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Atalja ( Hebrew עֲתַלְיָה; † 837 or 835 BC Was the wife of Joram , king of Judah , and later ruled herself as sole ruler for five or six years. Her reign is dated to the years 842–837 BC. BC ( Albright ) or 841–835 BC Chr. ( Thiele ) dated.


The history of Atalja is part of the history of the power and religious political conflicts in the kingdoms of Judah and Israel in the 840s and 830s of the 9th century BC. Chr .: in terms of power politics between the usurper Jehu and the dynasty of the Omrids , in terms of religious politics between the followers of Baal and the followers of YHWH .

Atalja came from the Israelite dynasty of the Omrids . She was a daughter of King Ahab . Her marriage to Joram of Judah sealed an alliance between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. While Joram, a descendant of David , remained true to the YHWH belief, Atalja adhered to the Baal cult. After Joram's death, the young Ahaziah became king, but after a short time he was murdered by Jehu , who was a staunch opponent of the Omrids. Atalja did her best to eliminate potential rivals; only Joasch , one of her grandchildren, was saved by his sister Joscheba and hidden with her and her husband, the YHWH priest Jojada . After Ataliah was queen for six years, Joash was made king of Judah at the behest of Jehoiada at the age of seven. Atalja was surprised by the rebellion, but could do nothing against her, as the palace guard stood by Joasch. Jehoiada ordered Atalja to be murdered.



The material of the Atalja was edited several times, so u a. in the drama Athalie by Jean Racine (1691), by Georg Friedrich Händel in the oratorio Athalia (1733), in the oratorio libretto Gioas re di Giuda by Pietro Metastasio, in the sacred opera Atalia by Johann Simon Mayr (1822) and in the incidental music Athalia by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1843–45).


  • Christoph Levin: The fall of Queen Atalja. A chapter on the history of Judah in the 9th century BC Chr. (SBS 105). Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-460-04051-3 , online (PDF; 8.7 MB).
  • Alexander Reischert: Compendium of musical subjects. Bärenreiter, Kassel etc. 2001, ISBN 3-7618-1427-5 .
  • Judit Filitz: Atalja . In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (eds.): The scientific Bibellexikon im Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff., Access date: July 4, 2019.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ William Foxwell Albright
  2. ^ Edwin R. Thiele: The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings . Kregel, 1994, ISBN 978-0-8254-3825-7 , p. 10 (there Athaliah )
  3. ^ Antonius HJ Gunneweg: History of Israel up to Bar Kochba. 2nd edition Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1976, ISBN 3-17-002989-4 , pp. 99-101.
predecessor Office successor
Ahaziah King of Judah
841–835 BC Chr.