2 Kings 12-14Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Joash Begins His Rule
12 Joash began to rule during Jehu’s seventh year as king of Israel. Joash ruled 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother was named Zibiah of Beersheba. 2 For as long as he lived, Joash did what the Lord considered right. He did what Jehoiada the priest taught him. 3 But he did not destroy the high places. The people still made sacrifices and burned incense at those places of worship.
Joash Orders the Temple Repaired
4-5 Joash said to the priests, “There is much money in the Lord’s Temple. People have given things to the Temple and have paid the Temple tax when they were counted. And they have given money simply because they wanted to. You priests should take that money and repair the Lord’s Temple. Each priest should use the money he gets from the people he serves. He should use that money to repair the damage to the Temple.”
6 In the 23rd year that Joash was king, the priests still had not repaired the Temple, 7 so King Joash called for Jehoiada the priest and the other priests. Joash said to them, “Why haven’t you repaired the Temple? Stop taking money from the people you serve. That money must be used to repair the Temple.”
8 The priests agreed to stop taking money from the people, but they also decided not to repair the Temple. 9 So Jehoiada the priest took a box and made a hole in the top of it. Then he put the box on the south side of the altar. This box was by the door where people came into the Lord’s Temple. Some of the priests were there to guard this doorway.[a] They took the money that people brought for the Lord’s temple and put it into this box.
10 Whenever the king’s secretary and the high priest saw that the box was full, they counted all the money that had been given for the Lord’s Temple and put it in bags. 11 Then they paid the men who were in charge of the work on the Lord’s Temple. They paid the carpenters and other builders who worked on the Lord’s Temple. 12 They used that money to pay the stoneworkers and stonecutters, and they used it to buy timber, cut stone, and everything else to repair the Lord’s Temple.
13-14 People gave money for the Lord’s Temple, but the priests could not use this money to make silver cups, snuffers, basins, trumpets, or any of the gold and silver dishes that were to be used inside the Lord’s temple. This money was used only to pay the workers who repaired the Lord’s Temple. 15 Those who were in charge of paying the workers did not have to give a report of how they spent the money, because they could be trusted.
16 People gave money when they offered guilt offerings and sin offerings, but that money was not used for the Lord’s temple. It belonged to the priests.
Joash Saves Jerusalem From Hazael
17 Hazael was the king of Aram. He went to fight against the city of Gath and defeated it. Then he made plans to go fight against Jerusalem.
18 Joash[b] and his ancestors—Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah—had all been kings of Judah. They had given many things to the Lord that were kept in his Temple. Joash gathered all these things and all the gold that was stored in the Temple and in his palace. He sent all this treasure to King Hazael of Aram, who then commanded his army to leave Jerusalem.
The Death of Joash
19 All the great things that Joash did are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah.
20 Joash’s officers made plans against him. They killed Joash at the house of Millo on the road that goes down to Silla. 21 Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer were Joash’s officers. These men killed Joash.
The people buried Joash with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Amaziah became the new king after him.
Jehoahaz Begins His Rule
13 Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria. This was during the 23rd year that Joash son of Ahaziah was king in Judah. Jehoahaz ruled 17 years.
2 Jehoahaz did what the Lord considered wrong. Like Jeroboam son of Nebat, he committed sins that also caused the people of Israel to sin. And he never stopped doing those things. 3 Then the Lord was angry with Israel. He let King Hazael of Aram and Hazael’s son Ben-Hadad gain control of Israel.
The Lord Has Mercy on Israel
4 Then Jehoahaz begged the Lord to help them. The Lord listened to him because he had seen the terrible troubles that the king of Aram had caused the Israelites.
5 So the Lord sent a man to save Israel. The Israelites were free from the Arameans. So the Israelites went to their own homes, as they did before.
6 But the Israelites still did not stop committing the sins of the family of Jeroboam that caused Israel to sin. The Israelites continued committing the sins of Jeroboam. They also kept the Asherah poles in Samaria.
7 The king of Aram defeated Jehoahaz’s army and destroyed most of the men in the army. He left only 50 horse soldiers, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers. Jehoahaz’s soldiers were like chaff blown away by the wind at the time of threshing.
8 All the great things that Jehoahaz did are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Israel. 9 Jehoahaz died and was buried with his ancestors. The people buried Jehoahaz in Samaria. His son Jehoash became the new king after him.
Jehoash’s Rule Over Israel
10 Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria. This was during the 37th year that Joash was king of Judah. Jehoash ruled Israel for 16 years. 11 He did what the Lord said was wrong. He did not stop committing the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat who caused Israel to sin. Jehoash continued to commit those sins. 12 All the great things that Jehoash did and his wars against King Amaziah of Judah are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Israel. 13 Jehoash died and was buried with his ancestors. Jeroboam became the new king and sat on Jehoash’s throne. Jehoash was buried at Samaria with the kings of Israel.
Jehoash Visits Elisha
14 Elisha became sick, and later he died from this sickness. King Jehoash of Israel went to visit Elisha. Jehoash cried for him and said, “My father, my father! Is it time for the chariot of Israel and its horses?[c]”
15 Elisha said to Jehoash, “Take a bow and some arrows.”
Jehoash took a bow and some arrows. 16 Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” Jehoash put his hand on the bow. Then Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. 17 Elisha said, “Open the east window.” Jehoash opened the window. Then Elisha said, “Shoot.”
Jehoash shot. Then Elisha said, “This is the Lord’s arrow of victory over Aram! You will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you destroy them.”
18 Elisha said, “Take the arrows.” Jehoash took the arrows. Then Elisha said to him, “Hit on the ground.”
Jehoash hit the ground three times. Then he stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with Jehoash. Elisha said, “You should have hit five or six times! Then you would have defeated Aram until you destroyed it! But now, you will defeat Aram only three times.”
An Amazing Thing at Elisha’s Grave
20 Elisha died, and the people buried him.
One time in the spring a group of Moabite soldiers came to fight against Israel. 21 Some Israelites were burying a dead man when they saw that group of soldiers. The Israelites quickly threw the dead man into Elisha’s grave. As soon as the dead man touched the bones of Elisha, he came back to life and stood up on his feet.
Jehoash Wins Back Cities of Israel
22 During all the days that Jehoahaz ruled, King Hazael of Aram caused trouble to Israel. 23 But the Lord was kind to the Israelites. He had mercy and showed his care for them because of his agreement with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He did not want them to be destroyed. He has never completely left them.
24 King Hazael of Aram died, and Ben-Hadad became the new king after him. 25 Before he died, Hazael had taken some cities in war from Jehoahaz, Jehoash’s father. But now Jehoash took back these cities from Hazael’s son Ben-Hadad. Jehoash defeated Ben-Hadad three times and took back the cities of Israel.
Amaziah Begins His Rule in Judah
14 Amaziah son of King Joash of Judah became king in the second year that Jehoash son of Jehoahaz was king of Israel. 2 Amaziah was 25 years old when he began to rule. He ruled 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jehoaddin from Jerusalem. 3 Amaziah did what the Lord said was right, but he did not follow God completely like David his ancestor. Amaziah did everything that Joash his father had done. 4 He did not destroy the high places. The people still sacrificed and burned incense at those places of worship.
5 At the time that Amaziah had strong control of the kingdom, he killed the officers who had killed his father. 6 But he did not kill the children of the murderers because of the rules written in the book, The Law of Moses. The Lord gave this command in there: “Parents must not be put to death for something their children did. And children must not be put to death for something their parents did. People should be put to death only for what that they themselves did.”[d]
7 Amaziah killed 10,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. In war, Amaziah took Sela and called it “Joktheel.” It is still called “Joktheel” today.
Amaziah Wants War Against Jehoash
8 Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, son of King Jehu of Israel. Amaziah’s message said, “Come on, let’s meet together face to face and fight.”
9 King Jehoash of Israel sent an answer to King Amaziah of Judah. Jehoash said, “The thornbush in Lebanon sent a message to the cedar tree in Lebanon. It said, ‘Give your daughter for my son to marry.’ But a wild animal from Lebanon passed by and trampled down the thornbush. 10 True, you have defeated Edom. But you have become proud because of your victory over Edom. But stay at home and brag! Don’t make trouble for yourself. If you do this, you will fall, and Judah will fall with you!”
11 But Amaziah would not listen to Jehoash’s warning. So King Jehoash of Israel went to fight against King Amaziah of Judah at Beth Shemesh in Judah.[e] 12 Israel defeated Judah. Every man of Judah ran home. 13 At Beth Shemesh, King Jehoash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Ahaziah. Jehoash took Amaziah to Jerusalem. Jehoash broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate, about 600 feet.[f] 14 Then Jehoash took all the gold and silver and all the dishes in the Lord’s Temple and in the treasuries of the king’s palace. Jehoash also took people to be his prisoners. Then he went back to Samaria.
15 All the great things that Jehoash did, including how he fought against King Amaziah of Judah, are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Israel. 16 Jehoash died and was buried with his ancestors. He was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Jehoash’s son Jeroboam became the new king after him.
The Death of Amaziah
17 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah lived 15 years after the death of King Jehoash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 18 All the great things that Amaziah did are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah. 19 The people made a plan against Amaziah in Jerusalem, so he ran away to Lachish. But the people sent men after Amaziah to Lachish, and they killed him there. 20 The people brought Amaziah’s body back on horses. He was buried at Jerusalem with his ancestors in the City of David.
Azariah Begins His Rule Over Judah
21 Then all the people of Judah made Azariah the new king. Azariah was 16 years old. 22 So King Amaziah died and was buried with his ancestors. Then Azariah rebuilt Elath and got it back for Judah.
Jeroboam II Begins His Rule Over Israel
23 King Jeroboam son of Jehoash of Israel began to rule in Samaria during the 15th year that Amaziah son of Joash was king of Judah. Jeroboam ruled 41 years. 24 Jeroboam did what the Lord said was wrong. He did not stop committing the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat who caused Israel to sin. 25 Jeroboam took back Israel’s land, which ran from the Lebo Hamath to the Arabah Sea.[g] This happened as the Lord of Israel had told his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher. 26 The Lord saw that all the Israelites, both slaves and free men, had many troubles. No one was left who could help Israel. 27 The Lord did not say that he would take away the name of Israel from the world. So he used Jeroboam son of Jehoash to save the Israelites.
28 All the great things that Jeroboam did are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Israel. This includes the story about Jeroboam winning back Damascus and Hamath for Israel. (These cities had belonged to Judah.) 29 Jeroboam died and was buried with his ancestors, the kings of Israel. Jeroboam’s son Zechariah became the new king after him.