Joash Repairs the Temple
1Joash became king of Judah. It was in the seventh year of Jehu’s rule. Joash ruled in Jerusalem for 40 years. His mother’s name was Zibiah. She was from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Joash lived that way as long as Jehoiada the priest was teaching him. 3 But the high places weren’t removed. The people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.
4 Joash spoke to the priests. He said, “Collect all the money the people bring as sacred offerings to the Lord’s temple. That includes the money collected when the men who are able to serve in the army are counted. It includes the money received from people who make a special promise to the Lord. It also includes the money people bring to the temple just because they want to. 5 Let each priest receive the money from one of the people in charge of the temple’s treasures. Then use all of that money to repair the temple where it needs it.”
6 It was now the 23rd year of the rule of King Joash. And the priests still hadn’t repaired the temple. 7 So the king sent for Jehoiada the priest and the other priests. He asked them, “Why aren’t you repairing the temple where it needs it? Don’t take any more money from the people in charge of the treasures. Instead, hand it over so the temple can be repaired.” 8 The priests agreed that they wouldn’t collect any more money from the people. They also agreed that they wouldn’t repair the temple themselves.
9 Jehoiada the priest got a chest. He drilled a hole in its lid. He placed the chest beside the altar for burnt offerings. The chest was on the right side as people enter the Lord’s temple. Some priests guarded the entrance. They put into the chest all the money the people brought to the temple. 10 From time to time there was a large amount of money in the chest. When that happened, the royal secretary and the high priest came. They counted the money the people had brought to the temple. Then they put it into bags. 11 After they added it all up, they used it to repair the temple. They gave it to the men who had been put in charge of the work. Those men used it to pay the workers. They paid the builders and those who worked with wood. 12 They paid those who cut stones and those who laid them. They bought lumber and blocks of stone. So they used the money to repair the Lord’s temple. They also paid all the other costs to make the temple like new again.
13 The money the people brought to the Lord’s temple wasn’t used to make silver bowls. It wasn’t used for wick cutters, sprinkling bowls or trumpets. And it wasn’t used for any other things made out of gold or silver. 14 Instead, it was paid to the workers. They used it to repair the temple. 15 The royal secretary and the high priest didn’t require a report from those who were in charge of the work. That’s because they were completely honest. They always paid the workers. 16 Money was received from people who brought guilt offerings and sin offerings. But it wasn’t taken to the Lord’s temple. It belonged to the priests.
17 About that time Hazael, the king of Aram, went up and attacked Gath. Then he captured it. After that, he turned back to attack Jerusalem. 18 But Joash, the king of Judah, didn’t want to go to war. So he took all the sacred objects. They had been set apart to the Lord by the kings who had ruled over Judah before him. Those kings were Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah. Joash took the gifts he himself had set apart. He took all the gold that was among the temple treasures. He also took all the gold from the royal palace. He sent all those things to Hazael, the king of Aram. Then Hazael pulled his army back from Jerusalem.
19 The other events of the rule of Joash are written down. Everything he did is written in the official records of the kings of Judah. 20 The officials of Joash made evil plans against him. They killed him at Beth Millo. It happened on the road that goes down to Silla. 21 The officials who murdered him were Jozabad and Jehozabad. Jozabad was the son of Shimeath. Jehozabad was the son of Shomer. After Joash died, he was buried in the family tomb in the City of David. Joash’s son Amaziah became the next king after him.