I am so glad there are more stories of Godly women in God’s Word than there are the wicked ones, and I would much rather write about them. But there are and have always been truly evil people in this world, some women included. The good thing about their stories is that they can be an example to us not to be like them. Because contrary to what some teach these days, God does not let evil thrive for long, and He does bring justice in spite of it. He is not just a lovey-dovey God, and no respecter of persons.
I have been reading in 2 Kings of Jezebel and Athaliah her daughter. King Ahab was a very wicked king in Judah who married Jezebel and Athaliah was a product of their relationship. We know Ahab as a wimpy man who was actually ruled by this evil woman Jezebel.This account can be of great value to many men today who let the wife rule the roost instead of taking the lead in the household as God’s Word commands. If a woman is first submissive to God, then she will have no problem submitting to her husband. As we learn from these accounts, nothing good ever comes of going the way of the world and against God’s teaching. But any way, Ahab and these two women met with terrible demise. God’s promises are all true, including the ones about what happens to wicked, evil people.
God chose Jehu to carry out His judgment on the royal house of Israel as the Davidic line was in danger of being corrupted and wiped out through its intermarriage with Ahab’s family. Jehu returned to the city of Jezreel, and Jezebel had fixed herself up and was watching from a window in the wall. She made a comment about how Zimri slew his master. Her grandfather was King Omri who came after Zimri. Hearing her comment, Jehu looked up and saw her along with 2 or 3 eunuchs. He ordered the eunuchs to throw Jezebel down from the wall and they did. She evidently hit the wall on her way down because people below were splattered with her blood. She landed under Jehu’s and the soldiers’ horse’s hooves where she was trampled and dogs ate her flesh just as God had spoken through His prophet Elijah – “…In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so they shall not say, This is Jezebel…” When they went to bury her, all they found were her skull and feet, and the palms of her hands. (2 Kings 9)
Athaliah was born into a world that completely denied the One True God. She married Jehoram, the firstborn of Judah’s Godly king Jehoshaphat. Jehoram had allied himself with Israel for political reasons (2 Chronicles 22:5). Athaliah promoted Baal worship just like her mother had, while she led both the people of Judah and her husband away from the Lord (2 Chronicles 21:6). Jehoram died of a tragic sickness at the young age of 40 – 2 Chronicles 21:18-20 “And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.”
Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram and Athaliah, became king, but his mother ran the show – 2 Chronicles 22:3 “He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.” After the Philistines and Arabians killed Athaliah’s sons, she murdered her own grandsons, who were the legitimate heirs to the throne (2 Chronicles 21:17). Gaining the throne for herself, she then reigned for 6 years as an illegitimate occupant of the royal throne. She was not born into the Davidic lineage. She continued with the idolatrous traditions in which she was raised from childhood.
Judah had never had a ruler who was not a descendant of David, and the Levite priests supported Davidic kingship. When they led a rebellion against this northern usurper, the people followed willingly – 2 Kings 11:13-20 “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 when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason. But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the priest had said, Let her not be slain in the house of the LORD. And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which the horses came into the king’s house: and there was she slain. And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD’s people; between the king also and the people. And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD. And he took the rulers over hundreds, and the captains, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of the LORD, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king’s house. And he sat on the throne of the kings. And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king’s house.”
Athaliah died a dishonorable death like the other members of Ahab’s family, at the Horse’s Gate. Their wickedness stains the pages of Israel’s history, and they stand as a sobering reminder of the escalation of evil influence that can work in the heart of a rebellious woman who determines to go her own way, rejecting God and grasping for her own power (2 Chronicles 22:3; 10; 24:7).