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23

But in the seventh year Jehoiada took courage, and entered into a compact with the commanders of the hundreds, Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zichri. 2They went around through Judah and gathered the Levites from all the towns of Judah, and the heads of families of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3Then the whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. Jehoiada said to them, “Here is the king’s son! Let him reign, as the Lord promised concerning the sons of David. 4This is what you are to do: one-third of you, priests and Levites, who come on duty on the sabbath, shall be gatekeepers, 5one-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. 6Do not let anyone enter the house of the Lord except the priests and ministering Levites; they may enter, for they are holy, but all the other people shall observe the instructions of the Lord. 7The Levites shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand; and whoever enters the house shall be killed. Stay with the king in his comings and goings.”

Joash Crowned King

8 The Levites and all Judah did according to all that the priest Jehoiada commanded; each brought his men, who were to come on duty on the sabbath, with those who were to go off duty on the sabbath; for the priest Jehoiada did not dismiss the divisions. 9The priest Jehoiada delivered to the captains the spears and the large and small shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of God; 10and he set all the people as a guard for the king, everyone with weapon in hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house. 11Then he brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, and gave him the covenant; they proclaimed him king, and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him; and they shouted, “Long live the king!”

Athaliah Murdered

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; 13and 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. Athaliah tore her clothes, and cried, “Treason! Treason!” 14Then the priest Jehoiada brought out the captains who were set over the army, saying to them, “Bring her out between the ranks; anyone who follows her is to be put to the sword.” For the priest said, “Do not put her to death in the house of the Lord.” 15So they laid hands on her; she went into the entrance of the Horse Gate of the king’s house, and there they put her to death.

16 Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king that they should be the Lord’s people. 17Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars. 18Jehoiada assigned the care of the house of the Lord to the levitical priests whom David had organized to be in charge of the house of the Lord, to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, according to the order of David. 19He stationed the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord so that no one should enter who was in any way unclean. 20And 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 through the upper gate to the king’s house. They set the king on the royal throne. 21So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been killed with the sword.


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2Ch 23:1-11. Jehoiada Makes Joash King.

1. in the seventh year Jehoiada … took the captains of hundreds, &c.—(See on 2Ki 11:4; 2Ki 11:17). The five officers mentioned here had been probably of the royal guard, and were known to be strongly disaffected to the government of Athaliah.

2. chief of all the fathers of Israel—This name is frequently used in Chronicles for Judah and Benjamin, now all that remained of Israel. Having cautiously entrusted the secret of the young prince's preservation to all the leading men in the kingdom, he enlisted their interest in the royal cause and got their pledge to support it by a secret oath of fidelity.

they came to Jerusalem—The time chosen for the grand discovery was, probably, one of the annual festivals, when there was a general concourse of the nation at the capital.

4-9. This is the thing that ye shall do—The arrangements made for defense are here described. The people were divided into three bodies; one attended as guards to the king, while the other two were posted at all the doors and gates, and the captains and military officers who entered the temple unarmed to lull suspicion, were furnished with weapons out of the sacred armory, where David had deposited his trophies of victory and which was reopened on this occasion.

8. Jehoiada … dismissed not the courses—As it was necessary to have as large a disposable force as he could command on such a crisis, the high priest detained those who, in other circumstances, would have returned home on the expiry of their week of service.

11. Then they brought out the king's son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony—Some think that the original word rendered "testimony," as its derivation warrants, may signify here the regalia, especially the bracelet (2Sa 1:10); and this view they support on the ground that "gave him" being supplemented, the text properly runs thus, "put upon him the crown and testimony." At the same time, it seems equally pertinent to take "the testimony" in the usual acceptation of that term; and, accordingly, many are of opinion that a roll containing a copy of the law (De 17:18) was placed in the king's hands, which he held as a scepter or truncheon. Others, referring to a custom of Oriental people, who when receiving a letter or document from a highly respected quarter, lift it up to their heads before opening it, consider that Joash, besides the crown, had the book of the law laid upon his head (see Job 31:35, 36).

God save the king—literally, "Long live the king."

2Ch 23:12-15. Athaliah Slain.

12. Athaliah heard the noise of the people—The unusual commotion, indicated by the blast of the trumpets and the vehement acclamations of the people, drew her attention, or excited her fears. She might have flattered herself that, having slain all the royal family, she was in perfect security; but it is just as likely that, finding on reflection, one had escaped her murderous hands, she might not deem it expedient to institute any enquiries; but the very idea would keep her constantly in a state of jealous suspicion and irritation. In that state of mind, the wicked usurper, hearing across the Tyropœon the outburst of popular joy, rushed across the bridge to the temple grounds, and, penetrating from a single glance the meaning of the whole scene, raised a shriek of "Treason!"

13. behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in—The king's pillar was in the people's court, opposite that of the priests'. The young king, arrayed in the royal insignia, had been brought out of the inner, to stand forth in the outer court, to the public view. Some think that he stood on the brazen scaffold of Solomon, erected beside the pillar [see on 2Ch 6:13].

14, 15. Slay her not in the house of the Lord … and when she was come to the entering of the horse gate by the king's house, they slew her there—The high priest ordered her immediately to be taken out of the temple grounds and put to death. "And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which horses came into the king's house: and there was she slain" (2Ki 11:16). "Now, we are not to suppose that horses came into [the king's house] of residence, but into the king's (horses') house or hippodrome (the gate of the king's mules) [Josephus], he had built for them on the southeast of the temple, in the immediate vicinity of the horse gate in the valley of Kedron—a valley which was at that time a kind of desecrated place by the destruction of idols and their appurtenances" (2Ki 23:2, 6, 12) [Barclay, City of the Great King].

2Ch 23:16. Jehoiada Restores the Worship of God, and Settles the King.

16. Jehoiada made a covenant—(See on 2Ki 11:17).




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