Athaliah

2 Kings 11:1

11:1 Athaliah. That a grandmother could be so callous as to slay all her grandchildren in order to gain the throne of Judah for herself seems almost inhuman. However, Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (II Chronicles 21:6) and the wife of Jehoram, whom she had persuaded to follow the Baalite idolatry of her parents rather than the true worship of Jehovah practiced by his father Jehoshaphat. Athaliah is also called the daughter of Omri (II Chronicles 22:2), who was Ahab’s father, and also very evil and anti-Jehovah. Omri was Athaliah’s cultural and dynastic father (she was of the “house of Omri,” as was Ahab), but biologically he was her grandfather. No doubt, she wanted to establish Baalism as the state religion of Judah, as Jezebel had almost accomplished in Israel. Since she had been Judah’s queen for the twelve years Jehoram reigned and queen regent for the one year her son Ahaziah reigned, and since all the latter’s sons were still quite young, she decided to seize power herself. Her cruelty to her grandsons was, no doubt, partly due to Baalite religious zeal as well as personal ambition.

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