Bible Old Testament Kings - Joash of Judah

At Seven Years Old, Joash Became King of Judah and Reigned for 40 Years

Glowing Gold Crown
After Jehu killed Ahaziah, Ahaziah's mother, the despicable Athaliah, went on a murdering rampage, much like her mother (Jezebel) when she had the prophets of the Lord slaughtered. Athaliah began to exterminate all her own male descendents which she perceived as potential threats to the throne, and seized the position herself. “But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king's sons who were being murdered, and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that she did not kill him.” (2 Chronicles 22:11).

In Athaliah's seventh year as Queen, Jehoida arranged with the army to protect young Joash in the temple at Jerusalem, and presented him as rightful king of Judah. When Athaliah heard, she came screaming, “Treason!” But she walked right into her own execution.

Joash was seven years old when his reign began, and he was king over Judah for 40 years. Under Jehoiad's guidance, Joash did what was right. As he grew, Jehoiada selected good wives for him, and he had sons and daughters. He set his heart to repair the temple, so he assigned the priests and Levites to take up financial contributions allocated for the repairs. He asked that they act quickly, but they did not.

Joash called Jehoiada and demanded an explanation. “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the collection?” So Joash had a chest made and placed it outside the Lord's temple for a collection. This was announced throughout Judah and Jerusalem, and it was well received. The leaders and the people rejoiced, brought their contributions, and put them into the chest. The Levites brought the chest to the king's official treasurer each day, and day after day it was filled again and again, until there was an abundance of money. Joash and Jehoiada then hired masons and carpenters, and also those who worked in iron and bronze to restore the house of the Lord.

The work was soon completed and the temple of God was restored to its original condition. The remainder of the money was brought to King Joash and Jehoiada, and with it there were made items for the temple, such as articles for serving and offering, spoons and vessels of gold and silver. The priests offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada.

Jehoiada the priest was 130 years old when he died. Because of his long and exceptional service, not only in guiding Joash but watching over the restoration of the temple and the entire nation, he was buried in Jerusalem among the kings. But now, with Jehoiada gone, at a vulnerable point in the life of Joash, he listened to and followed the wrong crowd. Certain influential leaders in Judah convinced Joash that it was alright to allow other religions. They abandoned the temple and served wooden images and idols. God was displeased, and His wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their idolatry. God sent prophets, confronting Joash and the people, to bring them back to the Lord, and although the prophets warned them, Joash would not listen.

The Spirit of God came upon Zechariah, Jehoiada's son, who stood on a platform above the people in the court of the temple. “Thus says God: Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you.” But Joash was infuriated and commanded the people to stone Zechariah. So they stoned him right there in the court of the temple. Zechariah's last words were, “The Lord look on it, and repay!”

The army of Syria came up against Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the leaders of the people, and sent everything that they had looted to the king of Damascus. Even though the army of the Syrians came with only a small army, the Lord delivered Judah's army into their hands because they had forsaken the Lord. Joash was seriously injured in battle, and as he lay on his bed recovering, his own servants conspired against him because of Zechariah, and they killed him on his bed. Joash was buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. Amaziah, the son of Joash, was next in line to reign in Judah. (2 Kings 11:4-21; 12:1-21; 2 Chronicles 22:11, 12; 23:1-21; 24:1-27)

Written by: Pete Miller