The people of Jerusalem chose Ahaziah, Jehoram's youngest son, to be king in his place. The robbers who had come with the Arabs to attack Jehoram's camp had killed all of Jehoram's older sons. So Ahaziah began to rule Judah.
Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he ruled one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri.
Ahaziah followed the ways of Ahab's family, because his mother encouraged him to do wrong.
Ahaziah did what the Lord said was wrong, as Ahab's family had done. They gave advice to Ahaziah after his father died, and their bad advice led to his death.
Following their advice, Ahaziah went with Joram son of Ahab to Ramoth in Gilead, where they fought against Hazael king of Aram. The Arameans wounded Joram.
So Joram returned to Jezreel to heal from the wounds he received at Ramoth when he fought Hazael king of Aram. Ahaziah son of Jehoram and king of Judah went down to visit Joram son of Ahab at Jezreel because he had been wounded.
God caused Ahaziah's death when he went to visit Joram. Ahaziah arrived and went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had appointed to destroy Ahab's family.
While Jehu was punishing Ahab's family, he found the leaders of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah's relatives who served Ahaziah, and Jehu killed them all.
Then Jehu looked for Ahaziah. Jehu's men caught him hiding in Samaria, so they brought him to Jehu. Then they killed and buried him. They said, "Ahaziah is a descendant of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat obeyed the Lord with all his heart." No one in Ahaziah's family had the power to take control of the kingdom of Judah.
When Ahaziah's mother, Athaliah, saw that her son was dead, she killed all the royal family in Judah.
But Jehosheba, King Jehoram's daughter, took Joash, Ahaziah's son. She stole him from among the other sons of the king who were going to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. So Jehosheba, who was King Jehoram's daughter and Ahaziah's sister and the wife of Jehoiada the priest, hid Joash so Athaliah could not kill him.
He hid with them in the Temple of God for six years. During that time Athaliah ruled the land.
In the seventh year Jehoiada decided to do something. He made an agreement with the commanders of the groups of a hundred men: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri.
They went around in Judah and gathered the Levites from all the towns, and they gathered the leaders of the families of Judah. Then they went to Jerusalem.
All the people together made an agreement with the king in the Temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, "The king's son will rule, as the Lord promised about David's descendants.
Now this is what you must do: You priests and Levites go on duty on the Sabbath. A third of you will guard the doors.
A third of you will be at the king's palace, and a third of you will be at the Foundation Gate. All the other people will stay in the courtyards of the Temple of the Lord.
Don't let anyone come into the Temple of the Lord except the priests and Levites who serve. They may come because they have been made ready to serve the Lord, but all the others must do the job the Lord has given them.
The Levites must stay near the king, each man with his weapon in his hand. If anyone tries to enter the Temple, kill him. Stay close to the king when he goes in and when he goes out."
The Levites and all the people of Judah obeyed everything Jehoiada the priest had commanded. He did not excuse anyone from the groups of the priests. So each commander took his men who came on duty on the Sabbath with those who went off duty on the Sabbath.
Jehoiada gave the commanders of a hundred men the spears and the large and small shields that had belonged to King David and that were kept in the Temple of God.
Then Jehoiada told the men where to stand, each man with his weapon in his hand. There were guards from the south side of the Temple to the north side. They stood by the altar and the Temple and around the king.
Jehoiada and his sons brought out the king's son and put the crown on him and gave him a copy of the agreement. Then they appointed him king and poured olive oil on him and shouted, "Long live the king!"
When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she went to them at the Temple of the Lord.
She looked, and there was the king standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and the trumpeters were standing beside him, and all the people of the land were happy and blowing trumpets. The singers were playing musical instruments and leading praises. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and screamed, "Traitors! Traitors!"
Jehoiada the priest sent out the commanders of a hundred men, who led the army. He said, "Surround her with soldiers and take her out of the Temple area. Kill with a sword anyone who follows her." He had said, "Don't put Athaliah to death in the Temple of the Lord."
So they caught her when she came to the entrance of the Horse Gate near the palace. There they put her to death.
Then Jehoiada made an agreement with the people and the king that they would be the Lord's special people.
All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down, smashing the altars and idols. They killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars.
Then Jehoiada chose the priests, who were Levites, to be responsible for the Temple of the Lord. David had given them duties in the Temple of the Lord. They were to offer the burnt offerings to the Lord as the Teachings of Moses commanded, and they were to offer them with much joy and singing as David had commanded.
Jehoiada put guards at the gates of the Temple of the Lord so that anyone who was unclean in any way could not enter.
Jehoiada took with him the commanders of a hundred men, the important men, the rulers of the people, and all the people of the land to take the king out of the Temple of the Lord. They went through the Upper Gate into the palace, and then they seated the king on the throne.
So all the people of the land were very happy, and Jerusalem had peace, because Athaliah had been put to death with the sword.
Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he ruled forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah, and she was from Beersheba.
Joash did what the Lord said was right as long as Jehoiada the priest was alive.
Jehoiada chose two wives for Joash, and Joash had sons and daughters.
Later, Joash decided to repair the Temple of the Lord.
He called the priests and the Levites together and said to them, "Go to the towns of Judah and gather the money all the Israelites have to pay every year. Use it to repair the Temple of your God. Do this now." But the Levites did not hurry.
So King Joash called for Jehoiada the leading priest and said to him, "Why haven't you made the Levites bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax money that Moses, the Lord's servant, and the people of Israel used for the Holy Tent?"
In the past the sons of wicked Athaliah had broken into the Temple of God and used its holy things for worshiping the Baal idols.
King Joash commanded that a box for contributions be made. They put it outside, at the gate of the Temple of the Lord.
Then the Levites made an announcement in Judah and Jerusalem, telling people to bring to the Lord the tax money Moses, the servant of God, had made the Israelites give while they were in the desert.
All the officers and people were happy to bring their money, and they put it in the box until the box was full.
When the Levites would take the box to the king's officers, they would see that it was full of money. Then the king's royal secretary and the leading priest's officer would come and take out the money and return the box to its place. They did this often and gathered much money.
King Joash and Jehoiada gave the money to the people who worked on the Temple of the Lord. And they hired stoneworkers and carpenters to repair the Temple of the Lord. They also hired people to work with iron and bronze to repair the Temple.
The people worked hard, and the work to repair the Temple went well. They rebuilt the Temple of God to be as it was before, but even stronger.
When the workers finished, they brought the money that was left to King Joash and Jehoiada. They used that money to make utensils for the Temple of the Lord, utensils for the service in the Temple and for the burnt offerings, and bowls and other utensils from gold and silver. Burnt offerings were given every day in the Temple of the Lord while Jehoiada was alive.
Jehoiada grew old and lived many years. Then he died when he was one hundred thirty years old.
Jehoiada was buried in Jerusalem with the kings, because he had done much good in Judah for God and his Temple.
After Jehoiada died, the officers of Judah came and bowed down to King Joash, and he listened to them.
The king and these leaders stopped worshiping in the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors. Instead, they began to worship the Asherah idols and other idols. Because they did wrong, God was angry with the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
Even though the Lord sent prophets to the people to turn them back to him and even though the prophets warned them, they refused to listen.
Then the Spirit of God entered Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. Zechariah stood before the people and said, "This is what God says: 'Why do you disobey the Lord's commands? You will not be successful. Because you have left the Lord, he has also left you.'"
But the king and his officers made plans against Zechariah. At the king's command they threw stones at him in the courtyard of the Temple of the Lord until he died.
King Joash did not remember Jehoiada's kindness to him, so Joash killed Zechariah, Jehoiada's son. Before Zechariah died, he said, "May the Lord see what you are doing and punish you."
At the end of the year, the Aramean army came against Joash. They attacked Judah and Jerusalem, killed all the leaders of the people, and sent all the valuable things to their king in Damascus.
The Aramean army came with only a small group of men, but the Lord handed over to them a very large army from Judah, because the people of Judah had left the Lord, the God of their ancestors. So Joash was punished.
When the Arameans left, Joash was badly wounded. His own officers made plans against him because he had killed Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. So they killed Joash in his own bed. He died and was buried in Jerusalem but not in the graves of the kings.
The officers who made plans against Joash were Jozabad and Jehozabad. Jozabad was the son of Shimeath, a woman from Ammon. And Jehozabad was the son of Shimrith, a woman from Moab.
The story of Joash's sons, the great prophecies against him, and how he repaired the Temple of God are written in the book of the kings. Joash's son Amaziah became king in his place.