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II Kings 12-13; II Chronicles 24 Listen
The 7-year-old Joash (Jehoash) does good...at first (II Kings 12:1-16; II Chronicles 24:1-19)
II Kings 12
II Chronicles 24
|1 In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.
2 And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him.
3 But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
4 And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring into the house of the LORD,
5 Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found.
6 But it was so, that in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house.
7 Then king Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and the other priests, and said unto them, Why repair ye not the breaches of the house? now therefore receive no more money of your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house.
8 And the priests consented to receive no more money of the people, neither to repair the breaches of the house.
9 But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one cometh into the house of the LORD: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD.
10 And it was so, when they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king’s scribe and the high priest came up, and they put up in bags, and told the money that was found in the house of the LORD.
11 And they gave the money, being told, into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the LORD: and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that wrought upon the house of the LORD,
12 And to masons, and hewers of stone, and to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the breaches of the house of the LORD, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it.
13 Howbeit there were not made for the house of the LORD bowls of silver, snuffers, basons, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver, of the money that was brought into the house of the LORD:
14 But they gave that to the workmen, and repaired therewith the house of the LORD.
15 Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.
16 The trespass money and sin money was not brought into the house of the LORD: it was the priests’.
|1 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Zibiah of Beersheba.
2 And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
3 And Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he begat sons and daughters.
4 And it came to pass after this, that Joash was minded to repair the house of the LORD.
5 And he gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out unto the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that ye hasten the matter. Howbeit the Levites hastened it not.
6 And the king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said unto him, Why hast thou not required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem the collection, according to the commandment of Moses the servant of the LORD, and of the congregation of Israel, for the tabernacle of witness?
7 For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD did they bestow upon Baalim.
8 And at the king’s commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD.
9 And they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in to the LORD the collection that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness.
10 And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end.
11 Now it came to pass, that at what time the chest was brought unto the king’s office by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king’s scribe and the high priest’s officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to his place again. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.
12 And the king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and hired masons and carpenters to repair the house of the LORD, and also such as wrought iron and brass to mend the house of the LORD.
13 So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it.
14 And when they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, whereof were made vessels for the house of the LORD, even vessels to minister, and to offer withal, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada.
15 But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.
16 And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house.
17 Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.
18 And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.
19 Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.
The new 7-year-old King of Judah is named Joash, sometimes written Jehoash; he reigned in Judah for forty years. It's a little confusing since Israel (Northern Kingdom) had a king with the same name about the same time with the same alternate spelling. We're talking Judah here - the kid who escaped death when Queen Athaliah thought she had killed all the legal heirs to the throne; she missed one (see notes on II Kings 11). Joash takes a notion to fix up the temple that had fallen on hard times. He decides he needs some cash to make it all happen and reinstates the temple tax specified in the law.
Know your Joashes
It's a little confusing in that there are two kings who reigned over Judah and Israel at about the same time - both named Joash (aka Jehoash). Joash of Judah reigned from 835-796 and is found in II Kings 12; II Chronicles 23:16-24:27. Joash of Israel reigned from 798-782 and is found in II Kings 13:10-25; 14:15-16. As you can see, their reigns overlapped by a period of approximately two to three years (798-796).
Here are the sources of income Joash tapped for refurbishing the temple:
Joash requires the Levites to go out into Jerusalem and Judah to collect these funds, but they did not do well with their fund-raising efforts. Joash takes things into his own hands at this point. He makes a chest with a hole in it for depositing money and sets it outside the gate; it's a success; the money starts rolling in. Joash and Jehoiada personally handle the funds and pay the workers to refurbish the temple that had been trashed by that Baal-worshipping Athaliah and her thugs. One shortcoming of Joash is found in II Kings 12:3, "But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places." He left Athaliah's pagan altars in place, and some of the people of Judah still worshipped them.
Joash is a good king as long as Jehoiada, the high priest, lives. Judah loved and respected that old high priest, Jehoiada. After Jehoiada's death they buried him with the Kings of Judah. Without his chief advisor, Joash wanders off his God mission - way off.
A Summary of King #8 from 835 to 796 B.C. over Judah: Joash (aka Jehoash)
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Kings 12
II Kings 12:2 And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him.
II Chronicles 24:2 And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
II Chronicles 24:4 And it came to pass after this, that Joash was minded to repair the house of the LORD.
II Kings 12:3 But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
After the high priest, Jehoiada, died, Joash was influenced by his leadership to allow worship of pagan gods. When confronted by God's prophet, Jehoiada's son, Zechariah, Joash had him executed (II Chronicles 24:17-22).
Judah's Joash is assassinated (II Kings 12:17-21; II Chronicles 24:20-27)
II Kings 12
II Chronicles 24
|17 Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem.
18 And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat, and Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king’s house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem.
19 And the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
20 And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla.
21 For Jozachar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, smote him, and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.
|20 And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.
21 And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.
22 Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it.
23 And it came to pass at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus.
24 For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash.
25 And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.
26 And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.
27 Now concerning his sons, and the greatness of the burdens laid upon him, and the repairing of the house of God, behold, they are written in the story of the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.
The reign of Jehoash takes an unexpected turn for the worse. After Jehoiada the priest dies, Joash makes a spiritual nose dive under his new handlers; he endorses the worship of the pagan gods. Upon this turn toward evil, Jehoiada's son (Zechariah) is there to tell him so. Joash has him killed - stoned to death right there in the temple. Joash certainly forgot his roots, didn't he? Prior to breathing his last breath, Zechariah calls upon God to avenge his death against Joash. Jesus refers to this murder of one of God's men in Luke 11:51 (see notes) and again in Matthew 23:35 (see notes).
God sends the Syrians with a small army who defeat Judah's large army, execute Judah's leaders and wound Joash. The Syrians take all the gold and the nice furnishings of the temple back to Damascus with them. As Joash is there on his deathbed, his own servants finish him off - still upset about him having the high priest's son executed. They didn't even bury him with the previous kings of Judah; he died in disgrace. Joash was a great king while he listened to Jehoiada, but became evil when he began to listen to the idol worshippers. Well...it's just as Paul said in I Corinthians 15:33 (see notes), "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." Or...as I have heard it said, "You can't soar with eagles when your hangin' with buzzards."
One more rather significant note regarding this incident. That Syrian king who authorized the raid into Judah was King Hazael. God had directed Elijah to anoint him as King of Syria back in I Kings 19:15 (see notes). God had also used King Hazael to chastise the evil doings of King Jehu of Israel (Northern Kingdom) back in II Kings 10:29-36 (see notes). King Hazael was absolutely NOT a worshipper of the one true God, but he did serve as God's policeman with regard to Israel and Judah. Isn't it interesting how that God sometimes uses unholy instruments to correct God's people when they rebel against God?
The 17-year reign of Israel's Jehoahaz (II Kings 13:1-9)
1 In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years.
2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.
3 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days.
4 And Jehoahaz besought the LORD, and the LORD hearkened unto him: for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them.
5 (And the LORD gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime.
6 Nevertheless they departed not from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin, but walked therein: and there remained the grove also in Samaria.)
7 Neither did he leave of the people to Jehoahaz but fifty horsemen, and ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen; for the king of Syria had destroyed them, and had made them like the dust by threshing.
8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did, and his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
9 And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his stead.
It was a tough 17 years for Israel's Jehoahaz. The King of Syria (Hazael, see above) and his son after him (Benhadad) gave Jehoahaz fits. He had a very weak army, but the Lord delivered them with "a savior" for a period of time. It is not specified the nature of this "savior." However, Jehoahaz never served God and continued to follow the double-calf state religion of Jeroboam, established back in I Kings 11:25-33 (see notes).
A Summary of King #11 from 814 to 798 B.C. over Israel: Jehoahaz
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Kings 13:1-9
|Not specified - he was evil.||
II Kings 13:2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.
The 16-year reign of Joash (Jehoash) in Israel (II Kings 13:10-13)
10 In the thirty and seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years.
11 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD; he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin: but he walked therein.
12 And the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, and his might wherewith he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
13 And Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat upon his throne: and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
Yeah, I know it's confusing, but this is a different man in a different country from the Joash (Jehoash) in II Kings 12:1-21 (see above). That was Judah, and this is Israel. These two kings with the same name over Judah and Israel did have a period of overlapping reign. This Jehoash went to war against King Amaziah of Judah, and then he died - not much said about him here. However, before he died he did have an interesting encounter with Elisha (see below). Jehoahaz embraced the two-calf worship of the founding King of the Northern Kingdom, Jeroboam (see notes on I Kings 11:25-33).
A Summary of King #12 from 798 to 782 B.C. over Israel: Jehoash (aka Joash)
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Kings 13:10-25;
|Not specified - he was evil.||
II Kings 13:11 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD; he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin: but he walked therein.
Elisha passes away, but not before spending a little time with Israel's Joash (II Kings 13:14-25)
14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
15 And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.
16 And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands.
17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.
19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.
20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
22 But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.
23 And the LORD was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.
24 So Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his stead.
25 And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities, which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times did Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of Israel.
Just before Elisha's passing, Joash of Israel goes to spend a little time with him. After a little arrow-shooting instruction, Elisha tells Joash that he will have some limited success against the Syrians - limited because he scores quite poorly on the little arrow-shooting test Elisha had prepared for him. Even in death, Elisha had a dramatic flair, didn't he? We see here a continuing conflict between Joash and the King Hazael of Syria; his life was characterized by these Syrian conflicts. II Kings 13:22 says, "But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz." God certainly got a lot of mileage out of King Hazael! (See note on King Hazael above.) Finally, King Hazael of Syria dies in verse 24.
After King Hazael's death, Joash does get back the cities that the Syrian king had taken from Israel through three successful strikes against Hazael's son, Benhadad. These three strikes were those prophesied by Elisha in the arrow-shooting test.
Elisha was a loner even in death. Verse 21 is rather amusing. They tried to double up on Elisha's tomb by burying another guy there with him. Nothing doin'! As soon as the freshly-shrouded dead guy touches the bones of Elisha, the dead guy revives. As I said, Elisha was a loner.