New International Reader's Version

2 Chronicles 23

1When Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada showed how strong he was. He made a covenant with the commanders of groups of 100 men. The commanders were Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri. They went all through Judah. They gathered together the Levites and the leaders of Israelite families from all the towns. They came to Jerusalem. The whole community made a covenant with the new king at God’s temple.

Jehoiada said to them, “Ahaziah’s son will rule over Judah. That’s what the Lord promised concerning the family line of David. Here’s what I want you to do. A third of you priests and Levites who are going on duty on the Sabbath day must guard the doors. A third of you must guard the royal palace. And a third of you must guard the Foundation Gate. All the other men must guard the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. Don’t let anyone enter the temple except the priests and Levites who are on duty. They can enter because they are set apart to the Lord. But all the other men must obey the Lord’s command not to enter. The Levites must station themselves around the new king. Each man must have his weapon in his hand. Anyone else who enters the temple must be put to death. Stay close to the king no matter where he goes.”

The Levites did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. So did all the men of Judah. Each commander got his men. Some of the men were going on duty on the Sabbath day. Others were going off duty. Jehoiada didn’t let any of the groups go. Then he gave weapons to the commanders of the groups. He gave them spears, large shields and small shields. The weapons had belonged to King David. They had been in God’s temple. 10 Jehoiada stationed all the men around the new king. Each man had his weapon in his hand. They were standing near the altar and the temple. They stood from the south side of the temple to its north side.

11 Jehoiada and his sons brought Ahaziah’s son out. They put the crown on him. They gave him a copy of the covenant. And they announced that he was king. They anointed him. Then they shouted, “May the king live a long time!”

12 Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the new king. So she went to them at the Lord’s temple. 13 She looked, and there was the king! He was standing next to his pillar at the entrance. The officers and trumpet players were standing beside the king. All the people of the land were filled with joy. They were blowing trumpets. Musicians with their musical instruments were leading the songs of praise. Then Athaliah tore her royal robes. She shouted, “Treason! It’s treason!”

14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the commanders of the groups of 100 men. They were in charge of the troops. He said to them, “Bring her away from the temple between the line of guards. Use your swords to kill anyone who follows her.” The priest had said, “Don’t put her to death at the Lord’s temple.” 15 So they grabbed her as she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds. There they put her to death.

16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant. He promised that he, the people and the king would be the Lord’s people. 17 All the people went to Baal’s temple. They tore it down. They smashed the altars and the statues of gods. They killed Mattan in front of the altars. He was the priest of Baal.

18 Then Jehoiada put the priests, who were Levites, in charge of the Lord’s temple. David had given them their duties in the temple. He had appointed them to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord. He wanted them to do it in keeping with what was written in the Law of Moses. David wanted them to sing and be full of joy. 19 Jehoiada stationed guards at the gates of the Lord’s temple. No one who was “unclean” in any way could enter.

20 Jehoiada took with him the commanders of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all the people of the land. He brought the new king down from the Lord’s temple. They went into the palace through the Upper Gate. Then they seated the king on the royal throne. 21 All the people of the land were filled with joy. And the city was calm. That’s because Athaliah had been killed by a sword.