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Bible: What Does 2 Kings 10-12 Teach Us About Athaliah, Jehoida, and Joash?
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2 Kings 10
Jehu continues his "ministry of judgment" against Ahab, sending letters to the elders of Samaria and those who reared the king's seventy sons, asking them to choose the best warrior among these sons to fight for Ahab's house (vv. 1-3). Realizing that they have no chance against Jehu, they submit to his authority and will (vv. 4-5). The crusader's second letter demands a healthier cut: behead every son, and bring each one to Jezreel the next day (v. 6). Thus seventy men lose their heads, and Jehu raises two heaps worth of decapitations at the entrance of the gate (vv. 7-8). When the people see them lying near the gate and inquire about how these men died, Jehu proclaims himself innocent in the matter (v. 9). He considers the massacre as part of the fulfillment of Elijah's word concerning the house of Ahab (v. 10). Afterwards, this new king of Israel slaughters everyone associated with Ahab's family (v. 11). Another instance finds Jehu meeting Ahaziah's brothers on the road to Samaria (vv. 12-13). When he learns of their friendship with those whom he had just killed, he captures and later executes the whole lot (v. 14).
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Teaming with Jehonadab, Jehu maintains his onslaught against still more relatives of Ahab, manifesting an incredible zeal to carry out the LORD's commission (vv. 15-17).
Not only this, but he also deceives every Baal worshiper in Israel into believing that he is really one of them, after all (v. 18).
Calling for a great sacrifice, the king assembles every one together under one stringent stipulation: anyone refusing to attend loses his life (vv. 19-20).
Not surprisingly, the temple of Baal is full on the appointed day (v. 21)!
After officials bring out vestments for them, Jehonadad and Jehu tell the Baal leadership to make sure that only their “parishioners” are present (vv. 22-23).
Once they all stand inside sacrificing burnt offerings, Jehu appoints eighty executioners and instructs them to kill every worshiper (vv. 24-25).
These eighty destroy the entire temple complex, burning it to the ground (vv. 26-28).
Despite all this zeal for Yahweh, Jehu himself does not stop worshiping according to Jeroboam's dictates; nevertheless, the LORD rewards his next four generations with kingship over Israel for obeying His commission (vv. 29-31).
[The author then inserts details about Hazael's success in conquering parts of Israel (vv. 32-33) before concluding his account with Jehu's death, burial, successor, and the length of his reign (vv. 32-36)].
Wicked Queen-Mother Athaliah
2 Kings 11
After his death, Ahaziah's power-hungry mother Athaliah rampages through the household, murdering every heir to the throne, except the infant Joash, whom Ahaziah's sister secretes away for six years (vv. 1-3).
When the lad turns seven years of age, Jehoiada the priest assembles hundreds of military men at the temple where Joash, the true king, lived (v. 4).
There he arranges for the boy's protection (vv. 5-8), and then executes his plan to overthrow the wicked queen (vv. 9-12).
Eventually, Athaliah discovers the "treasonous" plot, but cannot mount a counterattack; neither can she escape the sword of Jehoiada's army (vv. 13-16).
After her death, the priest covenants with the people and the king to turn back to Yahweh; they respond immediately by demolishing Baal's temple and killing his priest while Jehoiada sets the temple in order (vv. 17-18).
Amid much joy, Joash proceeds from the house of the LORD, and takes his place on the throne (vv. 19-21).
Joash, King of Judah
Jehoiada, the Priest
2 Kings 12
Joash reigns forty years in Jerusalem, but the author considers as "good" only those occasions conducted under Jehoiada's auspices; however, even during those times, the people still sacrificed on the high places (vv. 1-3).
[The historian continues to use his formulaic style of recording].
Sometime during his reign, King Jehoash [i.e., Joash] commands the priests to repair damages to the temple, using census/assessment money (vv. 4-5; cf. Lev. 27:2-8).
For some reason—they probably kept the money for themselves—the priests fail to follow through; Joash, therefore, orders them to stop taking money from the people, and give it to the workers (vv. 6-7).
Strangely, they obey only the first half of his order (v. 8).
[The text does not say what became of all the money that they had collected].
Finally, Jehoiada sets up a system whereby the high priest and the king's scribe could deliver the money into the hands of the carpenters, builders, masons, and stonecutters (vv. 9-12).
These workmen make no luxury items for the temple; they do only repair work (vv. 13-14).
All the monies go to their properly designated recipients; those who handle the finances deal faithfully, and everyone receives his due (vv. 15-16).
During his reign Joash faces a severe crisis when Hazael king of Syria threatens Jerusalem; to avoid disaster, Joash sends the Syrian all his "sacred" things (vv. 17-18).
Further data about this king of Judah appear in the Book of Chronicles, but this author briefly mentions his assassination (vv. 19-21).
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