|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:1-12 Athaliah destroyed all she knew to be akin to the crown. Jehoash, one of the king's sons, was hid. Now was the promise made to David bound up in one life only, and yet it did not fail. Thus to the Son of David, the Lord, according to his promise, will secure a spiritual seed, hidden sometimes, and unseen, but hidden in God's pavilion, and unhurt. Six years Athaliah tyrannized. Then the king was brought forward. A child indeed, but he had a good guardian, and, what was better, a good God to go to With such joy and satisfaction must the kingdom of Christ be welcomed into our hearts, when his throne is set up there, and Satan the usurper is cast out. Say, Let the King, even Jesus, live, for ever live and reign in my soul, and in all the world.
Verse 1. - And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead. (On Athaliah, see the comment upon 2 Kings 8:18.) She was married to Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, probably in the lifetime of his father, to cement the alliance concluded between Ahab and Jehoshaphat against the Syrians (1 Kings 22:2-4). She inherited much of her mother Jezebel's character, obtained an unlimited ascendancy over her husband, Jehoram, and kept her son Ahaziah in leading-strings. It was unquestionably through her influence that Jehoram was prevailed upon to introduce the Baal-worship into Judah (2 Kings 8:18; 2 Chronicles 2:5, 11), and Ahaziah prevailed upon to maintain it (2 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 22:3, "He also Talked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly"). On the death of Ahaziah, she found her position seriously imperiled. The crown would have passed naturally to one of her grandchildren, the eldest of the sons of Ahaziah. She would have lost her position of gebirah, or queen mother, which would have passed to the widow of Ahaziah, the mother of the new sovereign. If she did not at once lose all influence, at any rate a counter-influence to hers would have been established; and this might well have been that of the high priest, who was closely connected by marriage with the royal family. Under these circumstances, she took the bold resolution described in the next clause. She arose and destroyed the seed royal. She issued her orders, and had all the members of the house of David on whom she could lay her hands put to death. The royal house had already been greatly depleted by Jehoram's murder of his brothers (2 Chronicles 21:4), by Arab marauders (2 Chronicles 21:17), and by Jehu's murder of the "brethren of Ahaziah" (2 Kings 10:14); but it is clear that Ahaziah had left several sons behind him, and some of his "brethren" had also, in all probability, left issue. There may also have been many other descendants of David in Judah, belonging to other branches of the house than that of Rehoboam. Athaliah, no doubt, endeavored to make a clean sweep, and get rid of them all.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead,.... Who was the daughter of Ahab, and granddaughter of Omri 2 Kings 8:18, she arose:
and destroyed all the seed royal; that were left, for many had been slain already; the sons of Jehoshaphat, the brothers of Joram, were slain by him, 2 Chronicles 21:4 and all Joram's sons, excepting Ahaziah, were slain by the Arabians, 2 Chronicles 22:1, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah were slain by Jehu, 2 Kings 11:8, these therefore seem to be the children of Ahaziah, the grandchildren of this brutish woman, whom she massacred out of her ambition of rule and government, which perhaps she was intrusted with while her son went to visit Joram king of Israel; other reasons are by some assigned, but this seems to be the chief. For the same reason Laodice, who had six sons by Ariarathes king of the Cappadocians, poisoned five of them; the youngest escaping her hands, was murdered by the people (x), as this woman also was.
(x) Justin. e Trogo, l. 37. c. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2Ki 11:1-3. Jehoash Saved from Athaliah's Massacre.
1. Athaliah—(See on 2Ch 22:2). She had possessed great influence over her son, who, by her counsels, had ruled in the spirit of the house of Ahab.
destroyed all the seed royal—all connected with the royal family who might have urged a claim to the throne, and who had escaped the murderous hands of Jehu (2Ch 21:2-4; 22:1; 2Ki 10:13, 14). This massacre she was incited to perpetrate—partly from a determination not to let David's family outlive hers; partly as a measure of self-defense to secure herself against the violence of Jehu, who was bent on destroying the whole of Ahab's posterity to which she belonged (2Ki 8:18-26); but chiefly from personal ambition to rule, and a desire to establish the worship of Baal. Such was the sad fruit of the unequal alliance between the son of the pious Jehoshaphat and a daughter of the idolatrous and wicked house of Ahab.
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