Zibiah

Zibiah is briefly mentioned in the Second Book of Kings in a way that indicates she was the mother of Jehoash, who became king, and that she was from Beersheba. The Bible doesn't reveal whether or not she was married, or explain who Jehoash's father was. Jehoash and Joash are different spellings of the same name in the Old Testament, as you will see in the quotes that follow.

In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba. And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him. (2 Kings 12:1–2)

There is a similar reference a little further on in the old Testament: “Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Zibiah of Beersheba. And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. And Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he begat sons and daughters” (2 Chronicles 24:1–3).

Upon the death of his father, Jeohoash's grandmother, Athaliah, became queen. Athaliah, thirsty for power, went on a murderous rampage, killing all of her son's little boys who might someday lay claim to the throne. She found all of them except Jehoash. The Bible says, “But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah” (2 Chronicles 22:10).

A recently discovered sandstone tablet with an inscription that may have been written by King Jeohash has generated heated debate among scholars as to whether it is authentic or a forgery. Some believe it dates from the reign of Jeohash. The stone's crust has been Carbon 14 tested and determined to be 2,300 years old. The inscription references repairs made to the Temple during Jeohash's reign. But experts say the Hebrew in the inscription is a forgery, because it is much too modern.

Jehoash was spared death at the hands of his grandmother thanks to another relative — his aunt Jehosheba, sister of Ahaziah and wife of the high priest Jehoiadia. Jehosheba hid Jehoash and his nurse in a bedchamber. For seven years, Jehoash remained concealed from his grandmother and her minions, but when he turned seven, Athaliah was overthrown and Jehoash became king.

Athaliah was the daughter of King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel. Jezebel was a powerful influence over the compliant Ahab, and during his reign many worshipped Baal. Jezebel banished the Hebrew prophets in an effort to promote pagan worship throughout the land.

Ahab ruled over Israel, the northern kingdom, while Jehoshaphat ruled over the southern kingdom of Judah. The two kings forged an alliance by marrying Ahab's daughter Athaliah to Jehoram, Jehosphaphat's son. Some sources assert that Athaliah was nearly as bad as her mother, who epitomized evil, according to many theologians.

  1. Home
  2. Women of the Bible
  3. Women Who Showed Courage and Commitment
  4. Zibiah
Visit other About.com sites: