After Jehoiada died, the officials of Judah came to King Joash. They bowed down to him. He listened to them.
They turned their backs on the temple of the Lord, the God of their people. They worshiped poles that were made to honor the goddess Asherah. They also worshiped statues of other gods. Because Judah and Jerusalem were guilty of sin, God became angry with them.
The LORD sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him. The prophets gave witness against the people. But they wouldn't listen.
Then the Spirit of God came on the priest Zechariah. He was the son of Jehoiada. Zechariah stood in front of the people. He told them, "God says, 'Why do you refuse to obey my commands? You will not have success. You have deserted me. So I have deserted you.' "
But the people made evil plans against Zechariah. The king ordered them to kill Zechariah by throwing stones at him. They did it in the courtyard of the LORD's temple.
King Joash didn't remember how kind Zechariah's father Jehoiada had been to him. So he killed Jehoiada's son. As Zechariah was dying he said, "May the LORD see this. May he hold you accountable."
In the spring, the army of Aram marched into Judah and Jerusalem against Joash. They killed all of the leaders of the people. They took a large amount of goods from Judah. They sent it to their king in Damascus.
The army of Aram had come with only a few men. But the LORD allowed them to win the battle over a much larger army. Judah had deserted the Lord, the God of their people. That's why the LORD punished Joash.
The army of Aram pulled back. They left Joash badly wounded. His officials planned to do evil things to him. That's because he murdered the son of the priest Jehoiada. They killed Joash in his bed. So he died. His body was buried in the City of David. But it wasn't placed in the tombs of the kings.
Those who made the plans against Joash were Zabad and Jehozabad. Zabad was the son of Shimeath. She was from Ammon. Jehozabad was the son of Shimrith. She was from Moab.
The story of the sons of Joash is written in the notes on the records of the kings. The many prophecies about him are written there too. So is the record of how he made God's temple look like new again. His son Amaziah became the next king after him.