2 Kings 11 -12 part 7

 

Tonight we will start out examining the reign of Joash also called Jehoash who was crowned king at the age of 7. 2 Chron. 24 also records the reign of Jehoash and gives us more details. So, part of study will come from it.

 

2 Kings 12:1 In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba.2 Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him.3 But the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.

 

We are not given a great deal of information of what this king did in his long 40 year reign other than his accomplishment of repairing Solomonís temple. Now as long as Jehoiada was alive Jehoash did things right in the sight of God. However, we will find out in 2 Chron. 24 how Jehoash went down hill after Jehoiada dies. One of the main problems that most the good kings had was getting rid of these high places. There were always some Jews who wanted to worship these false Gods. This idolatry would not be cured until the Babylonian captivity. 2 Chron. 24 tells us that Jehoiada gets2 wives for Jehoash and has sons and daughters with them.

 

2 Kings 12:4 And Jehoash said to the priests, "All the money of the dedicated gifts that are brought into the house of the LORD -- each man's census money, each man's assessment money -- and all the money that a man purposes in his heart to bring into the house of the LORD,5 "let the priests take it themselves, each from his constituency; and let them repair the damages of the temple, wherever any dilapidation is found."6 Now it was so, by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, that the priests had not repaired the damages of the temple.7 So King Jehoash called Jehoiada the priest and the other priests, and said to them, "Why have you not repaired the damages of the temple? Now therefore, do not take more money from your constituency, but deliver it for repairing the damages of the temple."8 And the priests agreed that they would neither receive more money from the people, nor repair the damages of the temple.

 

2 Chron. 24 says the kingís command was urgent that the temple be restored. This money was to come from 3 sources. The first source was the half shekel required for the census of those 20 years and older (Exodus 30:13). The second source was the money given for the redemption of the first born (Num. 18:15-16) and those who took a vow (Lev. 27:2-8). The 3rd source was from those who gave free will offering. They were take money from constituency, which means friends. 2 Chron. 24 tells us that this means they were to go out into all the cities of Judah to collect money for the repair of temple year after year.

 

Now even though Jehoash command was urgent we can see that they were not doing what they were told to do and now itís the 23rd year of his reign. Now, we can assume 2 things from this. Either the money they collected wasnít enough to do the repairs or this priesthood was corrupt. So, now the king will take matters into his own hands.

 

2 Kings 12:9 Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of the LORD; and the priests who kept the door put there all the money brought into the house of the LORD.10 So it was, whenever they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king's scribe and the high priest came up and put it in bags, and counted the money that was found in the house of the LORD.11 Then they gave the money, which had been apportioned, into the hands of those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of the LORD; and they paid it out to the carpenters and builders who worked on the house of the LORD,12 and to masons and stonecutters, and for buying timber and hewn stone, to repair the damage of the house of the LORD, and for all that was paid out to repair the temple.13 However there were not made for the house of the LORD basins of silver, trimmers, sprinkling-bowls, trumpets, any articles of gold or articles of silver, from the money brought into the house of the LORD.14 But they gave that to the workmen, and they repaired the house of the LORD with it.15 Moreover they did not require an account from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to be paid to workmen, for they dealt faithfully.16 The money from the trespass offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the LORD. It belonged to the priests.

 

2 Chr. 24 tells us that the king is the one who made the request for a chest to be made for the people to put money in it. This is the first time we find a collection box being made and it apparently became a permanent part of the temple because we see the say type of collection box used in the NT with the widow and her two mites (Mark 12:42). The king was not disappointed because the people came through and filled the chest with money and the repairs began. According 2 Chr. 24, Queen Athaliah had taken many things from the temple to use for the worship of Baal. So, a lot of this damage most likely came from her.They only had enough money to fix the essentials, so there wasnít enough money to bring back some of the silver and gold objects that used to be there during Solomonís time. It is good to see that the priesthood was dealing faithful with all this money that had come in for the repair of the temple.

 

2 Chronicles 24:13 So the workmen labored, and the work was completed by them; they restored the house of God to its original condition and reinforced it.14 When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; they made from it articles for the house of the LORD, articles for serving and offering, spoons and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada.

 

Once they completed the restoration of the temple they had enough money left over to make few articles out of gold and silver and temple worship was restored as long Jhoiada was alive.

 

 

 

2 Chronicles 24:15 But Jehoiada grew old and was full of days, and he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old when he died.16 And they buried him in the City of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God and His house.

 

Jehoiada was God fearing man and he had served God well. He lived longer then most during his time as he made to the age of 130. He was honored by being buried among the Kings for his great service to God, his house and Israel. It always sad to see such a great leader die because there is not many that could fill his shoes. His service to God and his influence on the king shows us how important it is for us to have strong spiritual leaders in the church today. We need men who are will to serve God with their whole heart, mind and soul, so that the church is always doing its best to do those things which are right in the sight of God.

 

2 Chronicles 24:17 Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them.18 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.19 Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the LORD; and they testified against them, but they would not listen.

 

This is what can happen when a strong spiritual leader dies and no one else has been trained or encouraged to fill his shoes. Even though Joash grew up under Jehoiada and followed his lead for all these years, he now has turned his back on God and listened to the people because he was a follower instead of a leader. Now Judah fully engaged in idolatry. This is why its important that we as a congregation train and encourage the men of our congregation to become spiritual leaders who are willing to allow the Word of God to be their guide and who will not allow the influence of our society to corrupt our worship to God. Once false doctrine and the false way makes its way into a congregation it is much harder to restore that congregation back to the right path. As we read, God sent prophets to Joash to try and get him back to the right side, but he would not listen.

 

2 Chronicles 24:20 Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, "Thus says God: 'Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He also has forsaken you.' "21 So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD.22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son; and as he died, he said, "The LORD look on it, and repay!"

 

Now I find this very sad. After Jehoiada had been like a father to Joash and treated him kindly, he now kills one of his sons. All Zechariah was doing was trying to get Joash to return back to God and he has him stoned to death. But, before Zechariah dies he prays to that God will repay this great injustice and as we will see God answer that request.

 

2 Chronicles 24:23 So it happened in the spring of the year that the army of Syria came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the leaders of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.24 For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men; but the LORD delivered a very great army into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash.

 

2 Kings 12: 17-18 informs us that this is Hazael that is leading this attack. This attack was a direct result of Joash turning his back on God and killing Zechariah. We also find out 2 Kingsí account that Joash gives all the treasures of the temple to Hazael to get him to leave them alone.

 

2 Chronicles 24:25 And when they had withdrawn from him (for they left him severely wounded), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed. So he died. And they buried him in the City of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings.26 These are the ones who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith (shim Ė rith) the Moabitess.27 Now concerning his sons, and the many oracles about him, and the repairing of the house of God, indeed they are written in the annals of the book of the kings. Then Amaziah his son reigned in his place.

So, he was already severely wounded and most likely would have died on his own, but his own servants killed him in his bed for what he had done to Zechariah and they did not honor him at his death because they wouldnít bury him with the kings. Now, Amaziah his son reigns in his place.

 

Everything we have looked at in chapter 12 had to do with the southern kingdom, but in chapter 13 we will now turn our attention to the northern kingdom.

 

2 Kings 13:1 In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years.2 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. He did not depart from them.3 Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Ben-Hadad the son of Hazael, all their days.4 So Jehoahaz pleaded with the LORD, and the LORD listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them.5 Then the LORD gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents as before.6 Nevertheless they did not depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin, but walked in them; and the wooden image also remained in Samaria.7 For He left of the army of Jehoahaz only fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand foot soldiers; for the king of Syria had destroyed them and made them like the dust at threshing.8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, all that he did, and his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?9 So Jehoahaz rested with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Then Joash his son reigned in his place.

 

I have pointed out before that was easy for a scribe to miscopy a numbers in the Hebrew. Most scholars believe that is what happened in this verse where is says the twenty-third year because this disagrees with 2 Kings 13:10. Josephus stated that the ascension of Jehoahaz really took place in "the twenty-first year" of Joash (Antiquities ix. 8, 5). The 21st year would agree with 2 Kings 13:10.

 

We are introduced to Jehoahaz the new king of Israel. We can see that Syria was really oppressing Israel and finally caused Jehoahaz to call up on God in prayer. God decides to answer his prayer and sends a deliverer. Now, we are not told who this deliverer was. Some have said it was the Assyrians and others believe this refers to the next 2 kings who would rule over Israel.

 

Even though Jheoahaz had turned to God for help, he and his people were not willing to fully commit themselves to God because they still sinned by worshiping the false Gods of Jeroboam. The Syrians had done great damage to Israel because during Ahab reign they had over 2000 chariots and now they only had 50 with 10,000 soldiers. So, Jheoahaz was another bad king and his son Joash reined in his place. Now we donít want to confuse this Joash, which is also called Jehoash with the Joash we just finished talking about in chapter 12.

 

2 Kings 13:10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years.11 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, but walked in them.12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, all that he did, and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?13 So Joash rested with his fathers. Then Jeroboam sat on his throne. And Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

 

This is brief summary of King Joash who reined for 16 years. Once again, this king was a bad one. We will learn little more about him in next verses and in chapter 14, which we will look at next week.

 

2 Kings 13:14 Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, "O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!"15 And Elisha said to him, "Take a bow and some arrows." So he took himself a bow and some arrows.16 Then he said to the king of Israel, "Put your hand on the bow." So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king's hands. 17 And he said, "Open the east window"; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, "Shoot"; and he shot. And he said, "The arrow of the LORD's deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them."18 Then he said, "Take the arrows"; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground"; so he struck three times, and stopped.19 And the man of God was angry with him, and said, "You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times."

 

Elisha was very old now, some have estimated that he was round 90 years old and now we will see one last prophecy that he will make that will come to pass. Even Joash was a bad king, at this moment he showed great compassion for this man of God and wept over him. Elisha prophecy was different this time. Fist he has him shoot an arrow, which showed that God would deliver them from the Syrians. Next he is told to take the arrows he had and strike the ground, but he only does it 3 times and this makes Elisha angry and now instead of destroying Syria, they would only be able to attack them successful 3 times.

 

Now, this may seem kind of strange that it would based on how many times Joash struck the floor with arrows, but the point of the matter is that he didnít show much zeal with the request of Elisha. To only strike the floor 3 times showed that he was only make half hearted effort and that is why Elisha was angered by it.

 

2 Kings 13:20 Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year.21 So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.

 

Many times miracles were done to prove something and I believe this miracle was proof that Elisha prophecy would come true and it also confirmed that Elisha was a prophet of God. What a sight that must have been to put dead man next to the bones of Elisha and then all of sudden this dead man was alive. This was a unique miracle.

 

2 Kings 13:22 And Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.23 But the LORD was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence.24 Now Hazael king of Syria died. Then Ben-Hadad his son reigned in his place.25 And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz recaptured from the hand of Ben-Hadad, the son of Hazael, the cities which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times Joash defeated him and recaptured the cities of Israel.

 

As we come to the close of the chapter we see Elisha prophecy fulfilled because Joash struck the Syrians 3 times and was able to get back the cities that were lost to his father. This also shows us why some consider Joash as one the redeemers that God said he would send. Finally, we see that Hazael dies and his son Ben-Hadad reigns in his place.