Joash Rebuilds the Temple
1Joash was seven years old when he became king. He ruled 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah. Zibiah was from the town of Beersheba. 2Joash did right in front of the Lord as long as Jehoiada the priest was living. 3Jehoiada chose two wives for Joash. Joash had sons and daughters.
4Then later on, Joash decided to rebuild the Lord’s Temple. 5Joash called the priests and the Levites together. He said to them, “Go out to the towns of Judah and gather the money all the Israelites pay every year. Use that money to rebuild your God’s Temple. Hurry and do this.” But the Levites didn’t hurry.
6So King Joash called Jehoiada the leading priest. The king said, “Jehoiada, why haven’t you made the Levites bring in the tax money from Judah and Jerusalem? Moses, the Lord’s servant, and the Israelites used that tax money for the Tent of the Agreement.”
7In the past, Athaliah’s sons broke into God’s Temple and used the holy things in the Lord’s Temple for their worship of the Baal gods. Athaliah was a very wicked woman.
8King Joash gave a command for a box to be made and put outside the gate at the Lord’s Temple. 9Then the Levites made an announcement in Judah and Jerusalem. They told the people to bring in the tax money for the Lord. That tax money is what Moses the servant of God had required the Israelites to give while they were in the desert. 10All the leaders and the people were happy. They brought their money and put it in the box. They continued giving until the box was full. 11Then the Levites would take the box to the king’s officials. They saw that the box was full of money. The king’s secretary and the leading priest’s officer came and took the money out of the box. Then they took the box back to its place again. They did this often and gathered much money. 12Then King Joash and Jehoiada gave the money to the people who worked on the Lord’s Temple. And the people who worked on the Lord’s Temple hired skilled woodcarvers and carpenters to rebuild the Lord’s Temple. They also hired workers who knew how to work with iron and bronze to rebuild the Lord’s Temple.
13The men who supervised the work were very faithful. The work to rebuild the Temple was successful. They built God’s Temple the way it was before and they made it stronger. 14When the workers finished, they brought the money that was left to King Joash and Jehoiada. They used that money to make things for the Lord’s Temple. These things were used for the service in the Temple and for offering burnt offerings. They also made bowls and other things from gold and silver. The priests offered burnt offerings in the Lord’s Temple every day while Jehoiada was alive.
15Jehoiada became old. He had a very long life, and he died when he was 130 years old. 16The people buried Jehoiada in the City of David where the kings are buried. The people buried Jehoiada there because in his life he did much good in Israel for God and for God’s Temple.
17After Jehoiada died, the leaders of Judah came and bowed to King Joash. The king listened to the leaders. 18They all stopped worshiping at the Temple of the Lord, the God their ancestors worshiped. Instead, they started worshiping Asherah poles and other idols. Because they sinned in this way, God was angry with the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 19God sent prophets to the people to bring them back to the Lord. The prophets warned them, but they refused to listen.
20The Spirit of God filled Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood in front of the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you people refuse to obey the Lord’s commands? You will not be successful. You have left the Lord. So he has also left you!’”
21But the people made plans against Zechariah. The king commanded the people to kill Zechariah, so they threw rocks at him until he was dead. The people did this in the courtyard of the Lord’s Temple. 22Joash the king didn’t remember Jehoiada’s kindness to him. Jehoiada was Zechariah’s father. But Joash killed Zechariah, Jehoiada’s son. Before Zechariah died, he said, “May the Lord see what you are doing and punish you!”
23At the end of the year, the Aramean army came against Joash. They attacked Judah and Jerusalem and killed all the leaders of the people. They sent all the valuable things to the king of Damascus. 24The Aramean army came with only a small group of men, but the Lord let them defeat the much larger army of Judah. This was a punishment for Joash because the people of Judah had left the Lord, the God their ancestors worshiped. 25When the Arameans left Joash, he was badly wounded. His own servants made plans against him. They did this because Joash killed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest. The servants killed Joash on his own bed. After he died, the people buried him in the City of David, but not in the place where the kings are buried.
26These are the servants who made plans against Joash: Zabad and Jehozabad. Zabad’s mother was Shimeath, a woman from Ammon. And Jehozabad’s mother was Shimrith from Moab. 27The story about Joash’s sons, the great prophecies against him, and how he rebuilt God’s Temple are written in the book, Commentary on the Kings. Joash’s son Amaziah became the new king after him.