But once Jehoiada was dead, the leaders of Judah persuaded King Joash to listen to them instead.
And so the people stopped worshiping in the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and began to worship idols and the images of the goddess Asherah. Their guilt for these sins brought the Lord's anger on Judah and Jerusalem.
The Lord sent prophets to warn them to return to him, but the people refused to listen.
Then the spirit of God took control of Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood where the people could see him and called out, "The Lord God asks why you have disobeyed his commands and are bringing disaster on yourselves! You abandoned him, so he has abandoned you!" 1
King Joash joined in a conspiracy against Zechariah, and on the king's orders the people stoned Zechariah in the Temple courtyard.
The king forgot about the loyal service that Zechariah's father Jehoiada had given him, and he had Zechariah killed. As Zechariah was dying, he called out, "May the Lord see what you are doing and punish you!"
When autumn came that year, the Syrian army attacked Judah and Jerusalem, killed all the leaders, and took large amounts of loot back to Damascus.
The Syrian army was small, but the Lord let them defeat a much larger Judean army because the people had abandoned him, the Lord God of their ancestors. In this way King Joash was punished.
He was severely wounded, and when the enemy withdrew, two of his officials plotted against him and killed him in his bed to avenge the murder of the son of Jehoiada the priest. He was buried in David's City, but not in the royal tombs
(Those who plotted against him were Zabad, the son of an Ammonite woman named Shimeath, and Jehozabad, the son of a Moabite woman named Shimrith.)
The [Commentary on the Book of Kings] contains the stories of the sons of Joash, the prophecies spoken against him, and the record of how he rebuilt the Temple. His son Amaziah succeeded him as king.