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23 In the seventh year of the reign of Queen Athaliah, Jehoiada the priest got up his courage and took some of the army officers into his confidence: Azariah (son of Jeroham), Ishmael (son of Jehohanan), Azariah (son of Obed), Maaseiah (son of Adaiah), and Elishaphat (son of Zichri). 2-3 These men traveled out across the nation secretly to tell the Levites and clan leaders about his plans and to summon them to Jerusalem. On arrival they swore allegiance to the young king, who was still in hiding at the Temple.

“At last the time has come for the king’s son to reign!” Jehoiada exclaimed. “The Lord’s promise—that a descendant of King David shall be our king—will be true again. This is how we’ll proceed: A third of you priests and Levites who come off duty on the Sabbath will stay at the entrance as guards. 5-6 Another third will go over to the palace, and a third will be at the Lower Gate. Everyone else must stay in the outer courts of the Temple, as required by God’s laws. For only the priests and Levites on duty may enter the Temple itself, for they are sanctified. You Levites, form a bodyguard for the king, weapons in hand, and kill any unauthorized person entering the Temple. Stay right beside the king.”

So all the arrangements were made. Each of the three leaders led a third of the priests arriving for duty that Sabbath, and a third of those whose week’s work was done and were going off duty—for Jehoiada the chief priest didn’t release them to go home. Then Jehoiada issued spears and shields to all the army officers. These had once belonged to King David and were stored in the Temple. 10 These officers, fully armed, formed a line from one side to the other in front of the Temple and around the altar in the outer court. 11 Then they brought out the little prince and placed the crown upon his head, and handed him a copy of the law of God, and proclaimed him king.

A great shout went up, “Long live the king!” as Jehoiada and his sons anointed him.

12 When Queen Athaliah heard all the noise and commotion and the shouts of praise to the king, she rushed over to the Temple to see what was going on—and there stood the king by his pillar at the entrance, with the army officers and the trumpeters surrounding him, and people from all over the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and the singers singing, accompanied by an orchestra leading the people in a great psalm of praise.

Athaliah ripped her clothes and screamed, “Treason! Treason!”

13-14 “Take her out and kill her,” Jehoiada the priest shouted to the army officers. “Don’t do it here at the Temple. And kill anyone who tries to help her.”

15-17 So the crowd opened up for them to take her out, and they killed her at the palace stables.

Then Jehoiada made a solemn contract that he and the king and the people would be the Lord’s. And all the people rushed over to the temple of Baal and knocked it down, and broke up the altars, and knocked down the idols, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before his altar. 18 Jehoiada now appointed the Levite priests as guards, and to sacrifice the burnt offering to the Lord as prescribed in the law of Moses. He made the identical assignments of the Levite clans that King David had. They sang with joy as they worked. 19 The guards at the Temple gates kept out everything that was not consecrated and all unauthorized personnel.

20 Then the army officers, nobles, governors, and all the people escorted the king from the Temple, wending their way from the Upper Gate to the palace, and seated the king upon his throne. 21 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet and peaceful because Queen Athaliah was dead.

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