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(A) and the heads of Israelite families from all the towns. When they came to Jerusalem, the whole assembly made a covenant(B) 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.(C) 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(D) 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.(E) 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.(F) 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(G) 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,(H) standing by his pillar(I) 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(J) on the palace grounds, and there they put her to death.

16 Jehoiada then made a covenant(K) 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(L) 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,(M) to whom David had made assignments in the temple,(N) 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(O) 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(P) 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.(Q)

Joash Repairs the Temple(R)(S)

24 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord(T) all the years of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.

Some time later Joash decided to restore the temple of the Lord. He called together the priests and Levites and said to them, “Go to the towns of Judah and collect the money(U) due annually from all Israel,(V) to repair the temple of your God. Do it now.” But the Levites(W) did not act at once.

Therefore the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, “Why haven’t you required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax imposed by Moses the servant of the Lord and by the assembly of Israel for the tent of the covenant law?”(X)

Now the sons of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken into the temple of God and had used even its sacred objects for the Baals.

At the king’s command, a chest was made and placed outside, at the gate of the temple of the Lord. A proclamation was then issued in Judah and Jerusalem that they should bring to the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God had required of Israel in the wilderness. 10 All the officials and all the people brought their contributions gladly,(Y) dropping them into the chest until it was full. 11 Whenever the chest was brought in by the Levites to the king’s officials and they saw that there was a large amount of money, the royal secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest and carry it back to its place. They did this regularly and collected a great amount of money. 12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who carried out the work required for the temple of the Lord. They hired(Z) masons and carpenters to restore the Lord’s temple, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the temple.

13 The men in charge of the work were diligent, and the repairs progressed under them. They rebuilt the temple of God according to its original design and reinforced it. 14 When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and with it were made articles for the Lord’s temple: articles for the service and for the burnt offerings, and also dishes and other objects of gold and silver. As long as Jehoiada lived, burnt offerings were presented continually in the temple of the Lord.

15 Now Jehoiada was old and full of years, and he died at the age of a hundred and thirty. 16 He was buried with the kings in the City of David, because of the good he had done in Israel for God and his temple.

The Wickedness of Joash

17 After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. 18 They abandoned(AA) the temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols.(AB) Because of their guilt, God’s anger(AC) came on Judah and Jerusalem. 19 Although the Lord sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen.(AD)

20 Then the Spirit(AE) of God came on Zechariah(AF) son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper.(AG) Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken(AH) you.’”

21 But they plotted against him, and by order of the king they stoned(AI) him to death(AJ) in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple.(AK) 22 King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son, who said as he lay dying, “May the Lord see this and call you to account.”(AL)

23 At the turn of the year,[d] the army of Aram marched against Joash; it invaded Judah and Jerusalem and killed all the leaders of the people.(AM) They sent all the plunder to their king in Damascus. 24 Although the Aramean army had come with only a few men,(AN) the Lord delivered into their hands a much larger army.(AO) Because Judah had forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, judgment was executed on Joash. 25 When the Arameans withdrew, they left Joash severely wounded. His officials conspired against him for murdering the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they killed him in his bed. So he died and was buried(AP) in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

26 Those who conspired against him were Zabad,[e] son of Shimeath an Ammonite woman, and Jehozabad, son of Shimrith[f](AQ) a Moabite woman.(AR) 27 The account of his sons, the many prophecies about him, and the record of the restoration of the temple of God are written in the annotations on the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.

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)
  4. 2 Chronicles 24:23 Probably in the spring
  5. 2 Chronicles 24:26 A variant of Jozabad
  6. 2 Chronicles 24:26 A variant of Shomer

23 And in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him.

And they went about in Judah, and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the chief of the fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem.

And all the congregation made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said unto them, Behold, the king's son shall reign, as the Lord hath said of the sons of David.

This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you entering on the sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be porters of the doors;

And a third part shall be at the king's house; and a third part at the gate of the foundation: and all the people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord.

But let none come into the house of the Lord, save the priests, and they that minister of the Levites; they shall go in, for they are holy: but all the people shall keep the watch of the Lord.

And the Levites shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whosoever else cometh into the house, he shall be put to death: but be ye with the king when he cometh in, and when he goeth out.

So the Levites and all Judah did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest had commanded, and took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that were to go out on the sabbath: for Jehoiada the priest dismissed not the courses.

Moreover Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David's, which were in the house of God.

10 And he set all the people, every man having his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, along by the altar and the temple, by the king round about.

11 Then they brought out the king's son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king.

12 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the Lord:

13 And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king: and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise. Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason.

14 Then Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds that were set over the host, and said unto them, Have her forth of the ranges: and whoso followeth her, let him be slain with the sword. For the priest said, Slay her not in the house of the Lord.

15 So they laid hands on her; and when she was come to the entering of the horse gate by the king's house, they slew her there.

16 And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the Lord's people.

17 Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.

18 Also Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the Lord by the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was ordained by David.

19 And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the Lord, that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in.

20 And he took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought down the king from the house of the Lord: and they came through the high gate into the king's house, and set the king upon the throne of the kingdom.

21 And all the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.

24 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Zibiah of Beersheba.

And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.

And Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he begat sons and daughters.

And it came to pass after this, that Joash was minded to repair the house of the Lord.

And he gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out unto the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that ye hasten the matter. Howbeit the Levites hastened it not.

And the king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said unto him, Why hast thou not required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem the collection, according to the commandment of Moses the servant of the Lord, and of the congregation of Israel, for the tabernacle of witness?

For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord did they bestow upon Baalim.

And at the king's commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the Lord.

And they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in to the Lord the collection that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness.

10 And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end.

11 Now it came to pass, that at what time the chest was brought unto the king's office by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king's scribe and the high priest's officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to his place again. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.

12 And the king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and hired masons and carpenters to repair the house of the Lord, and also such as wrought iron and brass to mend the house of the Lord.

13 So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it.

14 And when they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, whereof were made vessels for the house of the Lord, even vessels to minister, and to offer withal, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada.

15 But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.

16 And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house.

17 Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.

18 And they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.

19 Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.

20 And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you.

21 And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the Lord.

22 Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The Lord look upon it, and require it.

23 And it came to pass at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus.

24 For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the Lord delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash.

25 And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.

26 And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.

27 Now concerning his sons, and the greatness of the burdens laid upon him, and the repairing of the house of God, behold, they are written in the story of the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.

Revolt against Athaliah

23 In the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign, Jehoiada the priest decided to act. He summoned his courage and made a pact with five army commanders: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri. These men traveled secretly throughout Judah and summoned the Levites and clan leaders in all the towns to come to Jerusalem. They all gathered at the Temple of God, where they made a solemn pact with Joash, the young king.

Jehoiada said to them, “Here is the king’s son! The time has come for him to reign! The Lord has promised that a descendant of David will be our king. This is what you must do. When you priests and Levites come on duty on the Sabbath, a third of you will serve as gatekeepers. Another third will go over to the royal palace, and the final third will be at the Foundation Gate. Everyone else should stay in the courtyards of the Lord’s Temple. Remember, only the priests and Levites on duty may enter the Temple of the Lord, for they are set apart as holy. The rest of the people must obey the Lord’s instructions and stay outside. You Levites, form a bodyguard around the king and keep your weapons in hand. Kill anyone who tries to enter the Temple. Stay with the king wherever he goes.”

So the Levites and all the people of Judah did everything as Jehoiada the priest ordered. The commanders took charge of the men reporting for duty that Sabbath, as well as those who were going off duty. Jehoiada the priest did not let anyone go home after their shift ended. Then Jehoiada supplied the commanders with the spears and the large and small shields that had once belonged to King David and were stored in the Temple of God. 10 He stationed all the people around the king, with their weapons ready. They formed a line from the south side of the Temple around to the north side and all around the altar.

11 Then Jehoiada and his sons brought out Joash, the king’s son, placed the crown on his head, and presented him with a copy of God’s laws.[a] They anointed him and proclaimed him king, and everyone shouted, “Long live the king!”

The Death of Athaliah

12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and the shouts of praise to the king, she hurried to the Lord’s Temple to see what was happening. 13 When she arrived, she saw the newly crowned king standing in his place of authority by the pillar at the Temple entrance. The commanders and trumpeters were surrounding him, and people from all over the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Singers with musical instruments were leading the people in a great celebration. When Athaliah saw all this, she tore her clothes in despair and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”

14 Then Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders who were in charge of the troops, “Take her to the soldiers in front of the Temple,[b] and kill anyone who tries to rescue her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be killed in the Temple of the Lord.” 15 So they seized her and led her out to the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds, and they killed her there.

Jehoiada’s Religious Reforms

16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and the king and the people that they would be the Lord’s people. 17 And all the people went over to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They demolished the altars and smashed the idols, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

18 Jehoiada now put the priests and Levites in charge of the Temple of the Lord, following all the directions given by David. He also commanded them to present burnt offerings to the Lord, as prescribed by the Law of Moses, and to sing and rejoice as David had instructed. 19 He also stationed gatekeepers at the gates of the Lord’s Temple to keep out those who for any reason were ceremonially unclean.

20 Then the commanders, nobles, rulers, and all the people of the land escorted the king from the Temple of the Lord. They went through the upper gate and into the palace, and they seated the king on the royal throne. 21 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was peaceful because Athaliah had been killed.

Joash Repairs the Temple

24 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba. Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada chose two wives for Joash, and he had sons and daughters.

At one point Joash decided to repair and restore the Temple of the Lord. He summoned the priests and Levites and gave them these instructions: “Go to all the towns of Judah and collect the required annual offerings, so that we can repair the Temple of your God. Do not delay!” But the Levites did not act immediately.

So the king called for Jehoiada the high priest and asked him, “Why haven’t you demanded that the Levites go out and collect the Temple taxes from the towns of Judah and from Jerusalem? Moses, the servant of the Lord, levied this tax on the community of Israel in order to maintain the Tabernacle of the Covenant.[c]

Over the years the followers of wicked Athaliah had broken into the Temple of God, and they had used all the dedicated things from the Temple of the Lord to worship the images of Baal.

So now the king ordered a chest to be made and set outside the gate leading to the Temple of the Lord. Then a proclamation was sent throughout Judah and Jerusalem, telling the people to bring to the Lord the tax that Moses, the servant of God, had required of the Israelites in the wilderness. 10 This pleased all the leaders and the people, and they gladly brought their money and filled the chest with it.

11 Whenever the chest became full, the Levites would carry it to the king’s officials. Then the court secretary and an officer of the high priest would come and empty the chest and take it back to the Temple again. This went on day after day, and a large amount of money was collected. 12 The king and Jehoiada gave the money to the construction supervisors, who hired masons and carpenters to restore the Temple of the Lord. They also hired metalworkers, who made articles of iron and bronze for the Lord’s Temple.

13 The men in charge of the renovation worked hard and made steady progress. They restored the Temple of God according to its original design and strengthened it. 14 When all the repairs were finished, they brought the remaining money to the king and Jehoiada. It was used to make various articles for the Temple of the Lord—articles for worship services and for burnt offerings, including ladles and other articles made of gold and silver. And the burnt offerings were sacrificed continually in the Temple of the Lord during the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest.

15 Jehoiada lived to a very old age, finally dying at 130. 16 He was buried among the kings in the City of David, because he had done so much good in Israel for God and his Temple.

Jehoiada’s Reforms Reversed

17 But after Jehoiada’s death, the leaders of Judah came and bowed before King Joash and persuaded him to listen to their advice. 18 They decided to abandon the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and they worshiped Asherah poles and idols instead! Because of this sin, divine anger fell on Judah and Jerusalem. 19 Yet the Lord sent prophets to bring them back to him. The prophets warned them, but still the people would not listen.

20 Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and now he has abandoned you!”

21 Then the leaders plotted to kill Zechariah, and King Joash ordered that they stone him to death in the courtyard of the Lord’s Temple. 22 That was how King Joash repaid Jehoiada for his loyalty—by killing his son. Zechariah’s last words as he died were, “May the Lord see what they are doing and avenge my death!”

The End of Joash’s Reign

23 In the spring of the year[d] the Aramean army marched against Joash. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem and killed all the leaders of the nation. Then they sent all the plunder back to their king in Damascus. 24 Although the Arameans attacked with only a small army, the Lord helped them conquer the much larger army of Judah. The people of Judah had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so judgment was carried out against Joash.

25 The Arameans withdrew, leaving Joash severely wounded. But his own officials plotted to kill him for murdering the son[e] of Jehoiada the priest. They assassinated him as he lay in bed. Then he was buried in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery. 26 The assassins were Jozacar,[f] the son of an Ammonite woman named Shimeath, and Jehozabad, the son of a Moabite woman named Shomer.[g]

27 The account of the sons of Joash, the prophecies about him, and the record of his restoration of the Temple of God are written in The Commentary on the Book of the Kings. His son Amaziah became the next king.

Footnotes

  1. 23:11 Or a copy of the covenant.
  2. 23:14 Or Bring her out from between the ranks; or Take her out of the Temple precincts. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  3. 24:6 Hebrew Tent of the Testimony.
  4. 24:23 Hebrew At the turn of the year. The first day of the year in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in March or April.
  5. 24:25 As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads sons.
  6. 24:26a As in parallel text at 2 Kgs 12:21; Hebrew reads Zabad.
  7. 24:26b As in parallel text at 2 Kgs 12:21; Hebrew reads Shimrith, a variant spelling of Shomer.