Jehosheba (alternately Jehoshebeath) (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֶׁ֫בַע Yehosheba, "the LORD is an oath"), or Josaba, is a figure in the Hebrew Bible. She was the daughter of King Jehoram of Judah, sister to King Ahaziah of Judah and wife of Jehoiada the priest. According to 2 Kings 11:2, she saved and hid her infant nephew Jehoash from the massacre ordered by his grandmother Athaliah:
Then, Jehosheba and Jehoiada secretly raised Jehoash for six years in the First Temple built by Solomon, which at the time lay partially in ruins. On the seventh year, Jehoiada and the other priests devised a plan to reestablish the Davidic line in Judah through the coronation of Jehoash (age seven). When the plan was implemented, Athaliah overheard the noise of the people chanting "Long live the king". When she entered the Temple she found her crowned grandson seated on a royal pillar surrounded by a crowd of supporters. She rent her clothes and cried "Treason, treason!". Jehoiada ordered that she be slain but not inside the Temple. Athaliah was captured and put to death in the gateway leading from the horse stalls to the royal palace, thus ending the reign of Athaliah and beginning the reign of Jehoash. According to 2 Kings 11:20, the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been slain.
The Midrash lists her as one of the 23 great righteous women of Israel.
Alice Laffey points out that it was through the risks taken by Jehosheba and the anonymous nurse that the Davidic dynasty was preserved.
- "Strong Numbers - 3089. Yehosheba". strongnumbers.com/hebrew/. Retrieved 03-19-11
- Laffey, Alice L., An Introduction to the Old Testament: A Feminist Perspective, p.139, Fortress Press, 1998
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