2 Kings 11-12: A Heartless Queen, a Fatherly Priest and a Boy King

Yesterday, we saw Jehu, the king of Israel, the northern kingdom, kill off all of Ahab’s evil kin to fulfill God’s promise. He was ridding the kingdom of bad influences. Yet, he kept the gold calves that Jeroboam set up. Today, we find one of wicked Jezebel‘s daughters, Athaliah, crown herself queen of Judah when she learns her son, Ahaziah is dead. Her next actions were …. ah, let’s just say that her mother would have been proud of her. Let’s dig in….

2 Kings 11

When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of the royal family. But Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash, and stole him away from among the rest of the king’s children, who were about to be killed. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom, and they hid him from Athaliah, so the child was not murdered. Joash remained hidden in the Temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land.

Revolt against Athaliah

In the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign, Jehoiada the priest summoned the commanders, the Carite mercenaries, and the palace guards to come to the Temple of the Lord. He made a solemn pact with them and made them swear an oath of loyalty there in the Lord’s Temple; then he showed them the king’s son.

Jehoiada told them, “This is what you must do. A third of you who are on duty on the Sabbath are to guard the royal palace itself. Another third of you are to stand guard at the Sur Gate. And the final third must stand guard behind the palace guard. These three groups will all guard the palace. The other two units who are off duty on the Sabbath must stand guard for the king at the Lord’s Temple. Form a bodyguard around the king and keep your weapons in hand. Kill anyone who tries to break through. Stay with the king wherever he goes.”

So the commanders did everything as Jehoiada the priest ordered. The commanders took charge of the men reporting for duty that Sabbath, as well as those who were going off duty. They brought them all to Jehoiada the priest, 10 and he supplied them with the spears and small shields that had once belonged to King David and were stored in the Temple of the Lord. 11 The palace guards stationed themselves around the king, with their weapons ready. They formed a line from the south side of the Temple around to the north side and all around the altar.

12 Then Jehoiada brought out Joash, the king’s son, placed the crown on his head, and presented him with a copy of God’s laws. They anointed him and proclaimed him king, and everyone clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”

The Death of Athaliah

13 When Athaliah heard the noise made by the palace guards and the people, she hurried to the Lord’s Temple to see what was happening. 14 When she arrived, she saw the newly crowned king standing in his place of authority by the pillar, as was the custom at times of coronation. The commanders and trumpeters were surrounding him, and people from all over the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. When Athaliah saw all this, she tore her clothes in despair and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”

15 Then Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders who were in charge of the troops, “Take her to the soldiers in front of the Temple, and kill anyone who tries to rescue her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be killed in the Temple of the Lord.” 16 So they seized her and led her out to the gate where horses enter the palace grounds, and she was killed there.

Jehoiada’s Religious Reforms

17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people that they would be the Lord’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18 And all the people of the land went over to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They demolished the altars and smashed the idols to pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

Jehoiada the priest stationed guards at the Temple of the Lord. 19 Then the commanders, the Carite mercenaries, the palace guards, and all the people of the land escorted the king from the Temple of the Lord. They went through the gate of the guards and into the palace, and the king took his seat on the royal throne. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was peaceful because Athaliah had been killed at the king’s palace.

21 Joash was seven years old when he became king.

2 Kings 11 NLT

A Pause to Ponder

Going on…

2 Kings 12

Joash began to rule over Judah in the seventh year of King Jehu’s reign in Israel. He reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba. All his life Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight because Jehoiada the priest instructed him. Yet even so, he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there.

One day King Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money brought as a sacred offering to the Lord’s Temple, whether it is a regular assessment, a payment of vows, or a voluntary gift. Let the priests take some of that money to pay for whatever repairs are needed at the Temple.”

But by the twenty-third year of Joash’s reign, the priests still had not repaired the Temple. So King Joash called for Jehoiada and the other priests and asked them, “Why haven’t you repaired the Temple? Don’t use any more money for your own needs. From now on, it must all be spent on Temple repairs.” So the priests agreed not to accept any more money from the people, and they also agreed to let others take responsibility for repairing the Temple.

Then Jehoiada the priest bored a hole in the lid of a large chest and set it on the right-hand side of the altar at the entrance of the Temple of the Lord. The priests guarding the entrance put all of the people’s contributions into the chest. 10 Whenever the chest became full, the court secretary and the high priest counted the money that had been brought to the Lord’s Temple and put it into bags. 11 Then they gave the money to the construction supervisors, who used it to pay the people working on the Lord’s Temple—the carpenters, the builders, 12 the masons, and the stonecutters. They also used the money to buy the timber and the finished stone needed for repairing the Lord’s Temple, and they paid any other expenses related to the Temple’s restoration.

13 The money brought to the Temple was not used for making silver bowls, lamp snuffers, basins, trumpets, or other articles of gold or silver for the Temple of the Lord. 14 It was paid to the workmen, who used it for the Temple repairs. 15 No accounting of this money was required from the construction supervisors, because they were honest and trustworthy men. 16 However, the money that was contributed for guilt offerings and sin offerings was not brought into the Lord’s Temple. It was given to the priests for their own use.

The End of Joash’s Reign

17 About this time King Hazael of Aram went to war against Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. 18 King Joash collected all the sacred objects that Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, the previous kings of Judah, had dedicated, along with what he himself had dedicated. He sent them all to Hazael, along with all the gold in the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace. So Hazael called off his attack on Jerusalem.

19 The rest of the events in Joash’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.

20 Joash’s officers plotted against him and assassinated him at Beth-millo on the road to Silla. 21 The assassins were Jozacar son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer—both trusted advisers. Joash was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Amaziah became the next king.

2 Kings 12 NLT

More Points to Ponder

  • The temple priests were pocketing the temple offerings and the temple was falling into disrepair.
  • Jehoiada created a building fund — a free-will offering — that the people knew it would go to repair the temple. This worked. The repairmen were honest and above board and they didn’t even need to keep an account of the costs. Wow.
  • The priests did get some “salary” from the guilt and sin offerings.
  • Joash paid Hazael of Aram/Syria off to avoid going to war. Some might see this as a cowardly move that basically bankrupted the kingdom.

Fortifying Your Faith

Just like the temple back then needed repair — probably fortification — your faith needs daily fortification. To do that you need to read the Bible daily — and not just short devotionals! Those devotionals are like a snack. Why have just a snack when you can have a whole banquet of soul strengthening scripture?! That’s why I love the free Bible apps…

The YouVersion Bible App: https://bible.com
Through The Word: https://throughtheword.org

They make it so easy to read the Bible daily!

Furthermore, each person needs to make their own decision to follow Christ on their own. It’s a personal relationship that’s not attained by just attending a church and following robotic rituals.

Another mistake these kings made was not totally destroying the “high places” where people went to worship idols. What are your “high places”? What are your “idols“?

Is it time for YOU to renew the Covenant with Jesus?

What are you waiting for?

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

You are God Alone


Indescribable



Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

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