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2 Chronicles 22-24 (Amplified Bible)

2 Chronicles 22-24

Ahaziah Succeeds Jehoram in Judah

22 Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, because the band of men (raiders) who came with the Arabs to the camp had killed all the older sons. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. Ahaziah was [a]twenty-two years old when he became king and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri. He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his adviser [and she encouraged him] to act wickedly. So he did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab, for they were his advisers after the death of his father, resulting in his destruction.

Ahaziah Allies with Jehoram of Israel

He also walked in accordance with their advice, and he went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram (Syria) at Ramoth-gilead. And the Arameans wounded [b]Joram (Jehoram). Then he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds they had inflicted on him at Ramah when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. And [c]Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

But the downfall of Ahaziah was ordained by God, in that he went to Joram (Jehoram). For when he arrived there he went out [as an ally] with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab.

Jehu Murders Leaders of Judah

It came about that when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the leaders of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s [murdered] brothers ministering to Ahaziah, and he killed them. Jehu also searched for Ahaziah, who was hiding in Samaria; he was captured, brought to Jehu, and put to death. They buried him, for they said, “After all, he is the grandson of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart.” So the house of Ahaziah had no one left to retain the power to rule over the kingdom.

10 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal family of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshabeath, the king’s daughter, took Joash the [infant] son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram [of Judah] and wife of Jehoiada the priest, hid Joash from [his grandmother] Athaliah so that she did not murder him (for Jehoshabeath was the sister of Ahaziah). 12 Joash was hidden with them in the house (temple) of God for six years, and Athaliah reigned over the land.

Jehoiada Sets Joash on the Throne of Judah

23 In the seventh year Jehoiada [the priest] summoned his courage and took the captains of hundreds: Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Johanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, and they entered into a covenant with him. They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the heads of the households of the fathers (ancestors) in Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. Then all the assembly made a covenant in the house of God with the king [that is, with the child Joash, to overthrow Athaliah by proclaiming his sovereignty]. And Jehoiada [the priest] said to them, “Behold, the king’s son [Joash] shall reign, as the Lord has said in regard to the sons of David. This is what you shall do: a third of you, of the priests and Levites who are resuming service on the Sabbath, shall be gatekeepers, a [second] third shall be at the king’s house (palace), and a [final] third at the Gate of the Foundation; and all the people shall be in the courtyards of the house of the Lord. But let no one enter the house (temple) of the Lord except the priests and the Levites who minister; they may enter, for they are holy. And let all the people carefully observe the law of the Lord. The Levites shall surround the [young] king, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever comes into the temple [breaking through the ranks of the guard to get near Joash] is to be killed. You are to be with the king when he comes in [from the temple chamber where he is hiding] and when he goes out.”

So the Levites and all Judah acted in accordance with everything that Jehoiada the priest had commanded; and every man took his men who were to resume duty on the Sabbath, with those who were to go off duty on the Sabbath, for Jehoiada the priest did not dismiss [any of] the divisions [from their duties]. Then Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains of hundreds the spears and the large and small shields which had been King David’s, which were in the house of God. 10 He stationed all the people around the king [as guards for him], every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side to the left side of the house (temple), by the altar and by the house. 11 Then they brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony [a copy of the Mosaic Law] and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and said, “Long live the king!”

Athaliah Killed

12 When Athaliah heard the sound of the people running and praising the king, she went into the house of the Lord to [see what] the people [were doing]. 13 She looked, and there was the [young] king, standing by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the trumpeters were beside him. And all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and the singers with their musical instruments were directing the [singing of] praise. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” 14 So Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds who were appointed over the army and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks [of soldiers]; and whoever follows her shall be put to death with the sword.” For the priest had said, “Do not let her be put to death in the temple of the Lord.” 15 So they seized Athaliah, and when she arrived at the entrance of the Horse Gate of the king’s house (palace), they put her to death there.

Reforms Carried Out

16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, all the people, and the king, that they would be the Lord’s people. 17 Then all the people went to the house of Baal and tore it down, and they smashed its altars and its images to pieces, and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars. 18 Also Jehoiada placed the offices and officers of the house of the Lord under the authority of the Levitical priests, whom David had [previously] assigned over 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 singing in accordance with the order of David. 19 Jehoiada stationed the gatekeepers [at the gates] of the house of the Lord, so that no one would enter who was in any way unclean. 20 He took the captains of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought the king down from the house of the Lord; and they came through the upper gate to the king’s house (palace) and set the king on the throne of the kingdom. 21 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been put to death with the sword.

Young Joash Influenced by Jehoiada

24 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest [his uncle]. Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he fathered sons and daughters.

Faithless Priests

Now it came about after this that Joash decided to restore the house (temple) of the Lord. He gathered the priests and the Levites and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to repair the house of your God from year to year; and see that you do it quickly.” But the Levites did not act quickly. So the king called for Jehoiada the high priest and said to him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax for the tent of the testimony which was authorized by Moses, the servant of the Lord and the servant of the assembly of Israel?” For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God and also had used all the holy and dedicated things of the house of the Lord for the Baals.

Temple Repaired

So at the king’s command they made a chest and set it outside by the gate of the house of the Lord. Then they made a proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem to bring in for the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God imposed on Israel in the wilderness. 10 All the officers and all the people rejoiced and brought their tax and dropped it into the chest until they had finished [and the chest was full]. 11 It came about that whenever the Levites brought the chest to the king’s official, and whenever they saw that there was a large amount of money, the king’s secretary and the chief priest’s representative would come and empty the chest, and take it, and return it to its place. They did this day after day and collected a large amount of money. 12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the service of the house of the Lord; and they would hire masons and carpenters (craftsmen) and also those who worked in iron and bronze to repair and restore the house of the Lord. 13 So the workmen labored, and the repair work progressed in their hands; and they restored and organized the house of God in accordance with its specifications and strengthened it. 14 When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; and it was [melted down and] made into utensils for the house of the Lord, utensils for ministering and for burnt offerings, and bowls and utensils of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada.

15 Now when Jehoiada grew old and was full of days, he died. He was a hundred and thirty years old at his death. 16 They buried him in the City of David among the kings, because he had done good [things] in Israel and toward God and His house.

17 Now after the death of Jehoiada [the priest, who had hidden Joash], the officials of Judah came and [d]bowed down to King Joash; then the king listened to them. 18 They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the [e]Asherim and the idols; so [God’s] wrath came on Judah and Jerusalem for their sin and guilt. 19 Yet God sent prophets among them to bring them back to the Lord; these prophets testified against them, but they would not listen.

Joash Murders Son of Jehoiada

20 Then the Spirit of God came over Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people and said to them, “This is what God has said: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord so that you cannot prosper? Because you have abandoned (turned away from) the Lord, He has also abandoned (turned away from) you.’” 21 So they conspired against Zechariah and stoned him [to death] at the command of the king, in the courtyard of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but he murdered his son. And when Zechariah was dying, he said, “May the Lord see this and require an accounting!”

Aram Invades and Defeats Judah

23 Now it happened at the end of the year, that the army of Aram (Syria) went up against Joash. They came to Judah and Jerusalem and killed all the leaders among the people and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24 Though the army of the Arameans came with a small company of men, the Lord handed over a very large army into their hands, because Joash and Judah had abandoned (turned away from) the Lord, the God of their fathers. So the Arameans executed judgment against Joash.

25 When they left Joash (for they left him very ill), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they murdered him on his bed. So he died, and they buried him in the City of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings. 26 The conspirators against Joash were Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 27 Now as to his sons and the many prophecies uttered against him and the rebuilding of the house of God, they are written in the commentary on the Book of Kings. Then his son Amaziah became king in his place.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 22:2 According to some versions and 2 Kin 8:26; Heb forty-two years, but this is most likely a copyist’s error.
  2. 2 Chronicles 22:5 The Hebrew sometimes uses Joram instead of Jehoram.
  3. 2 Chronicles 22:6 So with 2 Kin 8:29; Heb Azariah.
  4. 2 Chronicles 24:17 The sudden transition to idolatry under Joash in v 18 was attributed by the ancient rabbis to this meeting. They claimed that when the officials bowed down to Joash, they were acknowledging him as a god, on the ground that it was actually in the Holy of Holies that he had been hidden for a number of years (see 22:12), and he would not have emerged from this sacred chamber alive if he were not a god. The rabbis said that Joash agreed with the officials and even allowed an idol to be made of himself (one of the idols in v 18), thereby ensuring his own destruction.
  5. 2 Chronicles 24:18 Wooden symbols of a female deity.
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