Ahaziah became king in 841 B.C. and only reigned for one year, 2 Kings 8:25-29. Since his father was 40 years old when he died, many commentators suggest that the account of 2 Kings 8 has the correct reading of 22 years old, 2 Kings 8:26.
Some translations say that Athaliah was the ‘daughter’ of Omri, she would have been the granddaughter of Omri, because she was the daughter of Ahab. The word ‘daughter’ is often used to refer to one as a descendant.
Ahaziah followed in the idolatrous ways of Ahab, 1 Kings 16:29-19:18, and did evil in the eyes of the Lord. War once again breaks out, Ahaziah and Joram, that is, Jehoram, 2 Kings 8:28, king of Israel in the north, go out against Hazael at Ramoth Gilead.
They were trying to reclaim the city that was under Aramean control, 1 Kings 22:29-36. It appears at this point in history, that the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah have a good relationship with one another.
Ahaziah had a good friendship with Joram and because of this friendship, Ahaziah joined in with the house of Ahab’s sinfulness. This is the reason why Jehu said that he too should be killed.
Although God had willed the execution of the house of Omri, to whose dynasty Ahab and his evil family belonged, Jehu’s murderous deeds in their totality were not approved by God.
The house of Ahab was now on the thrones of both Israel and Judah, but God appears to use Joram’s illness in Jezreel to bring Ahaziah from Jerusalem, in doing so the two branches of Ahab’s house were brought together and brought to an end at the same time.
Coffman says the following in his commentary.
‘Appropriately, the final settlement of God’s account with the house of Ahab would take place at Jezreel, at that very vineyard of Naboth, where through Ahab’s murder of that righteous man, the dogs licked his blood, and, in the next chapter, we shall see how the dogs indeed licked the blood of Ahab in the person of his grandson Ahaziah in the very same place. None of God’s prophecies ever failed!’
Jehu was the new king of Israel whose mission was to completely eradicate the house of Ahab, Hosea 1:3-5. When Jehu came to Jezreel, he killed the house of Ahab, and after finding Ahaziah, he killed him too, 2 Kings 9:30-37. Jehu’s envoys killed him but they allowed his servants to bury him, 2 Kings 9:28.
Although the text says that ‘Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah’, we must remember that sometimes daughters were called ‘mother’. Here we find that Athaliah was actually the daughter of Ahab, 2 Kings 8:18 / 2 Kings 8:26.
She reigned as queen of Judah in the south from 853 to 841 B.C. It appears that because she was Ahab’s daughter, her husband Jehoram didn’t get involved with Jehu when he was killing the descendants of Ahab, 2 Kings 11:1-3.
To make sure Athaliah remained in power, she killed all the sons of Jeroham, not the sons of Athaliah, 2 Kings 11:1-3. The royal seed would include the descendants of Jehoshaphat of the Davidic line.
Whilst she killed all the sons of Jeroham, Jehosheba, who was Jehoiada’s wife and Joash’s aunt, took Joash away from Athaliah and hid him, her nephew, for six years in the temple.
It was during these six years that Athaliah reigned as queen of Judah, not knowing that Joash lived in secret in the temple not far from where she resided.
This is clearly God working through Jehosheba, 2 Kings 11:2, as He was preserving the seedline of David, God had promised that through David One would come to sit on his throne, 2 Samuel 7:13.