the last being Hoshea. It was in his reign, in 722 BC, the Assyrians captured and ultimately brought about the end of the Northern Kingdom. As far as the Southern Kingdom (the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah), they followed King Rehoboam who was succeeded by 11 bad kings and 8 good kings.

It is through this line of succession that we find our character, Queen Athaliah of today’s narrative. After King Rehoboam (931—913 BC) his son Abijah reigns briefly (912 BC). Abijah is succeeded by his son Asa (911 – 870 BC). Asa is succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat who reigns until 848 BC. Jehoshaphat was a godly king who “did not turn aside from doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (1 Kings. 22:43).

However, Jehoshaphat made one disastrous mistake, he made peace with the wicked king Ahab of the Northern Kingdom and married his son Jehoram to Athaliah the woman in our narrative of today. The results were disasterous. In so doing Jehoshaphat welcomed a poisonous viper into his family and exposed his son to a woman dedicated to doing evil. She pollutes her husband Jehoram and leads him astray from Yahweh.

After Jehoshaphat’s death, his son Jehoram, with Athaliah at his side, becomes king of Judah. Jehoram ruled for only 8 years (until 841 BC) but during this time the sons of Athaliah, “that wicked woman… had presented all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord to the Baals” (2 Chr. 24:7). Where did this idolatry come from? Her parents, Ahab and Jezebel, king and queen of the Northern Kingdom!

Spread the love ♥
Continue Reading