Good News Translation (GNB)
11

Queen Athaliah of Judah

(2 Chr 22.10—23.15)

111As soon as King Ahaziah's mother Athaliah learnt of her son's murder, she gave orders for all the members of the royal family to be killed. 2Only Ahaziah's son Joash escaped. He was about to be killed with the others, but was rescued by his aunt Jehosheba, who was King Jehoram's daughter and Ahaziah's half-sister. She took him and his nurse into a bedroom in the Temple and hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3For six years Jehosheba took care of the boy and kept him hidden in the Temple, while Athaliah ruled as queen.

4But in the seventh year Jehoiada the priest sent for the officers in charge of the royal bodyguard and of the palace guards, and told them to come to the Temple, where he made them agree under oath to what he planned to do. He showed them King Ahaziah's son Joash 5and gave them the following orders: “When you come on duty on the Sabbath, one third of you are to guard the palace; 6another third are to stand guard at the Sur Gate, and the other third are to stand guard at the gate behind the other guards.11.6 Hebrew has an additional word, the meaning of which is unclear. 7The two groups that go off duty on the Sabbath are to stand guard at the Temple to protect the king. 8You are to guard King Joash with drawn swords and stay with him wherever he goes. Anyone who comes near you is to be killed.”

9The officers obeyed Jehoiada's instructions and brought their men to him — those going off duty on the Sabbath and those going on duty. 10He gave the officers the spears11.10 Some ancient translations (and see 2 Chr 23.9) spears; Hebrew spear. and shields that had belonged to King David and had been kept in the Temple, 11and he stationed the men with drawn swords all round the front of the Temple, to protect the king. 12Then Jehoiada led Joash out, placed the crown on his head, and gave him a copy of the laws governing kingship. Then Joash was anointed and proclaimed king. The people clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”

13Queen Athaliah heard the noise being made by the guards and the people, so she hurried to the Temple, where the crowd had gathered. 14

11.14:
2 Kgs 23.3
There she saw the new king standing by the column at the entrance of the Temple, as was the custom. He was surrounded by the officers and the trumpeters, and the people were all shouting joyfully and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes in distress and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”

15Jehoiada did not want Athaliah killed in the temple area, so he ordered the army officers: “Take her out between the rows of guards, and kill anyone who tries to rescue her.” 16They seized her, took her to the palace, and there at the Horse Gate they killed her.

Jehoiada's Reforms

(2 Chr 23.16–21)

17The priest Jehoiada made King Joash and the people enter into a covenant with the LORD that they would be the LORD's people; he also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18Then the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down; they smashed the altars and the idols, and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars.

Jehoiada put guards on duty at the Temple, 19and then he, the officers, the royal bodyguard, and the palace guards escorted the king from the Temple to the palace, followed by all the people. Joash entered by the Guard Gate and took his place on the throne. 20All the people were filled with happiness, and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been killed in the palace.

21Joash became king of Judah at the age of seven.

12

King Joash of Judah

(2 Chr 24.1–16)

121In the seventh year of the reign of King Jehu of Israel, Joash became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for forty years. His mother was Zibiah from the city of Beersheba. 2Throughout his life he did what pleased the LORD, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3However, the pagan places of worship were not destroyed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

4

12.4:
Ex 30.11–16
Joash called the priests and ordered them to save up the money paid in connection with the sacrifices in the Temple, both the dues paid for the regular sacrifices and the money given as freewill gifts. 5Each priest was to be responsible for the money brought by those he served, and the money was to be used to repair the Temple, as needed.

6But by the 23rd year of Joash's reign the priests still had not made any repairs to the Temple. 7So he called in Jehoiada and the other priests and asked them, “Why aren't you repairing the Temple? From now on you are not to keep the money you receive; you must hand it over, so that the repairs can be made.” 8The priests agreed to this and also agreed not to make the repairs in the Temple.

9Then Jehoiada took a box, made a hole in the lid, and placed the box by the altar, on the right side as one enters the Temple. The priests on duty at the entrance put in the box all the money given by the worshippers. 10Whenever there was a large amount of money in the box, the royal secretary and the High Priest would come, melt down the silver, and weigh it.12.10 melt down the silver, and weigh it; or count the money, and tie it up in bags. 11After recording the exact amount, they would hand the silver over to the men in charge of the work in the Temple, and these would pay the carpenters, the builders, 12the masons, and the stonecutters, buy the timber and the stones used in the repairs, and pay all other necessary expenses. 13None of the money, however, was used to pay for making silver cups, bowls, trumpets, or tools for tending the lamps, or any other article of silver or of gold. 14It was all used to pay the workers and to buy the materials used in the repairs. 15

12.15:
2 Kgs 22.7
The men in charge of the work were thoroughly honest, so there was no need to require them to account for the funds. 16
12.16:
Lev 7.7
The money given for the repayment offerings and for the offerings for sin was not deposited in the box; it belonged to the priests.

17At that time King Hazael of Syria attacked the city of Gath and conquered it; then he decided to attack Jerusalem. 18King Joash of Judah took all the offerings that his predecessors Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah had dedicated to the LORD, added to them his own offerings and all the gold in the treasuries of the Temple and the palace, and sent them all as a gift to King Hazael, who then led his army away from Jerusalem.

19Everything else that King Joash did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah.

20-21King Joash's officials plotted against him, and two of them, Jozacar son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer, killed him at the house built on the land that was filled in on the east side of Jerusalem, on the road that goes down to Silla. Joash was buried in the royal tombs in David's City, and his son Amaziah succeeded him as king.

13

King Jehoahaz of Israel

131In the 23rd year of the reign of Joash son of Ahaziah as king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for seventeen years. 2Like King Jeroboam before him he sinned against the LORD and led Israel into sin; he never gave up his evil ways. 3So the LORD was angry with Israel, and he allowed King Hazael of Syria and his son Benhadad to defeat Israel time after time. 4Then Jehoahaz prayed to the LORD, and the LORD, seeing how harshly the king of Syria was oppressing the Israelites, answered his prayer. 5The LORD sent Israel a leader, who freed them from the Syrians, and so the Israelites lived in peace, as before. 6But they still did not give up the sins into which King Jeroboam had led Israel, but kept on13.6 Some ancient translations kept on; Hebrew he kept on. committing them; and the image of the goddess Asherah remained in Samaria.

7Jehoahaz had no armed forces left except fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and 10,000 men on foot, because the king of Syria had destroyed the rest, trampling them down like dust.

8Everything else that Jehoahaz did and all his brave deeds are recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 9He died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoash succeeded him as king.

King Jehoash of Israel

10In the 37th year of the reign of King Joash of Judah, Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for sixteen years. 11He too sinned against the LORD and followed the evil example of King Jeroboam, who had led Israel into sin. 12Everything else that Jehoash did, including his bravery in the war against King Amaziah of Judah, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 13Jehoash died and was buried in the royal tombs in Samaria, and his son Jeroboam II succeeded him as king.

The Death of Elisha

14

13.14:
2 Kgs 2.12
The prophet Elisha fell ill with a fatal disease, and as he lay dying King Jehoash of Israel went to visit him. “My father, my father!” he exclaimed as he wept. “You have been the mighty defender of Israel!”

15“Get a bow and some arrows,” Elisha ordered him. Jehoash got them, 16and Elisha told him to get ready to shoot. The king did so, and Elisha placed his hands on the king's hands. 17Then, following the prophet's instructions, the king opened the window that faced towards Syria. “Shoot the arrow!” Elisha ordered. As soon as the king shot the arrow, the prophet exclaimed, “You are the LORD's arrow, with which he will win victory over Syria. You will fight the Syrians in Aphek until you defeat them.”

18Then Elisha told the king to take the other arrows and strike the ground with them. The king struck the ground three times, and then stopped. 19This made Elisha angry, and he said to the king, “You should have struck five or six times, and then you would have won complete victory over the Syrians; but now you will defeat them only three times.”

20Elisha died and was buried.

Every year bands of Moabites used to invade the land of Israel. 21Once, during a funeral, one of those bands was seen, and the people threw the corpse into Elisha's tomb and ran off.13.21 One ancient translation and ran off; Hebrew and he ran off. As soon as the body came into contact with Elisha's bones, the man came back to life and stood up.

War between Israel and Syria

22King Hazael of Syria oppressed the Israelites during all of Jehoahaz' reign, 23but the LORD was kind and merciful to them. He would not let them be destroyed, but helped them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He has never forgotten his people.

24At the death of King Hazael of Syria his son Benhadad became king. 25Then King Jehoash of Israel defeated Benhadad three times and recaptured the cities that had been taken by Benhadad during the reign of Jehoahaz, the father of Jehoash.