Athaliah and Joash
1Now Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, saw that her son was dead. Then she killed all the royal family. 2But Jehosheba took Joash, Ahaziah’s son. She stole him from among the other sons of the king who were about to be murdered. (Jehosheba was King Jehoram’s daughter and Ahaziah’s sister.) She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom. She hid Joash from Athaliah. So he was not killed. 3He was hidden with her in the Temple of the Lord for six years. During that time Athaliah ruled the land.
4In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of groups of 100 men. He sent for guards and the Carites, the royal bodyguards. He brought them together in the Temple of the Lord. Then he made an agreement with them. There, in the Temple of the Lord, he made them promise loyalty. Then he showed them the king’s son. 5He commanded them, “This is what you must do. A third of you who come in on the Sabbath will guard the king’s palace. 6Another third of you will be at the Sur Gate. And another third will be at the gate behind the guard. This way you will guard the Temple. 7Two groups will go off duty on the Sabbath. They must protect the Temple of the Lord for the king. 8All of you must stand around the king. Each man must have his weapon in his hand. If anyone comes near, kill him. Stay close to the king when he goes out and when he comes in.”
9The commanders over 100 men obeyed everything Jehoiada the priest had commanded. Each one took his men who were beginning their Sabbath duty. Each one also took those who were ending their Sabbath duty. Both groups came to Jehoiada the priest. 10And he gave spears and shields to the commanders. They used to belong to King David. They were kept in the Temple of the Lord.
Joash Becomes King
11Then each of the guards took his place. Each man had his weapon in his hand. There were guards from the south side of the Temple to the north side. They stood by the altar and the Temple and around the king. 12Jehoiada brought out the king’s son. He put the crown on Joash. Then he gave Joash a copy of the Agreement with the Lord. They appointed him king and poured olive oil on him. They clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”
13Athaliah heard the noise of the guards and the people. So she came to the people at the Temple of the Lord. 14She looked, and there was the king. He was standing by the pillar, as the custom was. The officers and trumpeters were standing beside him. All the people of the land were very happy and were blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes to show how upset she was. She screamed, “Traitors! Traitors!”
15Jehoiada the priest gave orders to the commanders of 100 men who led the army. He said, “Surround her with soldiers. Kill with a sword anyone who follows her.” He said this because he had said, “Don’t put Athaliah to death in the Temple of the Lord.” 16So they caught her when she came to where the horses enter the palace grounds. There she was put to death.
17Then Jehoiada made an agreement. It was between the Lord and the king and the people. They agreed to be the Lord’s special people. He also made an agreement between the king and the people. 18All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols into small pieces. And they killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars.
Then Jehoiada the priest placed guards at the Temple of the Lord. 19He took with him the commanders of 100 men and the Carites, the royal bodyguards. He took the guards and all the people of the land. Together they took the king out of the Temple of the Lord. They went into the palace through the gate of the guards. Then the king sat on the royal throne. 20So all the people of Judah were very happy. And Jerusalem had peace because Athaliah had been put to death with the sword at the palace.
21Joash was seven years old when he became king.