2 Chronicles 23

Joash becomes king of Judah

1 In the seventh year that Queen Athaliah ruled Judah, the priest Jehoiada decided to be brave. He made an agreement with some officers in the army. Each of these men had authority over 100 soldiers. They were: Jeroham's son Azariah, Jehohanan's son Ishmael, Obed's son Azariah, Adaiah's son Maaseiah and Zikri's son Elishaphat. 2 They travelled around all the land of Judah. They brought together the Levites from the different cities and the leaders of Israel's clans. They all came to Jerusalem. 3 They met together in God's temple to make a promise to the new king.

Jehoiada said to them, ‘Here is the king's son. He must become king, as the Lord promised that David's descendants would be. 4 This is what you must do: The priests and Levites who come to work on the Sabbath day must make three groups. One group must be guards who watch at the doors of the temple. 5 Another group will watch at the king's palace. The third group will stand at the Foundation Gate. All the other men will stand in the yards around the Lord's temple. 6 Only the priests and the Levites who have work there on that day may go into the Lord's temple. They may go in because they have made themselves clean to serve God. All the other people must do the jobs that the Lord has given to them. 7 The Levites must stand around the king. Each man must hold his weapon in his hand. If anyone tries to come into the temple, you must kill them. You must stay near to the king everywhere that he goes.’

23:3Joash was now 7 years old.

8 The Levites and all the men of Judah did what Jehoiada the priest told them to do. Each officer brought his group of men. That included the men who worked on the Sabbath and those who did not. Jehoiada the priest did not allow any of the groups of men to go home. 9 Then Jehoiada gave some weapons that were in God's temple to the officers. He gave them the spears and the shields that had belonged to King David. 10 Then he put the men in their proper places around the king. They all held their weapons in their hands. They stood in a line from the south side of the temple to the north side. They were around the altar at the front of the temple.

11 Jehoiada and his sons brought the king's son out of the temple room. They put the crown onto Joash's head. They gave him a copy of the royal covenant. They poured olive oil on his head to show that he was now the king. They shouted, ‘May the king have a long life!’

Queen Athaliah dies

12 Queen Athaliah heard the soldiers and the people as they shouted and praised the new king. So she went to the Lord's temple where all the people were. 13 Then she saw the king! He was standing in the king's place beside the pillar at the entrance of the temple. The army officers and the men with trumpets were standing beside the king. All the people of Judah were shouting with joy. There were musicians making music with trumpets and other musical instruments. They helped the people to sing and to praise God.

23:13This was the special place for a king to stand, to show that he had authority to rule.

When Athaliah saw this, she was very upset. She tore her clothes. She shouted, ‘Treason! Treason!’

23:13‘Treason’ is when people turn against their ruler.

14 Jehoiada the priest sent a message to the army officers who had authority over groups of 100 soldiers. He told them, ‘Bring her out of the temple to the line of guards outside. Use your swords to kill anyone who follows her.’ That was because Jehoiada had said, ‘You must not kill her inside the Lord's temple.’ 15 So they took hold of Athaliah. They took her through the gate for the king's horses into the yard of the palace. They killed her there.

Jehoiada helps the people to serve God

16 Jehoiada prepared a covenant with the Lord. He, all the people and the king agreed to serve the Lord as his people. 17 All the people went to the temple of Baal. They destroyed it. They completely knocked down its altars and idols. They killed Baal's priest, Mattan, in front of Baal's altars.

18 Then Jehoiada gave jobs to the priests and the Levites to do in the Lord's temple. That was the work that King David had told them to do in the temple. They had to offer burnt offerings as sacrifices to the Lord, and they had to praise him with happy songs. They did the things that Moses had written in God's law and that David had taught. 19 Jehoiada put guards at the gates of the Lord's temple. They would stop anyone who was unclean from going in.

20 Jehoiada called together the officers of army groups, the important men, the government officers and all the other people. Jehoiada led them all to bring the king down from the Lord's temple into the palace. They went into the palace through the Higher Gate. They put Joash on the royal throne as king.

21 All the people were very happy. There was no longer any trouble in Jerusalem now that they had killed Athaliah as her punishment.