12 Joash[a] became king of Judah in Jehu’s seventh year as king of Israel, and he ruled forty years from Jerusalem. His mother Zibiah was from the town of Beersheba.
2 Jehoiada the priest taught Joash what was right, and so for the rest of his life Joash obeyed the Lord. 3 But even Joash did not destroy the local shrines,[b] and they were still used as places for offering sacrifices.
4 One day, Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money that has been given to the Lord’s temple, whether from taxes or gifts, 5 and use it to repair the temple. You priests can contribute your own money too.”[c]
6 But the priests never started repairing the temple. So in the twenty-third year of his rule, 7 Joash called for Jehoiada and the other priests and said, “Why aren’t you using the money to repair the temple? Don’t take any more money for yourselves. It is only to be used to pay for the repairs.” 8 The priests agreed that they would not collect any more money or be in charge of the temple repairs.
9 Jehoiada found a wooden box; he cut a hole in the top of it and set it on the right side of the altar where people went into the temple. Whenever someone gave money to the temple, the priests guarding the entrance would put it into this box. 10 When the box was full of money, the king’s secretary and the chief priest would count the money and put it in bags. 11 Then they would give it to the men supervising the repairs to the temple. Some of the money was used to pay the builders, the woodworkers, 12 the stonecutters, and the men who built the walls. And some was used to buy wood and stone and to pay any other costs for repairing the temple.
13 While the repairs were being made, the money that was given to the temple was not used to make silver bowls, lamp snuffers, small sprinkling bowls, trumpets, or anything gold or silver for the temple. 14 It went only to pay for repairs. 15 The men in charge were honest, so no one had to keep track of the money.
16 The fines that had to be paid along with the sacrifices to make things right and the sacrifices for sin did not go to the temple. This money belonged only to the priests.
17 About the same time, King Hazael of Syria attacked the town of Gath and captured it. Next, he decided to attack Jerusalem. 18 So Joash collected everything he and his ancestors Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah had dedicated to the Lord, as well as the gold in the storage rooms in the temple and palace. He sent it all to Hazael as a gift, and when Hazael received it, he ordered his troops to leave Jerusalem.
19 Everything else Joash did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 20-21 At the end of his rule, some of his officers rebelled against him. Jozabad[d] son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer murdered him in a building where the land was filled in on the east side of Jerusalem,[e] near the road to Silla. Joash was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem,[f] and his son Amaziah became king.
12.1Joash: The Hebrew text has “Jehoash,” another spelling of the name.
12.3local shrines: The Hebrew text has “high places,” which were local places to worship God or foreign gods.
12.5You priests. . . money too: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
12.20,21Jozabad: Some manuscripts of the Hebrew text; other manuscripts “Jozacar.”
12.20,21where. . . Jerusalem: The Hebrew text has “on the Millo,” which probably refers to a landfill to strengthen and extend the hill where the city was built.
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