Athaliah and Joash
1Athaliah was Ahaziah’s mother. She saw that her son was dead. So she began to destroy the whole royal house of Judah. 2 But Jehosheba went and got Joash, the son of Ahaziah. Jehosheba was the daughter of King Jehoram and the sister of Ahaziah. She stole Joash away from among the royal princes. All of them were about to be murdered. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom. That’s how she hid him from Athaliah. And that’s why Athaliah didn’t kill him. 3 The child remained hidden with his nurse at the Lord’s temple for six years. Athaliah ruled over the land during that time.
4 In the seventh year Jehoiada the priest sent for the commanders of military groups of 100 men. They were the commanders over the Carites and the guards. Jehoiada had them brought to him at the temple of the Lord. He made a covenant with them. At the temple he made them promise to be faithful. Then he showed them the king’s son. 5 He gave them a command. He said, “Here’s what you must do. There are five groups of you. Some of you are in the three groups that are going on duty on the Sabbath day. A third of you must guard the royal palace. 6 A third of you must guard the Sur Gate. And a third of you must guard the gate that is behind the guard. All of you must take turns guarding the temple. 7 The rest of you are in the other two groups. Normally you are not on duty on the Sabbath day. But you also must guard the temple for the king. 8 Station yourselves around the king. Each of you must have his weapon in his hand. Anyone else who approaches your groups must be put to death. Stay close to the king no matter where he goes.”
9 The commanders of the military groups did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each commander got his men and came to Jehoiada. Some of the men were going on duty on the Sabbath day. Others were going off duty. 10 Then Jehoiada gave weapons to the commanders. He gave them spears and shields. The weapons had belonged to King David. They had been in the Lord’s temple. 11 The guards stationed themselves around the new king. Each of them had his weapon in his hand. They were near the altar and the temple. They stood from the south side of the temple to its north side.
12 Jehoiada brought out Ahaziah’s son. He put the crown on him. He gave him a copy of the covenant. And he announced that Joash was king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him. The people clapped their hands. Then they shouted, “May the king live a long time!”
13 Athaliah heard the noise the guards and the people were making. So she went to the people at the Lord’s temple. 14 She looked, and there was the king! He was standing next to the pillar. That was the usual practice. The officers and trumpet players were standing beside the king. All the people of the land were filled with joy. They were blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her royal robes. She called out, “Treason! It’s treason!”
15 Jehoiada the priest gave an order to the commanders of the military groups of 100 men. The commanders 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, “She must not be put to death at the Lord’s temple.” 16 So they grabbed her as she reached the place where the horses enter the palace grounds. There she was put to death.
17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people. He had the king and people promise that they would be the Lord’s people. Jehoiada also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18 All the people of the land went to Baal’s temple. They tore it down. They smashed to pieces the altars and the statues of gods. They killed Mattan in front of the altars. He was the priest of Baal.
Then Jehoiada the priest stationed guards at the temple of the Lord. 19 Jehoiada took with him the commanders of groups of 100 men. They were the commanders over the Carites and the guards. He also took with him all the people of the land. All of them brought the new king down from the Lord’s temple. They went into the palace. They entered it by going through the gate of the guards. Then the king sat down on the royal throne. 20 All the people of the land were filled with joy. And the city was calm. That’s because Athaliah had been killed with a sword at the palace.
21 Joash was seven years old when he became king.