Ahaziah, King of Judah

The Reign of Ahaziah, Son of Jehoram

Crown with Maltese Cross
Jehoram's son, Ahaziah, was 22 years old when he became king, and reigned only one year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, Ahab's daughter. As Ahaziah and his mother were the only survivors of the execution of Jehoram's family, Ahaziah looked to his mother and was greatly influenced by her, and followed in the wicked and idolatrous ways of the house of Ahab.

Poorly counseled, Ahaziah went with Ahab's son, Joram, to war against Hazael, the king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead. The Syrians wounded Joram and he retreated to convalesce in Jezreel. Ahaziah went down to see Joram, but this visit would prove to be a fatal error for Ahaziah.

The prophet Elijah had previously given an assignment to Elisha, and now was the time to perform it. Elisha sent one of the sons of the prophets to anoint Jehu king over Israel and to command him to exterminate all of Ahab's descendents. So Jehu was proclaimed king of Israel and immediately rode in a chariot to Jezreel. A watchman in the tower on the wall of Jezreel announced to King Joram that the company of Jehu was approaching. Joram had a man ride out to him to ask Jehu if he was coming in peace, but Jehu warned the messenger to get out of the way. The watchman told the king, and Joram quickly dispatched another messenger, but Jehu told him the same thing. The watchman again told Joram, and then both kings, Joram and Ahaziah, got in a chariot to go out to meet Jehu. He asked Jehu, “Is it peace?” Jehu's response was unmistakable. “What peace, as long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft are so many?”

Joram quickly turned to flee, shouting to Ahaziah, “Treachery!” Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram in the back, piercing through his heart with the tip coming out his chest. When Ahaziah saw what was done, he attempted to escape, and tried to hide in Samaria. However, Jehu's men pursued him and shot him also. He made it as far as Megiddo where he died. Ahaziah's servants carried him in the chariot to Jerusalem, then buried him in his tomb with the kings in Jerusalem.

When Ahaziah's mother, Athaliah, knew that her son had been killed, she determined to take the throne herself. She murdered all the royal heirs of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath (Jehosheba), the sister of Ahaziah, took Ahaziah's son, Joash, and hid him and his nurse in a bedroom. He was hidden in the house of God for six years while Athaliah reigned. (2 Kings 8:24 - 9:29; 2 Chronicles 22:1-12)

Written by: Pete Miller