Scriptures

2 Chronicles 24

Introduction

‘Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.’ 2 Chronicles 24:1-3

Joash was now king at the age of seven, however he was under the wise guidance of Jehoiada and he was a good ruler as long as Jehoiada lived. Some translations use the name Jehoash, but this is simply a variation of the name Joash.

Because Joash was only seven years old when he begun to reign, 2 Kings 11:21, he heavily relied on the wise guidance of Jehoiada, who was high priest at the time, 2 Chronicles 24:1-14.

It appears in the early years of Joash’s reign, he stayed in Jerusalem and as a result, Judah didn’t remove all the high places and so, the people continued to sacrifice and burn incense in idolatrous worship, outside of Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 24:15-27.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Jehoiada lived after the accession of Joash at least 23 years, 2 Kings 12:6. Thus the idolatries of Joash, 2 Chronicles 24:18, were confined to his last 10 or 15 years.’

Notice he had two wives, which tells us he didn’t live according to God’s principles of only having one wife.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Athaliah’s destruction of the seed royal had left Joash without a natural successor, and his marriage at the earliest suitable age, was, therefore, a matter of state policy. One of his wives in question was probably ‘Jehoaddan of Jerusalem,’ the mother of Amaziah, 2 Chronicles 25:1, who must have been taken to wife by Joash as early as his 21st year.’

Joash Repairs The Temple

‘Some time later Joash decided to restore the temple of the LORD. He called together the priests and Levites and said to them, “Go to the towns of Judah and collect the money due annually from all Israel, to repair the temple of your God. Do it now.” But the Levites did not act at once. Therefore the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, “Why haven’t you required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax imposed by Moses the servant of the LORD and by the assembly of Israel for the tent of the covenant law?” Now the sons of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken into the temple of God and had used even its sacred objects for the Baals. At the king’s command, a chest was made and placed outside, at the gate of the temple of the LORD. A proclamation was then issued in Judah and Jerusalem that they should bring to the LORD the tax that Moses the servant of God had required of Israel in the wilderness. All the officials and all the people brought their contributions gladly, dropping them into the chest until it was full. Whenever the chest was brought in by the Levites to the king’s officials and they saw that there was a large amount of money, the royal secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest and carry it back to its place. They did this regularly and collected a great amount of money. The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who carried out the work required for the temple of the LORD. They hired masons and carpenters to restore the LORD’s temple, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the temple. The men in charge of the work were diligent, and the repairs progressed under them. They rebuilt the temple of God according to its original design and reinforced it. When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and with it were made articles for the LORD’s temple: articles for the service and for the burnt offerings, and also dishes and other objects of gold and silver. As long as Jehoiada lived, burnt offerings were presented continually in the temple of the LORD. Now Jehoiada was old and full of years, and he died at the age of a hundred and thirty. He was buried with the kings in the City of David, because of the good he had done in Israel for God and his temple.’ 2 Chronicles 24:4-16

When queen Athaliah reigned, she was so obsessed with Baal worship and the upkeep of the temples of Baal, its clear the God’s temple had been totally neglected.

She had no respect for God or His temple because she removed some items from God’s temple and placed them in the temple of Baal, 2 Kings 12:9-16/  2 Chronicles 24:7.

Because she neglected God’s temple, it was now in need of some serious repair, which was going to cost a lot of money. The collection was to be made throughout Judah, with each of the priests and Levites collecting the temple tax in his own region, 2 Chronicles 24:5.

This money was sourced in three ways. 1. The half-shekel required by the Law, Exodus 30:13. 2. The money paid by those who had devoted themselves or made vows, a variable sum depending on age, sex, and property, Leviticus 27:2-8 / Numbers 18:15-16. 3. The money offered in the way of free-will offerings.

They tried to raise enough funds to repair the temple but sadly the priests failed to raise enough money, Malachi 2:1-2.

2 Kings 12:9 tells us that Jehoiada took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it, this is the first mention of a collection box in the Scriptures, Mark 12:42.

A real effort was made by Jehoiada to try and increase the freewill offerings, and so when the people came and saw that the temple was in need of repair due to a lack of funds, they cheerfully put their freewill offering into the chest.

This tax was originally designated for the purpose of repairing the tabernacle, but in this case it was used to repair the temple, Exodus 30:12-16 / Numbers 1:50. It appears the Levites were neglectful in keeping the temple in repair because of oppressing kings of the past.

The workers pointed out the repairs which were needed to the people and the people responded by giving their money towards to the cost of those repairs, 2 Kings 22:3-7 / Nehemiah 10:32. I believe people will often freely give more, when they can see where their freewill offering is going, 2 Corinthians 9:7.

2 Kings 12:13 tells us that ‘the money brought into the temple was not spent for making silver basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, trumpets or any other articles of gold or silver for the temple of the LORD.’

This statement refers to the time when the repairs were being made to the temple, but 2 Chronicles 24:14 tells us it refers to the time when all the repairs were finished, and then these articles for the temple were made. The collection box was placed in a location where it could be easily accessed by the people.

The guilt offerings, and sin offerings, Leviticus 5:15-18 / Numbers 5:8 / Leviticus 6:26-29, weren’t taken into the temple, that is this money wasn’t to be placed into the chest for the repair work. The money belonged to the priests, it was given to them for their private use and maintenance, Numbers 5:10.

We mustn’t underestimate Jehoiada in regards to his respect for God and His ways. God blessed this man with 130 years of life, which was way beyond the average living age for this time period. He was so highly regarded, he was buried with the kings in Jerusalem.

The Wickedness Of Joash

‘After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. They abandoned the temple of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God’s anger came on Judah and Jerusalem. Although the LORD sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen. Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the LORD’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.’” But they plotted against him, and by order of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the LORD’s temple. King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son, who said as he lay dying, “May the LORD see this and call you to account.” 2 Chronicles 24:17-22

What we have written here isn’t found in 2 Kings, here were read of a collation of false teachers who remained in the background as the restoration took place when Jehoiada was still alive.

These false teachers waited, as false teachers do, in obscurity, until they had an opportunity to influence the king to move toward their views and support.

Notice they abandoned the temple and worshipped Asherah poles and idols. This tells us where their loyally lay, they weren’t interested in repairing the temple, they would rather worship false gods. Because the temple was located in Jerusalem, worshipping these false gods became more convenient to them, they didn’t so far to travel.

Despite the God sending prophets to His people, they wouldn’t listen. The reason for them not listening to the prophets was simply because they had lost their jobs during the restoration from the worship of Baal to the worship of God. They lost their financial support.

By killing only Mattan the priest of Baal, 2 Chronicles 23:17, it’s reasonable to conclude that other Baal prophets also lost their jobs, but not their lives.

Jehoiada’s son Zechariah, stood up, Nehemiah 8:4, and under the influence of the Spirit of God, Judges 6:34 / 1 Chronicles 12:18, pronounced a severe warning but the king’s response was to honour the conspiracy of the evil princes and order the man of God stoned to death within the court of the temple itself.

Zechariahs prayer was that God would see their terrible crime and pronounce a judgment against them was honoured immediately.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Compare Genesis 9:5 / Genesis 42:22, and contrast the words of Christ, Luke 23:34, and of Stephen, Acts 7:60. Zechariah’s prayer was prophetic, 2 Chronicles 24:23 / 2 Chronicles 24:25 / Luke 11:51.’

Joash looked to Jehoiada as a father and so, he probably knew Zechariah as a friend for most of his life. And yet, the persuasion of the idolatrous leaders was so strong that he had his childhood friend Zechariah stoned.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘These two paragraphs, 2 Chronicles 24:20-22, reveal that Joash, at heart, was a true descendant of his evil ancestor Ahab. As long as Jehoiada was available as a wise and able counsellor, Joash did very well but as soon as Jehoiada was dead, the princes of Judah seduced him with their flattery and induced him to reopen the high places with their licentious worship of the pagan idols.’

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following, 2 Kings 12:17-21.

‘A conspiracy. Compare the marginal reference Joash, either from a suspicion of intended treason, or from some other unknown cause, took up his abode in the fortress of Millo, 1 Kings 9:24. This conspiracy was connected with religion. Soon after the death of Jehoiada, Joash had apostatised, had renewed the worship of Baal, and, despite of many prophetic warnings, had persisted in his evil courses, even commanding Zechariah to be slain when he rebuked them, 2 Chronicles 24:18-27. The conspirators, who wished to avenge Zechariah, no doubt wished also to put down the Baal worship. In this it appears that they succeeded. For, though Amaziah punished the actual murderers after a while, 2 Kings 14:5, yet he appears not to have been a Baal-worshipper. The only idolatries laid to his charge are the maintenance of the high places, 2 Kings 14:4, and a worship of the gods of Edom, 2 Chronicles 25:14-20.’

Zechariah was murdered in the same place where his father Jehoiada had anointed Joash king, 2 Chronicles 23:10-11.

‘At the turn of the year, the army of Aram marched against Joash; it invaded Judah and Jerusalem and killed all the leaders of the people. They sent all the plunder to their king in Damascus. Although the Aramean army had come with only a few men, the LORD delivered into their hands a much larger army. Because Judah had forsaken the LORD, the God of their ancestors, judgment was executed on Joash. When the Arameans withdrew, they left Joash severely wounded. His officials conspired against him for murdering the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they killed him in his bed. So he died and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. Those who conspired against him were Zabad, son of Shimeath an Ammonite woman, and Jehozabad, son of Shimrith a Moabite woman. The account of his sons, the many prophecies about him, and the record of the restoration of the temple of God are written in the annotations on the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.’ 2 Chronicles 24:23-27

A few years ago, with half the number of soldiers, Judah was able to be victorious over an army of one million Cushites during the reign of Asa, 2 Chronicles 14:1-12, however, here, because of Judah’s sin, the Arameans with a much smaller army were able to defeat the greater army of Judah.

God empowered the army of Aram to punish Judah for their sin of apostasy, Leviticus 26:8 / Leviticus 26:17 / Leviticus 26:37. It was especially appropriate that the Arameans killed all the princes, the very people who had seduced Joash to accept idolatry.

Significantly, this judgment fell upon Joash and his kingdom within less than a year following the heartless murder of Zechariah. But God was not finished with his judgment against Joash.

We’re not told if Joash was making continuous payments to Hazael, but because Hazael, king of Aram had become such a great threat to Jerusalem, Joash took the treasures of the temple and royal palace and gave them to Hazael as tribute, 2 Kings 12:17-21.

Notice that Joash’s officials conspired against him, it appears that after the death of Jehoiada, Joash may have begun to get involved in idol worship, 2 Chronicles 24:15-22.

After the assassination of Joash, and his burial in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings, 2 Kings 12:21, Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.

Go To 2 Chronicles 25

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

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