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[a] 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[b] 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,[c] the son of an Ammonite woman named Shimeath, and Jehozabad, the son of a Moabite woman named Shomer.[d]
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.
24:23Hebrew At the turn of the year. The first day of the year in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in March or April.
24:25As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads sons.
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