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2 Chronicles Chapter Twenty-two


2 Chronicles 22

Chapter Contents

The reign of Ahaziah, Athaliah destroys the royal family.

The counsel of the ungodly ruins many young persons when they are setting out in the world. Ahaziah gave himself up to be led by evil men. Those who advise us to do wickedly, counsel us to our destruction; while they pretend to be friends, they are our worst enemies. See and dread the mischief of bad company. If not the infection, yet let the destruction be feared, Revelation 18:4. We have here, a wicked woman endeavouring to destroy the house of David, and a good woman preserving it. No word of God shall fall to the ground. The whole truth of the prophecies that the Messiah was to come from David, and thereby the salvation of the world, appeared to be now hung upon the brittle thread of the life of a single infant, to destroy whom was the interest of the reigning power. But God had purposed, and vain were the efforts of earth and hell.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 2 Chronicles


2 Chronicles 22

Verse 2

[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.

Forty two years — Some acknowledge an error in the transcribers of the present Hebrew copies, in which language the numeral letters for 22 and 42 are so like, that they might easily be mistaken. For that it was read 22 here, as it is in the book of Kings, in other Hebrew copies, they gather from hence, that it is at this day so read in divers ancient Greek copies, as also in those two ancient translations, the Syriack and the Arabick, and particularly in that most ancient copy of the Syriack which was used by the church of Antioch in the primitive times, and to this day is kept in the church of Antioch.

The daughter — Of Ahab, Omri's Son. Grand-children are often called sons and daughters.

Verse 4

[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.

His father — Who, while he lived, seduced his son himself, and made other evil counsellors unnecessary.

Verse 9

[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.

Ahaziah — Who, tho' wounded, had made an escape, 2 Kings 9:27.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 2 Chronicles


22 Chapter 22


Verses 1-12

Verses 1-9

2 Chronicles 22:1-9

And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king.

Ahaziah’s wicked reign

I. Its beginning through home influence. Here all start life in right or wrong direction. Home influence affects societies, Churches, and nations.

II. Its continuance by evil counsellors (2 Chronicles 22:4). A nation with evil legislators like a ship directed in the midst of rooks--in imminent peril.

III. Its end in judgment which it entailed. (J. Wolfendale.)

Verse 8

2 Chronicles 22:8

For his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.

A mother’s influence

Every first thing continues for ever with the child; the first colour, the first music, the first flower paint the foreground of life. Every new educator effects less than his predecessor, until at last, if we regard all life as an educational institute, a circumnavigator of the world is less influenced by all the nations he has seen than by his nurse. (W. Richter.)

A mother’s influence

Mothers, ye are the sculptors of the souls of the coming men; queens of the cradle, humble or high, ye are the queens of the future. In your hands lie the destinies of men. I am not speaking poetry, but plain fact, which history proves. Nero’s mother was a murderess; Nero was a murderer, on a gigantic scale. Byron’s mother was proud, ill-tempered, and violent; Byron was proud, ill-tempered, and violent. Washington’s mother was noble and pure; Washington was noble and pure. Scott’s mother loved poetry and painting; you know what Walter Scott was. Carlyle’s mother was stern, and full of reverence; Carlyle very much so. Wesley’s mother was a God-like woman; Wesley was a God-like man. The prison chaplain will tell you that the last thing forgotten, in all the recklessness of dissolute profligacy, is the prayer or hymn taught by a mother’s lips, or uttered at a father’s knee. Yes, when all other roads are closed, there is one road open to the heart of the desperate man--the memory of his mother. (Great Thoughts.)

An unnatural mother

“For his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.” There must be a mistranslation! All nature is offended by this tremendous affront. Can we not.find some other word for “mother”? Any other word will do better, even “father” would not be so objectionable. The one word that cannot be tolerated here is the word that is found, namely, “mother”! We might close the Bible here, and say the book that contains this statement was never inspired. But we cannot do so. Then the word “counsellor” is so full of plan, premeditation, arrangement; the mother was a schoolmistress, with one pupil, and she suggested, invented, culminated ends, whispered, threw out hints, advised bad policies; told him when he was halting because the course was evil to “go on!” Napoleon said, “They that rock the cradle rule the world.” To have a cradle rocked by such a mother as Athaliah surely were enough to be foredoomed to endless misery! How sweetly the text would have read had it proceeded on the lines of nature!--for his mother was his counsellor to do bravely. Surely the word “wickedly” is a misprint, traceable to some careless copyist!--his mother was his counsellor to do wisely, patiently, hopefully,--these would have been womanly words, words most motherly, the very words with which we build home and Church and heaven. But the word is “wickedly,” and we must regard it in its literal significance. What are mothers doing now? They could be God’s foremost ministers. No man can pray like a woman; no man has the art of eloquence as a woman has it; no one can come into life so silently, quietly, blessingly as woman, mother, sister. If women would preach surely the world would listen. They ought to preach; they know the secret of love, they have the answer to the Cross, they can solve in some degree the enigma of sacrifice. This is the very reason of the horribleness of the text. If woman had been otherwise, then the word “wickedly” would not have read with such a sense of irony and moral collision as it does in this instance. It is because woman can be so heavenly that she can be so low, and wicked, and bad; it is because she can be so like a saviour that she can be such an engine and agent of ruin. (J. Parker, D. D.)

Verse 12

2 Chronicles 22:12

And Athaliah reigned over the land.

The evil effects of royal marriages

A distinguished authority on European history is fond of pointing to the evil effects of royal marriages as one of the chief drawbacks to the monarchical system of government. A crown may at any time devolve upon a woman, and by her marriage with a powerful reigning prince her country may virtually be subjected to a foreign yoke. If it happens that the new sovereign professes a different religion from that of his wife’s subjects, the evils arising from the marriage are seriously aggravated. Some such fate befell the Netherlands as the result of the marriage of Mary of Burgundy with the Emperor Maximilian, and England was only saved from the danger of transference to Catholic dominion by the caution and patriotism of Queen Elizabeth. Athaliah’s usurpation was a bold attempt to reverse the usual process and transfer the husband’s dominions to the authority of faith of the wife’s family. It is probable that Athaliah’s permanent success would have led to the absorption of Judah in the northern kingdom. Our own history furnishes numerous illustrations of the evil influences that come in the train of foreign queens. Edward II suffered grievously at the hands of his French queen; Henry VI.’s wife, Margaret of Anjou, contributed considerably to the prolonged bitterness of the struggle between York and Lancaster; and to Henry VIII’s marriage with Catherine of Aragon the country owed the miseries and persecutions inflicted by Mary Tudor. But no foreign queen of England has had the opportunities for mischief that were enjoyed and fully utilised by Athaliah. The peace and honour and prosperity of godly families in all ranks of life have been disturbed, and often destroyed, by the marriage of one of their members with a woman of alien spirit mad temperament. (W. H. Bennett, M.A.)

──The Biblical Illustrator