Look at 2 Kings 8:25-27 (notice 22 years old was Ahaziah when he begins to reign).
Now go to 2 Chronicles 22:2 (notice 42 years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign).
Of course, we know that isn’t true. Instead, the scholars who say such things, have a spiritual and scholastic error. We know there are no mistakes in the words of God. As a matter of fact, when it comes to the words of God, the only mistakes that can be found are in the understanding of man and not in the text itself. Thus, if we would be wise then we must let God be true and every man a liar, including ourselves.
Therefore, when we come to places we cannot understand or that seemingly contradict, we must give God the benefit of the doubt and assume that the flaw is in our understanding and not in God’s words.
Now when it comes to this so-called problem, the answers that have been produced throughout the years are many and varied. Now that tells us at least two things.
- There is an answer
forthe so-called problem.
- The answer is not as cut and dry as we would like. That is why there are so many and varied answers.
With that said, I want to be very upfront here. I am going to give you two possible answers. The answers that I will give you are very possible and will reconcile every single scripture that relates to this subject. However, there are other answers that would also reconcile every single scripture that relates to this subject. So if you do not agree with my answers then that is okay, that is, as long as you do not say there is a mistake in the Bible. For just because my answers do not suffice you, that does not mean there is a mistake. Rather, it means that we are finite men trying to understand an infinite God. Therefore, we are prone to be wrong from time to time, but not God. Thus, if we would be wise, let us determine to always give God the benefit of the doubt and submit to him for the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring
- The first answer that I would like to give you is this; there were actually two Ahaziah’s that lived during the same time. One Ahaziah was 22 years old when he began to reign and another Ahaziah was 42 years old when he began to reign. One was the biological son of Jehoram and the other was not.
Now let me give you the reasons why this could be the case.
- There are different ages given.
- There are different years given as to when the time of the reigns began. One begins to reign in the 11th year of Joram 2 K. 9:29; whilst the other begins to reign in the 12th year of Joram 2 K. 8:25-26; 2 Ch. 22:1.
- The Bible tells us of two sets of brothers who were killed in two different ways. One set of brothers were taken by the Arabs 2 Ch. 22:1; whilst the other set of brothers were killed by Jehu 2 K. 10:11-14.
- The Bible seems to give us two different ways of
the deaththat is recorded. One passage tells us of how a man named Ahaziah dies in Megiddo and his servants bury him in Jerusalem 2 K. 9:16-28; whilst the other passage tells us of how a man named Ahaziah is killed in Samaria and they bury him; for said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat 2 Ch. 22:8-9.
- The grammatical layout of the Bible seems to indicate that there were two men named Ahaziah. For instance, look at the many times the word “also” is used in 2 Chronicles 22:1-5 when talking about Ahaziah.
- The order of events as described in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles seems to indicate that there were two men named Ahaziah who started their reigns at different times and who died at different times in different locations. I say that because the writer of 2 Kings 8:25-10:17 puts the events surrounding Ahaziah in the following order:
Firstthe writer tells us of a man named Ahaziah who began to reign in the 12th year of Jehoram.
- Then the writer tells us of how Ahaziah went to war with Joram against Hazael.
- Then the writer tells us how Joram got hurt in the war.
- Then the writer tells us of how Ahaziah goes to visit Joram and whilst Ahaziah was there, Jehu attacks and kills Joram.
- Then the writer tells us of how when Ahaziah saw this he fled by the way of the garden house but Jehu followed after him and had his men smite him at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. We are then told that Ahaziah flees to Megiddo, and dies there. And then his servants carry him in his chariot to Jerusalem and bury him in his
sepulchrewith his fathers in the city of David.
- Then the writer tells us
ofhow a man named Ahaziah begins to reign over Judah in the 11th year of Jehoram. This in itself seems to indicate that either there are two men named Ahaziah or that Ahaziah’s reign as the sole ruler took place in stages. Now after the writer tells us about this man named Ahaziah beginning to reign over Judah in the 11th year of Jehoram, the writer then tells us of how Jehu kills Jezebel.
- Then the writer tells us how Jehu goes after the rest of Ahab’s seed in Samaria, killing the brothers of Ahaziah and the rest of Ahab’s seed.
Nowthis time frame would seem to match up with 2 Chronicles 22:8-9 perfectly. Which if you read 2 Kings 8-10 with the idea of it being written in chronological order, then you would have to assume that a man named Ahaziah that had beganto reign in Jehoram’s 12th year had already been slain and that this is another man named Ahaziah that began his reign in Jehoram’s 11th
Therefore when we look at how 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles order the events surrounding the reign and death of Ahaziah; then it would seem as though there were two men named Ahaziah. An Ahaziah who began his reign during the 12th year of Jehoram, and who dies first, as he dies in Megiddo from wombs he received from the hands of Jehu’s men when Jehu first started executing
Therefore the scriptures seem to actually indicate that there were two men named Ahaziah, one who was the biological son of Jehoram and the other who was not the biological son of Jehoram.
Now some will have a hard time believing that two people can have the same name in the same family at the same time, but it does not matter as it was very common then (see 2 Ch. 21:1-2 and notice that there were two men named Azariah in the same family). Furthermore, it even happens today, for
So yes, it is very possible that there were two men in the same family living at the same time named Ahaziah, one being the biological son of Jehoram and the other not being the biological son of Jehoram.
Now at this
Jehoshaphat was a king that reigned over Judah. Jehoshaphat had a son named Jehoram who was also called Joram. Jehoshaphat was a good king but he made a bad decision. He made an affinity with a wicked king named Ahab (1 K. 22:41-44; 2 Ch. 18:1).
Ahab was a wicked king that reigned over Israel. Ahab also had a son named Ahaziah, and another son named Jehoram (who was also called Joram). Plus, Ahab also had a daughter named Athaliah (she was sometimes referred to as “the daughter of Omri” for in the Bible a grandson or granddaughter are simply referred to as a son or daughter). When Ahab dies, his son named Ahaziah takes over the kingdom, but he dies childless due to an accident. Then, Ahab’s other son Jehoram takes over as the new king of Isreal (see 2 K. 1:17; 3:1-29)
The affinity that took place between Jehoshaphat and Ahab resulted in Jehoshaphat’s family marrying into Ahab’s family. This affinity is what caused Jehoshaphat to say to Ahab and Jehoram (Ahab’s son) that they were one people (1 K. 22:4; 2 K. 3:7). Now one of the marriages that took place was Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram marrying Ahab’s daughter Athaliah (see 2 Kings 8:18).
Together, Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram and Ahab’s daughter Athaliah, have a son who was known by three different names, 1. Jehoahaz-2 Ch. 21:17; 2. Azariah-2 Ch. 22:6, and 3. Ahaziah 2 K. 8:24-26 (their son was probably named Ahaziah after Athaliah’s brother who died un-expectantly without children as is recorded in 1 Kings 22:40-2 Kings 1:18).
Once Jehoshaphat dies, his son Jehoram, who is also called Joram, and who is married to Athaliah the daughter of Ahab, takes over the kingdom, killing all of his biological brothers in the process
(1 K. 22:50; 2 K. 8:16-24; 2 Ch. 21:1-4, 13).
Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, does wickedly and so God brings judgment upon him. Thus, the Arabs come and take away all the substance that was found in his house, plus they take away his wives (but notice it did not say they took away all his wives), and they also take away his sons, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons (2 Chronicles 21:5-17).
Then Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, gets sick (2 Ch. 21:18). It would be during Jehoram’s sickness that the older Ahaziah (the
Before long Jehoram of Judah dies and then the people take and anoint the biological son of Jehoram (the younger Ahaziah) as the new king (2 Ch. 21:19-22:1). This would have taken place in the early part of Jehoram of Israel’s twelfth year when Ahaziah was twenty and two years old (2 K. 8:25-26). After this, Joram of Israel goes to war with Hazael king of Syria. During this
After Jehu’s men kill the older Ahaziah, Athaliah the daughter of Omri sees that her son is dead and thus cannot retain the kingdom and so she goes and tries to kill all the younger Ahaziah’s children so that she can reign.
Now, even though Athaliah tries to destroy all the seed, Joash the son of Ahaziah the younger escapes-2 Ch. 22:10-12. However, Athaliah does take over for a short time. But only for a short time, for when Joash turns seven years old he is anointed
(2 Ch. 23-24:1).
And so that is how it could have
Now before I give you the next possible answer for the different years mentioned, I want to make sure I point out to you that if there were two men named Ahaziah, then 2 Chronicles 22 must be speaking about both men named Ahaziah. And it does seem to give the impression that it is talking about two men. For instance:
- In 2 Chronicles 22:1 the writer uses the words “his youngest” thus pointing you back to 2 Chronicles 21:17 where it gave you a different name for Ahaziah. Furthermore in
2 Chronicles 22:1, the writer uses the words “Ahaziah the son of Jehoram” thus making sure you know exactly who the writer is talking about.
- Then in 2 Chronicles 22:2-5 the writer begins to use the word “also” many times, thus giving us the impression that he is talking about another man who was also named Ahaziah, who also reigned during that time, who also was killed. Is it possible that in these verses he is talking about a different Ahaziah, an Ahaziah that is not the son of Jehoram, that is older than the youngest son of Jehoram? Yes, it is possible!
- Then in 2 Chronicles 22:6-7 the writer then uses another name for Ahaziah and then states clearly that this man was “the son of Jehoram”. Why would he do that? He had already told us who Ahaziah’s dad was. And also, why would he use a different name for Ahaziah? Is it possible that maybe he is trying to let us know that he is talking about the younger Ahaziah again? Yes, it is possible!
- Then, in 2 Chronicles 22:8-10 the writer lets us know that this Ahaziah’s house did not have
powerto retain still the kingdom. Now, why did he tell us that? Is it possible he told us that so that we could know that this is a different Ahaziah, an Ahaziah that did not have children? Is it possible that this is a different Ahaziah than the twenty and two yearold that had children? Yes, it is possible!
- Then in 2 Chronicles 22:10-11, the writer makes sure that he mentions Athaliah wants to destroy the seed royal of the house of Judah, and that Jehoshabeath was the daughter of Jehoram, the sister of Ahaziah. Now is it possible that the writer tells us these things so that we can know that these children were the children of a different Ahaziah than the one mentioned in verses 8-10, an Ahaziah whose house had
powerto keep still the kingdom if it were not for that wicked woman Athaliah, an Ahaziah who was the biological son of Jehoram? Yesit is possible!
So as you can see, 2 Chronicles 22 seems to give us clues all throughout the chapter that insinuate that there were two men named Ahaziah. One who was the biological son of Jehoram and the other who was not.
And so that is the first answer. It is a good answer and reconciles every passage that deals with this subject. However, there is another thought that I would like to put forth that is just as possible. A thought that also reconciles every passage. Therefore, with that said, let us look at the second possible answer that I would like to give you.
2. The second answer I want to put forth is simply this, both the numbers 42 and the 22 are correct and both numbers apply to the same man. The 42 years old has to do with the year in which the kingdom suffered its break starting with Omri (Ahaziah’s great grandad) and the 22 years old has to do with how old Ahaziah was
Let me explain. If you were to add up Omri’s reign, Ahab’s reign, Ahaziah’s (the son of Ahab) reign, and Jehoram’s reign to the start of Ahaziah’s reign, you get exactly 42 years. Thus, the 42 years old is in reference to the kingdom and the 22 years old is in reference to Ahaziah’s biological age.
By the way, it was common to count a man’s reign from the split caused by Omri in the books of the Kings and Chronicles.
Now, if the above is correct and there was only one man named Ahaziah during that time, then the account could go as such.
When Jehoram of Judah gets sick, he appoints his son Ahaziah as the king, this takes place in Jehoram of Israel’s 11th year. Then Jehoram of Judah dies and the people anoint Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, as the king, and this takes place in Jehoram of Israel’s 12th year. Thus, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram is the forty and second year of the kingdom (this matches up perfectly with all the numbers given in the Bible) and biologically he is twenty and two years old when this takes place.
Ahaziah then goes to visit Jehoram of Israel due to Jehoram being hurt during a war. Whilst there Jehu comes and kills Jehoram. Ahaziah escapes but Jehu sends his men after him. They find him hiding in Samaria. When they bring him to Jehu, Ahaziah is able to make an escape, but Jehu’s men slay him as he rides away. Ahaziah makes it to Megiddo but dies. Then the men take and bury him. Then sometime or other, Jehu kills the brothers of Ahaziah (now these brothers are not his immediate brothers but rather his kinfolk, for in the Bible kinfolk are sometimes simply called brothers).
Athaliah then kills all of her grandchildren except Joash. She then takes over the kingdom for a short reign. After
And with that, every single passage in the Bible that relates to Ahaziah is accounted for in perfect harmony.
So, as you can see, there are at the least, two very good possibilities that reconcile every single passage in regards to Ahaziah. The two I gave you
And with all of that said, we can now close the case on the mystery of the age of Ahaziah, for we trust in the living God!! May God use this study to be a blessing to you.