24 1JOASH WAS seven years old when he began his forty-year reign in Jerusalem. His mother was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2And Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest [his uncle]. 3And Jehoiada took for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters. 4After this, Joash decided to repair the Lord’s house. 5He gathered the priests and the Levites and said to them, Go out to the cities of Judah, and gather from all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year; and see that you hasten the matter. But the Levites did not hasten it. 6So the king called for Jehoiada the high priest and said to him, Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax authorized by Moses the servant of the Lord and of the assembly of Israel for the Tent of the Testimony? 7For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God and also had used for the Baals all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord. 8And at the king’s command they made a chest and set it outside the gate of the house of the Lord. 9And they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem to bring in for the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness. 10And all the princes and people rejoiced and brought their tax and dropped it into the chest until they had finished. 11When the Levites brought the chest to the king’s office, and whenever they saw that there was much money, the king’s secretary and the high priest’s officer came and emptied the chest and carried it to its place again. Thus they did day by day and collected money in abundance. 12And the king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the temple service; and they hired masons and carpenters and also those who worked in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord. 13So the workmen labored, and the work of repairing went forward in their hands; and they set up the house of God according to its design and strengthened it. 14When they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; from it were made utensils for the Lord’s house, vessels for ministering and for offerings, and cups and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada. 15But Jehoiada became old and full of [the handicaps of great] age, and he died. He was 130 years old at his death. 16They buried him in the City of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel and toward God and His house. 17Now after the death of Jehoiada [the priest, who had hidden Joash], the princes of Judah came and made obeisance to King Joash; then the king hearkened to them. 18They forsook the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for their sin (guilt). 19Yet [God] sent prophets to them to bring them again to the Lord; these testified against them, but they would not listen. 20Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood over the people, and he said to them, 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. 21They conspired against Zechariah the priest and stoned him at the command of the king in the court of the Lord’s house! 22Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had done him, but slew his son. And when [Zechariah the priest] was dying, he said, May the Lord see and avenge! 23At the end of the year, the army of Syria came up against Joash. They came to Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the princes from among the people and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24Though the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, the Lord delivered a very great host into their hands, because Joash and Judah had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. So the Syrians executed judgment against Joash. 25And when they had departed from Joash, leaving him very ill, his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and they slew him on his bed. So he died and they buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. 26The conspirators against Joash were Zabad son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 27Now concerning his sons and the greatness of the prophecies uttered against him and the rebuilding of the house of God, they are written in the commentary on the Book of Kings. And Amaziah his [Joash’s] son reigned in his stead.
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