Add parallel Print Page Options

23 In the seventh year Jehoiada made a bold move. He made a pact[a] with the officers of the units of hundreds: Azariah son of Jehoram, Ishmael son of Jehochanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri. They traveled throughout Judah and assembled the Levites from all the cities of Judah, as well as the Israelite family leaders.

They came to Jerusalem, and the whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the temple of God. Jehoiada[b] said to them, “The king’s son will rule, just as the Lord promised David’s descendants. This is what you must do. One-third of you priests and Levites who are on duty during the Sabbath will guard the doors. Another third of you will be stationed at the royal palace and still another third at the Foundation Gate. All the others[c] will stand in the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. No one must enter the Lord’s temple except the priests and Levites who are on duty. They may enter because they are ceremonially pure. All the others should carry out their assigned service to the Lord. The Levites must surround the king. Each of you must hold his weapon in his hand. Whoever tries to enter the temple[d] must be killed. You must accompany the king wherever he goes.”[e]

The Levites and all the men of Judah[f] did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each of them took his men, those who were on duty during the Sabbath as well as those who were off duty on the Sabbath. Jehoiada the priest did not release his divisions from their duties. Jehoiada the priest gave to the officers of the units of hundreds King David’s spears and shields[g] that were kept in God’s temple. 10 He placed the men at their posts, each holding his weapon in his hand. They lined up from the south side of the temple to the north side and stood near the altar and the temple, surrounding the king.[h] 11 Jehoiada and his sons led out the king’s son and placed on him the crown and the royal insignia.[i] They proclaimed him king and poured olive oil on his head.[j] They declared, “Long live the king!”

12 When Athaliah heard the royal guard[k] shouting and praising the king, she joined the crowd[l] at the Lord’s temple. 13 Then she saw[m] the king standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and trumpeters stood beside the king and all the people of the land were celebrating and blowing trumpets, and the musicians with various instruments were leading the celebration. Athaliah tore her clothes and yelled, “Treason! Treason!”[n] 14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the officers of the units of hundreds, who were in charge of the army, and ordered them, “Bring her outside the temple to the guards.[o] Put the sword to anyone who follows her.” The priest gave this order because he had decided she should not be executed in the Lord’s temple.[p]

Read full chapter


  1. 2 Chronicles 23:1 tn Or “covenant.”
  2. 2 Chronicles 23:3 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jehoiada the priest, cf. v. 8) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  3. 2 Chronicles 23:5 tn Heb “all the people.”
  4. 2 Chronicles 23:7 tn Heb “house.”
  5. 2 Chronicles 23:7 tn Heb “and be with the king when he goes in/enters and when he goes out/exits.”
  6. 2 Chronicles 23:8 tn Heb “all Judah.” The words “the men of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” by metonymy for the men of Judah.
  7. 2 Chronicles 23:9 tn The Hebrew text lists two different types of shields here. Most translations render “the large and small shields” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV; NEB “King David’s spears, shields, and bucklers”).
  8. 2 Chronicles 23:10 tn Heb “and he stationed all the people, each with his weapon in his hand, from the south shoulder of the house to the north shoulder of the house, at the altar and at the house, near the king all around.”
  9. 2 Chronicles 23:11 tn The Hebrew word עֵדוּת (ʿedut) normally means “witness” or “testimony.” Here it probably refers to some tangible symbol of kingship, perhaps a piece of jewelry such as an amulet or neck chain (see the discussion in M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings [AB], 128). Some suggest that a document is in view, perhaps a copy of the royal protocol or of the stipulations of the Davidic covenant (see HALOT 790-91 s.v.).
  10. 2 Chronicles 23:11 tn Or “they made him king and anointed him.”
  11. 2 Chronicles 23:12 tn Heb “and Athaliah heard the sound of the people, the runners.”
  12. 2 Chronicles 23:12 tn Heb “she came to the people.”
  13. 2 Chronicles 23:13 tn Heb “and she saw, and behold.”
  14. 2 Chronicles 23:13 tn Or “Conspiracy! Conspiracy!”
  15. 2 Chronicles 23:14 tn Heb “ranks.”
  16. 2 Chronicles 23:14 tn Heb “for the priest had said, ‘Do not put her to death in the house of the Lord.’”