Jehoiada Sets Joash on the Throne of Judah
1In 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. 2They 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. 3Then 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. 4This is what you shall do: a third of you, of the priests and Levites who are resuming service on the Sabbath, shall be gatekeepers, 5a [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. 6But 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. 7The 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.”
8So 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]. 9Then 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. 10He 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. 11Then 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!”
12When 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]. 13She 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!” 14So 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.” 15So 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
16Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, all the people, and the king, that they would be the Lord’s people. 17Then 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. 18Also 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. 19Jehoiada stationed the gatekeepers [at the gates] of the house of the Lord, so that no one would enter who was in any way unclean. 20He 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. 21So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been put to death with the sword.