Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

2 Chronicles 21; 2 Chronicles 22; 2 Chronicles 23; 2 Chronicles 24

1 Jehoshaphat joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the family tomb in the City of David. His son Jehoram became the next king after him. 2 Jehoram's brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All of them were sons of Jehoshaphat, the king of Israel. 3 Their father had given them many gifts. He had given them silver, gold and articles of value. He had also given them cities in Judah that had high walls around them. But he had made Jehoram king. That's because Jehoram was his oldest son. 4 Jehoram made his position secure over his father's kingdom. Then he killed all of his brothers with his sword. He also killed some of the princes of Israel. 5 Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. 6 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, just as the royal family of Ahab had done. In fact, he got married to a daughter of Ahab. Jehoram did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 7 But the LORD didn't want to destroy the royal family of David. That's because the LORD had made a covenant with him. He had promised to keep the lamp of David's kingdom burning brightly for him and his children after him forever. 8 When Jehoram was king over Judah, Edom refused to remain under Judah's control. They set up their own king. 9 So Jehoram went to Edom. He took his officers and all of his chariots with him. The men of Edom surrounded him and his chariot commanders. But he got up at night and fought his way out. 10 To this very day Edom has refused to remain under Judah's control. At that same time, Libnah also refused to remain under the control of Judah. That's because Jehoram had deserted the Lord, the God of his people. 11 He had also built high places on the hills of Judah. He had caused the people of Jerusalem to worship other gods. They weren't faithful to the Lord. Jehoram had led Judah down the wrong path. 12 Jehoram received a letter from the prophet Elijah. It said, "The LORD is the God of your father David. The LORD says, 'You have not followed the ways of your own father Jehoshaphat or of Asa, the king of Judah. 13 Instead, you have followed the ways of the kings of Israel. You have led Judah and the people of Jerusalem to worship other gods, just as the royal family of Ahab did. Also, you have murdered your own brothers. They were members of your own family. They were better men than you are. 14 " 'So now I am about to strike your people down with a heavy blow. I will strike down your sons, your wives and everything that belongs to you. 15 And you yourself will be very sick for a long time. The sickness will finally cause your insides to come out.' " 16 The LORD stirred up the anger of the Philistines against Jehoram. He also stirred up the anger of the Arabs. They lived near the people of Cush. 17 The Philistines and Arabs attacked Judah. They went in and carried off all of the goods they found in the king's palace. They also took his sons and wives. The only son he had left was Ahaziah. He was the youngest son. 18 After all of that, the LORD made Jehoram very sick. He couldn't be healed. 19 After he had been sick for two years, the sickness caused his insides to come out. He died in great pain. His people didn't make a fire in his honor, as they had done for the kings who ruled before him. 20 Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. No one was sorry when he passed away. His body was buried in the City of David. But it wasn't placed in the tombs of the kings.
1 The people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah king in place of Jehoram. Ahaziah was Jehoram's youngest son. Robbers had come with the Arabs into Jehoram's camp. The robbers had killed all of his older sons. So Ahaziah, the king of Judah, began to rule. He was the son of Jehoram. 2 Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for one year. His mother's name was Athaliah. She was a granddaughter of Omri. 3 Ahaziah also followed the ways of the royal family of Ahab. That's because Ahaziah's mother gave him bad advice. She told him to do what was wrong. 4 So he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as the family of Ahab had done. After Ahaziah's father died, the members of Ahab's family became his advisers. That's what destroyed him. 5 He also followed their advice when he joined forces with Joram, the king of Israel. They went to war against Hazael at Ramoth Gilead. Joram was the son of Ahab. Hazael was king of Aram. The soldiers of Aram wounded Joram. 6 So he returned to Jezreel to give his wounds time to heal. His enemies had wounded him at Ramoth in his battle against Hazael, the king of Aram. Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, went down to Jezreel. He went there to see Joram. That's because Joram had been wounded. Ahaziah was king of Judah. Joram was the son of Ahab. 7 Through Ahaziah's visit to Joram, God caused Ahaziah to fall from power. When Ahaziah arrived, he rode out with Joram to meet Jehu, the son of Nimshi. The LORD had anointed Jehu to destroy the royal family of Ahab. 8 So Jehu punished Ahab's family, just as the LORD had told him to. While he was doing it, he found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah's relatives. They had been serving Ahaziah. So Jehu killed them. 9 Then he went to look for Ahaziah. Jehu's men captured him while he was hiding in Samaria. Ahaziah was brought to Jehu and put to death. People buried his body, because they said, "He was a grandson of Jehoshaphat, who followed the LORD with all his heart." So no one in the royal family of Ahaziah was powerful enough to keep the kingdom. 10 Athaliah was Ahaziah's mother. She saw that her son was dead. So she began to wipe out the whole royal house of Judah. 11 But Jehosheba went and got Joash, the son of Ahaziah. She was the daughter of King Jehoram. She stole Joash away from among the royal princes. All of them were about to be murdered. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom. Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, was the wife of the priest Jehoiada. She was also Ahaziah's sister. So Jehosheba hid the child from Athaliah. That's why Athaliah couldn't kill him. 12 The child remained hidden with the priest and his wife at God's temple for six years. Athaliah ruled over the land during that time.
1 When Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada showed how strong he was. He made a covenant with the commanders of companies of 100 men. The commanders were Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri. 2 They went all through Judah. They gathered together the Levites and the leaders of Israelite families from all of the towns. They came to Jerusalem. 3 The whole community made a covenant with the new king at God's temple. Jehoiada said to them, "Ahaziah's son will rule over Judah. That's what the LORD promised concerning the family line of David. 4 Here's what I want you to do. A third of you priests and Levites who are going on duty on the Sabbath day must guard the doors 5 A third of you must guard the royal palace. And a third of you must guard the Foundation Gate. All of the other men must guard the courtyards of the LORD's temple. 6 "Don't let anyone enter the temple except the priests and Levites who are on duty. They can enter because they are set apart to the Lord. But all of the other men must guard the places where the LORD has sent them. 7 "The Levites must station themselves around the new king. Each man must have his weapons in his hand. Anyone else who enters the temple must be put to death. Stay close to the king no matter where he goes." 8 The Levites did just as the priest Jehoiada ordered. So did all of the men of Judah. Each commander got his men. Some of the men were going on duty on the Sabbath day. Others were going off duty. Jehoiada didn't let any of the groups go. 9 Then he gave weapons to the commanders of the companies. He gave them spears, large shields and small shields. The weapons had belonged to King David. They had been in God's temple. 10 Jehoiada stationed all of the men around the new king. Each man had his weapon in his hand. They were standing near the altar and the temple. They stood from the south side of the temple to its north side. Their line formed half of a circle. 11 Jehoiada and his sons brought Ahaziah's son out. They put the crown on him. They gave him a copy of the covenant. And they announced that he was king. They anointed him. Then they shouted, "May the king live a long time!" 12 Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the new king. So she went to them at the LORD's temple. 13 She looked. And there was the king! He was standing next to his pillar at the entrance. The officers and trumpet players were standing beside the king. All of the people of the land were filled with joy. They were blowing trumpets. Singers with their musical instruments were leading the songs of praise. Then Athaliah tore her royal robes. She shouted, "Treason! It's treason!" 14 The priest Jehoiada sent out the commanders of the companies of 100 men. They were in charge of the troops. He said to them, "Bring her away from the temple between the line of guards. Use your swords to kill anyone who follows her." The priest had said, "Don't put her to death at the LORD's temple. 15 So they grabbed hold of her as she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds. There they put her to death. 16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant. He promised that he, the people and the king would be the LORD's people. 17 All of the people went to Baal's temple. They tore it down. They smashed the altars and the statues of gods. They killed Mattan in front of the altars. He was the priest of Baal. 18 Then Jehoiada put the priests, who were Levites, in charge of the LORD's temple. David had given them their duties in the temple. He had appointed them to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord. He wanted them to do it in keeping with what was written in the Law of Moses. David wanted them to sing and be full of joy. 19 Jehoiada stationed guards at the gates of the LORD's temple. No one who was "unclean" in any way could enter 20 Jehoiada took with him the commanders of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all of the people of the land. He brought the new king down from the LORD's temple. They went into the palace through the Upper Gate. Then they seated the king on the royal throne. 21 All of the people of the land were filled with joy. And the city was quiet. That's because Athaliah had been killed with a sword
1 Joash was seven years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 40 years. His mother's name was Zibiah. She was from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He lived that way as long as the priest Jehoiada was alive. 3 Jehoiada chose two wives for Joash. They had sons and daughters by Joash. 4 Some time later Joash decided to make the LORD's temple look like new again. 5 He called together the priests and Levites. He said to them, "Go to the towns of Judah. Collect the money that the nation of Israel owes every year. Use it to repair the temple of your God. Do it now." But the Levites didn't do it right away. 6 So the king sent for the chief priest Jehoiada. He said to him, "Why haven't you required the Levites to bring in the tax from Judah and Jerusalem? It was set up by the LORD's servant Moses and the whole community of Israel. It was used for the tent where the tablets of the covenant were kept." 7 The children of that evil woman Athaliah had broken into God's temple. They had used even its sacred objects for the gods that were named after Baal. 8 King Joash commanded that a wooden chest be made. It was placed outside near the gate of the LORD's temple. 9 Then a message went out in Judah and Jerusalem. It said that the people should bring the tax to the Lord. God's servant Moses had required Israel to pay that tax when they were in the desert. 10 All of the officials and people gladly brought their money. They dropped it into the chest until it was full. 11 The chest was brought in by the Levites to the king's officials. Every time the officials saw there was a large amount of money in the chest, it was emptied out. The royal secretary and the officer of the chief priest came and emptied it. Then they carried it back to its place. They did it regularly. They collected a great amount of money. 12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to the men who were doing the work on the LORD's temple. They hired people who could lay the stones and people who could work with wood. They also hired people who could work with iron and bronze. They hired all of them to repair the temple. 13 The men who were in charge of the work did their best. The repairs went very well under them. They rebuilt God's temple. They did it in keeping with its original plans. They made it stronger. 14 So they finished the work. Then they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada. It was used to pay for the articles that were made for the LORD's temple. The articles were used for serving at the temple. They were also used for the burnt offerings. The articles included dishes and other objects that were made out of gold and silver. As long as Jehoiada lived, burnt offerings were sacrificed continually at the LORD's temple. 15 Jehoiada had become very old. He died at the age of 130. 16 His body was buried with the kings in the City of David. That's because he had done so many good things in Israel for God and his temple. 17 After Jehoiada died, the officials of Judah came to King Joash. They bowed down to him. He listened to them. 18 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. 19 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. 20 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.' " 21 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. 22 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." 23 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. 24 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. 25 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. 26 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. 27 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.
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