“But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Because Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, was Ahaziah’s sister, she hid the child from Athaliah so she could not kill him.”
2 Chronicles 22:11 NIV
Time and time again in the Bible, you see the Lord using women to preserve His people. It happens so often you begin to wonder if it’s a feature more than an anomaly.
- Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives, defied Pharaoh and preserved the lives of male Hebrew babies Pharaoh had ordered them to kill (Exodus 1:15-22)
- Moses’ mother and father hid him for three months after he was born so he wouldn’t be thrown in the Nile (Then, ironically, Moses mother threw him in the Nile, but that was a different thing).
- Rahab the prostitute hid the Hebrew spies in Jericho (Joshua 2:1-7)
- The widow of Zarephath kept Elijah the prophet alive during the drought (1 Kings 17:7-16)
Which brings us to today’s reading. Jehosheba (or Jehoshabeath), the daughter of King Jehoram, was Ahaziah’s sister. After Ahaziah’s death, his mother Athaliah, daughter of King Ahab, went on a murderous rampage against the house of David. She set out to destroy the entire royal family and installed herself as queen. But Jehosheba hid her infant nephew Joash for six years, ensuring that God’s promise that there would always be a son of David on the throne of Judah would be kept.
This is the defining difference between the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. In the two hundred or so years between Solomon’s death and the Assyrian invasion, Israel experienced six coups, a civil war, and a king who died without an heir. Only one dynasty, the house of Jehu, had any consistency, lasting for four generations and about a hundred years.
But thanks to Jehosheba, the house of David endured. For 450 years, over twenty generations, a son of David was on the throne of Judah. Why? Because they were such good kings? No. Go back to the chart on Day 177. The majority of Judah’s kings were just as bad as Israel’s kings.
But God made a promise that there would always be a son of David on the throne.
The hidden gem of today’s reading is Jehosheba’s name. Her name means “Yahweh is an Oath.” And through the woman Jehosheba, the oath God made to always have a son of David leading His people was kept.
Not “Yahweh makes an oath.”
Not “We make oaths in Yahweh’s name.”
Yahweh is an oath. In His very nature, God is a promise keeper. More than that, God Himself IS the promise. He cannot be false to His promise, because He Himself is the promise. The closest we can come to understanding this as human beings is when we describe someone as “a man of his word.”
God IS His Word.
God is THE WORD.
Centuries later, God would use yet another woman–Mary; who would hide the Son of David from a murderous ruler. When Herod, like Pharaoh in before him, sought to kill all the Hebrew boys, Mary and her husband Joseph followed in the footsteps of the brave women before her. She hid Jesus in Egypt until Herod died (see Matthew 2:13-18).
Jesus, the Son of David. The promise of God. God’s Word, made flesh (John 1:14).