As among common persons there are some that we call little men, who make no figure, are little regarded, as less valued, so among kings there are some whom, in comparison with others, we may call little kings. This Ahaziah was one of these; he looks mean in the history, and in God’s account vile, because wicked. It is too plain an evidence of the affinity between Jehoshaphat and Ahab that they had the same names in their families at the same time, in which, we may suppose, they designed to compliment one another. Ahab had two sons, Ahaziah and Jehoram, who reigned successively; Jehoshaphat had a son and grandson names Jehoshaphat had a son and grandson names Jehoram and Ahaziah, who, in like manner, reigned successively. Names indeed do not make natures, but it was a bad omen to Jehoshaphat’s family to borrow names from Ahab’s; or, if he lent the names to that wretched family, he could not communicate with them the devotion of their significations, Ahaziah—Taking hold of the Lord, and Jehoram—The Lord exalted. Ahaziah king of Israel had reigned but two years, Ahaziah king of Judah reigned but one. We are here told that his relation to Ahab’s family was the occasion, 1. Of his wickedness (2 Kgs. 8:27): He walked in the way of the house of Ahab, that idolatrous bloody house; for his mother was Ahab’s daughter (2 Kgs. 8:26), so that he sucked in wickedness with his milk. Partus sequitur ventrem—The child may be expected to resemble the mother. When men choose wives for themselves they must remember they are choosing mothers for their children, and are concerned to choose accordingly. 2. Of his fall. Joram, his mother’s brother, courted him to join with him for the recovery of Ramoth-Gilead, an attempt fatal to Ahab; so it was to Joram his son, for in that expedition he was wounded (2 Kgs. 8:28), and returned to Jezreel to be cured, leaving his army there in possession of the place. Ahaziah likewise returned, but went to Jezreel to see how Jehoram did, 2 Kgs. 8:29. Providence so ordered it, that he who had been debauched by the house of Ahab might be cut off with them, when the measure of their iniquity was full, as we shall find in the next chapter. Those who partake with sinners in their sins must expect to partake with them in their plagues.
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