In order to make sense out of the events in this next section, we recognize the duplication of the names of the kings in the southern and northern kingdoms.
In the northern kingdom of Israel, Ahab (wicked king) had two sons, Ahaziah and Jehoram. When Ahab died, his son Ahaziah succeeded him, and he in turn was succeeded by his brother, Jehoram.
In the southern kingdom of Judah, Jehoshaphat was succeeded by his son Jehoram, and his successor was his son (and Jehoshaphat’s grandson), Ahaziah.
Thus, the successions in the north were Ahab, Ahaziah, and Jehoram. In the south the successions were Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah.
Verses 2-4 – Ahaziah of Judah was just as evil as his father Jehoram. His mother Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, mislead him with evil advice. Ahaziah followed the practices of the northern kingdom, including idolatry and violence.
Verses 5, 6 – Ahaziah of Judah went to fight against the Arameans, just as Jehoshaphat had done with Ahab. The result was almost identical, Joram was seriously wounded.
Verses 7-9 – Jehu: Ninth king of Israel began a new dynasty when he eliminated the house of Ahab and killed Ahaziah of Judah as part of his purge. God’s chosen instrument to put an end to Ahab’s reign was Jehu son of Nimshi who had led a revolt against Ahab and made himself king. Ahaziah of Judah was caught up in this revolution and was executed along with everyone else related to the house of Ahab.
Verse 10 – Now we have Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother leaping at the chance to make herself queen of Judah. She had no legitimate claim to the throne because she was not the descendent of David. She followed her husband’s earlier practice and killed anyone who had a claim to the throne, even her own grandchildren.
Verses 11, 12 – The plot thickens: Joash was a baby. Ahaziah’s sister, Jehoshabeath and her husband Jehoiada, the high priest, raised Joash in seclusion in the temple for six years while evil queen Athaliah reigned over the land.