- This article is about the king of the Southern Kingdom. For the king of the Northern Kingdom, see Ahaziah of Israel.
King Ahaziah (Hebrew אחזיהו המלך held by YHWH) (906-vr. 886-r. 885-d. 884 BC according to Ussher, or 863-vr. 842-r. 841-d. 841 BC according to Thiele) was the sixth king of the Southern Kingdom of Israel. He succeeded his father Jehoram and in fact served a year as viceroy under Jehoram before his one-year lone reign. He is remembered very little, and mainly on account of King Jehu, who killed him and his uncle Jehoram of Israel in the same engagement, and his mother Athaliah, who counseled him to do evil deeds and ultimately served a bloody reign of her own.
The Chronicler and the author of I and II Kings give two widely different ages for him: the Chronicler says that he was 42 when he began to reign while the author of the Kings books says that he was 22 Ussher accepted the younger age, and Larry Pierce holds that the greater age is most likely a handwriting mistake by an unnamed scribe--one of the very few mistakes to be found in Bible manuscripts, and a subject of much controversy.
Viceroyship and Brief Reign
In the last year of his reign, Ahaziah's father Jehoram made him viceroy while suffering from a gastrointestinal disease A year later, Jehoram died and Ahaziah succeeded him. His brief reign is remarkable only for his remaining under the influence of his mother Athaliah, who had introduced Baalism to the Southern Kingdom and continued to promote it.
His last battle was at Ramoth-gilead, where he fought at the side of his uncle Jehoram of Israel. This other Jehoram was wounded in battle against King Hazael of Syria, and the allied kings had no choice but to lift their siege. Jehoram retired to Jezreel to recover, and Ahaziah stayed by his side.
Soon afterward, Jehu appeared at the head of a company. Jehoram and Ahaziah prepared their chariots and rode out to meet Jehu. Jehu essentially declared war. Jehoram turned and fled, and said to Ahaziah that they had been tricked. Nor did Jehoram live long, because Jehu killed him with an arrow shot to the back.
Here the two accounts of Ahaziah's death differ slightly. The author of Kings states that Ahaziah fled the scene, and Jehu pursued him and wounded him fatally on the way to Gur; Ahaziah fled as far as Megiddo and died there, and his servants then brought him back to Jerusalem for burial. The Chronicler says that Ahaziah tried to hide out in Samaria, but was arrested, brought before Jehu, and executed, whereupon Jehu gave him a decent burial on account of his grandfather Jehoshaphat. The Chronicler also states that Jehu executed several of Ahaziah's cousins who were with him.
- James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Larry Pierce, ed., Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003 (ISBN 0890513600), pghh. 503, 511, 532-5
- Leon J. Wood, A Survey of Israel's History, rev. ed. David O'Brien, Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1986 (ISBN 031034770X), p. 294
- II_Chronicles 22:1-10
- Konig, George. Ahaziah. AboutBibleProphecy.com, 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2007.
- Authors unknown. "Entry for Ahaziah." The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Columbia University Press, 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2007.
- Authors unknown. "Entry for Ahaziah." WebBible Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 15, 2007.
- II_Chronicles 22:2
- II_Kings 8:26 .
- Pierce, Larry. "Ussher's Time Line for the Divided Kingdom." Trinity Review, 170, April 1999. Retrieved June 4, 2007, from Answers in Genesis. Requires PDF reader or plug-in.
- II_Kings 9:29 .
- II_Kings 8:25-29
- II_Kings 8:28-29
- II_Kings 9:27-29
- II_Chronicles 22:7-10