2 Kings 12


‘In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash 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 Jehoiada the priest instructed him. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.’ 2 Kings 12:1-3

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.

‘Joash said to the priests, ‘Collect all the money that is brought as sacred offerings to the temple of the LORD—the money collected in the census, the money received from personal vows and the money brought voluntarily to the temple. Let every priest receive the money from one of the treasurers, then use it to repair whatever damage is found in the temple.’ But by the twenty-third year of King Joash the priests still had not repaired the temple. Therefore King Joash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and asked them, ‘Why aren’t you repairing the damage done to the temple? Take no more money from your treasurers, but hand it over for repairing the temple.’ The priests agreed that they would not collect any more money from the people and that they would not repair the temple themselves.’ 2 Kings 12:4-8

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 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.

‘Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one enters the temple of the LORD. The priests who guarded the entrance put into the chest all the money that was brought to the temple of the LORD. Whenever they saw that there was a large amount of money in the chest, the royal secretary and the high priest came, counted the money that had been brought into the temple of the LORD and put it into bags. When the amount had been determined, they gave the money to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. With it they paid those who worked on the temple of the LORD—the carpenters and builders, the masons and stonecutters. They purchased timber and blocks of dressed stone for the repair of the temple of the LORD and met all the other expenses of restoring the temple. 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; it was paid to the workers, who used it to repair the temple. They did not require an accounting from those to whom they gave the money to pay the workers, because they acted with complete honesty. The money from the guilt offerings and sin offerings was not brought into the temple of the LORD; it belonged to the priests.’ 2 Kings 12:9-16

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, 2 Chronicles 24:14. He was so highly regarded, he was buried with the kings in Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 24:16.

Notice 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.

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. I believe people will often freely give more, when they can see where their freewill offering is going, 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Notice 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.

Notice that 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.

‘About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. But Joash king of Judah took all the sacred objects dedicated by his predecessors—Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, the kings of Judah—and the gifts he himself had dedicated and all the gold found in the treasuries of the temple of the LORD and of the royal palace, and he sent them to Hazael king of Aram, who then withdrew from Jerusalem. As for the other events of the reign of Joash, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? His officials conspired against him and assassinated him at Beth Millo, on the road down to Silla. The officials who murdered him were Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer. He died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.’ 2 Kings 12:17-21

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 Chronicles 24:23-24.

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.

Barnes, in his commentary says the following.

‘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.’

After the assassination of Joash, Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.

Go To 2 Kings 13


"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:19