2 Kings 8:26—Was Ahaziah 22 years old when he began to reign in Judah, or was he 42 years old?
Problem: According to the statement in 2 Kings 8:26, Ahaziah was 22 years old when he began to reign in Judah. However, in 2 Chronicles 22:2 (kjv) we find the claim that Ahaziah was age 42 when he took the throne in Judah. Which is correct?
Solution: This is clearly a copyist error, and there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Ahaziah was 22 years old when he began to reign in Judah. In 2 Kings 8:17, we find that Joram, father of Ahaziah and son of Ahab, was 32 years old when he became king. Joram died at age 40, eight years after becoming king. Consequently, his son Ahaziah could not have been 42 when he took the throne after his father’s death, otherwise he would have been older than his father.
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.