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Joash King of Israel

King Joash (or Jehoash) ruled Israel during the time Amaziah was king of Judah which is where he appears on the Bible World History Timeline. Joash means that “God has given”. He was the son of King Jehoahaz. When King Joash ruled Israel, he publically promoted the worship of God. However, he inwardly continued the pagan practices of the Golden Calf Cult.

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After Israel had divided into two separate kingdoms, Israeli kings started this religious system as a means to control the masses. They did not want to lose their power by allowing Judah and Israel to reunite into one kingdom. King Joash authorized priests and created shrines to continue this cult.

God was not pleased with his actions. Joash didn’t completely hate God or his followers. There was a group of prophets who lived in Israel and Judah. These prophets were originally led by Elijah, who taught them in the ways of God. After Elijah had been taken into heaven by God, Elisha took his place. The prophet Elisha performed many miracles and spoke many prophetic messages from the Lord during the reign of Joash.

When Elisha was on his death bed, King Joash came to his side. Elisha liked King Joash as well, and the last prophecy that he made in his life was made about the king. Elisha told Joash that he would defeat the Arameans. The Arameans were a group of people that constantly harassed and plagued Israel, and Joash had temporarily subdued them during his reign. When King Joash was ruling Israel, another king named Amaziah ruled the land of Judah.

King Amaziah wanted to defeat the enemies of Judah that had been causing him problems. So he prepared his armies to deal with the threat and he also hired some Israeli mercenaries. A prophet was sent to King Amaziah, who told the king not to use the services of the Israeli army because they will lose the battle. King Amaziah wisely listened to the advice of the prophet. He released the mercenaries, and they were angry. Instead of returning to Israel they decided to attack various towns in Judah after King Amaziah took his troops into battle.

When King Amaziah found about their treachery, he sent a message to Joash challenging him to a fight. King Joash also knew about what the mercenaries had done and told King Amaziah that he would be a fool to fight against him. King Amaziah didn’t listen, and they went to war. King Joash defeated King Amaziah and captured him. Once King Joash captured him, he forced Amaziah to watch as he plundered Solomon’s Temple. He also made King Amaziah watch as he destroyed a section of Jerusalem’s protective wall. King Joash then took some captives and returned to Israel. King Amaziah learned his lesson and never bothered Joash again. Eventually, King Joash had died and was buried with his ancestors in Samaria. His son, Jeroboam then became the next king of Israel.

Biblical References:

  •  2 Kings 13: 10 -13 Joash took over the throne of Israel after Jehoahaz. He rules for 16 years, and he did what was evil in the sight of God
  • 2 Kings 14: 8 -14 Amaziah challenges Joash to a war after Israeli mercenaries destroy towns in Judah
  • 2 Chronicles 25: 5 -13 Amaziah discharges the Israeli mercenaries, and they destroy the towns in Judah; this is when he issues the challenge to Joash.
  • 2 Kings 13: 14 – 20 Elisha makes his last prophecy about Joash.
  • 2 Kings 14: 16 Joash dies and his son Jeroboam becomes the next king.