22 The people of Jerusalem chose Ahaziah to be king in Jehoram’s place. Ahaziah was Jehoram’s youngest son. The robbers who had come with the Arabs to attack Jehoram’s camp had killed all of Jehoram’s older sons. So Ahaziah began to rule Judah. 2 He was 22 years old when he began to rule. And he ruled one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri. 3 Ahaziah also lived as Ahab’s family had lived. This was because his mother encouraged him to do wrong things. 4 Ahaziah did what the Lord said was wrong. That is what Ahab’s family had done. And they gave advice to Ahaziah after his father died. Their bad advice led to his death. 5 Ahaziah followed their advice when he went to fight King Hazael of Aram. King Joram of Israel, Ahab’s son, went with him. They met Hazael at the town of Ramoth in Gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram in battle. 6 So Joram returned to the town of Jezreel to get well. He was wounded at Ramoth when he fought Hazael king of Aram.
Then King Ahaziah of Judah, son of Jehoram, went to Jezreel. He went there to visit Joram son of Ahab because he was wounded.
7 God caused Ahaziah’s death when he went to visit Joram. Ahaziah arrived and went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi. The Lord had appointed Jehu to destroy Ahab’s family. 8 While Jehu was punishing Ahab’s family, he found the leaders of Judah. He also found Ahaziah’s relatives who served Ahaziah. Jehu killed them all. 9 Then Jehu looked for Ahaziah. Jehu’s men caught him hiding in Samaria. So they brought him to Jehu. Then they killed and buried him. They said, “Ahaziah is a descendant of Jehoshaphat. And Jehoshaphat obeyed the Lord with all his heart.” No one in Ahaziah’s family had the power to take control of the kingdom of Judah.
Athaliah Queen of Judah
10 Now Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, saw that her son was dead. Then she killed all the royal family in Judah. 11 But Jehosheba took Joash, Ahaziah’s son. She stole him from among the other sons of the king. Those sons were going to be murdered. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom. Jehosheba was King Jehoram’s daughter and Ahaziah’s sister. She was also the wife of Jehoiada the priest. She hid Joash so Athaliah could not kill him. 12 Joash was hidden with them in the Temple of God for six years. During that time Athaliah ruled the land.
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