2 Chronicles 22–24; Psalm 142

Ahaziah Reigns in Judah

22 bAnd the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, for the band of men that came with cthe Arabians to the camp had killed all the older sons. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned. Ahaziah was twenty-two1 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, dthe granddaughter of Omri. He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done. For after the death of his father they were his counselors, to his undoing. He even followed their counsel and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to make war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead. And the Syrians wounded Joram, and he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that he had received at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was wounded.

But it was ordained by2 God that the downfall of Ahaziah should come about through his going to visit Joram. For when he came there, ehe went out with Jehoram to meet Jehu the son of Nimshi, fwhom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab. gAnd when Jehu was hexecuting judgment on the house of Ahab, he met the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers, who attended Ahaziah, and he killed them. iHe searched for Ahaziah, and he was captured while hiding in Samaria, and he was brought to Jehu and put to death. jThey buried him, for they said, He is the grandson of Jehoshaphat, kwho sought the Lord with all his heart. And the house of Ahaziah had no one able to rule the kingdom.

Athaliah Reigns in Judah

10 lNow when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshabeath,3 the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were about to be put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest, because she was a sister of Ahaziah, hid him4 from Athaliah, so that she did not put him to death. 12 And he remained with them six years, hidden in the house of God, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

Joash Made King

23 mBut in the seventh year Jehoiada took courage and entered into a covenant with the commanders of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri. And they went about through nJudah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the heads of fathers’ houses of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. And all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And Jehoiada5 said to them, Behold, the king’s son! Let him reign, oas the Lord spoke concerning the sons of David. This is the thing that you shall do: pof you priests and Levites who come off duty on the Sabbath, one third shall be gatekeepers, and one third shall be at the king’s house and one third at the Gate of the Foundation. And all the people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord. Let no one enter the house of the Lord except the priests qand ministering Levites. They may enter, for they are holy, but all the people shall keep the charge of the Lord. The Levites shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand. And whoever enters the house shall be put to death. Be with the king when he comes in and when he goes out.

The Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and they each brought his men, who were to go off duty on the Sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the Sabbath, for Jehoiada the priest did not dismiss rthe divisions. And Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains the spears and the large and small shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of God. 10 And he set all the people as a guard for the king, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house. 11 Then they brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him sthe testimony. And they proclaimed him king, and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and they said, tLong live the king.

Athaliah Executed

12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she went into the house of the Lord to the people. 13 And when she looked, there was the king standing by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and the singers with their musical instruments leading in the celebration. And Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, Treason! Treason! 14 Then Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains who were set over the army, saying to them, Bring her out between the ranks, and anyone who follows her is to be put to death with the sword. For the priest said, Do not put her to death in the house of the Lord. 15 So they laid hands on her,6 and she went into the entrance of uthe horse gate of the king’s house, and they put her to death there.

Jehoiada’s Reforms

16 And Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king that they should be the Lord’s people. 17 Then all the people went to the house of Baal and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, vand they killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. 18 And Jehoiada posted watchmen for the house of the Lord under the direction of wthe Levitical priests and the Levites xwhom David had organized to be in charge of the house of the Lord, to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, yas it is written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, zaccording to the order of David. 19 He stationed athe gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord so that no one should enter who was in any way unclean. 20 And he took the captains, the nobles, the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, marching bthrough the upper gate to the king’s house. And they set the king on the royal throne. 21 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been put to death with the sword.

Joash Repairs the Temple

24 cJoash7 was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. dAnd Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters.

After this Joash edecided to frestore the house of the Lord. And he gathered the priests and the Levites and said to them, Go out to the cities of gJudah and gather from all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that you act quickly. But the Levites did not act quickly. So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief and said to him, Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem hthe tax levied by Moses, the servant of the Lord, and the congregation of Israel for ithe tent of testimony? For jthe sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had also used all kthe dedicated things of the house of the Lord for the Baals.

So the king commanded, and they made a chest and set it outside the gate of the house of the Lord. And lproclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in for the Lord hthe tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness. 10 And all the princes and all the people rejoiced and brought their tax and dropped it into the chest until they had finished.8 11 And whenever the chest was brought to the king’s officers by the Levites, when they saw that there was much money in it, the king’s secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest and take it and return it to its place. Thus they did day after day, and collected money in abundance. 12 And the king and Jehoiada gave it to those who had charge of the work of the house of the Lord, and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the Lord, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord. 13 So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it. 14 And when they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, and with it mwere made utensils for the house of the Lord, both for the service and for the burnt offerings, and dishes for incense and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord regularly all the days of Jehoiada.

15 But Jehoiada grew old and full of days, and died. He was 130 years old at his death. 16 And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house.

17 Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. 18 And they abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served othe Asherim and the idols. And pwrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. 19 qYet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the Lord. rThese testified against them, but they would not pay attention.

Joash’s Treachery

20 sThen the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah tthe son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, Thus says God, uWhy do you break the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? vBecause you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you. 21 But wthey conspired against him, xand by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, May the Lord see yand avenge!9

Joash Assassinated

23 At the end of the year zthe army of the Syrians came up against Joash. They came to Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24 Though the army of the Syrians had come with few men, athe Lord delivered into their hand a very great army, vbecause Judah10 had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. Thus they bexecuted judgment on Joash.

25 When they had departed from him, leaving him cseverely wounded, dhis servants conspired against him because of the blood of ethe son11 of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed. So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, fbut they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings. 26 Those who conspired against him were Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonite, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabite. 27 Accounts of his sons and of the many oracles against him and of gthe rebuilding12 of the house of God are written in the hStory13 of the Book of the Kings. And Amaziah his son reigned in his place.


You Are My Refuge

A Maskil1 of David, when he was in kthe cave. A Prayer.

142  With my voice I lcry out to the Lord;

with my voice I mplead for mercy to the Lord.

I npour out my complaint before him;

I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit ofaints within me,

you know my way!

In the path where I walk

they have phidden a trap for me.

qLook to the rright and see:

sthere is none who takes notice of me;

tno refuge remains to me;

no one cares for my soul.

I cry to you, O Lord;

I say, You are my urefuge,

my vportion in wthe land of the living.

xAttend to my cry,

for yI am brought very low!

Deliver me from my persecutors,

zfor they are too strong for me!

aBring me out of prison,

that I may give thanks to your name!

The righteous will surround me,

for you will bdeal bountifully with me.