2 Kings 11 Athaliah Killed, Altars of Baal Destroyed

Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, the king, and the people, that they should be the Lord’s people, and also between the king and the people. And all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. They thoroughly broke in pieces its altars and images, ..2 Kings 11:17,18

2 Kings 11:1-3/2 Chronicles 22:10-12. Athaliah of Judah (841-835 B.C.)

Athaliah shows herself to truly be the daughter of the cruel and vindictive Jezebel.   When her grandchildren King Azariah is killed, she acts immediately to kill her grandchildren and seize power for herself!  No one seems able to withstand the queen mother, and for some 6 years she holds the throne for herself.

2 Kings 11 Athaliah Usurps the Throne

Athaliah has not destroyed all her grandchildren.  One, Joash, is snatched up and hidden in the Jerusalem temple.  He is hidden there until he reaches the age of seven.  Then the high priest, Jehoiada, plans with the Levites and the military to restore this rightful descendant of David to the throne of Judah.

1  When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs. 2  But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3  So he was hidden with her in the house of the Lord for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

Athaliah hears them rejoicing and comes to investigate.  She is killed there, just outside the temple, executed at last for her crimes.  Jehoiada leads in a service of covenant renewal, in which all the people again promise to be the Lord’s.  Immediately, the crowds destroy the altars and worship centers of Baal, to great rejoicing.

13 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the escorts and the people, she came to the people in the temple of the Lord. 14 When she looked, there was the king standing by a pillar according to custom; and the leaders and the trumpeters were by the king. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. So Athaliah tore her clothes and cried out, “Treason! Treason!” 15 And Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the army, and said to them, “Take her outside under guard, and slay with the sword whoever follows her.” For the priest had said, “Do not let her be killed in the house of the Lord.16 So they seized her; and she went by way of the horses’ entrance into the king’s house, and there she was killed.

17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, the king, and the people, that they should be the Lord’s people, and also between the king and the people. 18 And all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. They thoroughly broke in pieces its altars and images, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the Lord.

19 Then he took the captains of hundreds, the bodyguards, the escorts, and all the people of the land; and they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, and went by way of the gate of the escorts to the king’s house. Then he sat on the throne of the kings. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, for they had slain Athaliah with the sword in the king’s house. 21 Jehoash was seven years old when he became king.

–>  What led her to kill her own grandsons?  Desire to be a Queen, the glory and power that come with it.

While her actions were so evil, none of us are immune to the desire she had, to outshine everybody else and power over others.  Her religion of Baal worship must have encouraged this self-worship.

If only she knew the truth — What she did was wrong.  Her life lived in glory and the throne she stole would be short lived (6 years), and then she would meet her horrible judgement for her sins.  

It is horrible to be killed like that.  But it’s even more horrible to die in sins and our sins exposed and remembered for ever.  It’s much better to have our sins be forgiven and forgotten.

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Isaiah 43:25