May 30. Athaliah Seizes Throne in Judah

II Kin. 11:1-21; II Chron. 22:10-23:21

Jehu had killed the entire house of Ahab including Ahaziah, king of Judah. When Athaliah saw that her son Ahaziah was dead, she seized the throne of Judah. She attempted to kill the descendants of David who would be a threat to her power. However, Jehosheba, the daughter of former King Jehoram of Judah and the wife of Jehoiada, the priest hid Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash. He, also Athaliah’s grandson, was the only direct descendant of David who was spared from the queen’s slaughter.

After six years, Jehoiada arranged to have the seven year old Joash anointed as king of Judah. The new king was properly anointed, crowned and given the Testimony (copy of the law). Joash was king, but the priest was in charge at first. Athaliah was promptly killed to remove any threat that she could pose against the king.

Jehoiada reestablished the covenant between the Lord, the king and the people that they would follow the Lord. Many years earlier, the worship of Baal had been introduced into Judah by Jehoram and his wife Athaliah. The people destroyed the temple of Baal and all images and altars associated with it. They also killed Mattan, the priest of Baal. There was great rejoicing in the land as they began a new chapter in their lives freed from the oppression of Athaliah. Jehoiada restored the temple worship of God as it had been commanded in the Law of Moses.