2 Kings 12-13 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
King Joash of Judah
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.
King Jehoahaz of Israel
13 Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in the twenty-third year of Joash’s rule in Judah. Jehoahaz ruled seventeen years from Samaria 2 and disobeyed the Lord by doing wrong. He never stopped following the example of Jeroboam, who had caused the Israelites to sin.
3 The Lord was angry at the Israelites, so he let King Hazael of Syria and his son Benhadad rule over them for a long time. 4 Jehoahaz prayed to the Lord for help, and the Lord saw how terribly Hazael was treating the Israelites. He answered Jehoahaz 5 by sending Israel a leader who rescued them from the Syrians,[g] and the Israelites lived in peace as they had before. 6-7 But Hazael had defeated Israel’s army so badly that Jehoahaz had only ten chariots, fifty cavalry troops, and ten thousand regular soldiers left in his army.
The Israelites kept sinning and following the example of Jeroboam’s family. They did not tear down the sacred poles[h] that had been set up in Samaria for the worship of the goddess Asherah.
8 Everything else Jehoahaz did while he was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 9 Jehoahaz died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoash became king.
King Jehoash of Israel
10 Jehoash became king of Israel in the thirty-seventh year of Joash’s rule in Judah, and he ruled sixteen years from Samaria. 11 He disobeyed the Lord by doing just like Jeroboam, who had caused the Israelites to sin.
12 Everything else Jehoash did while he was king, including his war against King Amaziah of Judah, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 13 Jehoash died and was buried in Samaria beside the other Israelite kings. His son Jeroboam then became king.
Elisha the Prophet Dies
14 Some time before the death of King Jehoash, Elisha the prophet was very sick and about to die. Jehoash went in and stood beside him, crying. He said, “Master, what will Israel’s chariots and cavalry be able to do without you?”[i]
15-16 “Grab a bow and some arrows,” Elisha told him, “and hold them in your hand.” Jehoash grabbed the bow and arrows and held them. Elisha placed his hand on the king’s hand 17 and said, “Open the window facing east.” When it was open, Elisha shouted, “Now shoot!” Jehoash shot an arrow and Elisha said, “That arrow is a sign that the Lord will help you completely defeat the Syrian army at Aphek.”
18 Elisha said, “Pick up the arrows and hit the ground with them.” Jehoash grabbed the arrows and hit the ground three times, then stopped. 19 Elisha became angry at the king and exclaimed, “If you had struck it five or six times, you would completely wipe out the Syrians. Now you will defeat them only three times.”
20 Elisha died and was buried.
Every year in the spring, Moab’s leaders sent raiding parties into Israel. 21 Once, while some Israelites were burying a man’s body, they saw a group of Moabites. The Israelites quickly threw the body into Elisha’s tomb and ran away. As soon as the man’s body touched the bones of Elisha, the man came back to life and stood up.
Israel Defeats Syria
22 Israel was under the power of King Hazael of Syria during the entire rule of Jehoahaz. 23 But the Lord was kind to the Israelites and showed them mercy because of his solemn agreement with their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In fact, he has never turned his back on them or let them be completely destroyed.
24 Hazael died, and his son Benhadad then became king of Syria. 25 King Jehoash of Israel attacked and defeated the Syrian army three times. He took back from Benhadad all the towns Hazael had captured in battle from his father Jehoahaz.
2 Chronicles 24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
King Joash of Judah
24 Joash was only seven years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled forty years from Jerusalem. His mother Zibiah was from the town of Beersheba.
2 While Jehoiada the priest was alive, Joash obeyed the Lord by doing right. 3 Jehoiada even chose two women for Joash to marry so he could have a family.
4 Some time later, Joash decided it was time to repair the temple. 5 He called together the priests and Levites and said, “Go everywhere in Judah and collect the annual tax from the people. I want this done right away—we need that money to repair the temple.”
But the Levites were in no hurry to follow the king’s orders. 6 So he sent for Jehoiada the high priest and asked, “Why didn’t you send the Levites to collect the taxes? The Lord’s servant Moses and the people agreed long ago that this tax would be collected and used to pay for the upkeep of the sacred tent. 7 And now we need it to repair the temple because the sons of that evil woman Athaliah came in and wrecked it. They even used some of the sacred objects to worship the god Baal.”
8 Joash gave orders for a wooden box to be made and had it placed outside, near the gate of the temple. 9 He then sent letters everywhere in Judah and Jerusalem, asking everyone to bring their taxes to the temple, just as Moses had required their ancestors to do.
10 The people and their leaders agreed, and they brought their money to Jerusalem and placed it in the box. 11 Each day, after the Levites took the box into the temple, the king’s secretary and the high priest’s assistant would dump out the money and count it. Then the empty box would be taken back outside.
This happened day after day, and soon a large amount of money was collected. 12 Joash and Jehoiada turned the money over to the men who were supervising the repairs to the temple. They used the money to hire stonecutters, carpenters, and experts in working with iron and bronze.
13 These workers went right to work repairing the temple, and when they were finished, it looked as good as new. 14 They did not use all the tax money for the repairs, so the rest of it was handed over to Joash and Jehoiada, who then used it to make dishes and other gold and silver objects for the temple.
Sacrifices to please the Lord[a] were offered regularly in the temple for as long as Jehoiada lived. 15 He died at the ripe old age of one hundred thirty years, 16 and he was buried in the royal tombs in Jerusalem, because he had done so much good for the people of Israel, for God, and for the temple.
Joash Turns Away from the Lord
17 After the death of Jehoiada the priest, the leaders of Judah went to Joash and talked him into doing what they wanted. 18 Right away, the people of Judah stopped worshiping in the temple of the Lord God, and they started worshiping idols and the symbols of the goddess Asherah. These sinful things made the Lord God angry at the people of Judah and Jerusalem, 19 but he still sent prophets who warned them to turn back to him. The people refused to listen.
20 God’s Spirit spoke to Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest, and Zechariah told everyone that God was saying: “Why are you disobeying me and my laws? This will only bring punishment! You have deserted me, so now I will desert you.”
21-22 King Joash forgot that Zechariah’s father had always been a loyal friend. So when the people of Judah plotted to kill Zechariah, Joash joined them and gave orders for them to stone him to death in the courtyard of the temple. As Zechariah was dying, he said, “I pray that the Lord will see this and punish all of you.”
Joash Is Killed
23 In the spring of the following year, the Syrian army invaded Judah and Jerusalem, killing all of the nation’s leaders. They collected everything of value that belonged to the people and took it back to their king in Damascus. 24 The Syrian army was very small, but the Lord let them defeat Judah’s large army, because he was punishing Joash and the people of Judah for turning away from him.
25-26 Joash was severely wounded during the battle, and as soon as the Syrians left Judah, two of his officials, Zabad and Jehozabad,[b] decided to revenge the death of Zechariah. They plotted and killed Joash while he was in bed, recovering from his wounds. Joash was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the royal tombs. 27 The History of the Kings also tells more about the sons of Joash, what the prophets said about him, and how he repaired the temple. Amaziah son of Joash became king after his father’s death.
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