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Jehosheba in the Bible: 10 Lessons We Can Learn

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When it comes to courageous ladies in the Bible, Deborah and Esther usually take center stage – but Jehosheba in the Bible? Well, that’s a name you may not have heard before! This brave woman was an integral part of Israelite history.

Jehosheba’s story is intertwined with Athaliah and Zibiah in 2 Kings 11. Jehosheba was King Jehoram’s daughter, while her mother had a lower status than the king’s primary wife, who just happened to be Athaliah! Jehosheba was the half-sister of Ahaziah, Zibiah’s husband. Ahaziah was the son of Athaliah and the father of Joash. 

Jehosheba was quite a woman!

Not only the daughter of King Jehoram, but she also married Jehoiada – one of the highest priests. 

Let’s just take a quick look at the two central characters in the story of Jehosheba in the Bible.

image of woman in biblical time clothing for the post on Jehosheba in the Bible

Athaliah in the Bible

Athaliah’s name means: “God is exalted

Athaliah was the granddaughter of the notorious Omri, widely known for his evil reign as king in ancient Israel. She took after her parents Ahab and likely Jezebel too – continuing their legacy by spreading Baal worship once she became Queen over Judah. It’s also said that upon taking power, she murdered every living relative to ensure her rule remained unchallenged! 

Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for everyone else,  her attempt to destroy the royal line of Judah failed.

She was the only woman to rule over Judah, at least for a time. 

Jehosheba in the Bible

Her name means: Fullness, or oath, of the Lord.

A brave and determined princess, she was the wife of a high priest, and her courage ensured that the line of King David’s royal lineage would live on – ultimately leading to Jesus.

She endured Athaliah’s evil reign in Judah and to suffered the loss of many of her nephews at the queen’s hand.

She bravely saved the life of her brother’s youngest son, Joash, so that he could become Judah’s rightful king.

Keeping track of all the kings and queens, their cousins and uncles? It sounds like a royal mess! But don’t worry – I’m here to help make it easier. I’ll take you through this fascinating family tree tale.

Beyond the more well-known figures of that chapter, there lies a lesser-known but equally heroic princess – Jehosheba/Jehoshabeath. She may have been underestimated due to her brief cameo in just two Bible verses, yet within those few words is hidden a fascinating story.

 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death.

2 Kings 11:2 (ESV)

But Jehoshabeath, the king’s daughter, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were about to be put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest, because she was a sister of Ahaziah, hid him from Athaliah, so that she did not put him to death.

2 Chronicles 22:11 (ESV)

It’s incredible how much we can miss when reading something, even if it is the same passage repeatedly. Despite that, one detail I had failed to notice was Jehosheba’s incredible bravery in Almighty God’s name – her unshakable faith ultimately secured David’s lineage!

It’s remarkable how God orchestrated events to fulfill his prophecy: He perfectly matched up person, place, and time so that King David could beget a royal line from which the Messiah—the King of kings!—would come.

The Story of  Jehosheba in the Bible

Jehosheba was a true-blue princess who pulled off an amazing feat – she saved the Davidic royal line from destruction by protecting a young baby boy and putting her own life on the line. This brave woman of scripture risked it all to safeguard this future king, proving that even in uncertain times, you can still be courageous.

Athaliah’s sinister plan was unthinkable: she saw an opportunity when her son, King Ahaziah, died and decided to extinguish the entire royal line of David. She even had no reservations about having her sons and grandsons killed.  It’s hard to fathom how extreme evil can be at times.

Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family.

2 Kings 11:1 (ESV)

Can you believe it? Athaliah was so evil; she actually had her own sons and grandsons killed just to rid the royal line of King Ahaziah. Talk about sickeningly cold-hearted! It’s almost unimaginable how someone could be that twisted.

So, what did God do?

When the line of David was in peril and needed rescuing, instead of raising up an army, God chose to use a single brave woman – Jehosheba! Her courage allowed her to be part of something greater: ensuring that what had been promised for centuries would still come true.

Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the Lord, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

2 Kings 11:1-3 (ESV)
image of biblical queen for the post The Often Overlooked Heroine, Jehosheba in the Bible and 10 Lessons We Can Learn From Her

The wicked Queen Athaliah was determined to put an end to the Davidic line once and for all, like King Herod before her, who attempted to kill the King of the Jews. But Jehosheba heroically snatched up Joash and whisked him away into hiding – saving the descendant of kings from sure destruction!

With a clever plan, she found the perfect hiding place to protect Joash, the one place the Queen would likely not venture: The House of God.

This courageous woman had one monumental task: to keep the line of David alive. She faced an uphill battle – trying to remain hidden with a toddler, who, like most toddlers, was probably not very quiet! For six long years, she persevered in keeping Joash safe from prying eyes and asking about his whereabouts. 

In the seventh year, Jehoiada and his wife Jehosheba were finally ready to unveil the future king: young Joash. Exhibiting great care, they presented him before the royal guards in a triumphant moment of truth.

But in the seventh year, Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of the Carites and the guards and had them come to him in the house of the Lord. And he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the Lord, and he showed them the king’s son.

2 Kings 11:4 (ESV)

After years of uncertainty, a rightful ruler is revealed!

King Joash’s discovery has just been announced, and now they need help–Jehoida needs to rally the people together to protect the throne.

And he commanded them, “This is the thing that you shall do: one third of you, those who come off duty on the Sabbath and guard the king’s house (another third being at the gate Sur and a third at the gate behind the guards) shall guard the palace.
And the two divisions of you, which come on duty in force on the Sabbath and guard the house of the Lord on behalf of the king, shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand. And whoever approaches the ranks is to be put to death. Be with the king when he goes out and when he comes in.”
The captains did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and they each brought his men who were to go off duty on the Sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. And the priest gave to the captains the spears and shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of the Lord.
And the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house on behalf of the king. Then he brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”

2 Kings 11:5-12 (ESV)

Jehoida was a master strategist – he knew the exact moment to introduce his newly-crowned king. With perfect timing, he chose when guards were switching shifts so that they could provide extra protection for the king.

Joash was joyfully crowned king, and the people could hardly contain their excitement! But unfortunately for Athaliah’s reign of terror, it all came to an end with his coronation.

When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she went into the house of the Lord to the people. And when she looked, there was the king standing by the pillar, according to the custom, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets.
And Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” Then Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains who were set over the army, “Bring her out between the ranks, and put to death with the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest said, “Let her not be put to death in the house of the Lord.” So they laid hands on her; and she went through the horses’ entrance to the king’s house, and there she was put to death.
And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people, that they should be the Lord’s people, and also between the king and the people. Then all the people of the land went to the house of Baal and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.
And the priest posted watchmen over the house of the Lord. And he took the captains, the Carites, the guards, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, marching through the gate of the guards to the king’s house. And he took his seat on the throne of the kings. So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been put to death with the sword at the king’s house.

2 Kings 11:13-20 (ESV)

Joash’s destiny was fulfilled as Athaliah, queen of wickedness and destroyer of hope, finally met her demise.

After years in hiding, Joash could now ascend to his rightful throne with a grateful nation at his side.

Against all odds, Jehosheba heroically risked her own safety to save a royal lineage that was on the brink of extinction. Though David’s line had been nearly wiped out and only one descendant remained, she bravely stepped up to preserve the lineage of David.

Why is Jehosheba’s Story Important?

Jehosheba was an important part of making sure the Messiah would be born according to God’s promised Word through the lineage of David (2 Samuel 7:1-29). Despite everything standing in her way, she helped make a prophecy come true! With Jehosheba demonstrating that nothing is impossible with God, we can confidently say all the promises of our Lord are yes and amen!

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV)

In a daring move, Jehosheba risked her safety to protect her brother’s son and break the cycle of death in the family. She showed courageous faith that is echoed today – those who trust Jesus can create new legacies for generations to come.

Joash’s story is a powerful reminder that our legacy will be determined by who we take counsel from. Instead of following in the footsteps of evil family members, Joash had noble beginnings when Jehoida guided him – but his success unraveled after he lost this wise influence in his life. We should strive to persevere faithfully, so our final act follows through on those good intentions! Let’s ensure we end better than we began and trust God for guidance as He intends for us all along.

Reminiscent of the famous story of Moses, our narrative takes a similar turn as Athaliah parallels Pharaoh. In her own misguided attempt to extinguish God’s people, she commanded her family members be destroyed – but she was stopped in her tracks thanks to Jehosheba, who courageously saved Joash and kept hope alive.

Lessons We Can Learn from Jehosheba

What could have been a simple moral choice for one brave woman became something much bigger – her obedience was helping to fulfill the prophecies of Jesus’ coming! She chose courage and wisdom when she may very well have inherited generational folly, ensuring that God’s kingdom work progressed. Indeed an amazing act with eternal consequences beyond what anyone would ever imagine.

Our everyday decisions have a ripple effect. Who would’ve thought that the small steps of courage taken by Jeshosheba to keep Joash hidden away could change so much? Even though it took six long years, her determination and commitment were firm, and her faithfulness was rewarded.

Our family background doesn’t have to dictate our future! As heirs of Christ, we can choose how our lives will honor God each day and serve others by surrendering old ways. Imagine the impact that could come from generations who follow your example – taking a stand for faith even in an otherwise wicked world! 

  • Perform daily acts of courage – you may be impacting legacies and the Kingdom!
  • Be ready at any moment’s notice to accomplish God’s work.
  • Our choices matter
  • Be a light in a dark place. Jehosheba did this by holding true to God’s laws when much of Judah at the time had strayed away.
  • Legacies matter!  What can you do today that can impact your future generations?
  • God used women to accomplish heroic tasks.
  • Be willing to do what is right regardless of the potential consequences 
  • Don’t be afraid to be a woman that girds up her loins.
  • Even in the darkest times, God is still working and moving.
  • The best princesses are those who honor and love God.

Instead of going into depth, as I usually do on the lessons learned from Jehosheba, grab your Bible and a concordance (if your Bible doesn’t have one), read about Jehosheba in the Bible, and write down cross verses that support the lessons learned.

Jehosheba was a fearless hero! She took an unbelievable risk to safeguard the future of her people and ensure their freedom – something we can all admire. Ask yourself, how is God calling on me to bravely step into action today? What part do I play in building up our world for generations yet to come?

Don’t keep the faith to yourself – share it with others! Jesus is the King of Kings and a faithful God who keeps his promises. How amazing that His throne will last forever and be fulfilled in Messiah? We can trust our Lord implicitly.

Do you see any other lessons we can learn from Jehosheba in the Bible?

You may enjoy the video below or one of the recommended resources for further study.

The Godly Kings of Judah: Faithful Living for Lasting Influence by Cynthia Cavanaugh

Girls with Swords: How to Carry Your Cross Like a Hero by Lisa Bevere

ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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