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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 22

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 22

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 22

1. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead, for the troop that had come from the Arabians to the camp had slain all the first ones, and Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram the king of Judah reigned.   א. וַיַּמְלִיכוּ יוֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֶת אֲחַזְיָהוּ בְנוֹ הַקָּטֹן תַּחְתָּיו כִּי כָל הָרִאשֹׁנִים הָרַג הַגְּדוּד הַבָּא בָעַרְבִים לַמַּחֲנֶה וַיִּמְלֹךְ אֲחַזְיָהוּ בֶן יְהוֹרָם מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה:
2. Ahaziah was forty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.   ב. בֶּן אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁתַּיִם שָׁנָה אֲחַזְיָהוּ בְמָלְכוֹ וְשָׁנָה אַחַת מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וְשֵׁם אִמּוֹ עֲתַלְיָהוּ בַּת עָמְרִי:
forty two years old: But in II Kings (8:26), Scripture says: “twenty-two years old.” How is this possible? Moreover, according to this, the son was two years his father’s senior, [because Joram ascended the throne at thirty-two and died eight years later, making him forty years old upon his death,] but two years before Joram his father was born, this decree was issued upon the house of David that it would end with the house of Ahab, and so Scripture states (below verse 7): “And from God was Ahaziah’s downfall, etc.” and on the day that Asa took Omri’s daughter for Jehoshaphat his son, this decree was issued. So it was taught in Seder Olam (ch. 17) and in the Tosefta of Sotah (12:3). But throughout Scripture we do not find that Jehoshaphat married Omri’s daughter, but I did find (above 18:1): “and he allied himself in marriage with Ahab,” and perhaps that was his sister that he married, and in the thirty first year of Asa he married her, as it is said in (I Kings 16:23): “And (sic) in the thirty-first year of Asa, etc. Omri reigned.” And when Asa married his daughter to Jehoshaphat his son, Omri gained importance, and they slew Tibni. Figure from the thirty-first year of Asa until Ahaziah reigned, and you will find forty two years. Further, one verse states (II Kings 8: 25): “In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, etc., Ahaziah the son of Joram reigned,” and another verse states (ibid. 9:29): “And in the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king.” Perforce, his father did not die until the twelfth year of Joram son of Ahab, because it is written (ibid. 8:16f.): “In the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab, etc., Joram the son of Jehoshaphat became king, etc., and he reigned eight years.” And that which Scripture states further, “In the eleventh year of Joram,” is because he reigned one year during his father’s lifetime since his father was smitten with severe illnesses, as it is written (above 21:18.): “And after all this, the Lord plagued him, etc.” (22:1) “And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king,” for one year during his father’s lifetime, and that is what is written: “ In the eleventh year of Joram.” And where Scripture says: “In the twelfth year of Joram,” it means that after his father died, it was the twelfth year of Joram.  
3. He too went in the ways of the house of Ahab, because his mother would advise him to deal wickedly.   ג. גַּם הוּא הָלַךְ בְּדַרְכֵי בֵּית אַחְאָב כִּי אִמּוֹ הָיְתָה יוֹעַצְתּוֹ לְהַרְשִׁיעַ:
4. And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord as did the house of Ahab, because they were his advisors after his father's death, to bring about his destruction.   ד. וַיַּעַשׂ הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה כְּבֵית אַחְאָב כִּי הֵמָּה הָיוּ לוֹ יוֹעֲצִים אַחֲרֵי מוֹת אָבִיו לְמַשְׁחִית לוֹ:
5. He, too, followed their counsel, and he went with Jehoram the son of Ahab, the king of Israel, to war against Hazael, the king of Aram in Ramoth-Gilead, and the Arameans smote Joram.   ה. גַּם בַּעֲצָתָם הָלַךְ וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶת יְהוֹרָם בֶּן אַחְאָב מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל חֲזָאֵל מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם בְּרָמוֹת גִּלְעָד וַיַּכּוּ הָרַמִּים אֶת יוֹרָם:
and the Arameans smote Joram: Heb. הָרַמִּים, like הָאֲרַמִּים. In many places the “aleph” is missing, as for instance (II Sam. 19:14): “And to Amasa you shall say (תֹמְרוּ).” And sometimes the “aleph” is added to a word, for instance (Ps. 89:1): “Ethan the Ezrahite (הָאֶזְרָחִי),” like הַזַּרְחִי, [descendant of Zerah], and the “aleph” of (Job 13:17): “and to my speech (וְאַחְוָתִי) in your ears.”  
6. And he went back to be healed in Jezreel because of the smiters who smote him in Ramah, when he waged war with Hazael the king of Aram, and Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel because he was ill.   ו. וַיָּשָׁב לְהִתְרַפֵּא בְיִזְרְעֶאל כִּי הַמַּכִּים אֲשֶׁר הִכֻּהוּ בָרָמָה בְּהִלָּחֲמוֹ אֶת חֲזָהאֵל מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם וַעֲזַרְיָהוּ בֶן יְהוֹרָם מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה יָרַד לִרְאוֹת אֶת יְהוֹרָם בֶּן אַחְאָב בְּיִזְרְעֶאל כִּי חֹלֶה הוּא:
because of the smiters who smote him: כִּי הַמַּכִּים. The meaning is: מִן הַמַּכִּים, because of the smiters, and so it is in II Kings (8:29).  
and Azariah the son of Jehoram: This is Ahaziah, and so Scripture states (ad loc.): “and Ahaziah the son of Joram went down to see Joram.”  
7. Now the downfall of Ahaziah was from God, insofar as he came to Joram, and when he came, he went out with Jehoram to Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.   ז. וּמֵאֱלֹהִים הָיְתָה תְּבוּסַת אֲחַזְיָהוּ לָבוֹא אֶל יוֹרָם וּבְבֹאוֹ יָצָא עִם יְהוֹרָם אֶל יֵהוּא בֶן נִמְשִׁי אֲשֶׁר מְשָׁחוֹ יְהֹוָה לְהַכְרִית אֶת בֵּית אַחְאָב:
downfall: Heb. תְּבוּסַת. The meaning is confusion, like (Ezek. 16:6): “wallowing (מִתְבּוֹסֶסֶת) in your blood.”  
8. And it came to pass when Jehu executed justice upon the house of Ahab, that he found the chiefs of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah's brothers, ministering to Ahaziah, and he slew them.   ח. וַיְהִי כְּהִשָּׁפֵט יֵהוּא עִם בֵּית אַחְאָב וַיִּמְצָא אֶת שָׂרֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְנֵי אֲחֵי אֲחַזְיָהוּ מְשָׁרְתִים לַאֲחַזְיָהוּ וַיַּהַרְגֵם:
and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers: He does not mention Ahaziah’s brothers because they were slain in the days of Joram their father, as it is written (above 21:17): “And they marched upon Judah and split it, etc., and no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.”  
9. And he sought Ahaziah and they seized him, and he was hiding in Samaria, and they brought him to Jehu, and they slew him, and they buried him, for they said, "He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart," and the house of Ahaziah could not muster up strength for the kingdom.   ט. וַיְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת אֲחַזְיָהוּ וַיִּלְכְּדֻהוּ וְהוּא מִתְחַבֵּא בְשֹׁמְרוֹן וַיְבִאֻהוּ אֶל יֵהוּא וַיְמִתֻהוּ וַיִּקְבְּרֻהוּ כִּי אָמְרוּ בֶּן יְהוֹשָׁפָט הוּא אֲשֶׁר דָּרַשׁ אֶת יְהֹוָה בְּכָל לְבָבוֹ וְאֵין לְבֵית אֲחַזְיָהוּ לַעֲצֹר כֹּחַ לְמַמְלָכָה:
10. And [when] Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all those of royal descent of the house of Judah.   י. וַעֲתַלְיָהוּ אֵם אֲחַזְיָהוּ רָאֲתָה כִּי מֵת בְּנָהּ וַתָּקָם וַתְּדַבֵּר אֶת כָּל זֶרַע הַמַּמְלָכָה לְבֵית יְהוּדָה:
she arose and destroyed: Heb. וַתְּדַבֵּר, an expression of דֶּבֶר, pestilence. In II Kings (11:1), it is written: וַתְּאַבֵּד. Concerning this generation, David recited: (Ps. 12:1): “For the conductor on the sheminith,” for David foresaw with the holy spirit that in the eighth generation [of his dynasty] all his descendants would be slain by Athaliah, for there are eight generations from Solomon till here. And he prayed that his seed would survive for a remembrance, and said, (ibid. verse 2): “Save, O Lord, for the pious are gone, etc.” In II Kings (11:2), Scripture states that she killed them by poisoning them, for it is written: “and she stole him away from the dying (הַמְמוֹתִים) children of the king”; we read: הַמּוּמָתִים the slain. Both the traditional reading and the masoretic text have authority. הַמּוּמָתִים means that they already died, and the masoretic text in which the word used is הַמְמוֹתִים means that they were dying in agony. This is written in the continuous present tense, i.e., not all at once but continuously being crushed by illnesses, and then dying. An example is (Jer. 16:4): “Dying of (מְמוֹתֵי) sicknesses they shall die, etc. and with famine,” because they too will not die immediately.  
11. And Jehoshabeath, the king's daughter took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the slain children of the king, and she placed him and his nurse in the bed-chamber, and Jehoshabeath the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, concealed him-because she was the sister of Ahaziah- from before Athaliah, and she did not slay him.   יא. וַתִּקַּח יְהוֹשַׁבְעַת בַּת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת יוֹאָשׁ בֶּן אֲחַזְיָהוּ וַתִּגְנֹב אֹתוֹ מִתּוֹךְ בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמּוּמָתִים וַתִּתֵּן אֹתוֹ וְאֶת מֵינִקְתּוֹ בַּחֲדַר הַמִּטּוֹת וַתַּסְתִּירֵהוּ יְהוֹשַׁבְעַת בַּת הַמֶּלֶךְ יְהוֹרָם אֵשֶׁת יְהוֹיָדָע הַכֹּהֵן כִּי הִיא הָיְתָה אֲחוֹת אֲחַזְיָהוּ מִפְּנֵי עֲתַלְיָהוּ וְלֹא הֱמִיתָתְהוּ:
in the bed chamber: The Targum [Jonathan to II Kings 11:2] renders: in the chamber of the beds, i.e., in the forecourt, in the room where the priests sleep, but Rabbi Solomon of blessed memory (Rashi ad loc) explained it as the attic of the Holy of Holies, as it is written in Kings (verse 3): “And he hid with her in the House of the Lord, etc.,” and concerning him, David said, (Ps. 27:5): “For He will hide me in His Tabernacle, etc.” He calls it the bed chamber based on (Song 1:13): “between my breasts he will lie,” and that is what the Kallir, Rabbi Eliezer Kara composed (in Zichronoth for the first day of Rosh Hashanah in the section devoted to the letter “nun”): If He said to cause them to totter, the smashing of the bed-chamber He will remember for an atonement. The destruction of the Temple will atone for them.  
12. And he hid with them in the House of God for six years, and Athaliah reigned over the land.   יב. וַיְהִי אִתָּם בְּבֵית הָאֱלֹהִים מִתְחַבֵּא שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים וַעֲתַלְיָה מֹלֶכֶת עַל הָאָרֶץ:
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