Joash, son of Ahaziah

When Athaliah annihilated the royal line upon death of her son Ahaziah, the baby Joash was hid away by his aunt Jehosheba in a secretive bedchamber of the Temple compound. He was protected there by her husband Jehoiada the high priest, guarded and nurtured for six years. In the seventh year he was restored as rightful heir to the Judean throne by Jehoiada in a well planned righteous coup. Athaliah the queen-mother usurper was executed, and the young king began his reign to the accolades of the people.

“Yo'ash was seven years old when he began to reign; and he reigned forty years in Yerushalayim: and his mother's name was Tzivyah, of Be'er-Sheva. Yo'ash did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Yehoiada the Kohen.” (2 Ch 24:1-3, HNV)

Joash set his heart on repairing the house of the LORD, which had been so desecrated by his wicked grandmother. With the help of Jehoiada, he motivated the priests and Levites to make the collection that Moses had imposed on Israel in the wilderness. He persevered in this effort until funds were gathered in abundance, and workmen could be hired to repair the Temple compound. The house of the LORD was totally restored, the vessels of service remade, and henceforth they offered burnt offerings in the Temple continually all the days of Jehoiada.

“Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them. Therefore they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass.” (2Ch 24:17-18, NKJV)

Without the positive influence of Jehoiada to guide him, king Joash heeded the people's desire to return to idolatry, and this sad turn of events brought Judah into judgment. Rebuked for this transgression by Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, Joash took umbrage and ordered his death by stoning. Astonishingly, this cruel act demonstrated a willing forgetfulness of the fact that his own life had been spared and secured by the hand of Jehoiada. As Zechariah took his final breath, he cried out “the LORD look on it, and repay!”

In the spring of the year of this callous forgetfulness by Joash, the LORD executed judgment upon Judah when the very great army of Judah was defeated by a small Syrian force who came up against Jerusalem. To stave off further attack, Joash stripped the Temple of it sacred things and all the gold of the treasury, and sent it to Damascus, to Hazael king of Syria in tribute (2Ki 12:17-18, 2Ch 24:23-24). After this, some of Joash's own servants formed a conspiracy against him because of the blood of Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, and the king was assassinated. Joash was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. So God repaid Joash's apostasy with defeat by Syria and death at the hands of his own people.