The Boy Joash On The Throne Of J
When Joram had ruled twelve years over Israel, Ahaziah the son of
Jehoram began to rule over Judah. And he went down to Jezreel to visit
Joram, who was ill. When Jehu struck down Joram, Ahaziah saw it and fled
toward Beth-gannim. But Jehu followed after him with the words, "Shoot
him down, too, in the chariot." So they shot him down on the way up to
Gur, near Ibleam, but he escaped to Megiddo and died there.
When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, learned that her son was dead, she
rose and put to death all of Ahaziah's children except Joash, whom his
aunt, Jehosheba, secretly took and placed with his nurse in the
bedchamber. In this way she hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not
put to death. He was with her, hid in the temple of Jehovah, six years,
while Athaliah ruled over the land.
But in the seventh year Jehoiada the priest called together the officers
of the royal guard and brought them into the temple of Jehovah. After he
had made them make a solemn promise, he showed them Ahaziah's son, and
gave them these orders, "This is what you shall do: a third part of you
who go in on the Sabbath to guard the palace shall keep watch over it.
Two divisions of you, including all who go out on the Sabbath to guard
the temple of Jehovah, shall surround Joash, each with his weapons in
his hand. And let every one who comes within the ranks be put to death.
Thus you shall guard Joash, when he goes out and when he comes in."
The officers did as Jehoiada the priest commanded. And he brought out
Ahaziah's son and put the crown and the royal ornaments upon him; and
they made him ruler over Judah and poured oil upon his head and clapped
their hands, crying, "Long live the ruler!"
But when Athaliah heard the people shouting, she came to them in the
temple of Jehovah. When she saw Joash standing by the pillar, as was the
custom, and the officers and the trumpeters by him, and all the people
of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, she tore her clothes and
cried, "Treason! Treason!" But Jehoiada the priest gave this order to
the officers: "Bring her out between the ranks, and kill with the sword
whoever follows her," for the priest said, "Let her not be put to death
in the temple of Jehovah." So they seized her, and she was killed as she
went through the horses' entry to the palace.
Jehoiada made a solemn agreement between Jehovah and the new ruler and
the people, that they should be Jehovah's people; also between the ruler
and the people, and Joash ruled forty years in Jerusalem.
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