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Jehoash, King of Divided Israel

King Jehoash’s ascension to the throne of Israel was filled with intrigue, deception, and suspense. His name describes the events of his life and the kingdom of Israel during his reign. His name literally means “God has given” and it is sometimes referred to as Joash. His reign appears on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History from 891 BC.

According to God, King Ahab was one of the worst kings in the history of Israel. He caused the people to worship false gods, and he didn’t obey the Lord. He also allowed his wife Jezebel to kill God’s people and set up Baal worship all over the land. Eventually, God judged King Ahab and Jezebel for their actions. God used a man named Jehu to wipe out Ahab’s family line and he succeeded in killing just about every member of Ahab’s family including their relatives. Jehu eventually became king of Israel after he wiped out many of Ahab’s kinsmen. When he became king, he continued this extermination program against the king of Judah.

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Jehoash

This particular king’s name was Ahaziah, and he was the grandson of Ahab. Ahaziah’s mother name was Athalia and when she found out that her son was dead, she decided to kill all of his children so she could be the ruler of Judah. She was successful in eliminating all of her grandchildren except for one. His name was Jehoash, and he was an infant when he was rescued from Athalia’s treachery.

Athalia Kills the Last Remaining Relative of Ahab

God used a princess named Jehosheba to hide Jehoash in Solomon’s Temple with his nurse. The young king remained inside of this place for six years before he could claim the throne. While Jehoash was in hiding a Levite priest by the name of Jehoiada made sure he was never found. He guarded the boy until it was time for him to claim the throne.

Jehoida led a secret plot to assassinate Queen Athalia, and his assassination attempt proved to be successful. Right before the Queen was killed, he had crowned the boy Jehoash as king. Once Athalia saw this happen, she yelled “treason” and Jehoiada had the guards slay her.

Jehoiada guided the little king from his infancy into adulthood. He taught him the ways of God, and the land of Israel prospered greatly during the early part of his reign. Jehoiada helped the king to get the people to worship God once again, and he had the king to destroy all of the idols that kept being rebuilt in the land. Many people in Israel prospered during the early part of Jehoash’s reign.

King Jehoash’s Decline

Time had passed, and Jehoiada was old and full years. The Bible says that he was 130 years old when he died. While he was alive Israel had enjoyed great peace and prosperity but once he died the kingdom went into decline. As soon as Jehoiada had died King Jehoash listened to false advisors who managed to get him to stop worshipping God. They also influenced the king to start Baal worship once again and when he did this God had to judge the nation. Before he carried out any type of judgment against King Jehoash he sent prophets to warn him to repent but he didn’t listen. Eventually, God sent Zechariah the son of Jehoiada, to warn Jehoash to turn back. He didn’t listen to him and stoned him death. 2 Chronicles 24: 19 – 22. God then sent a small force from the kingdom of Aram against Judah and Jerusalem. God judged Jehoash for his evil deeds. 2 Chronicles 24: 24, 25 He was killed by his officials for slaying Jehoiada’s son. Jehoash ruled Judah for forty years. The last years of Jehoash’s rule caused the people to go back into sin against God. Jehoash was succeeded by his son Amaziah.

Bible References

  • 2 Kings 11: 1 – 3 Athaliah kills off her grandchildren so that she can become the ruler of Israel except for Jehoash, who is hidden in the temple by his aunt, Jehosheba.
  • 2 Kings 11: 4 – 21 Jehoash remains in hiding for six years and is protected by a high priest named Jehoiada. This priest eventually assassinates the Athalia so that Jehoash can return to the throne.
  • 2 Chronicles 23: 16 – 18 Jehoiada guides the young king in the ways of God, and he helps him to govern the kingdom. God blesses the land of Judah because he is directing King Jehoash in the ways of the Lord. Israel prospers during this period.
  • 2 Chronicles 24: 15 Jehoiada dies and things change for King Jehoash.
  • 2 Chronicles 24: 17 – 18 Jehoash stops putting God first and causes the people stop worshiping God.
  • 2 Chronicles 24: 19 – 22 God sends Jehoiada son Zechariah to warn the king about his evil actions. The king has him stoned to death.
  • 2 Chronicles 24: 19 – 22 King Jehoash was killed by his officials for killing Jehoiada’s son.
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