July 5, 2 Chronicles 24-25; 2 Kings 14

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24 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beer-sheba. Throughout the time of the priest Jehoiada, Joash did what was right in the Lord’s sight. Jehoiada acquired two wives for him, and he was the father of sons and daughters.

Repairing the Temple

Afterward, Joash took it to heart to renovate the Lord’s temple. So he gathered the priests and Levites and said, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect silver from all Israel to repair the temple of your God as needed year by year, and do it quickly.”

However, the Levites did not hurry. So the king called Jehoiada the high priest and said, “Why haven’t you required the Levites to bring from Judah and Jerusalem the tax imposed by the Lord’s servant Moses and the assembly of Israel for the tent of the testimony? For the sons of that wicked Athaliah broke into the Lord’s temple and even used the sacred things of the Lord’s temple for the Baals.”

At the king’s command a chest was made and placed outside the gate of the Lord’s temple. Then a proclamation was issued in Judah and Jerusalem that the tax God’s servant Moses imposed on Israel in the wilderness be brought to the Lord. 10 All the leaders and all the people rejoiced, brought the tax, and put it in the chest until it was full. 11 Whenever the chest was brought by the Levites to the king’s overseers, and when they saw that there was a large amount of silver, the king’s secretary and the high priest’s deputy came and emptied the chest, picked it up, and returned it to its place. They did this daily and gathered the silver in abundance. 12 Then the king and Jehoiada gave it to those in charge of the labor on the Lord’s temple, who were hiring stonecutters and carpenters to renovate the Lord’s temple, also blacksmiths and coppersmiths to repair the Lord’s temple.

13 The workmen did their work, and through them the repairs progressed. They restored God’s temple to its specifications and reinforced it. 14 When they finished, they presented the rest of the silver to the king and Jehoiada, who made articles for the Lord’s temple with it—articles for ministry and for making burnt offerings, and ladles[a] and articles of gold and silver. They regularly offered burnt offerings in the Lord’s temple throughout Jehoiada’s life.

Joash’s Apostasy

15 Jehoiada died when he was old and full of days; he was 130 years old at his death. 16 He was buried in the city of David with the kings because he had done what was good in Israel with respect to God and his temple.

17 However, after Jehoiada died, the rulers of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them, 18 and they abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and served the Asherah poles and the idols. So there was wrath against Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. 19 Nevertheless, he sent them prophets to bring them back to the Lord; they admonished them, but the people would not listen.

20 The Spirit of God enveloped[b] Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood above the people and said to them, “This is what God says, ‘Why are you transgressing the Lord’s commands so that you do not prosper? Because you have abandoned the Lord, he has abandoned you.’” 21 But they conspired against him and stoned him at the king’s command in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. 22 King Joash didn’t remember the kindness that Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had extended to him, but killed his son. While he was dying, he said, “May the Lord see and demand an account.”

Aramean Invasion of Judah

23 At the turn of the year, an Aramean army attacked Joash. They entered Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the leaders of the people among them and sent all the plunder to the king of Damascus. 24 Although the Aramean army came with only a few men, the Lord handed over a vast army to them because the people of Judah had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors. So they executed judgment on Joash.

Joash Assassinated

25 When the Arameans saw that Joash had many wounds, they left him. His servants conspired against him, and killed him on his bed, because he had shed the blood of the sons of the priest Jehoiada. So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings.

26 Those who conspired against him were Zabad, son of the Ammonite woman Shimeath, and Jehozabad, son of the Moabite woman Shimrith.[c] 27 The accounts concerning his sons, the many divine pronouncements about him, and the restoration of God’s temple are recorded in the Writing of the Book of the Kings. His son Amaziah became king in his place.

Judah’s King Amaziah

25 Amaziah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan; she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight but not wholeheartedly.

As soon as the kingdom was firmly in his grasp,[d] he executed his servants who had killed his father the king. However, he did not put their children to death, because—as it is written in the Law, in the book of Moses, where the Lord commanded—“Fathers are not to die because of children, and children are not to die because of fathers, but each one will die for his own sin.”

Amaziah’s Campaign against Edom

Then Amaziah gathered Judah and assembled them according to ancestral families,[e] according to commanders of thousands, and according to commanders of hundreds. He numbered those twenty years old or more for all Judah and Benjamin. He found there to be three hundred thousand fit young men who could serve in the army, bearing spear and shield. Then for 7,500 pounds[f] of silver he hired one hundred thousand valiant warriors from Israel.

However, a man of God came to him and said, “King, do not let Israel’s army go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel—all the Ephraimites. But if you go with them, do it! Be strong for battle! But God will make you stumble before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to make one stumble.”

Then Amaziah said to the man of God, “What should I do about the 7,500 pounds of silver I gave to Israel’s division?”

The man of God replied, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this.”

10 So Amaziah released the division that came to him from Ephraim to go home. But they got very angry with Judah and returned home in a fierce rage.

11 Amaziah strengthened his position and led his people to the Salt Valley. He struck down ten thousand Seirites,[g] 12 and the Judahites captured ten thousand alive. They took them to the top of a cliff where they threw them off, and all of them were dashed to pieces.

13 As for the men of the division that Amaziah sent back so they would not go with him into battle, they raided the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth-horon, struck down three thousand of their people, and took a great deal of plunder.

14 After Amaziah came from the attack on the Edomites, he brought the gods of the Seirites and set them up as his gods. He worshiped before them and burned incense to them. 15 So the Lord’s anger was against Amaziah, and he sent a prophet to him, who said, “Why have you sought a people’s gods that could not rescue their own people from you?”

16 While he was still speaking to him, the king asked, “Have we made you the king’s counselor? Stop, why should you lose your life?”

So the prophet stopped, but he said, “I know that God intends to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my advice.”

Amaziah’s War with Israel’s King Jehoash

17 King Amaziah of Judah took counsel and sent word to Jehoash[h] son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, king of Israel, and challenged him: “Come, let’s meet face to face.”

18 King Jehoash of Israel sent word to King Amaziah of Judah, saying, “The thistle in Lebanon sent a message to the cedar in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ Then a wild animal in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle. 19 You have said, ‘Look, I[i] have defeated Edom,’ and you have become overconfident[j] that you will get glory. Now stay at home. Why stir up such trouble so that you fall and Judah with you?”

20 But Amaziah would not listen, for this turn of events was from God in order to hand them over to their enemies because they went after the gods of Edom. 21 So King Jehoash of Israel advanced. He and King Amaziah of Judah met face to face at Beth-shemesh that belonged to Judah. 22 Judah was routed before Israel, and each man fled to his own tent. 23 King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah’s King Amaziah son of Joash, son of Jehoahaz,[k] at Beth-shemesh. Then Jehoash took him to Jerusalem and broke down two hundred yards[l] of Jerusalem’s wall from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate.[m] 24 He took all the gold, silver, all the utensils that were found with Obed-edom in God’s temple, the treasures of the king’s palace, and the hostages. Then he returned to Samaria.

Amaziah’s Death

25 Judah’s King Amaziah son of Joash lived fifteen years after the death of Israel’s King Jehoash son of Jehoahaz. 26 The rest of the events of Amaziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.

27 From the time Amaziah turned from following the Lord, a conspiracy was formed against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. However, men were sent after him to Lachish, and they put him to death there. 28 They carried him back on horses and buried him with his ancestors in the city of Judah.

14 In the second year of Israel’s King Jehoash[a] son of Jehoahaz,[b] Amaziah son of Joash became king of Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan;[c] she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight, but not like his ancestor David. He did everything his father Joash had done. Yet the high places were not taken away, and the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.

As soon as the kingdom was firmly in his grasp, Amaziah killed his servants who had killed his father the king. However, he did not put the children of the killers to death, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses where the Lord commanded, “Fathers are not to be put to death because of children, and children are not to be put to death because of fathers; instead, each one will be put to death for his own sin.”

Amaziah killed ten thousand Edomites in Salt Valley. He took Sela in battle and called it Joktheel, which is still its name today. Amaziah then sent messengers to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, king of Israel, and challenged him: “Come, let’s meet face to face.”

King Jehoash of Israel sent word to King Amaziah of Judah, saying, “The thistle in Lebanon once sent a message to the cedar in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ Then a wild animal in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle. 10 You have indeed defeated Edom, and you have become overconfident.[d] Enjoy your glory and stay at home. Why should you stir up such trouble that you fall—you and Judah with you?”

11 But Amaziah would not listen, so King Jehoash of Israel advanced. He and King Amaziah of Judah met face to face at Beth-shemesh that belonged to Judah. 12 Judah was routed before Israel, and each man fled to his own tent. 13 King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah’s King Amaziah son of Joash,[e] son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. Then Jehoash went to Jerusalem and broke down two hundred yards[f] of Jerusalem’s wall from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. 14 He took all the gold and silver, all the articles found in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king’s palace, and some hostages. Then he returned to Samaria.

Jehoash’s Death

15 The rest of the events of Jehoash’s reign, along with his accomplishments, his might, and how he waged war against King Amaziah of Judah, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. 16 Jehoash rested with his ancestors, and he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. His son Jeroboam became king in his place.

Amaziah’s Death

17 Judah’s King Amaziah son of Joash lived fifteen years after the death of Israel’s King Jehoash son of Jehoahaz. 18 The rest of the events of Amaziah’s reign are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. 19 A conspiracy was formed against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. However, men were sent after him to Lachish, and they put him to death there. 20 They carried him back on horses, and he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors in the city of David.

21 Then all the people of Judah took Azariah,[g] who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 22 After Amaziah the king rested with his ancestors, Azariah rebuilt Elath[h] and restored it to Judah.

Israel’s King Jeroboam

23 In the fifteenth year of Judah’s King Amaziah son of Joash, Jeroboam son of Jehoash became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. 24 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He did not turn away from all the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.

25 He restored Israel’s border from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word the Lord, the God of Israel, had spoken through his servant, the prophet Jonah son of Amittai from Gath-hepher. 26 For the Lord saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter for both slaves and free people.[i] There was no one to help Israel. 27 The Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel under heaven, so he delivered them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash.

28 The rest of the events of Jeroboam’s reign—along with all his accomplishments, the power he had to wage war, and how he recovered for Israel Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah[j]—are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. 29 Jeroboam rested with his ancestors, the kings of Israel. His son Zechariah became king in his place.

Joash began his reign at seven years old. Can you imagine? It seemed while as he started he had a heart for rebuilding the temple and doing things the way God wanted him to. But somewhere down the line he began to do evil. This ultimately led to his own servants betraying him and killing him. This is a good time to stop and think about our own spiritual journey. Are you currently serving the Lord with all your heart? Or have you turned away from God? Now is the perfect time to come back to God, repent and get right with Him if you have strayed.

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