The Truth About Jehosheba From The Bible

The story of Jehosheba, found in the books of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament, is an incredible one of bravery and strength. Jehosheba was born a princess of Judah. Though her father was the king, it is believed that her mother was one of his "lesser" wives. She later married Jehoida, a priest, and lived happily when her father, King Joram, and then her half-brother, King Ahaziah, ruled the kingdom. 

However, things changed when her King Ahaziah died. There was a brutal scuffle for power, and her half-brother's mother, Queen Athaliah, seized control. To ensure that she remained Queen, Athaliah demanded that any male member of the royal family who had a claim to the throne be killed. This meant that the late King Ahaziah's 1-year-old son, Jehoash, was in grave danger.

But as described in 2 Kings 11:2, Jehosheba could not stand by and allow the murder of her baby nephew. Instead, she and her husband hid him and his nurse so that they would be protected: "But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain" (via Biblehub).

Jehosheba and her husband, Jehoida, shielded Joash and his nurse for over six years, planning for the day when they could reveal his identity and help him claim the throne. 

Take heart; there's a happy ending

Once Jehosheba and Jehoida decided that Joash was old enough, the two helped him reclaim the throne. Per 2 Kings 11:12, Jehoida summoned hundreds of troops to reveal Joash's identity: "And [Jehoida] brought out the king's son, put the crown on him, and gave him the Testimony; they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, 'Long live the king!'" (per Biblehub). With Joash declared king, the usurping Queen Athaliah was apprehended and sentenced to death, ending her evil reign. 

Due to Jehosheba's bravery, many look to the princess as one of the best examples of strong women in the Bible. After all, she exhibited intense bravery and selflessness, since she would have been severely punished, if not killed, if her young nephew had been discovered. In addition, she was the one person who ensured that the lineage of David was maintained, since Joash was the sole heir of the line of Judah. 

Though life during Jehosheba's time was not empowering for women, this tale shows that the princess nevertheless managed to change history through her actions. Moreover, it suggests just how often women are underestimated — even by their own gender. Happily, the story highlights how compassion and strength can prevail even against the most horrific evils.