23 1IN THE seventh year Jehoiada [the priest] took strength and courage and made a covenant with the captains of hundreds: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zichri. 2And they went about in Judah and gathered the Levites out of all the cities, and the chiefs of the fathers’ houses of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3And all the assembly made a covenant in the house of God with the king [little Joash, to suddenly proclaim his sovereignty and overthrow Athaliah’s tyranny]. And Jehoiada the priest said to them, Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has said of the offspring of David. 4This is what you shall do: a third of you priests and Levites who are resuming service on the Sabbath shall be doorkeepers, 5A [second] third shall be at the king’s house, and [the final] third at the Foundation Gate; and all the people shall be in the courts [only] of the house of the Lord. 6But let none come into the [main] house of the Lord except the priests and those of the Levites who minister; they may go in, for they are holy, but let all the rest of the people carefully observe the law against entering the holy place of the Lord. 7And the Levites shall surround the young king, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever comes into the house [breaking through the ranks of the guard to get near Joash] shall be put to death. But you be with the king when he comes in [from the temple chamber where he is hiding] and when he goes out. 8So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest had commanded; and took every man his men who were to resume duty on the Sabbath, with those who were to go out on the Sabbath, for Jehoiada the priest did not dismiss the divisions [of priests and Levites]. 9Also Jehoiada the priest gave the captains of hundreds spears, bucklers, and 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, every man having his weapon (missile) in his hand, from the right side to the left side of the temple, around the altar and the temple. 11Then they brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony or law and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and said, Long live the king! 12When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she went into the Lord’s house to the people. 13And behold, there the king stood by his pillar at the entrance, the captains and the trumpeters beside him; and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and the singers with musical instruments led in singing of praise. Athaliah rent her clothes and cried, Treason! Treason! 14Then Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of hundreds who were over the army, Bring her out between the ranks, and whoever follows her, let him be slain with the sword. For the priest said, Do not slay her in the Lord’s house. 15So they made way for Athaliah, and she went into the entrance of the Horse Gate of the king’s house; there they slew her. 16Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, all the people, and the king, that they should be the Lord’s people. 17Then all the people went to the house of Baal, tore it down, and broke its altars and its images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. 18Also Jehoiada appointed the offices and officers [for the care] of the house of the Lord under the direction of the Levitical priests, whom David had distributed [in his day] in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as ordered by David. 19Jehoiada set 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 of hundreds and the nobles and governors of the people and all the people of the land and brought down the king from the house of the Lord; and they came through the Upper Gate to the king’s house and set the king upon the throne of the kingdom. 21So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been slain with the sword.
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