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Ahaziah, Wicked King of Judah

Ahaziah

Ahaziah

 

The kingdom of Israel was divided in half during the reign of King Rehoboam and since this the kingdoms of Israel and Judah have always endured problems. The Israeli kings were cursed by Jeroboam who started a false religion so he could retain his power. The kings of Judah usually kept the true worship of God but many of the rulers tolerated the worship of pagan deities and built foreign altars in their territory. King Ahaziah of Judah was one of those kings that had deliberately led the people away from God while he was in power. He ruled Judah for a very short amount of time. He is found on the Bible World History Timeline starting around 898 BC.

King Ahaziah Early Years

King Ahaziah was the son of King Jehoram and his name means “God holds firm”. King Ahab of Israel was Jehoram’s father in law because he married his daughter Athalia. God considered King Ahab to be one of the wickedest kings in the history of Israel. After King Jehoram had claimed the throne he killed all of his brothers so they would not challenge his right to rule. King Jehoram’s father was a godly king named Jehoshaphat who led the people in the ways of God. King Jehoram grew up observing his father as he ruled the kingdom of Judah but he just didn’t follow Jehoshaphat’s example. After he married Ahab’s daughter Athalia he became increasingly wicked. He led the people to worship false gods such as Baal and the Golden Calf Cult.

This is important to King Ahaziah’s story because the young king was influenced by the same behaviors of his father and mother. Apparently, he had grown up believing in false gods and he listened to evil advisors who helped him to lead the people to worship pagan deities instead of God.

King Ahaziah’s Short Reign

King Ahaziah was young when he took the throne. He was only 22 years-old when he became king. He had other siblings but all of his brothers were killed by raiders while they were away from the palace. As soon as he was in power he immediately began to lead the people in the wrong direction. He was greatly influenced by his mother Athalia and advisors from King Ahab’s house. God only allowed King Ahaziah to rule Judah for one year before he took his life.

King Jehu: God’s Servant of Judgment

Jehu was a military commander used by God to carry out his judgment against King Ahab for his previous sins. Jehu was given the task to eliminate King Ahab’s family and he was successful at this task. He killed many people who were a part of Ahab’s lineage. He also killed the advisors, friends, distant relatives and associates of Ahab. During the short year that King Ahaziah was in power the young ruler had aided the Israeli King Joram against the land of Aram. King Joram lost this fight and was wounded. After the wounded monarch returned home, King Ahaziah went to visit him. Once when he did God led him into a surprise attack by Jehu. King Ahaziah ended up escaping but was later found dead in another land. He was given a proper burial by Jehu because out of respect for his godly grandfather, King Jehoshaphat. This was the only thing good that the people of Israel said about Ahaziah after his death.

Biblical References:

  • 2 Kings 8: 16 – 29 The history of King Ahaziah’s life and the life of his parents.
  • 2 Chronicles 22: 1 King Ahaziah is made ruler of his people since he was the only son of King Jeroham that wasn’t killed by raiders.
  • 2 Chronicles 22: 3 – 5 Outlines how poorly King Ahaziah ruled the land of Judah.
  • 2 Chronicles 22: 7 – 9 Jehu slays King Ahaziah and gives him a proper burial.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahaziah_of_Judah

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/973-ahaziah-king-of-israel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ahaziah_of_Judah.png

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