This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: 2 Chronicles 24:20 ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of

This Week’s Focus Passage: 2 Chronicles 24:20

‘And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada.’

    The “Oxford Universal Dictionary,’ originally published in 1933, provides us with the following definition of ‘pericope,’ when it states that a pericope is:

    “A short passage, section, or paragraph in a writing; esp. (Eccl.) a portion of Scripture appointed for reading in public worship.” Confessedly, that definition, since its publication some ninety years ago, has probably, we should allow, been subjected to much broadening, in its usage. We state this understanding as we have determined to consider, as such a pericope, a rather lengthy portion of the Word of God. Yes, indeed, we dare to take account of the writings of 2 Chronicles, chapters 22 through 24; from the beginning of the reign of Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, recorded at the very beginning of chapter 22, and in verses 1 and 2, where we read:

And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead [in the stead of Jehoram, his father]; for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned.

Thus begins our pericope, perhaps taking excessive license, concluding with 24:25ff.

And when they were departed from him [the army of the Syrians] (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him [Ahaziah] for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchers of the kings.  

Chapter 24 concludes our pericope with, And Amaziah his son reigned in his stead. 

    We may well consider the center-piece of this portion of God’s Word, to be our focus passage, or verse, for this week, as cited above, when we read, And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada. What took place between Ahaziah’s reign, 2 Chronicles 22:1, and the reign of Amaziah, 2 Chronicles 24:27? Much indeed. We are immediately, in chapter 22:2, told that, 

Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri. Perhaps, my reader recalls just who Omri was; we are told, in 1 Kings 16:23, that, in the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, 

and in verses 25 & 26, we learn,

And Omri did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and dealt wickedly above all that were before him. For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sins wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke Jehovah the God of Israel, to anger with their vanities.     

We now see that Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, is the daughter of this wicked Omri, and the sister of Ahab, who has often been considered the most wicked king ever, in the history of Israel: Ahab whose wife was the famous, or infamous, Jezebel. This was the stock that Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, had evolved from. We are further told (22:3) that this woman, “his mother, was his counsellor, to do wickedly.” We are told, in 22:5, that this Ahaziah went with the son of Ahab, Jehoram, to war against Hazael, king of Syria, and that both he and Jehoram were sore wounded, and both went down to Jezreel, to be healed, to recuperate from their wounds together. we continue to read in the Word of God, 2 Chron. 22:7ff. of the work of Jehu:

Now the destruction of Ahaziah was of God, in that he went unto Joram [Jehoram]: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom Jehovah had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.

We could possible attempt to say that Ahaziah was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, were it not for the fact that we read, Now the destruction of Ahaziah was of God. He was in that place at that time because Jehovah had determined to cut off Ahaziah with the sword of Jehu. This determination of God left in Judah, only the sons of Ahaziah, as well, unhappily, as his mother, Athaliah, for we next read of her wicked design to take the throne for herself; this is found in 2 Chronicles 22:10ff:

Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.

Stop for a minute, and realize that the ‘seed royal’ were the grandsons of Athaliah. Can we easily imagine this grandmother ordering the destruction of her very own? How incredibly wicked a person she was. One writer, Dale Ralph Davis, remarks that while it is not certain that her mother was actually Jezebel [Ahab likely had more than one wife], “Athaliah’s behavior hints at Jezebelian genes.” This was but the beginning of murders in the royal family. We could have mentioned those committed by Jehoram, the father of Ahaziah, recorded for us earlier, in chapter 21:4, where we may read of this nastiness committed by the husband of Athaliah:

Now when Jehoram was risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the of the princes of Israel.

So this is the stock that Ahaziah came from; fratricides and prolicides; Jehoram slew all his brethren, fratridcide, and Athaliah destroyed all the seed royal; her grandsons. 

These ‘mass murders’ did not, likely, make the front page of the Jerusalem Journal, but we don’t actually know. And Athaliah did not destroy ‘all’ the seed royal, though that was certainly her intention, and it was only Jehovah’s intrusion into the matter that prevented that from being done. He had ‘someone on the inside.-5 We son this in the sequel to the tenth verse of 2 Chronicles 22:10 [above], where we fin’d:

But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons of that were slain.

Jehoshabeath was not only the sister of Ahaziah, she was also the wife of Jehoiada, the priest. Joash was hidden in the house of God, by this priest and his wife, for six years, at which time Jehoiada, with many armed men, brought him forth and crowned him king of Judah. Athaliah was summarily executed, and Joash reigned over Judah forty years. “So Jehoshaphat of Judah concluded a marriage alliance with Ahab of Israel, giving his son Jehoram to Ahab’s daughter Athaliah.”—Dale Ralph Davis. “Jehoshaphat was personally godly, but covenantally stupid.”—ibid. “If we are in covenant with Yahweh and yet marry the godless we will nearly always wreak havoc and ruin among our descendants.”—ibid. 

    The consequent ‘ruin’ may be seen in the murder of Jehoiada’s son, Zechariah, by the order of Joash, the very king that he had preserved from Athaliah’s wrath. The Christ spoke of this, as Luke has recorded for us, in Luke 11:50, 51:

Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send unto them prophets and apostles; and some of them they shall kill and persecute; that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah, who perished who perished between the altar and then sanctuary.   


David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church   


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