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|This is the New King James text of the passages.|
II Chronicles 19-23 Listen
Jehoshaphat gets a rebuke from his own prophet (II Chronicles 19)
1 Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned safely to his house in Jerusalem.
2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Therefore the wrath of the LORD is upon you.
3 Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.”
4 ¶ So Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem; and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim, and brought them back to the LORD God of their fathers.
5 Then he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city,
6 and said to the judges, “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.
7 Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.”
8 ¶ Moreover in Jerusalem, for the judgment of the LORD and for controversies, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the chief fathers of Israel, when they returned to Jerusalem.
9 And he commanded them, saying, “Thus you shall act in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and with a loyal heart:
10 Whatever case comes to you from your brethren who dwell in their cities, whether of bloodshed or offenses against law or commandment, against statutes or ordinances, you shall warn them, lest they trespass against the LORD and wrath come upon you and your brethren. Do this, and you will not be guilty.
11 And take notice: 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 will be officials before you. Behave courageously, and the LORD will 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 (NKJV) "removed the wooden images" (removed the wooden images to the goddess Asherah) from the land. God also commends Jehoshaphat for having "a loyal heart."
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.
When conventional warfare just won't work (II Chronicles 20:1-23)
1 It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat.
2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi).
3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
5 ¶ Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
6 and said: “O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?
7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?
8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying,
9 “If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’
10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them—
11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit.
12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
13 ¶ Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD.
14 ¶ Then the Spirit of the LORD came 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, in the midst of the assembly.
15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel.
17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.”
18 ¶ And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.
19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high.
20 ¶ So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
“Praise the LORD,
For His mercy endures forever.”
22 ¶ Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one 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, "Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD." 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.
The aftermath (II Chronicles 20:24-30)
24 ¶ So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.
25 ¶ When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much.
26 And on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the LORD; therefore the name of that place was called The Valley of Berachah until this day.
27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies.
28 So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the LORD.
29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.
30 Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.
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 ¶ So Jehoshaphat was king over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
32 And he walked in the way of his father Asa, and did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD.
33 Nevertheless the high places were not taken away, for as yet the people had not directed their hearts to the God of their fathers.
34 ¶ Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.
35 ¶ After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly.
36 And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber.
37 But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.” Then the ships were wrecked, so 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 And Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then Jehoram his son reigned in his place.
2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azaryahu, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
3 Their father gave them great gifts of silver and gold and precious things, with fortified cities in Judah; but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn.
4 ¶ Now when Jehoram was established over the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself and killed all his brothers with the sword, and also others of the princes of Israel.
5 ¶ Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for he had the daughter of Ahab as a wife; and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.
7 Yet the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.
8 ¶ In his days Edom revolted against Judah’s authority, and made a king over themselves.
9 So Jehoram went out with his officers, and all his chariots with him. And he rose by night and attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and the captains of the chariots.
10 Thus Edom has been in revolt against Judah’s authority to this day. At that time Libnah revolted against his rule, 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 harlotry, and led Judah astray.
12 ¶ And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says the LORD God of your father David: Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot like the harlotry of the house of Ahab, and also have killed your brothers, those of your father’s household, who were better than yourself,
14 behold, the LORD will strike your people with a serious affliction—your children, your wives, and all your possessions;
15 and you will become very sick with a disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out by reason of the sickness, day by day.
16 ¶ Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabians who were near the Ethiopians.
17 And they came up into Judah and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions that were found in the king’s house, and also his sons and his wives, so that there was not a son left to him except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
18 ¶ After all this the LORD struck him in his intestines with an incurable disease.
19 Then it happened in the course of time, after the end of two years, that his intestines came out because of his sickness; so he died in severe pain. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning for his fathers.
20 ¶ He was thirty-two years old when he became king. He reigned in Jerusalem eight years and, to no one’s sorrow, departed. However they buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
|16 ¶ Now in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoshaphat having been king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat began to reign as king of Judah.
17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, 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 the sake of His servant David, as He promised him to give a lamp to him and his sons forever.
20 ¶ In his days Edom revolted against Judah’s authority, and made a king over themselves.
21 So Joram went to Zair, and all his chariots with him. Then he rose by night and attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and the captains of the chariots; and the troops fled to their tents.
22 Thus Edom has been in revolt against Judah’s authority to this day. And Libnah revolted at that time.
23 ¶ Now 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 So Joram rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.
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, "Yet the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever." 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, just as the house of Ahab had done, for he had the daughter of Ahab as a wife; and he did evil in the sight 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 harlotry, and led Judah astray.
Ahaziah (aka Jehoahaz) - wickedness begets wickedness? (II Chronicles 22:1-9)
(The reign of Ahaziah is also found in II Kings 8:25-29, see notes, 9:14-16, 27-29, see notes)
II Chronicles 22
II Kings 8 & 9
|1 Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his place, for the raiders who came with the Arabians into the camp had killed all the older sons. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, reigned.
2 Ahaziah was forty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri.
3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother advised him to do wickedly.
4 Therefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD, like the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction.
5 He also followed their advice, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram.
6 Then he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which he had received at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
7 ¶ His going to Joram was God’s occasion for Ahaziah’s downfall; for when he arrived, 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 happened, when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers who served Ahaziah, that he killed them.
9 Then he searched for Ahaziah; and they caught him (he was hiding in Samaria), and brought him to Jehu. When they had killed him, they buried him, “because,” they said, “he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart.” ¶ So the house of Ahaziah had no one to assume power over the kingdom.
8:25 ¶ In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, began to reign.
9:14 ¶ So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had been defending Ramoth Gilead, he and all Israel, against Hazael king of Syria.
9:27 ¶ But when Ahaziah king of Judah saw this, he fled by the road to Beth Haggan. So Jehu pursued him, and said, “Shoot him also in the chariot.” And they shot him at the Ascent of Gur, which is by Ibleam. Then 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 3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother advised him to do wickedly. Therefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD, like the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors 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 ¶ Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs of the house of Judah.
11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered, and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. 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 did not kill him.
12 And he was hidden with them in the house of God for six years, while 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 In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and made a covenant with the captains of hundreds: Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri.
2 And they went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem.
3 ¶ Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the LORD has said of the sons of David.
4 This is what you shall do: One-third of you entering on the Sabbath, of the priests and the Levites, shall be keeping watch over the doors;
5 one-third shall be at the king’s house; and one-third at the Gate of the Foundation. All the people shall be in the courts of the house of the LORD.
6 But let no one come into the house of the LORD except the priests and those of the Levites who serve. They may go in, for they are holy; but all the people shall keep the watch of the LORD.
7 And the Levites shall surround the king on all sides, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever comes into the house, let him be put to death. You are to be with the king when he comes in and when he goes out.”
8 ¶ So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. And each man took his men who were to be on duty on the Sabbath, with those who were going off duty on the Sabbath; for Jehoiada the priest had not dismissed the divisions.
9 And Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains of hundreds the spears and the large and small shields which had belonged to King David, that were in the temple of God.
10 Then he set all the people, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, along by the altar and by the temple, all around the king.
11 And they brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, gave him the Testimony, and made him king. Then Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, “Long live 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 in the temple of the LORD.
13 When she looked, there was the king standing by his pillar at the entrance; and the leaders and the trumpeters were by the king. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, also the singers with musical instruments, and those who led in praise. So Athaliah tore her clothes and said, “Treason! Treason!”
14 ¶ And Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, “Take her outside under guard, and slay with the sword whoever follows her.” For the priest had said, “Do not kill her in the house of the LORD.”
15 ¶ So they seized her; and she went by way of the entrance of the Horse Gate into the king’s house, and they killed 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 ¶ Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, the people, and the king, that they should be the LORD’S people.
17 And all the people went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. They broke in pieces its altars and images, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.
18 Also Jehoiada appointed the oversight of the house of the LORD to the hand of the priests, the Levites, whom David had assigned 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 established by David.
19 And he set the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the LORD, so that no one who was in any way unclean should enter.
20 ¶ Then he took the captains of hundreds, the nobles, the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought the king down from the house of the LORD; and they went through the Upper Gate to the king’s house, and set the king on the throne of the kingdom.
21 So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, for 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!