A Sabbath Coup

During the time of Israel’s divided kingdom, Athaliah, the daughter of Israel’s King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, seized power in Judah after the death of her son Ahaziah. She immediately executed all the royal seed in an effort to perpetuate her reign, and did her best to establish the exclusive worship of Baal. However, one of Ahaziah’s sons, Joash, had been secreted away by Ahaziah’s sister, and remained hidden in the temple complex for six years under the protection of Jehoida, the high priest. At this time the royal palace guard changed every Sabbath, and in the seventh year of Athalia’s reign, Jehoida staged a coup on such a Sabbath to dispose of Athaliah and install Joash as king of Judah. Jehoida divided the troops into three groups (2 Kings 11:5-7) and Joash was anointed as king of Judah. “And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the Lord. …and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason” (2 Kings 11:13-14). Jehoida ordered Athaliah to be seized and executed, as well as the high priest of Baal, and a great revival began in Jerusalem.

 

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A Sabbath Coup

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