2Chronicles 24:1 ¶ 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.
2Chronicles 24:2 And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
2Chronicles 24:3 And Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he begat sons and daughters.
Joash was just seven years old when he became king; his reign lasted for 40 years in Jerusalem. (The NIV Commentary sets the date of his reign from 835-796 BC.) His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.
Joash was a good king before the LORD during the lifetime of his uncle, Jehoiada the priest, the man who had protected him throughout early childhood and essentially made him king. At the appropriate time, Jehoiada arranged for him to have two wives that bore him sons and daughters.
2Chronicles 24:4 And it came to pass after this, that Joash was minded to repair the house of the LORD.
2Chronicles 24:5 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.
2Chronicles 24:6 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?
2Chronicles 24:7 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.
Eventually, Joash determined to repair the temple. He gathered together the priests and Levites and commanded them to go to the cities of Judah and collect money to maintain yearly repairs on the house of God. He made a point of telling them to do so quickly, but they ignored that command.
When he saw that the repairs had not begun in a reasonable time, he called for Jehoiada, the chief priest, and asked him why. He noted that his command was in line with what Moses had commanded be done for the tabernacle.
The Chronicler then explains that the sons of Athaliah had broken into the temple and taken its sacred vessels to use in the temple to Baal.
2Chronicles 24:8 And at the king’s commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD.
2Chronicles 24:9 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.
2Chronicles 24:10 And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end.
2Chronicles 24:11 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.
Taking matters into his own hands, the king commanded that they make a chest and set it outside the entrance to the temple. He then made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem that they needed donations for the temple like the people had given to Moses for upkeep of the tabernacle.
The people responded by giving joyfully and abundantly. So much was given that it was emptied and refilled daily.
2Chronicles 24:12 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.
2Chronicles 24:13 So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it.
2Chronicles 24:14 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.
The king and Jehoiada hired masons, carpenters and metal workers to repair the temple, paying them with the money donated by the people. The workmen did their job well, and the temple was restored to good condition. There was still plenty of money left, so they commissioned men to make the vessels of gold and silver that were needed to replace those that had been taken and destroyed with the temple of Baal.
There was another interesting bit of information provided in the record of 2Kings.
2 Kings 12:15 “Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.”
In other words, no accounting was required of the workmen because they were known to be men of integrity. Sadly, that can be said about very few people relative to the whole in the workforce today.
It is noted that during the lifetime of Jehoiada, they faithfully made daily burnt offerings to the LORD.
2Chronicles 24:15 ¶ But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.
2Chronicles 24:16 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.
Jehoiada lived to be a very old man; he died at the age of 130, much longer than usual at that time. He was so well respected as a man of God that they decided to bury him among the kings of Judah in the city of David.
I think it is interesting to note that the historian made a point of identifying Jehoiada’s actions in three categories—toward the people in general, toward God and toward his family. There are many in ministry today that excel in their work for the LORD, yet they sometimes neglect or are lacking in their treatment of their families and/or other people.
I liked this observation by Spurgeon: “See the influence of one man. One man can sway a state. One man can check sin. One man can be the head of a host who shall serve God, and honor his name.”
2Chronicles 24:17 Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.
2Chronicles 24:18 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.
2Chronicles 24:19 Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.
After Jehoiada’s death, the leaders of Judah came to honor the king. The wording indicates that they came with an agenda—to urge the king to rebel against the LORD and turn back to serving idols. Sadly, the king took their advice. This made the LORD angry with the people of Judah and Jerusalem in particular.
In spite of His anger, the LORD sent prophets to the people to declare their sin and call for their repentance. Sadly, as they had so often done throughout their history, they would not listen.
JFB offers this insight: “Elisha, Micah, Jehu son of Hanani, Jahaziel son of Zechariah, Eliezer son of Dodavah lived and taught at that time.”
2Chronicles 24:20 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.
2Chronicles 24:21 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.
2Chronicles 24:22 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.
The Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and boldly confronted them, asking why they had chosen to break the LORD’s commandments. He pointed out that this would only harm them. He then boldly declared that because they had rejected the LORD, He had rejected them.
The leaders of the people did not like Zechariah’s message, so they plotted to kill him. The king ordered that they stone him with stones, which they did in the temple courtyard.
How quickly Joash had forgotten the faithfulness and kindness of Jehoiada! As Zechariah lay dying, he called out for the LORD to avenge his death.
Again, I can’t help but think of all the false teachers today that claim that the LORD only wants His people to be healthy, wealthy and happy. So many of God’s prophets and followers in scripture faced hardship and terrible mistreatment that often led to their deaths. The important truth to remember is that the sufferings we endure here as we live in submission and obedience to the LORD result in spiritual health and wealth that endure for eternity. We may not understand the ways of God and why He allows things to happen that seem so bad to us, but we can be assured that “it will be worth it all when we see Jesus” (as the old hymn says).
2Chronicles 24:23 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.
2Chronicles 24:24 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.
God’s judgment against Joash came at the end of the year. The host of Syria came up against him and killed all the lead officials of the kingdom. They sent great spoil to the king of Damascus. The historian emphasizes that a small army of Syrians was able to defeat the much larger army of Judah because the LORD used the Syrians to exact judgment upon His people and Joash as their king for rejecting Him.
2Chronicles 24:25 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.
2Chronicles 24:26 And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.
When the armies of Syria left, Joash was severely wounded. His servants decided it was an opportune time to avenge the deaths of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and they killed him as he lay suffering in his bed. It is significant to note that verse 25 indicates that when Joash ordered that Zechariah be killed, he must have also killed the rest of Jehoiada’s sons.
It is noted that they did not bury the king in the graveyard of the kings of Judah.
The historian even identifies those that conspired against the king—Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess; both mothers were descendants of Lot.
2Chronicles 24:27 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 CJB reads a bit clearer with this verse: “The account of his sons, the many prophecies about him, and the record of the restoration of the temple of God are written in the annotations on the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.”
Another great quote from Spurgeon: “There was a want of principle in Joash, and it is of that I want to warn all our friends. Do not, I pray you, be satisfied with the practice of piety without the principles of piety. It is not enough to have a correct creed; you must have a renewed heart. It is not sufficient to have an ornate ritual; you must have a holy life, and to be holy you must be renewed by the Holy Spirit. If this change is not wrought in you by the Holy Ghost, you who yield so readily to good will yield just as quickly to evil.”