1 In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash began his kingly rule. He was king for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Gazelle. She was from Beersheba. 2 Taught and trained by Jehoiada the priest, Joash did what pleased God for as long as he lived. 3 (Even so, he didn't get rid of the sacred fertility shrines - people still frequented them, sacrificing and burning incense.) 4 Joash instructed the priests: "Take the money that is brought into The Temple of God for holy offerings - both mandatory offerings and freewill offerings - 5 and, keeping a careful accounting, use them to renovate The Temple wherever it has fallen into disrepair." 6 But by the twenty-third year of Joash's rule, the priests hadn't done one thing - The Temple was as dilapidated as ever. 7 King Joash called Jehoiada the priest and the company of priests and said, "Why haven't you renovated this sorry-looking Temple? You are forbidden to take any more money for Temple repairs - from now on, hand over everything you get." 8 The priests agreed not to take any more money or to be involved in The Temple renovation. 9 Then Jehoiada took a single chest and bored a hole in the lid and placed it to the right of the main entrance into The Temple of God. All the offerings that were brought to The Temple of God were placed in the chest by the priests who guarded the entrance. 10 When they saw that a large sum of money had accumulated in the chest, the king's secretary and the chief priest would empty the chest and count the offerings. 11 They would give the money accounted for to the managers of The Temple project; they in turn would pay the carpenters, construction workers, 12 masons, stoneworkers, and the buyers of timber and quarried stone for the repair and renovation of The Temple of God - any expenses connected with fixing up The Temple. 13 But none of the money brought into The Temple of God was used for liturgical "extras" (silver chalices, candle snuffers, trumpets, various gold and silver vessels, etc.). 14 It was given to the workmen to pay for their repairing God's Temple. 15 And no one even had to check on the men who handled the money given for the project - they were honest men. 16 Offerings designated for Compensation Offerings and Absolution Offerings didn't go into the building project - those went directly to the priests. 17 Around this time Hazael king of Aram ventured out and attacked Gath, and he captured it. Then he decided to try for Jerusalem. 18 Joash king of Judah countered by gathering up all the sacred memorials - gifts dedicated for holy use by his ancestors, the kings of Judah, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, along with the holy memorials he himself had received, plus all the gold that he could find in the temple and palace storerooms - and sent it to Hazael king of Aram. Appeased, Hazael went on his way and didn't bother Jerusalem. 19 The rest of the life and times of Joash and all that he did are written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 20 At the last his palace staff formed a conspiracy and assassinated Joash as he was strolling along the ramp of the fortified outside city wall. 21 Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer were the assassins. And so Joash died and was buried in the family plot in the City of David. His son Amaziah was king after him.
1 In the twenty-third year of Joash son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in Samaria - a rule of seventeen years. 2 He lived an evil life before God, walking step for step in the tracks of Jeroboam son of Nebat who led Israel into a life of sin, swerving neither left or right. 3 Exasperated, God was furious with Israel and turned them over to Hazael king of Aram and Ben-Hadad son of Hazael. This domination went on for a long time. 4 Then Jehoahaz prayed for a softening of God's anger, and God listened. He realized how wretched Israel had become under the brutalities of the king of Aram. 5 So God provided a savior for Israel who brought them out from under Aram's oppression. The children of Israel were again able to live at peace in their own homes. 6 But it didn't make any difference: They didn't change their lives, didn't turn away from the Jeroboam-sins that now characterized Israel, including the sex-and-religion shrines of Asherah still flourishing in Samaria. 7 Nothing was left of Jehoahaz's army after Hazael's oppression except for fifty cavalry, ten chariots, and ten thousand infantry. The king of Aram had decimated the rest, leaving behind him mostly chaff. 8 The rest of the life and times of Jehoahaz, the record of his accomplishments, are written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 9 Jehoahaz died and was buried with his ancestors in Samaria. His son Jehoash succeeded him as king. 10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king of Israel in Samaria - a reign of sixteen years. 11 In God's eyes he lived an evil life. He didn't deviate one bit from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin. He plodded along in the same tracks, step after step. 12 The rest of the life and times of Jehoash, the record of his accomplishments and his war against Amaziah king of Judah, are written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 13 Jehoash died and joined his ancestors. Jeroboam took over his throne. Jehoash was buried in Samaria in the royal cemetery. 14 Elisha came down sick. It was the sickness of which he would soon die. Jehoash king of Israel paid him a visit. When he saw him he wept openly, crying, "My father, my father! Chariot and horsemen of Israel!" 15 Elisha told him, "Go and get a bow and some arrows." The king brought him the bow and arrows. 16 Then he told the king, "Put your hand on the bow." He put his hand on the bow. Then Elisha put his hand over the hand of the king. 17 Elisha said, "Now open the east window." He opened it. Then he said, "Shoot!" And he shot. "The arrow of God's salvation!" exclaimed Elisha. "The arrow of deliverance from Aram! You will do battle against Aram until there's nothing left of it." 18 "Now pick up the other arrows," said Elisha. He picked them up. Then he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground." The king struck the ground three times and then quit. 19 The Holy Man became angry with him: "Why didn't you hit the ground five or six times? Then you would beat Aram until he was finished. As it is, you'll defeat him three times only." 20 Then Elisha died and they buried him. 21 One day, some men were burying a man and spotted the raiders. They threw the man into Elisha's tomb and got away. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the man came alive, stood up, and walked out on his own two feet. 22 Hazael king of Aram badgered and bedeviled Israel all through the reign of Jehoahaz. 23 But God was gracious and showed mercy to them. He stuck with them out of respect for his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He never gave up on them, never even considered discarding them, even to this day. 24 Hazael king of Aram died. His son Ben-Hadad was the next king. 25 Jehoash son of Jehoahaz turned things around and took back the cities that Ben-Hadad son of Hazael had taken from his father Jehoahaz. Jehoash went to war three times and defeated him each time, recapturing the cites of Israel.
1 Joash was seven years old when he became king; he was king for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Gazelle (Zibiah). She was from Beersheba. 2 Taught and trained by Jehoiada the priest, Joash did what pleased God throughout Jehoiada's lifetime. 3 Jehoiada picked out two wives for him; he had a family of both sons and daughters. 4 The time came when Joash determined to renovate The Temple of God. 5 He got the priests and Levites together and said, "Circulate through the towns of Judah every year and collect money from the people to repair The Temple of your God. You are in charge of carrying this out." 6 But the Levites dragged their feet and didn't do anything. 7 Then the king called in Jehoiada the chief priest and said, "Why haven't you made the Levites bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax Moses, servant of God and the congregation, set for the upkeep of the place of worship? You can see how bad things are - wicked Queen Athaliah and her sons let The Temple of God go to ruin and took all its sacred artifacts for use in Baal worship." 8 Following the king's orders, they made a chest and placed it at the entrance to The Temple of God. 9 Then they sent out a tax notice throughout Judah and Jerusalem: "Pay the tax that Moses the servant of God set when Israel was in the wilderness." 10 The people and their leaders were glad to do it and cheerfully brought their money until the chest was full. 11 Whenever the Levites brought the chest in for a royal audit and found it to be full, the king's secretary and the official of the chief priest would empty the chest and put it back in its place. Day after day they did this and collected a lot of money. 12 The king and Jehoiada gave the money to the managers of The Temple project; they in turn paid the masons and carpenters for the repair work on The Temple of God. 13 The construction workers kept at their jobs steadily until the restoration was complete - the house of God as good as new! 14 When they had finished the work, they returned the surplus money to the king and Jehoiada, who used the money for making sacred vessels for Temple worship, vessels for the daily worship, for the Whole-Burnt-Offerings, bowls, and other gold and silver liturgical artifacts. 15 He died at a ripe old age - 130 years old! 16 They buried him in the royal cemetery because he had such a distinguished life of service to Israel and God and God's Temple. 17 But after the death of Jehoiada things fell apart. The leaders of Judah made a formal presentation to the king and he went along with them. 18 Things went from bad to worse; they deserted The Temple of God and took up with the cult of sex goddesses. An angry cloud hovered over Judah and Jerusalem because of this sin. 19 God sent prophets to straighten them out, warning of judgment. But nobody paid attention. 20 Then the Spirit of God moved Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest to speak up: "God's word: Why have you deliberately walked away from God's commandments? You can't live this way! If you walk out on God, he'll walk out on you." 21 But they worked out a plot against Zechariah, and with the complicity of the king - he actually gave the order! - they murdered him, pelting him with rocks, right in the court of The Temple of God. 22 That's the thanks King Joash showed the loyal Jehoiada, the priest who had made him king. He murdered Jehoiada's son. Zechariah's last words were, "Look, God! Make them pay for this!" 23 A year or so later Aramean troops attacked Joash. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem, massacred the leaders, and shipped all their plunder back to the king in Damascus. 24 The Aramean army was quite small, but God used them to wipe out Joash's large army - their punishment for deserting God, the God of their ancestors. Arameans implemented God's judgment against Joash. 25 They left Joash badly wounded and his own servants finished him off - it was a palace conspiracy, avenging the murder of the son of Jehoiada the priest. They killed him in his bed. Afterward they buried him in the City of David, but he was not honored with a grave in the royal cemetery. 26 The temple conspirators were Zabad, whose mother was Shimeath from Ammon, and Jehozabad, whose mother was Shimrith from Moab. 27 The story of his sons, the many sermons preached to Joash, and the account of his repairs on The Temple of God can be found contained in the commentary on the royal history. Amaziah, Joash's son, was the next king.