23 1When Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada showed how strong he was. He made a covenant with the commanders of companies of 100 men. The commanders were Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri. 2They went all through Judah. They gathered together the Levites and the leaders of Israelite families from all of the towns. They came to Jerusalem. 3The whole community made a covenant with the new king at God’s temple. Jehoiada said to them, “Ahaziah’s son will rule over Judah. That’s what the Lord promised concerning the family line of David. 4Here’s what I want you to do. A third of you priests and Levites who are going on duty on the Sabbath day must guard the doors. 5A third of you must guard the royal palace. And a third of you must guard the Foundation Gate. All of the other men must guard the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. 6“Don’t let anyone enter the temple except the priests and Levites who are on duty. They can enter because they are set apart to the Lord. But all of the other men must guard the places where the Lord has sent them. 7“The Levites must station themselves around the new king. Each man must have his weapons in his hand. Anyone else who enters the temple must be put to death. Stay close to the king no matter where he goes.” 8The Levites did just as the priest Jehoiada ordered. So did all of the men of Judah. Each commander got his men. Some of the men were going on duty on the Sabbath day. Others were going off duty. Jehoiada didn’t let any of the groups go. 9Then he gave weapons to the commanders of the companies. He gave them spears, large shields and small shields. The weapons had belonged to King David. They had been in God’s temple. 10Jehoiada stationed all of the men around the new king. Each man had his weapon in his hand. They were standing near the altar and the temple. They stood from the south side of the temple to its north side. Their line formed half of a circle. 11Jehoiada and his sons brought Ahaziah’s son out. They put the crown on him. They gave him a copy of the covenant. And they announced that he was king. They anointed him. Then they shouted, “May the king live a long time!” 12Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the new king. So she went to them at the Lord’s temple. 13She looked. And there was the king! He was standing next to his pillar at the entrance. The officers and trumpet players were standing beside the king. All of the people of the land were filled with joy. They were blowing trumpets. Singers with their musical instruments were leading the songs of praise. Then Athaliah tore her royal robes. She shouted, “Treason! It’s treason!” 14The priest Jehoiada sent out the commanders of the companies of 100 men. They were in charge of the troops. He said to them, “Bring her away from the temple between the line of guards. Use your swords to kill anyone who follows her.” The priest had said, “Don’t put her to death at the Lord’s temple.” 15So they grabbed hold of her as she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds. There they put her to death. 16Then Jehoiada made a covenant. He promised that he, the people and the king would be the Lord’s people. 17All of the people went to Baal’s temple. They tore it down. They smashed the altars and the statues of gods. They killed Mattan in front of the altars. He was the priest of Baal. 18Then Jehoiada put the priests, who were Levites, in charge of the Lord’s temple. David had given them their duties in the temple. He had appointed them to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord. He wanted them to do it in keeping with what was written in the Law of Moses. David wanted them to sing and be full of joy. 19Jehoiada stationed guards at the gates of the Lord’s temple. No one who was “unclean” in any way could enter. 20Jehoiada took with him the commanders of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all of the people of the land. He brought the new king down from the Lord’s temple. They went into the palace through the Upper Gate. Then they seated the king on the royal throne. 21All of the people of the land were filled with joy. And the city was quiet. That’s because Athaliah had been killed with a sword.
New International Readers Version® / © 1984 Biblica, Inc. About