Joash Repairs the Temple 24 1Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he ruled forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah, and she was from Beersheba. 2Joash did what the Lord said was right as long as Jehoiada the priest was alive. 3Jehoiada chose two wives for Joash, and Joash had sons and daughters. 4Later, Joash decided to repair the Temple of the Lord. 5He called the priests and the Levites together and said to them, “Go to the towns of Judah and gather the money all the Israelites have to pay every year. Use it to repair the Temple of your God. Do this now.” But the Levites did not hurry. 6So King Joash called for Jehoiada the leading priest and said to him, “Why haven’t you made the Levites bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax money that Moses, the Lord’s servant, and the people of Israel used for the Holy Tent?” 7In the past the sons of wicked Athaliah had broken into the Temple of God and used its holy things for worshiping the Baal idols. 8King Joash commanded that a box for contributions be made. They put it outside, at the gate of the Temple of the Lord. 9Then the Levites made an announcement in Judah and Jerusalem, telling people to bring to the Lord the tax money Moses, the servant of God, had made the Israelites give while they were in the desert. 10All the officers and people were happy to bring their money, and they put it in the box until the box was full. 11When the Levites would take the box to the king’s officers, they would see that it was full of money. Then the king’s royal secretary and the leading priest’s officer would come and take out the money and return the box to its place. They did this often and gathered much money. 12King Joash and Jehoiada gave the money to the people who worked on the Temple of the Lord. And they hired stoneworkers and carpenters to repair the Temple of the Lord. They also hired people to work with iron and bronze to repair the Temple. 13The people worked hard, and the work to repair the Temple went well. They rebuilt the Temple of God to be as it was before, but even stronger. 14When the workers finished, they brought the money that was left to King Joash and Jehoiada. They used that money to make utensils for the Temple of the Lord, utensils for the service in the Temple and for the burnt offerings, and bowls and other utensils from gold and silver. Burnt offerings were given every day in the Temple of the Lord while Jehoiada was alive. 15Jehoiada grew old and lived many years. Then he died when he was one hundred thirty years old. 16Jehoiada was buried in Jerusalem with the kings, because he had done much good in Judah for God and his Temple.   Joash Does Evil   17After Jehoiada died, the officers of Judah came and bowed down to King Joash, and he listened to them. 18The king and these leaders stopped worshiping in the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors. Instead, they began to worship the Asherah idols and other idols. Because they did wrong, God was angry with the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 19Even though the Lord sent prophets to the people to turn them back to him and even though the prophets warned them, they refused to listen. 20Then the Spirit of God entered Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. Zechariah stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not be successful. Because you have left the Lord, he has also left you.’ ” 21But the king and his officers made plans against Zechariah. At the king’s command they threw stones at him in the courtyard of the Temple of the Lord until he died. 22King Joash did not remember Jehoiada’s kindness to him, so Joash killed Zechariah, Jehoiada’s son. Before Zechariah died, he said, “May the Lord see what you are doing and punish you.” 23At the end of the year, the Aramean army came against Joash. They attacked Judah and Jerusalem, killed all the leaders of the people, and sent all the valuable things to their king in Damascus. 24The Aramean army came with only a small group of men, but the Lord handed over to them a very large army from Judah, because the people of Judah had left the Lord, the God of their ancestors. So Joash was punished. 25When the Arameans left, Joash was badly wounded. His own officers made plans against him because he had killed Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. So they killed Joash in his own bed. He died and was buried in Jerusalem but not in the graves of the kings. 26The officers who made plans against Joash were Jozabad and Jehozabad. Jozabad was the son of Shimeath, a woman from Ammon. And Jehozabad was the son of Shimrith, a woman from Moab. 27The story of Joash’s sons, the great prophecies against him, and how he repaired the Temple of God are written in the book of the kings. Joash’s son Amaziah became king in his place.
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