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2 Chronicles 22


(LXX versing)
Ahaziah Succeeds Jehoram in Judah Ahaziah Reigns in Judah The Brief but Wicked Reign of Ahaziah; the Usurpation of Athaliah King Ahaziah of Judah Reign of Ahaziah
22:1-4 22:1-9 22:1-6 22:1-6 22:1-9a
Ahaziah Allies with Jehoram of Israel
Jehu Murders Princes of Judah 22:7-9 22:7-9a
22:9b 22:9b
Athaliah Reigns in Judah Queen Athaliah of Judah Athaliah Massacres the Royal Family
22:10-12 22:10-12 22:10-12 22:10-12 22:10-12

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


1Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, for the band of men who came with the Arabs to the camp had slain all the older sons. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. 2Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri. 3He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly. 4He did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab, for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction.

22:1 "Ahaziah" This same person is called "Jehoahaz" in 2 Chr. 1:17. It is hard in this chapter to identify persons because of the same name.

"for the band of men who came with the Arabs to the camp had slain all the older sons" These are the Arabs who were allied with the Ethiopian rulers of Egypt (cf. 2 Chr. 14:9-15; 17:11). This is apparently related to 2 Chr. 21:16-17.

Irony—two royal children saved; one is evil, Ahaziah and one is godly, Joash. The Messianic line from David continues!

NASB, TEV  "twenty-two"
NKJV, NRSV, NJB  "forty-two"

The MT has "forty two" but the text is so in doubt that the UBS Text Project cannot choose between the two forms. 2 Kings 8:26 has "twenty two." Some LXX MSS have "twenty" and some have "twenty two." Chronology strongly suggests the lower number (42 would make him older than his father).

The AB, p. 125, suggests that the two versions of the LXX were combined to get "42," in an effort by the Chronicler to preserve both LXX text traditions.

"the granddaughter of Omri" See full note at 2 Chr. 21:6.

22:3-6 What a tragedy! Israel and Judah had reunited, not around YHWH but around Ba'al. The judgment of YHWH (i.e., Jehu) on Ahab's house (including later, Athaliah) fell on Jehoram, the short-lived king of Judah.

22:3 "walked in the ways of the house of Ahab" This northern king was the one who popularized Ba'al worship because of the encouragement of his Phoenician wife, Jezebel (cf. 1 Kgs. 16:29-22:40).


22:4 "He did evil in the sight of the Lord" This is theologically parallel to "walked in the ways of the house of Ahab." It denotes idolatry and covenant disobedience.

YHWH is described in anthropomorphic language. Humans use earthly, time-oriented language to describe an eternal, spiritual Being!


"his counselors" The ones we listen to and seek advice from are crucial people in our spiritual lives! Be careful!

5He also walked according to their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. But the Arameans wounded Joram. 6So he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. And Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick. 7Now the destruction of Ahaziah was from God, in that he went to Joram. For when he came, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.

22:5 Notice the two different spellings of the same name.

  1. Jehoram ‒ יהורם
  2. Joram ‒ יורם
NKJV, TEV, LXX  "Syrians wounded"
NASB, NRSV, REB, NJB, JPSOA, Peshitta  "Arameans wounded"

The MT has הרמים, which seems to be the root for "archers,"רמה (BDB 941), not "Aram," ארם (BDB 74), which is used earlier in 2 Chr. 22:5. 2 Kings 8:28 has "the Syrians wounded/smote Joram." The UBS Text Project does not address the possible variant.

22:6 "Ramah" This is not the city in Naphtali (cf. Josh. 19:29,36) but a reference to the battle in Ramoth-gilead. Young's Analytical Concordance lists it as a contraction of "Ramoth-gilead" (here and in 2 Kgs. 8:29).

"Ahaziah" The MT has "Azariah" (BDB 741, JPSOA) but 2 Kgs. 8:29 has "Ahaziah" (BDB 28, cf. 2 Kgs. 9:16; NRSV, REV, NJB, LXX, Peshitta, and Vulgate). The UBS Text Project, p. 465, gives "Ahaziah" a "C" rating (considerable doubt).

22:7 Ahaziah's (Jehoahaz) demise is attributed to a direct influence by YHWH because of his disobedience (cf. 2 Chr. 21:14-15). This is characteristic of the Chronicler! He saw YHWH's hand in all of Judah/Israel's affairs.

"Jehu" He is characterized as "whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab" (cf. 2 Kgs. 9:6,7). This was a prophetic anointing by Elisha! The full account or Jehu is found in 2 Kgs. 9:1-10:31.


8It came about when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah's brothers ministering to Ahaziah, and slew them. 9He also sought Ahaziah, and they caught him while he was hiding in Samaria; they brought him to Jehu, put him to death and buried him. For they said, "He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart." So there was no one of the house of Ahaziah to retain the power of the kingdom.

22:8-9 The leaders of Judah are also affected by YHWH's judgment on Ahab's house. This is paralleled in 2 Kgs. 10:12-14.

22:9 The account of Jehu's assassination of Ahaziah is recorded differently in 2 Kgs. 9:27. Kings and Chronicles used different sources.

"Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart" This theological statement is a key to Chronicles. It is the way kings are evaluated.

  1. Rehoboam ‒ did not, 2 Chr. 12:14
  2. Asa ‒ did, 2 Chr. 14:7; did not, 2 Chr. 16:12
  3. Jehoshaphat ‒ did, 2 Chr. 19:3; 22:9
  4. Uzziah ‒ did, 2 Chr. 26:5
  5. Hezekiah ‒ did, 2 Chr. 31:12
  6. Josiah ‒ did, 2 Chr. 34:3

Because they did, the blessings of Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28 are given to them and their people (cf. 2 Chr. 14:7; 17:5,11-12; 26:5; 31:21).

10Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah. 11But Jehoshabeath the king's daughter took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. 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 would not put him to death. 12He was hidden with them in the house of God six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.

22:10-12 Athaliah saw the power vacuum and acted so she could reign.

However, one child was spared (2 Chr. 22:11). There were still godly, faithful people in Judah.

Jehoshabeath is

  1. King Jehoram of Judah's daughter
  2. wife of Jehoida the priest
  3. sister of King Ahaziah
  4. Athaliah's daughter or the daughter of another wife/concubine of Jehoram

YHWH is acting to preserve the Messianic line of David (cf. 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17).

22:10 "she rose and destroyed" The MT has "she rose and commanded" with the implication of "kill" the other royal children (lit. "seed").

The LXX, Peshitta, and Vulgate emend "said" (דבר, BDB 180, KB 210,Piel IMPERFECT with waw) to the similar root, אבד, BDB 1, "destroy" (cf. 2 Kgs. 11:1).

A good brief discussion of scribal errors is in R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, pp. 254-257.

22:11 "Jehoshabeath" 2 Kings 11:2 called her "Jehosheba." Oh how different the lives of Athaliah and Jeehoshabeath. One of sin and self, one of faith and selflessness! YHWH directed one; Satan directed the other.

"in the bedroom" I do not know why NASB puts the word "bedroom" (BDB 641) in italics. It is in the MT here and 2 Kgs. 11:2. This term can mean

  1. where one sleeps ‒ Exod. 8:3; 2 Sam. 4:7; 2 Kgs. 6:12
  2. where extra bedding is stored ‒ 2 Kgs. 11:2; 2 Chr. 22:11

Later the boy was kept in the temple chambers reserved for the priests (or possibly High Priest only). This is why Athaliah could not find him.

22:12 "Athalia reigned" See parallel in 2 Kings 11.

"six years" This was probably the length of Athaliah's reign (cf. Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, p. 104, #18.


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. Why is the house of Ahab condemned?
  2. Explain the theological statement at the beginning of 2 Chr. 22:7.
  3. Why was Jehu anointed?
  4. How is 2 Chr. 21:4 related to 22:10?
  5. How does 2 Chr. 22:11 show that faith and faithlessness run in the same family?

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