THERE WAS A TIME when the southern Jewish nation of Judah had a queen instead of a king.
Not just any queen. She was the daughter of King Ahab and possibly Jezebel, the notorious couple who ruled the northern Jewish nation of Israel.
Athaliah (reigned 842-837 BC) didn’t come by her throne honestly. She had to murder her family.
Her story began when Ahab and King Jehoshaphat of Judah made a peace treaty. They sealed their treaty with the marriage of their children: Baal-worshipping princess Athaliah to the God-worshipping prince Jehoram.
Nearly 20 years later, Jehoram became king. After he died, his son took over but was assassinated. When the queen mother learned her son was dead, she rounded up all heirs she could find and killed them.
Then she ruled.
One infant grandson escaped: Joash. A priest raised him secretly for six years before declaring him king, with cooperation from the military. The grandmother queen was executed.
From Who’s Who & Where’s Where in the Bible 2.0, Steve’s newest book, released this week.