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2 Chronicles 23 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Revolt against Athaliah

23 After waiting six years Jehoiada the priest decided that it was time to take action. He made a pact with five army officers: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zichri. They traveled to all the cities of Judah and brought back with them to Jerusalem the Levites and all the heads of the clans.

They all gathered in the Temple, and there they made a covenant with Joash, the king's son. Jehoiada said to them, “Here is the son of the late king. He is now to be king, as the Lord promised that King David's descendants would be. This is what we will do. When the priests and Levites come on duty on the Sabbath, one third of them will guard the Temple gates, another third will guard the royal palace, and the rest will be stationed at the Foundation Gate. All the people will assemble in the Temple courtyard. No one is to enter the Temple buildings except the priests and the Levites who are on duty. They may enter, because they are consecrated, but the rest of the people must obey the Lord's instructions and stay outside. The Levites are to stand guard around the king, with their swords drawn, and are to stay with the king wherever he goes. Anyone who tries to enter the Temple is to be killed.”

The Levites and the people of Judah carried out Jehoiada's instructions. The men were not dismissed when they went off duty on the Sabbath, so the commanders had available both those coming on duty and those going off. Jehoiada gave the officers the spears and shields that had belonged to King David and had been kept in the Temple. 10 He stationed the men with drawn swords all around the front of the Temple, to protect the king. 11 Then Jehoiada led Joash out, placed the crown on his head, and gave him a copy of the laws governing kingship. And so he was made king. Jehoiada the priest and his sons anointed Joash, and everyone shouted, “Long live the king!”

12 Athaliah heard the people cheering for the king, so she hurried to the Temple, where the crowd had gathered. 13 There she saw the new king at the Temple entrance, standing by the column reserved for kings and surrounded by the army officers and the trumpeters. All the people were shouting joyfully and blowing trumpets, and the Temple musicians with their instruments were leading the celebration. She tore her clothes in distress and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”

14 Jehoiada did not want Athaliah killed in the Temple area, so he called out the army officers and said, “Take her out between the rows of guards, and kill anyone who tries to rescue her.”

15 They seized her, took her to the palace, and there at the Horse Gate they killed her.

Jehoiada's Reforms

16 The priest Jehoiada had King Joash and the people join him in making a covenant that they would be the Lord's people. 17 Then they all went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols there and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars. 18 Jehoiada put the priests and Levites in charge of the work of the Temple. They were to carry out the duties assigned to them by King David and to burn the sacrifices offered to the Lord in accordance with the Law of Moses. They were also in charge of the music and the celebrations. 19 Jehoiada also put guards on duty at the Temple gates to keep out anyone who was ritually unclean.

20 The army officers, the leading citizens, the officials, and all the rest of the people joined Jehoiada in a procession that brought the king from the Temple to the palace. They entered by the main gate, and the king took his place on the throne. 21 All the people were filled with happiness, and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been killed.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

2 Chronicles 23 New International Version (NIV)

23 In the seventh year Jehoiada showed his strength. He made a covenant with the commanders of units of a hundred: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri. They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites and the heads of Israelite families from all the towns. When they came to Jerusalem, the whole assembly made a covenant with the king at the temple of God.

Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son shall reign, as the Lord promised concerning the descendants of David. Now this is what you are to do: A third of you priests and Levites who are going on duty on the Sabbath are to keep watch at the doors, a third of you at the royal palace and a third at the Foundation Gate, and all the others are to be in the courtyards of the temple of the Lord. No one is to enter the temple of the Lord except the priests and Levites on duty; they may enter because they are consecrated, but all the others are to observe the Lord’s command not to enter.[a] The Levites are to station themselves around the king, each with weapon in hand. Anyone who enters the temple is to be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes.”

The Levites and all the men of Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each one took his men—those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty—for Jehoiada the priest had not released any of the divisions. Then he gave the commanders of units of a hundred the spears and the large and small shields that had belonged to King David and that were in the temple of God. 10 He stationed all the men, each with his weapon in his hand, around the king—near the altar and the temple, from the south side to the north side of the temple.

11 Jehoiada and his sons brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; they presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him and shouted, “Long live the king!”

12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the king, she went to them at the temple of the Lord. 13 She looked, and there was the king, standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and musicians with their instruments were leading the praises. Then Athaliah tore her robes and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”

14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops, and said to them: “Bring her out between the ranks[b] and put to the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest had said, “Do not put her to death at the temple of the Lord.” 15 So they seized her as she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds, and there they put her to death.

16 Jehoiada then made a covenant that he, the people and the king[c] would be the Lord’s people. 17 All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

18 Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the temple of the Lord in the hands of the Levitical priests, to whom David had made assignments in the temple, to present the burnt offerings of the Lord as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had ordered. 19 He also stationed gatekeepers at the gates of the Lord’s temple so that no one who was in any way unclean might enter.

20 He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people and all the people of the land and brought the king down from the temple of the Lord. They went into the palace through the Upper Gate and seated the king on the royal throne. 21 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 23:6 Or are to stand guard where the Lord has assigned them
  2. 2 Chronicles 23:14 Or out from the precincts
  3. 2 Chronicles 23:16 Or covenant between the Lord and the people and the king that they (see 2 Kings 11:17)
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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