Enjoy. There is no sound. If I was clever I'd have recorded the narration over the top... but I didn't think of making it till 8.30 last night and I was pretty tired. It's a bit boring because of the long gaps left to make room for the narration.
Athaliah had always been powerful. She was the daughter of evil King Ahab of Israel and had grown up as a princess. She liked wearing a crown and she liked being able to tell people what to do.
Now in those days, the northern kingdom of Israel and the Southern kingdom of Judah were friendly with eachother.
When Athaliah was old enough she was looking for someone to marry. Hmm. Who should she choose? She couldn't marry a common man. If she did, she wouldn't get to wear her crown any more. No. It would have to be a king, or a prince at least! Ah! How about King Jehoram of Judah? Perfect. Not too far from home and very powerful! An excellent idea.
So that's what Athaliah did. She married the King of God's people. But should he have married her?
No. Like her father Ahab, Athaliah had no time for God. So the king of Judah shouldn't have married her. But King Jehoram had no time for God either. So they were a pretty good match.
Queen Athaliah and King Jehoram lived together for years. Together they bossed people around, worshipped idols and did all kinds of evil in the sight of the Lord. When God had had enough of this zero out of ten king, he died and Athaliah was left alone and no longer a queen.
Do you think she liked that? Not being a queen any more? No. She didn't.
But she cheered up a little when her son Ahaziah became King. Being the mother of the King gave you a little bit of power... not so much as being queen, but still some.
Ahaziah wasn't king for very long. Just one year. He was up visiting relatives up in Israel when he was killed. And that was the end of him.
So where did that leave Athaliah. Not a princess anymore. Not a queen. Not even the mother of the king. Likely one of Ahaziah's sons, one of her grand-sons would become king. And she would just be the... grandmother of the king?
No way. Athaliah didn't like that idea. She would have no power at all.
So she came up with a plan. A cunning and horrible plan. Athaliah looked at all her grandchildren around her. To get the power all back for herself, all she had to do was to get them out of the way. Then she could take the crown back and rule Judah herself. She would be queen!
It was a terrible plan. But Athaliah was a terrible woman. Remember King Ahab? He was her father and she was exactly like him. She didn't care at all about what God thought and she had no regard for people either. Quickly and quietly she disposed of all of her grandchildren ...
Well, not quite all of them. See this one left over? That's little prince Joash. But he was just a baby and his clever aunty whisked him out of the way and hid him carefully
… and then she made herself Queen of Judah.
So Athaliah got what she wanted. Queen, boss, ruler of Judah. And she got to enjoy it for 7 years.
But then it was found out that little Joash was still alive and all Athaliah's muderous plotting caught up with her. She was put to death – which is exactly what she deserved – and the boy Joash became king.
But what sort of king would Joash be?