2 Chronicles 24

2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 24

Judah’s King Joash

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “Loosely adapted from 2 Kings 11:21-12:21, this is supplemented with the Chronicler’s own material (see 2 Chron 24:27). Joash’s reign (835-796 BC) falls into two parts; a faithful period, while Jehoiada the priest was alive (vv. 1-16), followed by apostasy ending in judgment (vv. 17-27). Throughout 2 Chronicles, the religious character of a king can be readily gauged by his attitude toward the temple, and this is most evident in the case of Joash: in his faithful period, he is devoted to the restoration of the temple (vv. 4, 5, 12), but in his apostasy, he abandons it for idolatry (v. 18).”

      • Joash was 7 years old when he became king and he ruled for 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah and she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in Yahweh’s eyes throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada chose 2 wives for him who gave him sons and daughters.

        • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible notes, “Joash began his reign as a seven-year-old child, no doubt under the close guidance of Jehoiada the priest. Joash’s long reign (c. 835-796 BC) overlaps with those of Jehu and Jehoahaz in the northern kingdom and reflects a time of Aramean resurgence under Hazael and Ben-Hadad and continued strength in Assyria, particularly under the rule of Shalmaneser III and Adadnirari III.”

        • On Jehoiada’s selection of 2 wives for Joash, the ESV Study Bible says, “The Chronicler’s addition…Jehoiada acts to ensure that the Davidic line will continue after its near destruction.”

          • My note: This is all well and true, however, it is also a case in point that polygamy is just not condemned as sin in the Old Testament, regardless of how offensive and distasteful it is to our modern ears. I’m not in any way advocating polygamy, and I do believe it is a departure from God’s initial intent as indicated in Genesis of the union of one man and one woman. However, those who attempt to label it as Biblical “sin” overstep. Not only is it not identified as sin, it is even regulated by Mosaic Law. I do believe that it is clear that it was a tolerated element of ancient society. That in no way indicates that we should continue with the practice in modern society, as the issues that made it necessary in ancient civilization are largely non-existent in modern society. Thus, there is no reason not to adhere to the original Genesis intent for marriage as one man and one woman.

Joash Repairs the Temple

      • Later Joash decided to repair the house of Yahweh, so he called together the priests and the Levites and told them, “Go out to all the cities of Judah and collect the silver due annually from all of Israel to repair the house of Yahweh your God, and see that you do so quickly.” The Levites, however, did not act quickly.

        • ESV Study Bible says, “The temple had been despoiled by Athaliah and her family (v. 7) and probably neglected before that time.”

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible adds, “There is no indication when Joash first attempted to refurbish the Temple. However, after the first failure to raise funds, Joash summoned Jehoiada a second time, in the twenty-third year of his reign (2 Kgs 12:6). The inaction of the priests might have resulted from a disagreement over who should fund the restoration work and who should oversee it. The king censured Jehoiada for his failure to act, and then proposed a plan that put the offering on a more voluntary basis.”

      • So the king called Jehoiada the high priest and said to him, “Why have you not required the Levites to collect from Judah and Jerusalem the tax imposed by Yahweh’s servant, Moses, on the assembly of Israel for the tabernacle containing the testimony?” Now, the sons of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken into the house of God, and had even used the holy items which were dedicated to Yahweh’s house, for the Baals. So the king ordered a chest to be made and placed outside the gate of Yahweh’s house. And a proclamation was issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem requiring the people to bring to Yahweh the tax that God’s servant, Moses, had imposed on Israel in the wilderness. All the officials and all the people rejoiced and brought in their tax and threw it into the chest until it was full. Whenever the Levites brought the chest to the king’s officials and they saw that there was a lot of silver, the king’s secretary and the chief priest’s official would empty the chest and bring it back to its place. They went through this routine daily and collected a large amount of silver.

        • On the reference to Athaliah’s “sons,” HCSB points out, “Since all the brothers of Ahaziah had been murdered, are these the natural sons of her body? More likely, the word ‘son’ is used in the sense of ‘supporter’…”

          • Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges agrees, “To be understood figuratively, ‘the adherents of Athaliah.’ So ‘a son of the apothecaries’ (Nehemiah 3:8; cp. A.V. with R.V.) is ‘a member of the apothecaries’ guild’ and ‘the sons of the prophets’ (2 Kings 2:15 etc.) are ‘the adherents (or ‘scholars’) of the prophets.’ So again in Psalm 137:8 Edom is called ‘daughter of Babylon’ as having attached herself to the Chaldeans at the destruction of Jerusalem.”

        • ESV Study Bible explains, “Kings refers to three sources of revenue (cf 2 Kings 12:4), but the Chronicler specifies instead only the census tax imposed by Moses for the construction and maintenance of the tabernacle (see Ex 30:16). The typological correspondence and continuity between the Mosaic tabernacle and the temple is one of the Chronicler’s characteristic themes… Verses 5-6 of ch 24 offer a rare note of criticism of the priests and Levites for failing to perform their task. Joash’s initiative allowed the people to bring their tax directly to the temple…”

      • The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who carried out the work required for Yahweh’s house. They hired masons, carpenters, and those who were skilled in working with iron and bronze to repair Yahweh’s house. The men worked diligently and made the repairs. They restored the house of God to its specifications and strengthened it. When they were finished they brought the rest of the silver to the king and Jehoiada. With the remainder, they made items for Yahweh’s house: items used for service and for burnt offerings, pans, and various other gold and silver items. Burnt offerings were offered regularly in Yahweh’s house throughout Jehoiada’s lifetime.

        • ESV Study Bible notes, “The repairs were made according to the original design, and the surplus funds were used for the temple vessels (see 2 Kings 12:13-14). Second Kings 12:13 says that vessels of silver and gold were not made while the temple was being repaired, while 2 Chron 24:14 specifies that when they had finished those repairs, they used the rest of the money to make these vessels. The Chronicler specifies that Joash’s revival of temple of worship lasted all the days of Jehoiada, and did not extend into his later years of apostasy following Jehoiada’s death…”

      • Jehoiada grew old and died at the age of 130. He was buried with the kings in the City of David because of the good he had accomplished in Israel and for God and His house.

        • ESV Study Bible says that this is an addition of the Chronicler and that, “Jehoiada’s age at death, 130, exceeds that of Aaron (123, Num 33:39) and Moses (120, Deut 34:7). His burial among the kings is unique for a high priest.”

Joash’s Apostasy

      • After Jehoiada died, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and the king listened to them. They abandoned the house of Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, and served Asherah poles and idols. Wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of this sinful activity. Yahweh sent them prophets to bring them back to Him, and they warned the people, but the people would not listen to them. Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah, who was the son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood up before the people and said, “This is what God says, ‘Why do you disobey Yahweh’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken Yahweh, He has forsaken you.’” But they conspired against him, and by the king’s command they stoned him to death in the courtyard of Yahweh’s house. King Joash disregarded the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him and killed his son. As Zechariah was dying he said, “May Yahweh see and avenge!”

        • Again, ESV Study Bible notes that these verses are the Chronicler’s addition and that, “Without Jehoiada’s influence, Joash succumbs to the evil counsel of certain leaders who identified with the old ways of the house of Ahab. As always in Chronicles, God’s punishment for apostasy is not immediate but is preceded by the prophetic summons to repentance…The speech by Zechariah is characteristic of the Chronicler’s vocabulary and theology (cf 1 Chron 28:9; 2 Chron 7:19, 22; 15:2). His dying words are an appeal for divine justice.”

        • The ESV Study Bible commentary includes the following statement, “Jesus may have used this incident as an illustration of the judgment coming on his own violent and unbelieving generation (see…Matt 23:35).” If you will recall, I explained in my notes for the 2 Kings parallel of this passage that this inaccurate claim is the basis for one of the most popular Protestant arguments about the closing of the OT canon. However, this Zechariah is about 300 years prior to the Zechariah Jesus mentions in Matthew 23. These are 2 different Zechariahs. The interested reader may refer to the notes for 2 Kings 12 for the full discussion of why this argument fails.

        • Guzik says, “Joash seems to have been a fundamentally weak man; he did good when he was under the influence of the godly Jehoiada, but he did bad when he was under the influence of these leaders of Judah, who led them into idolatry.”

        • Guzik also points out the following detail about the language used in Scripture to describe the interaction of the Spirit of God with the prophet Zechariah, “The description of the Spirit of God coming upon Zechariah is significant. “Therefore God pronounced judgment through a prophesying priest, Jehoiada’s son Zechariah, whom the Spirit of God ‘clothed’. Two of the three Old Testament examples of this distinctive expression occur in Chronicles (cf. Judges 6:34; 1 Chronicles 12:18).”

        • Additionally, Guzik notes “Zechariah’s dying words were a plea to God, asking Him to repay according to His justice. It is the perfect prayer of the persecuted, leaving all vengeance in the hand and wisdom of God.” He also cites Selman for additional clarification, “Zechariah is not looking for personal revenge but asking God to act in keeping with his declared principles of justice.”

        • Finally, Guzik mentions the ironies filling this tragedy, “The people did not listen to the command of the LORD, but they did listen to the evil command of King Joash. Joash answered the kindness of Jehoiada to him with cruelty to the son of Jehoiada. Zechariah was murdered in the same place where his father Jehoiada had anointed Joash king (2 Chronicles 23:10-11).”

Joash Assassinated

      • At the beginning the year, the Syrian army attacked Joash and invaded Judah and Jerusalem. They wiped out all the leaders of the people and sent all the plunder they took to the king of Damascus. Even though the Syrian army came with just a few men, Yahweh handed Judah’s very large army over to them because the people of Judah had abandoned Yahweh, the God of their ancestors. Therefore, they executed judgment on Joash. When they withdrew, they left Joash severely wounded. His servants conspired against him and murdered him on his bed because of what he had done to the son of Jehoiada the priest. So, he died and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. The following were the ones who conspired against him: Zabad, who was the son of an Ammonite woman named Shimeath, and Jehozabad, who was the son of a Moabite woman named Shimrith.

        • On verses 23-27 ESV Study Bible writes, “This follows the outline of 2 Kings 12:17-21…but is mainly the Chronicler’s own material. Defeat by the smaller Syrian army is a reversal of Judah’s earlier experience (see 2 Chron 14:8-9) and a sign of divine judgment. Joash’s fate is a case of ‘measure for measure.’ As Joash had supported those who conspired to kill Zechariah (24:21), now his own officials conspired to do the same to him in revenge for Zechariah’s death. His exclusion from the tomb of the kings is in pointed contrast with Jehoiada (v. 16).”

      • The list of Joash’s sons, the many prophecies about him, and the account of his restoration of the house of God are recorded in the “Commentary on the Book of the Kings.” His son Amaziah succeeded him as king.

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible says, “’The Commentary on the Book of Kings’ that the Chronicler used as a source is no longer available to us (see also 9:29).”

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