Let’s compare those two verses.  2 Kings 8:26 says, “TWO AND TWENTY YEARS old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.”  2 Chronicles 22:2 says, “FORTY AND TWO YEARS OLD was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.” 

I think it is good that we begin with the realization that the Word of God (in its original manuscripts) is perfect.  No mistakes at all.  2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”  This literally means that all scripture is ‘God breathed.’  As such, it is perfect and not subject to any contradictions.  If we can start with that truthful statement, then we will most likely ask, “Why is there a difference in the given age of King Ahaziah in 2 King and 2 Chronicles when he began to reign?” Let’s see if we can answer that question.

As I said, the Word of God in its original manuscripts is without error.  However, according to several other Godly and knowledgeable writers I have read, the accepted belief is that the forty-two years given in 2 Chronicles 22:2 is a copyist’s error.  In common fashion, once a copyist, or scribe, makes a copy, it is then copied by others so that the error continues onto future copies.

In this case, many Bible translations state in 2 Chronicles 22:2 that Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, which is in agreement with 2 Kings 8:26.  A few of the well known translations that use the number twenty-two in both places are: the Amplified Bible (AMP), Darby’s New Translation Bible (DARBY), the English Standard Version (ESV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), and Young’s Literal Translation (YLT).  Plus, there are many other Bible translations that agree that Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign. 

Your question is important because we should want to know why we sometimes come across ‘seeming’ discrepancies when we are reading the Bible.  It behooves us to investigate and learn why the differences are there.  If we sincerely search for the truth, we will always learn that the original manuscripts of the Bible are perfect without error or contradiction.  (CC)  (516.6)