Young Joash Influenced by Jehoiada
1Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah from Beersheba. 2Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. 3Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
4Now it came about after this that Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord. 5He gathered the priests and 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 annually, and you shall do the matter quickly.” But the Levites did not act quickly. 6So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the levy fixed by Moses the servant of the Lord on the congregation of Israel for the tent of the testimony?” 7For the sons of the wicked Athaliah had broken into the house of God and even used the holy things of the house of the Lord for the Baals.
8So the king commanded, and they made a chest and set it outside by the gate of the house of the Lord. 9They made a proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem to bring to the Lord the levy fixed by Moses the servant of God on Israel in the wilderness. 10All the officers and all the people rejoiced and brought in their levies and dropped them into the chest until they had finished. 11It came about whenever the chest was brought in to the king’s officer by the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, then the king’s scribe and the chief priest’s officer would come, empty the chest, take it, and return it to its place. Thus they did daily and collected much money. 12The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the service of the house of the Lord; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the Lord, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord. 13So the workmen labored, and the repair work progressed in their hands, and they restored the house of God according to its specifications and strengthened it. 14When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; and it was made into utensils for the house of the Lord, utensils for the service and the burnt offering, and pans and utensils of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada.
15Now when Jehoiada reached a ripe old age he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old at his death. 16They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done well in Israel and to God and His house.
17But after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them. 18They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the #I.e. wooden symbols of a female deityAsherim and the idols; so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt. 19Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the Lord; though they testified against them, they would not listen.
Joash Murders Son of Jehoiada
20Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, “Thus God has said, ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has also forsaken you.’ ” 21So they conspired against him and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the Lord. 22Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which his father Jehoiada had shown him, but he murdered his son. And as he died he said, “May the Lord see and avenge!”
Aram Invades and Defeats Judah
23Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the Lord delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.
25When they had departed from him (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and 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. 26Now these are those who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 27As to his sons and the many oracles against him and the rebuilding of the house of God, behold, they are written in the treatise of the Book of the Kings. Then Amaziah his son became king in his place.