2 Chronicles 24
Joash is king
1 Joash was seven years old when he became king. And he ruled in Jerusalem for 40 years. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba. 2 Joash did the things that gave pleasure to the Lord. And he did that all the time that Jehoiada the priest was alive. 3 Jehoiada chose two wives for him and he had sons and daughters.
Joash wants money for repairs to the temple
4 Some time after those things, Joash decided to do repairs to the Lord's house. 5 He asked the priests and the Levites to come to him. ‘Go into all the towns in Judah. And bring here all the money that Israel's people save each year,’ he said. ‘It is for the repair of your God's house. Do it now.’ But the Levites did not hurry to do it.
6 So the king asked Jehoiada, the most important priest, to come to him. ‘You have not told the Levites that they must bring in the money from Judah and Jerusalem. It is for the tent of God's promise. You should have caused them to bring it. The Lord's servant Moses and all Israel's people agreed to save this money.’
7 The sons of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken God's house. And they had used the holy things from the Lord's house for the Baals.
People bring money to the temple
8 The king said that the Levites must make a big box. They made a big box and they put it outside, by the gate of the Lord's house. 9 Then he sent men to tell everyone in Judah and Jerusalem that they should bring the money there. God's servant Moses had told the Israelites that they should pay this money. He told them that while they were in the desert. 10 All the officers and all the people were happy to give this money. They brought their part and they threw it into the box. They did that until all the people had given their money. 11 The Levites took the box to the king's officers. They took it when there was a lot of money in it. The king's secretary and an officer of the most important priest came. They took the money out of the box. Then they put the box outside the gate again. They did that every day, so then they had a lot of money.
The king and Jehoiada pay men to make repairs to the temple
12 The king and Jehoiada gave the money to builders for the repairs to the Lord's house. They used it to pay men who worked there with stone and wood in the Lord's house. And they paid men who worked with iron and bronze for other repairs to the Lord's house.
13 These workers worked well and they soon finished the repairs. They made the house as it should be. And they made it stronger, too. 14 They did not use all the money. So when they had finished the work, they brought some money to the king and to Jehoiada. They decided to make tools to use in the Lord's house. There were things that the priests used for sacrifices by fire and for other work in the house. They also made dishes and cups out of gold and silver. All the time that Jehoiada was alive, they made sacrifices by fire at the Lord's house.
15 But Jehoiada became very old. He had lived for many years. And he died when he was 130 years old. 16 They buried him among the kings in David's city. That was because he had done many good things in Israel for God and for God's house.
Joash and the people decide not to obey the Lord's rules
17 After Jehoiada died, the most important leaders in Judah came to the king. They fell down in front of him and then the king listened to them. 18 They stopped worshipping the Lord, the God of their ancestors, in his house. They worshipped Asherahs and idols instead. So God became very angry with the people in Judah and in Jerusalem. That was because they had done those very wrong things. 19 The Lord sent prophets to the people. They told the people that they should begin to worship the Lord again. They told them that they were doing something very bad. But the people would not listen to them.
Zechariah tells the people that God is angry with them
20 Then God's Spirit came down on Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood in front of the people and he said, ‘God says, “You are not obeying the Lord's rules. So nothing will go well for you. Because you have gone away from the Lord, he has gone away from you.” ’
Joash and the people kill Zechariah
21 But the people decided to hurt him. The king told them that they should kill him. So they threw stones at him until he was dead. They did it in the yard of the Lord's house. 22 King Joash did not remember that Zechariah's father Jehoiada had been very kind to him. He killed his son. And when Zechariah was dying he said, ‘I pray that the Lord will see this. And I pray that the Lord will punish you because of it.’
An army from Syria attacks Judah and it wins the fight
23 At the end of that year, an army from Syria attacked Joash. They attacked Judah and Jerusalem. They killed all the people's leaders and they sent many valuable things to their king in Damascus. 24 The army from Syria was only a few soldiers. But the Lord helped them to win the fight against Judah's much bigger army. That was because they had stopped worshipping the Lord, the God of their ancestors. So God used those soldiers to punish Joash.
Joash's officers kill him
25 When the army from Syria left, Joash was very ill. His own servants were angry that he had killed the son of Jehoiada the priest. So they decided to kill him and they killed him in his bed. He died and they buried him in David's city. But they did not bury him with the dead bodies of the kings.
Amaziah becomes king
26 The officers who decided to kill Joash were Zabad and Jehozabad. Zabad was the son of Shimeath, a woman from the country called Ammon. And Jehozabad was the son of Shimrith, a woman from the country called Moab. 27 People recorded the things about Joash's sons and the prophecies about him in the Book about the Kings. People also recorded the repairs that he made to the house of God. And his son Amaziah ruled instead.