2 Kings 11 — Athaliah and Joash Reign in Israel
2 Kings 12:1-18 — Jehoash Reigns in Judah and Repairs the Temple
2 Kings 12:19-21 — The Death of Joash
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One Reply to “May 4 — 2 Kings 11-12”
Athaliah (the British might call her the Queen Mother) attempted to destroy the entire royal family, her grandchildren, and cut off the line of David from God’s people. Jehosheba hid Joash (less than a year old) with his nurse until he was seven years old. Jehoida the high priest sent for those who would guard Joash and “showed them the king’s son” (2 Kings 11:4). Athaliah ruled in Judah for 7 years and when she heard the proclamation of the living son, the descendant king, she “tore her robes and called out, ‘Treason! Treason!'” (11:14). She was removed from the temple and put to death “where the horses enter the palace grounds” (11:16). Jehoiada renewed the covenant and the people tore down the temple of Baal, its altars and idols “and killed Mattan the priest of Baal” (11:18). “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed hime” (12:2); except the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense at the high places (12:3). It’s important to note that Joash did well while Jehoiada was alive. In 2 Chronicles 24:17, we see that Joash becomes evil after Jehoiada dies, he abandons the temple of the Lord and worships idols. He even has Jehoiada’s son stoned! When the king of Aram threatens to attack Jerusalem (2 Kings 12:17), Joash bought his way out of the attack, but was assassinated in his bed by his officials. Thus the end of Joash, the once good turned evil.
Interesting to note the details here about those who were on duty during the Sabbath. In v5, “going on duty on the Sabbath,” v6: “who take turns guarding the temple,” v7: normally go off Sabbath duty and v9: going on duty on the Sabbath.” We are thankful for our first-responders who work around the clock to protect us and help us in time of need. It’s interesting to see acknowledgement of the guards on duty around the clock here and the clear indication that the Sabbath was recognized for God by the people, yet there were those who worked on the Sabbath to protect the people.
Though Joash appears to be a successful and shrewd businessman in managing the finances for rebuilding the temple, it appears he was easily enticed to walk away from the Lord when Jehoiada died. This is a reminder that we should put our trust and faith God first. While it’s important to have faith in those who lead, it’s more important to find strength in God first, then men of God.