2Chronicles 23:1 ¶ 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.
2Chronicles 23:2 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.
2Chronicles 23:3 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.
After Joash turned seven years old, the priest Jehoida decided it was time to make him king. He made plans with five of the military commanders of units of 100: 1) Azariah, son of Jeroham 2) Ishmael, sonof Jehohanan 3) Azariah, son of Obed 4) Maaseiah, son of Adaiah 5) Elishaphat, son of Zichri
These commanders went throughout Judah and got the Levites and family leaders to come to Jerusalem. When they gathered together in Jerusalem, they joined in a covenant to make Joash, a son of David, their king in accordance with the will of the LORD. It goes without saying that all of this must have been done with the utmost secrecy.
Guzik made a good observation: “One reason Athaliah was able to reign for six years was that no one knew any alternative. Many people live under the reign of Satan because they don’t really know there is a legitimate king ready to take reign in their life.”
2Chronicles 23:4 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;
2Chronicles 23:5 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.
2Chronicles 23:6 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.
2Chronicles 23:7 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.
Jehoiada is the recognized leader. He ordered that when the Levities reported for duty on the Sabbath, a third of them were to serve as gatekeepers guarding the entrance to the temple, a third were to station themselves at the palace and a third at the Foundation Gate. All the rest of the people were to remain in the temple courtyards. No one was to be allowed to enter the temple except the priests and Levites that were on duty. The Levites were to be armed with weapons and surround the king. Anyone else that tried to enter the temple was to be killed. Those guarding the king were to stay with him the whole time.
Jehoida chose to act on the Sabbath because the movement of so many people would be less conspicuous.
2Chronicles 23:8 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.
2Chronicles 23:9 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.
2Chronicles 23:10 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.
All those that had joined in covenant did as Jehoiada had commanded. The priests and Levities reporting for duty and those scheduled to rotate off were put under the command of the military captains. Jehoiada then gave the captains the spears, small shields (bucklers) and large shields that had belonged to David and were stored in the temple to distribute among their “troops.” Armed guards were stationed all around the king.
2Chronicles 23:11 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.
When everyone was in position, they brought out Joash, the king’s son, gave him a copy of the law and crowned him as their king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, saying, “God save the king.”
Note: Moses had instructed that when the people had their king, he was to write a copy of the law of Moses to read and help him learn to fear the LORD his God.
Deuteronomy 17:14 “When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me….when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them….”
2Chronicles 23:12 ¶ 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:
2Chronicles 23:13 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.
2Chronicles 23:14 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.
2Chronicles 23:15 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.
When Athaliah heard all the noise of the people praising the king, she went to the temple to see what was happening. When she saw the young king standing at his pillar, she immediately realized that she had been dethroned and began yelling, “Treason, Treason.” What a hypocrite!!!
Jehoiada brought out the military leaders in charge and ordered them to take her out of the temple and kill her; she was not to be killed in the temple. Anyone that tried to help her was to be killed. So they took Athaliah out and killed her at the entrance of the Horse Gate that led to the palace.
2Chronicles 23:16 And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the LORD’S people.
2Chronicles 23:17 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.
Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, the people and the king to be followers of the LORD God. After making the covenant, the people went to the house of Baal and destroyed it and the altars and idols that were there. They also killed Mattan, the priest of Baal.
2Chronicles 23:18 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.
2Chronicles 23:19 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.
Jehoiada then reestablished the oversight of the temple under the priests of Levi as assigned by David. He instructed them to offer the burnt offerings of the LORD as set forth in the law of Moses and to accompany those offerings with rejoicing and singing as instructed by David. He also stationed men to guard the gates of entrance to the temple to make sure that nothing or no one that was unclean was allowed in.
2Chronicles 23:20 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.
2Chronicles 23:21 And all the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.
Jehoiada then led all those gathered in taking the king from the temple through the high gate to the palace and setting him upon the throne of the kingdom. All the people of the land rejoiced and finally settled down in quiet rest after the death of Athaliah. The implication is clear that such was not the case during her reign.