Priest Jehoiada and King Joash
After six years, Jehoiada showed his strength and made an agreement with the captains. These captains were Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri. They went around in Judah and gathered the Levites from all the towns of Judah. They also gathered the leaders of the families of Israel. Then they went to Jerusalem. All the people meeting together made an agreement with the king in God’s Temple.
Jehoiada said to the people, “The king’s son will rule. That is what the LORD promised about David’s descendants. Now, this is what you must do: One-third of you priests and Levites who go on duty on the Sabbath will guard the doors. And one-third of you will be at the king’s palace, and one-third of you will be at the Foundation Gate. But all the other people will stay in the yards of the LORD’S Temple. Only the priests and Levites who serve in the LORD’S Temple are permitted to enter it. They are the only ones who have been made holy. Don’t let anyone else enter. All the others must do only the work the LORD has given them. The Levites must stay near the king. Every man must have his sword with him. If anyone tries to enter the Temple, kill that person. You must stay with the king everywhere he goes.”
The Levites and all the people of Judah obeyed all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. Jehoiada the priest did not excuse anyone from the groups of the priests. So each captain and all his men came in on the Sabbath with those who went out on the Sabbath. Jehoiada the priest gave the spears and the large and small shields that belonged to King David to the officers. The weapons were kept in God’s Temple. 10 Then Jehoiada told the men where to stand. Every man had his weapon in his hand. The men stood all the way from the right side of the Temple to the left side of the Temple. They stood near the altar and the Temple, and near the king. 11 They brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him. They gave him a copy of the agreement.* Then they made Joash king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed Joash and said, “Long live the king!”
12 Athaliah heard the noise of the people running to the Temple and praising the king. She came into the LORD’S Temple to the people. 13 She looked and saw the king standing by his column at the front entrance. The officers and the men who blew trumpets were near the king. The people of the land were happy and blowing trumpets. The singers were playing on instruments of music. They led the people in singing praises. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and said, “Treason! Treason!”
14 Jehoiada the priest brought out the army captains. He said to them, “Take Athaliah outside among the army. Use your swords to kill anyone who follows her.” Then the priest warned the soldiers, “Don’t kill Athaliah in the LORD’S Temple.” 15 Then those men grabbed Athaliah when she came to the entrance of the Horse Gate at the king’s palace. Then they killed her there.
16 Then Jehoiada made an agreement with all the people and the king. They all agreed that they all would be the LORD’S people. 17 All the people went into the temple of the idol Baal and tore it down. They also broke the altars and idols that were in Baal’s temple. They killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars of Baal.
18 Then Jehoiada chose the priests to be responsible for the LORD’S Temple. The priests were Levites, and David had given them the job of being responsible for the LORD’S Temple. They were to offer the burnt offerings to the LORD the way the Law of Moses commanded. They offered the sacrifices with much joy and singing the way David commanded. 19 Jehoiada put guards at the gates of the LORD’S Temple to prevent any unclean person from entering the Temple.
20 Jehoiada took the army captains, the leaders, the rulers of the people, and all the people of the land with him. Then Jehoiada took the king out of the LORD’S Temple. They went through the Upper Gate to the king’s palace and put the king on the throne. 21 All the people of Judah were very happy, and the city of Jerusalem had peace because Athaliah was killed with a sword.
* 23:11 a copy of the agreement Literally, “testimony.” This could be a copy of the Law of Moses (see Deuteronomy 17:18) or a special agreement between God and the king (see 1 Sam. 10:25; 2 Kings 11:17). 23:13 tore her clothes A way to show that she was very upset. 23:13 Treason Turning against the government. Here, Athaliah was blaming the people for turning against her government.