2 Chronicles 24 Study Notes

24:1-3 Joash: Seventh king of Judah; son of Ahaziah; installed while still a boy by Jehoiada when he dethroned Athaliah; obeyed God as long as Jehoiada was alive, but turned to evil as soon as Jehoiada died. The forty years of Joash’s reign matched the length of David’s reign, but since Joash started at such an early age, it took him only into midlife.

24:4 Upon reaching adulthood, Joash decided it was time for the Lord’s temple to be repaired and renovated. It had been largely ignored for many years.

24:5 Joash commissioned the Levites to travel throughout the kingdom of Judah and to collect silver for this renovation. One wonders why Levites, whose jobs depended on the temple, had not made this a greater priority before Joash became king.

24:6-7 Jehoiada, as high priest, was supervisor of the Levites. Joash called him to account for the lack of speed by those who reported to him. As Joash issued this reprimand to Jehoiada, he appealed to those things that were closest to Jehoiada’s heart—compliance with the law and the purity of the temple. The king stated that the collection of the tax for the temple had been instituted through Moses (Ex 30:14) and that many of the sacred things, or furnishings of the temple, had been stolen and used for the worship of the Baals.

24:8-11 Jehoiada did not send the Levites from town to town to collect the money. Instead, he sent them out to require the people to come to Jerusalem and deposit money in a chest that Joash had placed at the gate of the temple. This plan worked.

24:12-13 The money collected went exactly where it was needed—to the workmen who were carrying out the renovation.

24:14 When all the construction work was done and the workers had been paid, there was enough money left over to replace the temple utensils so sacrificial rituals could be carried out efficiently and with dignity.

24:15-16 Jehoiada the high priest, Joash’s adviser, died at the age of 130 years. He was buried with honor normally accorded only to kings.

24:17-18 The people who won Joash’s confidence had authority in various parts of Judah. They apparently preferred the old system, influenced by the kings of Israel. Like Rehoboam, Joash followed bad advice (10:8). They persuaded the king to abandon the Lord and to return to the idolatry that Joash along with Jehoiada had attempted to root out. The wrath of God cut into their prosperity (v. 20).

24:19 God did not give up on Joash but conveyed his will by way of prophets. Yet the king continued to support and encourage false worship.

24:20-22 Jehoiada’s son Zechariah made a speech confronting the people with their idolatry. The king enlisted a number of functionaries who stoned Zechariah to death in the courtyard of the temple. Zechariah invoked God’s vengeance on the faithless king. To this day, the tomb of Zechariah can be seen outside Jerusalem in the Kidron Valley. It was this Zechariah to whom Jesus referred when he accused the leaders of his day of hypocrisy (Lk 11:47-51).

24:23-24 Up to this point, Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah of Judah had participated in the northern kingdom’s war against the Arameans. But there had been no direct conflict between Judah and Aram since the time Asa bought off Ben-hadad. Now this situation changed. With a weak and confused King Joash on the throne, and absent the Lord’s protection, the Arameans were able to conquer Jerusalem with a small force and carry off valuables again.

24:25 The Arameans despised Joash so much that they left him to die after he was severely wounded. His servants took advantage of the situation and killed him as he was lying defenseless on his bed. Joash was buried unceremoniously outside the usual location for the tombs of the kings.

24:26 The two servants who assassinated Joash were Gentiles, sons of an Ammonite woman and a Moabite woman, respectively. Even these outsiders would not tolerate the king’s evil actions.

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