|<< 2 Chron 18|
II Chronicles 19-23 Listen
1 And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.
2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.
3 Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.
4 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers.
5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,
6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.
7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem.
9 And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
10 And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the LORD, and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass.
11 And, behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king’s matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and the LORD shall be with the good.
In II Chronicles 18:28-34 (see notes), we saw that Judah's King Jehoshaphat had a close brush with death in his attempt to help his buddy, the wicked King Ahab of Israel, fight the Syrians. When Jehoshaphat gets back from battle, his own prophet, Jehu, goes out to meet him with some bad news, "You shouldn't help wicked people!" He lets Jehoshaphat know that God is not pleased and that he should expect some wrath from God because of his unsuccessful battle fling with Ahab. However, God is pleased with Jehoshaphat in this respect: he had (KJV) "taken away the groves" (removed the wooden images to the goddess Asherah) from the land. God also commends Jehoshaphat for having "prepared thine heart to seek God."
Jehoshaphat goes on a tear instituting some Godly reforms in Judah with which God is very pleased. These reforms included establishing godly judges, empowering the Levites, and setting up the High Priest, Amariah, over them. He also appoints a man named Zebadiah to oversee judgment regarding "the king's matters." You will notice in verse 4 that Jehoshaphat's influence apparently reached up into the Northern Kingdom (Mount Ephraim) with regard to worship of the One True God.
1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.
3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?
7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?
8 And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,
9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.
10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;
11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit.
12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
13 And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation;
15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
16 To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with HIS FACE TO THE GROUND: AND ALL JUDAH AND THE INHABITANTS OF JERUSALEM FELL BEFORE THE LORD, worshipping the LORD.
19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
A combined force of three armies are on their way to Jerusalem, the Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites. What will Jehoshaphat do? He gathers all of Judah together, and they have a prayer meeting accompanied by fasting; he leads in verses 6-12. Verse 13 indicates the magnitude of this prayer gathering, "And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children." I'm amused by one of the points in Jehoshaphat's prayer found in verse 10 where he implies in his prayer, "If you had let our forefathers destroy these people, we wouldn't be having this problem right now." That's a recall of God's instructions to Moses back in Deuteronomy 2:5 (see notes) to not war against any of the three of these nations. Just at the conclusion of his big public prayer, Jahaziel, one of the Levites, gets a prophetic word from God and starts speaking in verses 14-17. God tells them the battle is not theirs, but God's. All they have to do is show up; God will do the rest.
The next day, Jehoshaphat rolls out his new battle plan before the people in verses 20-21; we're just going to organize a big praise-God session and let God defeat the enemy. Oh, one more thing - singers; Jehoshaphat puts singers in front of his army. Hey...singing in that choir wasn't for the faint of heart! Of course it all worked out; the invading armies get confused in their ambush attempts (wouldn't you, if you came up against an army led by the choir) and turn on each other, wiping themselves out without Judah's army lifting a hand...except for the choir, of course. So, the Ammonites and Moabites mistakenly end up attacking the Edomites (inhabitants of Mount Seir) until everyone is destroyed.
24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.
26 And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.
27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
28 And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD.
29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.
30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.
Jehoshaphat stuck with God, and God rewarded him for it. At the conclusion of the battle, the entire enemy army - all the soldiers - were dead; no one escaped. When they started taking the spoil from the battle they had won without fighting, they couldn't even carry it all.
A summary of Jehoshaphat's reign (II Chronicles 20:31-37)
31 And Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah: he was thirty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
32 And he walked in the way of Asa his father, and departed not from it, doing that which was right in the sight of the LORD.
33 Howbeit the high places were not taken away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.
35 And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly:
36 And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongeber.
37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
Jehoshaphat served God all his days. However, he didn't continually purge Judah from those pagan altars called "high places." The people built them back; it was an uphill battle. Jehoshaphat dies, but not before he and the King of Israel (Ahaziah) go into a ship-building venture together. God is unhappy about this business with a wicked king; the ships wreck. Jehoshaphat consulted God in battle, but not in his business venture into ship building.
Jehoram - talk about a lousy brother (II Chronicles 21)
(The brief reign of Jehoram is also found in II Kings 8:16-24, see notes)
II Chronicles 21
II Kings 8
|1 Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.
2 And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
3 And their father gave them great gifts of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fenced cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram; because he was the firstborn.
4 Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel.
5 Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.
7 Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.
8 In his days the Edomites revolted from under the dominion of Judah, and made themselves a king.
9 Then Jehoram went forth with his princes, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him in, and the captains of the chariots.
10 So the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also did Libnah revolt from under his hand; because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers.
11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.
12 And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
13 But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself:
14 Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:
15 And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.
16 Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians:
17 And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king’s house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
18 And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.
19 And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.
20 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.
|16 And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign.
17 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.
19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant’s sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children.
20 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves.
21 So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents.
22 Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time.
23 And the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
Jehoshaphat, like a good father, provides for his sons after his death. He gives them their own cities and makes them princes over those cities. Jehoram, his firstborn son, becomes king. So, Jehoram, now that you're king, what are you going to do? Reply? "Kill all my brothers! What do you expect?" Not only does he execute his brothers, but also some other "princes" (government officials). I guess it is not necessary to point out that Jehoram was a wicked King of Judah.
Know your Jehorams
It's a little confusing in that there are two kings who reigned over Judah and Israel at about the same time - both named Jehoram. King Jehoram of Judah reigned from 848-841; his life is detailed in II Kings 8:16-24; II Chronicles 21. The son of the good king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram was married to Athaliah, the daughter of Israel's King Ahab and Jezebel. With a wife like that, of course he was very evil. King Jehoram of Israel reigned from 852-841 and is found in II Kings 3. He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel, and successor to his brother Ahaziah on the throne of Israel. So, Ahab and Jezebel had a son-in-law who was king over Judah and a son who was king over Israel. Everyone mentioned here was very evil.
Jehoram was married to Ahab's daughter, Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel and grand-daughter of Omri, 6th king of Israel. She shared the trait of wickedness and ruthlessness with her ancestors. Jehoram reigned over Judah for 8 years (from age 32) and was all wicked all the time. Elijah wrote him a letter - told him that God had passed judgment against him because of all his wicked deeds in Judah. He would die a messy death with a disease of the bowels. If that's not bad enough, Jehoram gets invaded by the Philistines and the Arabians; they carry off nearly all of his family and all his riches before he dies in agony as a result of his bowel disease. Nobody is sad to see him go after his 8 years of wicked reign. They didn't even bury him with the other kings.
One bright spot is found in this chapter, though. Notice verse 7, "Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever." Despite his wickedness, Jehoram caught a break because of the covenant God made with David back in II Samuel 7:12-16 (see notes). We know that covenant as the Davidic Covenant. Click here for additional information about the Davidic Covenant. As a result, Jehoahaz, his youngest son was somehow spared in the invasion. This Jehoahaz is the same as Ahaziah, the next King of Judah.
One more thing, we see in verses 8-10 that the Edomites flexed their muscles during Jehoram's reign and appointed their own king. They continued for centuries being a problem for Judah and Israel. For more information on the Edomites, click here.
A Summary of King #5 from 848 to 841 B. C. over Judah: Jehoram
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Chronicles 21
|Not specified - he was evil.||
II Chronicles 21:6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.
II Chronicles 21:11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.
II Chronicles 22
II Kings 8 & 9
|1 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned.
2 Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.
3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.
4 Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.
5 He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram.
6 And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the wounds which were given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick.
7 And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.
8 And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them.
9 And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.
8:25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign.
9:14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.
9:27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.
II Kings 8:26 reports that Ahaziah was actually 22 years old when he began to reign. Given the fact that his father, Jehoram, was only 40 years old when he died, it is certain that Ahaziah was 22 years old when his reign began (as reported in II Kings 8:26); his mama was Athaliah and served as his counselor; she was wicked. Just like his father, Jehoram, Ahaziah never did the right thing before God; he was wicked too. He becomes an ally with King Jehoram, the son of Ahab and King of Israel. Maybe he was impressed that Jehoram had the same name as his own wicked father. They went to battle against Syria and lost. Israel's King Jehoram was seriously wounded. When Ahaziah went to check on him, he was captured and executed by Jehu of Israel who was actually gunning for Israel's King Jehoram. Jehu just took care of two kings in one visit and thus became the king over Israel. For more information on his execution, see the notes on II Kings 9:14-29. So, Ahaziah's dead after reigning for just one year.
A Summary of King #6 in 841 B. C. over Judah: Ahaziah
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Chronicles 22:1-9
|Not specified - he was evil.||
II Chronicles 22:3-4 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly. Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.
Judah has a queen, Athaliah? (II Chronicles 22:10-12)
(Athaliah's reign is also found in II Kings 11:1-3, see notes)
II Chronicles 22
II Kings 11
|10 But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.
11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.
12 And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.
|1 And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.
2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.
3 And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.
This is where the whole descendancy-from-David-thing gets messy. Remember Ahaziah's (who's now dead) wicked mama, Athaliah? She must have taken wickedness lessons from her mama, Jezebel. After her son Ahaziah is executed by Jehu, she decides it's time Judah has a queen instead of a king. She locates and kills the royal family. At least she thinks she has executed all the possible heirs to the throne of Judah. Remember, in Judah they were adamant about their king being a direct descendant of David. Athaliah misses one though - little baby Joash who was hidden away by Ahaziah's half sister, Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada (the priest). Baby Joash was in hiding for six years while the wicked Athaliah reigned as queen over Judah. Ironic...isn't it. Athaliah's daddy was the wicked King of Israel, Ahab (now deceased), and here she is picking up the reign over Judah.
A Summary of King (actually "queen") #7 from 841 to 835 B.C. over Judah: Athaliah
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Chronicles 22:10-23:15
|Not specified - she was evil.||
She was an illegitimate queen in Judah who acquired her position by assassinating all of the legitimate Davidic heirs to the throne. She missed one - Joash. She was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
A seven-year-old has a really BIG day! (II Chronicles 23:1-11)
(This account is also found in II Kings 11:4-12, see notes)
II Chronicles 23
II Kings 11
|1 And in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him.
2 And they went about in Judah, and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the chief of the fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem.
3 And all the congregation made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said unto them, Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the LORD hath said of the sons of David.
4 This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you entering on the sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be porters of the doors;
5 And a third part shall be at the king’s house; and a third part at the gate of the foundation: and all the people shall be in the courts of the house of the LORD.
6 But let none come into the house of the LORD, save the priests, and they that minister of the Levites; they shall go in, for they are holy: but all the people shall keep the watch of the LORD.
7 And the Levites shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whosoever else cometh into the house, he shall be put to death: but be ye with the king when he cometh in, and when he goeth out.
8 So the Levites and all Judah did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest had commanded, and took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that were to go out on the sabbath: for Jehoiada the priest dismissed not the courses.
9 Moreover Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David’s, which were in the house of God.
10 And he set all the people, every man having his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, along by the altar and the temple, by the king round about.
11 Then they brought out the king’s son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king.
|4 And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king’s son.
5 And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king’s house;
6 And a third part shall be at the gate of Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard: so shall ye keep the watch of the house, that it be not broken down.
7 And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD about the king.
8 And ye shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain: and be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in.
9 And the captains over the hundreds did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that should go out on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.
10 And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David’s spears and shields, that were in the temple of the LORD.
11 And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, round about the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left corner of the temple, along by the altar and the temple.
12 And he brought forth the king’s son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.
Let's agree on something: Athaliah was a baaaaad woman. After all, she was Ahab's daughter. Her son Ahaziah had been King of Judah, but he died. She had then sought out all the royal family (male descendants of David) and had them killed so she could become Queen of Judah. One problem...she missed one - baby Joash. Jehoida, the high priest, had hidden the one-year-old son of Ahaziah named Joash (sometimes called Jehoash) in the temple for 6 years. Athaliah thought she was home free until one day Jehoida makes his move. He coordinates with the shift change of the priests coming on duty and going off duty at the temple along with the military leaders to declare Joash King of Judah at the ripe old age of 7. The plan works; the good guys surround the 7-year-old and proclaim him King of Judah. Remember, the people in Judah were quite adamant about the throne being held by a descendant of David. Therefore, 7-year-old Joash is an easy sell - especially with the high priest behind him.
But it was a tough day for Athaliah (II Chronicles 23:12-15)
(This account is also found in II Kings 11:13-20, see notes)
II Chronicles 23
II Kings 11
|12 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the LORD:
13 And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king: and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise. Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason.
14 Then Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds that were set over the host, and said unto them, Have her forth of the ranges: and whoso followeth her, let him be slain with the sword. For the priest said, Slay her not in the house of the LORD.
15 So they laid hands on her; and when she was come to the entering of the horse gate by the king’s house, they slew her there.
|13 And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD.
14 And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason.
15 But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the priest had said, Let her not be slain in the house of the LORD.
16 And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which the horses came into the king’s house: and there was she slain.
17 And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD’S people; between the king also and the people.
18 And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.
19 And he took the rulers over hundreds, and the captains, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of the LORD, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king’s house. And he sat on the throne of the kings.
20 And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king’s house.
Naturally Athaliah, who had illegally hijacked the throne of Judah six years earlier, wasn't happy when she realized what those double-crossing priests had done. She cries out, "Treason! Treason!" True, but she was the one who had committed the treason. The priest had her removed from the temple and executed. Some days just don't end up as good as they start.
Jehoida cleans house (II Chronicles 23:16-21)
16 And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the LORD’S people.
17 Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.
18 Also Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the LORD by the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in 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 with singing, as it was ordained by David.
19 And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD, that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in.
20 And he took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought down the king from the house of the LORD: and they came through the high gate into the king’s house, and set the king upon the throne of the kingdom.
21 And all the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.
A lot of evil had taken place over the last 6 years under Athaliah. Jehoida, the high priest who was the power behind seven-year-old King Joash, sets everything straight after her execution. They bring back worship of the One True God. And it's over for Baal and the other false gods. Athaliah wasn't the only one to have a bad day though. How about the pagan priest over at the Baal-'R-Us temple. Ol' Mattan got executed on his own pagan altars. The people of Judah are elated. They're a one-God nation again!