The queen mother

The institution of a queen in the rule of Israel appears to have taken place when Solomon “caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand” (1 Kings 2:19). When Rehoboam began to reign in Jerusalem, his mother’s name is mentioned indicating she probably took the position at her son’s right side as Solomon’s mother had (1 Kings 14:21). After Rehoboam died, his son Abijam reigned in his stead and it says in 1 Kings 15:2 that “his mother’s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.”

Maachah was the wife of Rehoboam who died at the age of 58 (1 Kings 14:21). Abijam’s age is not stated, but he reigned only three years and then his son Asa “reigned in his stead” (1 Kings 15:8). It says in 1 Kings 15:10 that Asa’s “mother’s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.” Apparently, Maachah was not only Asa’s mother, but also his grandmother.

It is likely that Maachah was much younger than Rehoboam and after he died, she began an incestuous relationship with her son Abijam in order to secure her position as queen mother for a longer period of time. Fortunately, Maachah’s plan didn’t work. It says in 1 Kings 15:11 that “Asa did that which was right in the eye’s of the LORD, as did David his father.” Asa began a reform effort to get rid of idol worship and to cleanse Judah of the pagans that had taken up residence as a result of Solomon’s and Rehoboam’s compromises.

It says in 1 Kings 15:12-13 that Asa “took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen.” This was a bold move by Asa showing that he was sincere about following God’s commandments. Even though he didn’t live a perfect life, it says in 1 Kings 15:14 that “Asa’s heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.

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