2 Kings 12-14
Contemporary English Version
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.
King Amaziah of Judah
14 Amaziah son of Joash became king of Judah in the second year of Jehoash’s rule in Israel. 2 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled twenty-nine years from Jerusalem, which was also the hometown of his mother Jehoaddin.
3 Amaziah followed the example of his father Joash by obeying the Lord and doing right. But he was not as faithful as his ancestor David. 4 Amaziah did not destroy the local shrines, and they were still used as places for offering sacrifices.
5 As soon as Amaziah had control of Judah, he arrested and killed the officers who had murdered his father. 6 But the children of those officers were not killed. The Lord had commanded in the Law of Moses that only the people who sinned were to be punished, not their parents or children.[j]
7 While Amaziah was king, he killed ten thousand Edomite soldiers in Salt Valley. He captured the town of Sela and renamed it Joktheel, which is still its name.
8 One day, Amaziah sent a message to King Jehoash of Israel: “Come out and face me in battle!”
9 Jehoash sent back this reply:
Once upon a time, a small thornbush in Lebanon announced that his son was going to marry the daughter of a large cedar tree. But a wild animal came along and trampled the small bush.
10 Amaziah, you think you’re so powerful because you defeated Edom. Go ahead and celebrate—but stay at home. If you cause any trouble, both you and your kingdom of Judah will be destroyed.
11 But Amaziah refused to listen. So Jehoash and his troops marched to the town of Beth-Shemesh in Judah to attack Amaziah and his troops. 12 During the battle, Judah’s army was crushed. Every soldier from Judah ran back home, 13 and Jehoash captured Amaziah.
Jehoash then marched to Jerusalem and broke down the city wall from Ephraim Gate to Corner Gate, a section about six hundred feet long. 14 He took the gold and silver, as well as everything of value from the Lord’s temple and the king’s treasury. He took hostages, then returned to Samaria.
15 Everything else Jehoash did while he was king, including his brave deeds and how he defeated King Amaziah of Judah, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 16 Jehoash died and was buried in Samaria beside the other Israelite kings. His son Jeroboam then became king.
17 Fifteen years after Jehoash died, 18-20 some people in Jerusalem plotted against Amaziah. He was able to escape to the town of Lachish, but another group of people caught him and killed him there. His body was taken back to Jerusalem on horseback and buried beside his ancestors.
Everything else Amaziah did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 21 After his death the people of Judah made his son Azariah king, even though he was only sixteen at the time. 22 Azariah was the one who later recaptured and rebuilt the town of Elath.
King Jeroboam the Second of Israel
23 Jeroboam son of Jehoash became king of Israel in the fifteenth year of Amaziah’s rule in Judah. Jeroboam ruled forty-one years from Samaria. 24 He disobeyed the Lord by following the evil example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused the Israelites to sin.
25 Jeroboam extended the boundaries of Israel from Lebo-Hamath in the north to the Dead Sea in the south, just as the Lord had promised his servant Jonah son of Amittai, who was a prophet from Gath-Hepher. 26 The Lord helped Jeroboam do this because he had seen how terribly the Israelites were suffering, whether slave or free, and no one was left to help them. 27 And since the Lord had promised that he would not let Israel be completely destroyed, he helped Jeroboam rescue them.
28 Everything else Jeroboam did while he was king, including his brave deeds and how he recaptured the towns of Damascus and Hamath,[k] is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 29 Jeroboam died and was buried, and his son Zechariah became king.
- 12.1 Joash: The Hebrew text has “Jehoash,” another spelling of the name.
- 12.3 local shrines: The Hebrew text has “high places,” which were local places to worship God or foreign gods.
- 12.5 You priests. . . money too: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 12.20,21 Jozabad: Some manuscripts of the Hebrew text; other manuscripts “Jozacar.”
- 12.20,21 where. . . 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.
- 12.20,21 Jerusalem: See the note at 8.24.
- 13.5 by sending. . . the Syrians: The name of this leader is not given, but it may refer to Elisha the prophet, King Jehoash of Israel, or his son King Jeroboam.
- 13.6,7 sacred poles: Or “trees,” used as symbols of Asherah, the goddess of fertility.
- 13.14 Master. . . without you: Or “Master, you were like chariots and cavalry for Israel!”
- 14.6 The Lord had commanded. . . children: See Deuteronomy 24.16.
- 14.28 how he recaptured. . . Hamath: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.