December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother, named Zibiah, was from Beer-sheba.
- Joash did what was pleasing to the LORD as long as Jehoiada the priest lived.
- Jehoiada provided him with two wives, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
- After some time, Joash decided to restore the LORD'S temple.
- 1 He called together the priests and Levites and said to them: "Go out to all the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel that you may repair the house of your God over the years. You must hasten this affair." But the Levites did not hasten.
- Then the king summoned Jehoiada, who was in charge, and said to him: "Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax levied by Moses, the servant of the LORD, and by the assembly of Israel, for the tent of the testimony?"
- For the wicked Athaliah and her sons had damaged the house of God and had even turned over to the Baals the dedicated resources of the LORD'S temple.
- At the king's command, therefore, they made a chest, which they put outside the gate of the LORD'S temple.
- They had it proclaimed throughout Judah and Jerusalem that the tax which Moses, the servant of God, had imposed on Israel in the desert should be brought to the LORD.
- All the princes and the people rejoiced; they brought what was asked and cast it into the chest until it was filled.
- Whenever the chest was brought to the royal officials by the Levites and they saw that it contained much money, the royal scribe and an overseer for the high priest came, emptied the chest, then took it back and returned it to its place. This they did day after day until they had collected a large sum of money.
- Then the king and Jehoiada gave it to the workmen in charge of the labor on the LORD'S temple, who hired masons and carpenters to restore the temple, and also iron-and bronze-smiths to repair it.
- The workmen labored, and the task of restoration progressed under their hands. They restored the house of God according to its original form, and reinforced it.
- After they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and to Jehoiada, who had it made into utensils for the LORD'S temple, utensils for the service and the holocausts, and basins and other gold and silver utensils. They offered holocausts in the LORD'S temple continually throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada.
- Jehoiada lived to a ripe old age; he was a hundred and thirty years old when he died.
- He was buried in the City of David with the kings, because he had done good in Israel, in particular with respect to God and his temple.
- After the death of Jehoiada, the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and the king then listened to them.
- They forsook the temple of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and began to serve the sacred poles and the idols; and because of this crime of theirs, wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem.
- Although prophets were sent to them to convert them to the LORD, the people would not listen to their warnings.
- Then the spirit of God possessed Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest. He took his stand above the people and said to them: "God says, 'Why are you transgressing the LORD'S commands, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have abandoned the LORD, he has abandoned you.'"
- But they conspired against him, and at the king's order they stoned him to death in the court of the LORD'S temple.
- Thus King Joash was unmindful of the devotion shown him by Jehoiada, Zechariah's father, and slew his son. And as he was dying, he said, "May the LORD see and avenge."
- At the turn of the year a force of Arameans came up against Joash. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem, did away with all the princes of the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.
- Though the Aramean force came with few men, the LORD surrendered a very large force into their power, because Judah had abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers. So punishment was meted out to Joash.
- After the Arameans had departed from him, leaving him in grievous suffering, his servants conspired against him because of the murder of the son of Jehoiada the priest. They killed him on his sickbed. He was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
- These conspired against him: Zabad, son of Shimeath from Ammon, and Jehozabad, son of Shimrith from Moab.
- Of his sons, and the great tribute imposed on him, and of his rebuilding of the house of God, there is a written account in the midrash of the book of the kings. His son Amaziah succeeded him as king.
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1  Collect money: according to 2 Kings 12:5 the people themselves brought the money to the temple; it consisted, at least in part, of voluntary contributions. At the time of the Chronicler (see Nehemiah 10:32) there was a fixed head tax for the upkeep of the temple (2 Chron 34:9), based on Exodus 30:12-16. This was still in force in New Testament times (Matthew 17:24-25).
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