Class Notes: 1/16/2013

Athaliah the interloper attacks the "seed of the woman" and kills all but one of her grandsons in order to become queen of Judah

In our study of the enmity between the serpent and his seed and the woman and her seed Gen 3:15; last time we saw that Jehu destroyed the Baal cult in Israel he did not eliminate the idols that ultimately led the people into the Baal worship.

2Kings 10:31; But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel sin.

Because of this Israel continued under the fourth cycle of discipline and the nation suffered military defeat on their own soil related to the fourth cycle of discipline. 2Kings 10:32-33; but the nation continued for another 80 years before the fifth cycle was imposed and the Assyrians destroyed it. Jehu's positive volition reset the four-generation curse.

This is what is what we are facing in the USA. We are presently in the third generation of the four-generation curse. We are in the third cycle of discipline and about to encounter the fourth unless there is a change of thinking.

2Chron 7:14; If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We have seen God's assault on the Baal worship in the Northern Kingdom and the elimination of all of the "progressives" who practiced and promoted it. Under Jehu, Baal worship in Israel has at least been minimized to such a degree it is no longer an immediate threat to those few there that remain positive to God's word.

However, satan's insidious plan for infiltrating Baal worship into the Southern Kingdom had been successful. A major part of his success was his ability to insert a very powerful evil personality into the government of Judah who functioned as a clandestine subversive agent who would advance the attack on the Seed of the woman in Judah.

We have heard of mothers who murder their children and this only proves Solomon's observation in Eccles 1:9; That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun.

In our passage we find a grandmother who is a direct descendant of Ahab and Jezebel. She is the queen mother of Judah, the mother of the now deceased Ahaziah. The only survivors of the royal line in Judah and of the line of Christ are her grandchildren who are the sons of Ahaziah.

Satan's assault on the line of Christ now centers on these small children and the ambassador demons find ways to motivate her to commit infanticide upon her own progeny in an attempt to terminate the "Seed of the woman", the line of Christ.

2Kings 11:1; When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring.

We see here the lengths to which an evil person with power lust will go in order to seize and maintain power. We will see that Athaliah was not qualified to occupy David's throne so she is a fraud and an interloper.

v2 But Jehosheba the daughter of King Jehoram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash, the son of Ahaziah and stole him from among the king's sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So, they hid Joash from Athaliah, and he was not put to death.

v3 So he was hidden with her in the house of the Lord six years, while Athaliah (the interloper) was reigning over the land.

It is evident that the political intrigue surrounding Athaliah's rise to power has the sponsorship of satan and the ongoing influence of ambassador demons. She therefore becomes satan's clandestine inside agent in his efforts to destroy the seed of the woman, the line of Christ.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia edited by James Orr. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1956), Volume 1: pages 317-18:

ATHALIAH, Daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, granddaughter of Omri. In her childhood the political relations of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel had, after many years of strife, become friendly, and she was married to Jehoram, eldest son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. The marriage was one of political expediency, and is a blot on the memory of Jehoshaphat.

When Jehoram was 32 years of age, he succeeded to the throne, and Athaliah became the queen of Judah. She inherited her mother's strength of will, and, like Jezebel, developed a fanatical devotion to the cultus of Baal.

The first recorded act of Jehoram's reign is the murder of his six younger brothers; some princes of the realm, who were known to be favorable to the ancient faith of the nation, were also destroyed. There can be little doubt that these deeds of blood were supported, and perhaps instigated, by Athaliah, who was a much stronger character than her husband.

After eight years of the royal life, Athaliah became a widow, and her son, Ahaziah, then 22 years of age, ascended his father's throne. As queen mother, Athaliah was now supreme in the councils of the nation, as well as in the royal palace. (We see here that her presence constitutes a clandestine satanic influence within Jewish kingdom's government.)

Within a year, the young king fell, and the only persons who stood between Athaliah and the throne were her grandchildren. It is in such moments that ambition, fired by
fanaticism, sees its opportunity, and the massacre of the royal seed was determined (through the evil influence of ambassador demons).

The palace being cleared of its legitimate royal occupants, Athaliah had herself proclaimed sovereign. No other woman, before or since has sat upon the throne of David.

Satan's attempt to completely wipe out the royal line of Judah and at the same time the line of Christ would have been a complete success were it not for one small infant who under divine protection survived the murders.

2Kings 11:2; reveals that the smallest grandson, Joash, who was an infant less than a year old, was miraculously rescued and hidden from the queen mother's assassins by Ahaziah's half sister Jehosheba.

Jehosheba was married to Jehoiada the high priest of Judah. Prince Joash and his nurse were taken to the temple where they were sequestered in secrecy for six years without Athaliah's knowledge.

It is hard to believe that Athaliah didn't realize that one of Ahaziah's sons remained alive unless she didn't have anything to do with them. Another possibility is that she simply ordered others to kill the children and when the executioners arrived at the palace they killed all the children they could find and reported back that they were all dead not knowing that Jehosheba had hidden the youngest and his nurse in an interior bedroom.

At the first opportunity Jehosheba and Joash's nurse moved the child next door to the temple. This means that the child was sequestered in the high priest's quarters since no one but the priesthood could enter into that part of the temple.

It is probable that when they murdered the royal sons that their mother, Zibiah, was also executed because she is not mentioned as being a part of Joash's life. The child is described as being hidden with his nurse for six years.

Athaliah, believing all the sons were dead, usurped the throne that belonged to her grandson. Her presence on the throne of Judah was a direct violation of the Davidic Covenant and a clear statement that satan's attack on the "seed of the woman" had been extremely successful even though satan was certainly aware that Joash had survived.

The number of angels from the Angelic Order of Battle who were assigned to the temple mount to guard the child king must have been legion. There was no way satan was going to penetrate this defense and the overruling will of the Lord also probably forbid them to even try.

The assault had reduced the line of Christ down to one single person. The integrity of God could not allow any more bloodshed to occur in the line of David.

We have seen that the Davidic Covenant is backed by a series of promises.

Psalm 89:34; "My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.
v 35 "Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David.
v. 36 "His descendants shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me."

Athaliah moved into the palace and assumed the title "Queen of Judah." It was an illegitimate title acquired through murder but she held the position for six years. During this time the true king, Joash, lived in the temple complex that was adjacent to the palace.

Finally, in 835 b.c., the high priest, Jehoiada, organized a plan to depose Athaliah and to replace her with Joash, the legitimate heir to the throne, Joash, the lone living son of Ahaziah and at the time, the lone survivor in the line of Christ.

The circumstances that Jehoiada faces are rather complex since Athaliah's lust for power is unrestrained. She would not hesitate a moment to kill Jehoiada if his plan were discovered.

He was a priest of the Lord God who Athaliah did not recognize or accept and most likely she would in fact consider his plan to be a good excuse to get rid of the Lord God's high priest. It is also likely that she had no love for the military like most people of her ilk.

She tolerated military personal as bodyguards but resented the authoritarian structure and discipline typical of such organizations. If she found out that the military had entered into a coalition with Jehoiada to organize a putsch against her regime they would have been killed.

Jehoiada therefore had to organize his cabal in such a way that neither Athaliah nor her coterie would learn about it. Secrecy demanded that each person involved in pulling off the coup possess integrity and be able to maintain it under pressure.

2Kings 11:4; Now in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of hundreds of the Carites and of the guard, and brought them to him in the house of the Lord. Then he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the Lord, and showed them the king's son.

These men are named in the parallel passage 2Chronicles 23:1; Now in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took captains of hundreds; Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Johanan , Azariah the son of Obed , Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri and they entered into a covenant with him.

The captains are the officers who command one-hundred men, similar to the Greek hekatontarche", translated, centurion, or a "captain of a hundred." Five are mentioned here so we have an indication that Jehoiada solicited the cooperation of 500 military personnel.

2Kings 11:4; identifies these men as Carites. The significance of these men's involvement requires some explanation but it is believed they were the descendants of the Keretim.

The Keretim, or Carites, originated in a region of southwestern Asia Minor called Caria. Its main cities were Cnidus and Halicarnassus It was originally settled by Doric and Ionic colonies and therefore these men are most likely Greek.

The Carites later migrated to the Levant, settled in Philistia, and became known as the Cherethites. The name means literally "to cut down" and refers to the fact they were executioners.

They formed the elite corps of bodyguards attached to David's army under the leadership of Benaiah who is mentioned among David's mighty men in 2Samuel 23:20-23;

This chapter contains a listing of those men who received the Israelite equivalent of the Medal of Honor. There are four categories on men listed:

(1) David's most elite were known as "The Three," Josheb-basshebeth was chief of "The Three," plus Eleazar and Shammah (2Sam 23:8-12);

(2) Abishai was chief of "The Thirty" (2Sam 23:18-19;), those who distinguished themselves in service to Israel;

(3) Benaiah who was commander of David's bodyguards (2Sam 23:20-23;; and

(4) "The Thirty" (2Sam 23:24-39). Bathsheba's father, Eliam, and husband, Uriah, were numbered among "the thirty".

The men who made up the detachment of bodyguards are identified in 2Sam 8:18; as Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites ...

These men distinguished themselves in service to David. They remained loyal to him during the Absalom-Ahithophel revolution described in 2Samuel 15:18; they are recorded in 2Samuel 20:7; as assisting David in his pursuit of Sheba; and they supported the crowning of Solomon in 1Kings 1:38;

It was not uncommon in the ancient world for kings to choose mercenaries as their bodyguards: Biblical Commentary on the Books of Samuel. C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch.Translated by James Martin. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1968, page 369)

Kings and princes have preferred to commit the protection of their persons to foreign mercenaries, having, as they thought, all the surer pledge of their devotedness in the fact that they did not spring from the nation, and were dependent upon the ruler alone.

This means the same corps of bodyguards that served David until his death in 971 b.c. still functioned in Jerusalem nearly 136 years later under Athaliah in 835 b.c. David's Household Guard was made up of the Carites or Cherethites whose five captains were to be given top-secret instructions about their participation in bringing the rightful heir, Joash, to the throne of Judah.

This corps had received great loyalty down from David and the traditions established by him were passed down to the men who were called to meet with Jehoiada. An interloper who was not qualified to sit on the throne had usurped the line of David.

Now the Household Guard had the opportunity to express loyalty up to David and his line. The chance to do so became obvious when Jehoiada required them under oath to keep secret what he was about to show them and once they were introduced to the seven-year- old heir of David they readily agreed to assist the high priest in restoring the throne to its rightful occupant.

All five placed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line to carry out Jehoiada's plan. Its strategy compartmentalized the five centurions as well as the priesthood into various aspects of the operation. The first order was to gather the Levitical priests into Jerusalem on the occasion of a major feast day.

2Chron 23:2; And they (the five captains) went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the heads of the fathers' households of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem.

v3 Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of the God. And Jehoiada said to them, "Behold, the king's son shall reign, as the Lord has spoken concerning the sons of David.

Once the Cherethites and Levites were assembled at the Temple, Jehoiada reminded them of the Divine justification for carrying out the coup he was proposing. Not only did he present to them the legitimate heir to the throne but also associated his ascension with the Davidic Covenant:

2Sam 7:12; "When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.

2Sam 7:16; And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever."

When they realized that the line of David could be restored to the throne, the Cherethites and Levites were willing to join Jehoiada in a collaborative effort to anoint Joash as king of Judah.

We might wonder if this action was justified looks similar to a revolution. The reality is that what Athaliah did was revolution in fact it was terrorism. She was not of the tribe of Judah. She was half Israelite, her father's tribe is not disclosed but we know it could not have been either Judah or Benjamin and she was half Phoenician, because her mother the daughter of Ethbaal of Tyre.

In addition, the Davidic Covenant clearly indicates that those who are to hold the throne of Judah are male descendants of David's line. Not only was Athaliah unqualified to ascend the throne she accomplished her illegal objective by assassinating her grandsons, the children of her son, Ahaziah.

Without the clandestine work of her stepdaughter, Jehosheba, Athaliah would have accomplished satan's mission of destroying the seed of the woman, the line of Christ.

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