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2 Chronicles 23

Jehoiada causes Joash to become king

1 After nearly 7 years, Jehoiada decided that he must be brave. He told some officers in the army what he wanted to do. And they agreed with him. They were each over 100 soldiers. These men were Jeroham's son Azariah, Jehohanan's son Ishmael, Obed's son Azariah, Adaiah's son Maaseiah and Zichri's son Elishaphat. 2 They went to all the towns in Judah. They brought the Levites from those towns and all the leaders of Israel's clans to Jerusalem. 3 There in God's house all those people promised the king that they would help him.

23:3Joash was now 7 years old.

Jehoiada said to them, ‘Here is the king's son. He must rule as the LORD promised about David's descendants. 4 You must do this: You priests and Levites will go in to work in the temple on the Sabbath. There will be three separate groups of you. One group must watch at the doors of the temple. 5 Another group will watch at the king's house. And the last group will be at the gate called Foundation Gate. All the other people will be in the yards round the house of the LORD. 6 Only the priests and the Levites who have to work there can go in to the house of the LORD. They can go in because they are holy. All the other people must stay outside as the LORD has said. 7 The Levites must stand round the new king, each with his sword in his hand. They must kill anyone who comes into the temple. They must stay very near to the king in any place that he goes.’

The people put the crown on Joash's head

8 The Levites and all the men in Judah did everything that Jehoiada the priest had spoken to them about. Each leader took his men who should come into the temple on the Sabbath. And he took his men who should go out of the temple on the Sabbath. Jehoiada the priest did not send anyone to his home. 9 Jehoiada the priest gave spears and large and small shields to the captains over each group of 100 men. Those things had been King David's and they were in the house of God. 10 He told all the men that they must stand with their spears ready. They stood from the north side to the south side of the temple. And they were near the altar and round the king.

11 Jehoiada and his sons brought out the old king's son and they put the crown on his head. They gave to him the laws that kings must obey. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him as king and they shouted, ‘We pray that the king will live for a long time.’ So he became the king of Judah.

The people kill Athaliah

12 Athaliah heard the noise when the people started to run about. She heard them when they praised the king. So she went to the people in the house of the LORD. 13 She looked and she saw the new king. He was standing in the king's place by the door of the temple. The officers and the men who made a noise with trumpets were standing next to him. All the country's people were happy and people were making a noise with trumpets. There were singers and they were also making music. They were the leaders of the people while the people praised. Athaliah tore her clothes and she screamed, ‘People are fighting against their ruler! They are fighting against their ruler!’

14 Jehoiada the priest sent a message to the captains who were each over 100 men. These captains were over the army. The priest had said to them, ‘Do not kill her in the house of the LORD.’ So now he said, ‘Bring her out between the soldiers. And kill with a sword anyone who tries to help her.’ 15 So they took her and they brought her to the Horse Gate, next to the king's house. And they killed her there.

The people destroy the temple of Baal

16 Then Jehoiada, the people and the king promised each other that they would be the LORD's people. 17 All the people went to the temple of Baal and they pulled it down. They broke the altars and the idols into pieces. And they killed Mattan, Baal's priest in front of the altars.

Worship in the LORD's temple

18 Then Jehoiada gave authority over the house of the LORD to the priests. They were Levites and David had given to them different jobs at the LORD's house. They gave sacrifices by fire to the LORD as Moses had written in the Law. They were happy and they sang at the same time. David had told them how to do that. 19 Jehoiada also put men at the gates of the LORD's house. So, anyone who was not clean for any reason could not go in.

Joash sits on the king's special seat

20 Jehoiada took the captains who were each over 100 men, the important men and the rulers of the people. And all the country's people went with them. They brought the king down from the LORD's house. They came in through the Higher Gate to the king's house. There they caused the king to sit on the king's special seat. 21 And all the people in the whole country were very happy. The city was quiet because the people had killed Athaliah with the sword.