Bible Topics
in the Christian Library
Personalities Of The Old Testament
JEHOSHEBA – A Heroic Aunt!
2 Kings 11; 2 Chronicles 22

 1. Our lesson examines the impact of one woman upon the world’s history. Without this lady the Messianic line would have vanished; God’s promise that David’s “seed” would forever reign would have been vain.  The entire history of the world would be different! Yet, this one woman is often totally ignored. Many are ignorant of her and what she did. Her story is one of the gems hidden away in the folds of Old Testament history. Her story is filled with breathtaking, heart-pounding moments of intrigue murder and mystery.

 2. The general impact of godly women upon world history is usually acknowledged. “When you find a man playing a big part on life’s stage, you’ll find in sight, or just around the corner, a great woman. Read history! A man alone is only half a man; it takes the two to make the whole” (Elbert Hubbard, The Speaker’s Sourcebook, 285). ASK – Can you name some women who have played a significant role in history as the “force” behind a successful man?

 3. The lesson examines Jehosheba (or also called Jehoshabeth in 2 Chronicles). A brief biographical sketch is necessary as we begin so that we will understand the key facts about her.

  a. She was the daughter of Judah’s King Jehoram (also called Joram). This King was not good (2 Ki 8:18). This meant that her father’s wife, Athaliah, was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. Hence she was constantly exposed and involved in the idolatry of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. She was the half-brother to the evil King Ahaziah (2 Chron 22:3). From a family devoted to evil and idolatry, Jehosheba stands out as a heroic daughter of an evil father!

  b. She was married to the High Priest, Jehoiada. This is the only instance of an Israeli princess marrying a high priest. 

  c. She lived during the darkest days of the Southern Kingdom’s history. It was a time of barbarous cruelty, gross immorality, and profane Temple worship. The Southern kingdom was reaping the tragic harvest of Jehoshaphat’s compromised fellowship with Israel. The compromises of the father (Jehoshaphat) were multiplied by his son (Jehoram) and added to by his grandson (Ahaziah). It was not a good time to live.

  d. She is the one credited with preserving the “Royal seed” from extinction. She rescued young Joash from the murderous plot of grandmother Athaliah. She worked with her husband and for six years hid the young child until he could ascend Judah’s throne.

  e. Examine the Scriptures and observe the wonderful lessons that this unknown lady teaches to us.

 4. Jehosheba’s Life is summarized with four points that are gleaned from her historical narrative in Kings and Chronicles.

 a. She was a KINSWOMAN.
  Being the sister of Ahaziah, she was the aunt of Joash.

 b. She was a GOOD WOMAN.
  This is an interesting and encouraging point. Even though she was surrounded by the vilest influences, she is presented in adulthood as devoted to Jehovah God. Her husband was the High Priest of Jehovah God. Most likely she and her husband opposed their evil society. Whenever they had an opportunity, they tried to help correct the spiritual and social problems of society.

 c. She was a BRAVE WOMAN.
  Her initiative to rescue young Joash from the murderous plot of Queen Athaliah was dangerous. The narrative suggests there was no hesitation of Jehosheba. She saw what needed to be done and regardless of personal danger, she took action.

 d. She was a CLEVER WOMAN.
  Her planned rescue required wise planning. After Joash had been taken from the Palace nursery, there had to be a plan on where and how to hide him. The six years of training also required clever planning. NOTE: the exact way in which the absence of Joash was explained is not stated in Scripture. Some suppose that another child was substituted for Joash.

 5. Jehosheba’s Work can be best summarized by one word – “Preservation.” She preserved the Kingly seed line through which the Messiah would come. She alone was responsible for saving David’s heritage. How did she accomplish this great work?

 a. Through her marriage.
  She was the wife of the High Priest. Jehoiada is known for a reputation of godly steadfastness. There is no doubt that his ability to bring about a great  restoration of God’s worship was helped because his wife supported and was active in the same efforts! 

  Jehosheba was a good wife for a good man. She was a woman of compassion and sympathy. 

 b. Through her general living.
  The influence of women upon society is great. There are some women whose cruelty oppresses and depresses society, but there are those whose compassion and sympathy lift the hearts of the oppressed. There are women whose lives and actions corrupt others, but there are godly women whose pure lives and godly conduct have preserved the hope of many. “If one wicked woman can do much harm, one pure-minded Christian woman can do a vast amount of good” (Pulpit Commentary, Vol 5, 235). How can Christian women have the wonderful impact which Jehosheba had?

   1) By quiet benevolence that they perform without ever seeking the spotlight. They see a hurt and strive to relieve it; a need and seek to fill it.

   2) By visiting those who need personal contact.  Whether in homes, hospitals, or nursing homes, they devote themselves to the noble work of encouraging and edifying. Their visits are times of encouragement and their coming fills the hearts of those visited with great joy.

   3) By instructing the young in Bible classes. How wonderful a legacy the Christian lady leaves who has spent her years teaching the tender hearts of children. Jehosheba began teaching Joash when he was one year old. Joash’s reign was first marked with godly consecration no doubt because of this early instruction. How many “great” leaders of society can look back and with respect speak of their Bible Class teachers!

   4) By serving as a foreign missionary. Countless women have risked personal health, comfort, and safety because they sought to take the gospel into a foreign land.

 6. Jehosheba’s Lessons are numerous. There are at least four that seem to be most significant and that Believers need to pay close attention to today.

 a. We must be ever vigilant of opportunity to help others!
  Jehosheba was presented with an opportunity to rescue Joash. She did not hesitate but seized the opportunity. In doing this she prevented the Davidic Kingdom from becoming extinct. God used Jehosheba to perform a very important work!

  All around us are opportunities to help. There are souls being threatened by an evil even worse than Athaliah. The eternal destinies of these in peril depend upon our response. Will we be vigilant as Jehosheba? This exhortation was urged by Inspiration in Ephesians 5:15ff.

 b. Great reforms often begin with ONE person.
  The single life of Jehosheba began the wonderful religious reforms directed by King Joash. Her dedication and commitment to Jehovah God were the motivating forces which led her to stand for God. She would do so if it meant she would stand alone!

  This commitment to God’s will is stated in 1 Corinthians 15:58. Each Christian is responsible for making this commitment to God. How tragic that many will cheer on the “Jehoshebas” but will never join in the combat to secure God’s will as the ruling standard. God’s Kingdom is in need of individual members who are consecrated and committed (2 Ti 4:5-8).

 c. Even those surrounded by evil people can serve God!
  Jehosheba grew up in an environment that was saturated with evil. The one God of the Scriptures was rejected. In her life “environment” did not dictate her choices. She stood apart from family, from friends and chose to serve God.  She knew that her choices were in direct conflict with what her family wanted, but she chose to follow God and separate from family.

  This is a difficult decision and many are unwilling to make it. Jehosheba reminds us today that if we are to follow God then we must choose to follow Him even if it means conflict with family (cf Mt 10:34-39).

 d. Women occupy a critical place in society.
  In this story there is a contrast in the two ways women impact society. They can be as Athaliah and bring harm, evil, and pail. She was a tigress of a woman and cared not for anything that honored God. She brought the Kingdom of Judah to its lowest historical point. They can be as Jehosheba and bring love, rescue, and righteousness. Jehosheba honored God and taught the Divine will. Her life’s example trained Joash in godly ways. “Women may be devils or ministering angels.” 

  Jehosheba reminds Christian women today of the critical role they have in these areas: as a protector of children; as a source of blessing because of a pious relative; as a supportive spouse whose husband is an effective servant of God.

 7. Concluding lessons that stick in our minds about Jehosheba. We have studied the heroism of a lady whose actions prevented the extinction of the Davidic Seed line. Reading her story fills us with admiration and respect. As we look at Jehosheba’s story, we should take three major lessons to heart:

  a. Remember to be an example of faith and courage to others.
  It was her faith that led Jehosheba to hide young Joash. A like faith has always prodded people to be bold (cf Hb 11:23).  Christians must never cower and shirk from standing up for God’s will (2 Ti 1:7-8).

 b. Remember that God’s faithfulness is always constant.
  God promised David that his seed would always sit upon the throne (1 Ki 8:25). That promise seemed frustrated when the wicked Athaliah plotted to murder all the princes and eliminate every descendant of David. But God’s faithfulness was certain (Ps 33:11). Whenever evil threatens your security, remember this faithfulness of God! (Lam 3:20-24).

  c. Remember how God has historically defeated the schemes of the wicked.
  The wicked lay their schemes skillfully. However, the wicked are destined to fail. Even if evil Athaliah seeks to kill every descendant of David, she will not succeed! When you are distressed over the apparent successes of the wicked, remember Jehosheba and confidently remember the wicked will not prosper! (1 Pt 3:2; Pr 10:3ff; 11:3ffIs 13:9-11; etc.).

Copyright 1999 by John L. Kachelman, Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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