2 Chronicles 24 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

The Kingdom of Israel
From Splendor to Disaster
Splendor Disaster
King Solomon
of Judah
2 Chronicles 1-9
Successive Kings
of Judah
2Chr 10-36
2Chr 10:1-19
Rulers of the Southern
Kingdom of Judah
After the Split
The Exile
of Judah
2Chr 36:17-23

2Chr 1:1-17

2Chr 2:1-7:22
2Chr 8:1-9:31
of the Temple
Decline & Destruction
of the Temple
~40 Years ~393 Years

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Click Chart from Charles Swindoll









1Samuel 2 Samuel 1Kings 1Kings 2 Kings


1-4 5-10 11-20 21-24 1-11 12-22 1-17 18-25

1 Chronicles 10



2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.

ESV chart - kings of Israel - more information
ESV chart - kings of Judah - more information
Another Chart with Variable Dates for Reigns of Kings



2 Chronicles 24:1 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah from Beersheba.

Related Passages:

2 Kings 11:21 Jehoash was seven years old when he became king.

2 Kings 12:1  In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.

Spurgeon - This chapter gives us the story of the reign of Joash. He was the only one of the royal seed who was preserved alive when Athaliah sought to destroy all the family of Ahaziah. He was hidden away for some six years in the temple by his aunt Jehoshabeath, the wife of Jehoiada the high priest, who arranged matters so well that, when the child was seven years old, Jehoiada caused him to be crowned king, and he put to death the cruel she-wolf Athaliah, who had destroyed the royal family. You see, therefore, how much this young king owed to his uncle the high-priest. Now let us read the story of his reign.

Cyril Barber talks about a young man who turned away from truth, and his story reminds me of King Joash who was also like "Turnaway in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Those who are familiar with this beautiful allegory of the spiritual pilgrimage we all are taking will remember that two men, Christian and Hopeful, were journeying from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. En route they entered a dark lane where they came across a frightening scene. Seven demons were carrying toward a black door a man whom they had bound with seven strong cords. The man resembled someone whom Christian and Hopeful had seen before—Turnaway, a resident in the town of Apostasy. At the sight, both Christian and Hopeful began to tremble, for the awful fate of the man filled them with fear. Many of us know someone like Turnaway, for he represents those who once took an interest in spiritual matters, but following some trial or testing took the broad way that leads to destruction (cf. Matthew 7:13–14). "

The Tragedy of Half-heartedness (25:1–28)

      A Salutary Beginning (25:1–13)
      A Foolish Decision (25:14–16)
      An Unnecessary War (25:17–28) (2 Chronicles


Andrew Hill: The Chronicler features the reigns of three kings following the execution of the usurper Athaliah: the child-king Joash, his son and successor Amaziah, and son and successor Uzziah (also known as Azariah, 2 Kings 15:1). The narrative continues a pattern introduced with King Jehoram, that of framing each royal record with an opening and closing regnal resume. Typically, the opening resume consists of formulaic expressions containing basic information: the accession age, the length and place of reign, the identification of the queen mother, and a theological review. Likewise, the closing resume usually includes a citation of source formula, a succession formula, and a notice of death and burial formula. . . Theme and structure are intertwined in this section. The pattern of early success contrasted with later failure ties the records of Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah as a literary unit. This is in keeping with the Chronicler’s keen interest in the theology of divine retribution, especially the immediate impact of reward and punishment in the king’s reign. Thus, each royal record consists of two parts: a rehearsal of blessing and prosperity as a result of the king’s obedience to God, followed by a report of his apostasy and its detrimental religious and political consequences. This motif is not new, as the same literary pattern characterized Rehoboam (chs. 11-12) and Asa (chs. 14-16). But sadly, something has changed in these royal reports, as Selman carefully observes: “Positive balancing factors at the end of these reigns are no longer to be found.”

Iain Duguid: How did a temple restorer become a prophet killer? Kings introduces Joash’s reign by stating, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all his days, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him,” but immediately modifies the positive assessment by stating that high places continued (2 Kings 12:2–3). Kings tells of temple restoration but concludes with details of submission to Syria and assassination. The Chronicler seeks to clarify by omitting 2 Kings 12:3 and by recounting Joash’s actions centering on the renewal of the temple and its utensils “all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (2 Chron. 24:1–16); he then provides a theological rationale for the reversals as being “after the death of Jehoiada,” when the king and the “princes of Judah . . . abandoned the house of the Lord,” rejecting prophetic warnings—with disastrous consequences (vv. 17–27). A clear contrast is seen between the period when Joash was under Jehoiada’s mature, faithful oversight, with its temple restoration, and his later listening to “the princes of Judah,” resulting in their serving “the Asherim and the idols” (v. 18). Only after persistent rejection of “prophets,” culminating in the killing of Zechariah, was retributive judgment evident. . . The two halves of the chapter are tied together by the contrasting burials of Jehoiada the priest and of Joash the king (vv. 15–16, 25). The priest was honored like a king because he had done what the king ultimately failed to do: “He had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house” (v. 16).

Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah from Beersheba.

Spurgeon - He might have reigned much longer had he not erred and turned aside from the right way, and so brought judgment upon himself. As long as his uncle lived, that truly devout statesman as well as priest of the Lord, “Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.”

C H Spurgeon - THERE is a book called The Museum of Natural History, and the most singular animal in that museum is man. It would be far more easy to understand any other creature than to understand a human being. He is worthy of very great study; and the more he is studied, the more will he surprise you. There are certain characters that are great curiosities. Alas, there are also other characters that are great monstrosities! You can never tell, from what a man is, what he will be. The case before us is a very extraordinary one, because here is a man with every possible advantage, who through a number of years exhibited the brightest form of character; and yet in the end he was not thought worthy to be laid in the sepulchres of his fathers with others of the kings of Judah; neither was he worthy of any royal interment, for the latter part of his life blackened and defiled the whole of his career, and he who began his reign like the dawning of the day ended it like the middle of the night. (Sermon - Goodness as a Morning Cloud - 2Ch 24:2, 17-18)

Raymond Dillard: The Chronicler has divided the reign of Joash into two distinct periods: the good years while Jehoiada influenced the king, and the bad years after Jehoiada’s death; this is a characteristic feature in the Chronicler’s accounts of the individual kings. This division is already implicit in the wording of 2 Kgs 12:3 [2], that Joash did the right “for all his days while Jehoiada instructed him” (though for a contrary reading, see Williamson, 319; Gray, 583). The Chronicler omits the mention in Kings that Joash did not remove the high places (2 Kgs 12:4 [3]); since this would be out of character with his presentation of the early years of Joash, the matter of the high places is delayed to 24:18.

Walton - Joash ruled from 835 to 796 B.C. and was a contemporary of Jehu, Jehoahaz and Jehoash of Israel. Shalmaneser III, Shamshi-Adad V and Adad-Nirari III ruled Assyria during this period. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 445)

Matthew Henry Notes: Chapter: 24
We have here the history of the reign of Joash, the progress of which, and especially its termination, were not of a piece with its beginning, nor shone with so much lustre. How wonderfully he was preserved for the throne, and placed in it, we read before; now here we are told how he began in the spirit, but ended in the flesh.

I. In the beginning of his time, while Jehoiada lived, he did well; particularly, he took care to put the temple in good repair (v. 1-14).

II. In the latter end of his time, after Jehoiada's death, he apostatized from God, and his apostasy was his ruin.

1. He set up the worship of Baal again (v. 15-18), though warned to the contrary (v. 19).

2. He put Zechariah the prophet to death because he reproved him for what he had done (v. 20-22).

3. The judgments of God came upon him for it. The Syrians invaded him (v. 23, 24). He was struck with sore diseases; his own servants conspired against him and slew him; and, as a mark of infamy upon him, he was not buried in the burying-place of the kings (v. 25-27).

Verses: 2Ch 24:1-14
This account of Joash's good beginnings we had as it stands here 2 Ki. 12:1, etc., though the latter part of this chapter, concerning his apostasy, we had little of there. What is good in men we should take all occasions to speak of and often repeat it; what is evil we should make mention of but sparingly, and no more than is needful. We shall here only observe,

1. That it is a happy thing for young people, when they are setting out in the world, to be under the direction of those that are wise and good and faithful to them, as Joash was under the influence of Jehoiada, during whose time he did that which was right. Let those that are young reckon it a blessing to them, and not a burden and check upon them, to have those with them that will caution them against that which is evil and advise and quicken them to that which is good; and let them reckon it not a mark of weakness and subjection, but of wisdom and discretion, to hearken to such. He that will not be counselled cannot be helped. It is especially prudent for young people to take advice in their marriages, as Joash did, who left it to his guardian to choose him his wives, because Jezebel and Athaliah had been such plagues, 2Ch 24:3. This is a turn of life which often proves either the making or marring of young people, and therefore should be attended to with great care.

2. Men may go far in the external performances of religion, and keep long to them, merely by the power of their education and the influence of their friends, who yet have no hearty affection for divine things nor any inward relish of them. Foreign inducements may push men on to that which is good who are not actuated by a living principle of grace in their hearts.

3. In the outward expressions of devotion it is possible that those who have only the form of godliness may out-strip those who have the power of it. Joash is more solicitous and more zealous about the repair of the temple than Jehoiada himself, whom he reproves for his remissness in that matter, v. 6. It is easier to build temples than to be temples to God.

4. The repairing of churches is a good work, which all in their places should promote, for the decency and conveniency of religious assemblies. The learned tell us that in the Christian church, anciently, part of the tithes were applied that way.

5. Many a good work would be done that now lies undone if there were but a few active men to stir in it and to put it forward. When Joash found the money did not come in as he expected in one way he tried another way, and that answered the intention. Many have honesty enough to follow that have not zeal enough to lead in that which is good. The throwing of money into a chest, through a hole in the lid of it, was a way that had not been used before, and perhaps the very novelty of the thing made it a successful expedient for the raising of money; a great deal was thrown in and with a great deal of cheerfulness: they all rejoiced, 2Ch 24:10. An invention to please people's humour may sometimes bring them to their duty. Wisdom herein is profitable to direct.

6. Faithfulness is the greatest praise and will be the greatest comfort of those that are entrusted with public treasure or employed in public business. The king and Jehoiada faithfully paid the money to the workmen, who faithfully did the work, 2Ch 24:12, 13.

QUESTION -  Who was King Joash in the Bible? (NOTE HE IS CALLED "JEHOASH" IN 2 Kings 12:1)

ANSWER - There are two kings with the name Joash (or Jehoash) in the Bible: one a king of Judah (reigned 835–796 BC) and the other a king of Israel (reigned 798–782 BC).

King Joash/Jehoash of Judah

The story of King Joash of Judah starts with that of King Jehu of Israel. Anointed king of Israel by Elisha, Jehu was tasked with destroying King Ahab’s descendants and wiping out Baal worship in the land (2 Kings 9). 1 Kings 21:25–26 gives the reason for the judgment: “There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.” God had told Ahab, through Elijah, “I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free, . . . because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin” (1 Kings 21:21–22). Ahab responded to the prophecy with mourning and in humility, so God relented, saying that He would not bring the disaster in Ahab’s time but during his son’s reign. Jehu was God’s instrument to fulfill the prophecy.

After Jehu was anointed king over Israel, he set out against Joram, a son of Ahab and the current king of Israel. Ahaziah (different from the other son of Ahab who initially succeeded him) was king of Judah at the time and was with Joram. Judah’s Ahaziah, however, “followed the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family” (2 Kings 8:27). Jehu killed both Ahaziah and Joram; executed Ahab’s wife, Jezebel; killed Ahab’s descendants; and “wiped out Baal from Israel” (2 Kings 10:28, ESV). Unfortunately, Jehu himself did not walk in the ways of God, but, since he had been faithful to God’s call to rid Israel of Baal worship, God promised that four generations of his line would be king of Israel (2 Kings 10:30).

King Joash of Judah first comes on the scene when Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah, whom Jehu had killed, took charge of Judah. Athaliah killed all of the royal family she could find in Judah in order to secure the throne for herself. However, Athaliah missed one of her grandsons—the infant Joash. The evil queen’s sister rescued young Joash and his nurse, and the child was hidden for six years in the temple while Athaliah reigned in Judah (2 Kings 11:1–3). In the seventh year, the priest Jehoiada revealed Joash to the captains of the guards. The priest made an agreement with them to provide protection to the temple and the rightful king, and Jehoiada brought Joash out into public and anointed him as king (2 Kings 11:4–12). The people of Judah rejoiced over Joash’s appointment. Upon hearing the noise of the ceremony, Queen Athaliah rushed to the temple, crying, "Treason! Treason!” By Jehoiada’s command, Athaliah was captured by the guards, removed from the temple, and put to death (2 Kings 11:13–16). “Jehoiada then made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people that they would be the Lord’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people” (2 Kings 11:17). The people tore down the temple of Baal, watchmen were set over the Lord’s temple, and, at the age of seven, Joash took the throne (2 Kings 11:18–21).

2 Kings 12:1–3 says that Joash “reigned in Jerusalem forty years. . . . Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him.” 2 Kings 12 goes on to describe various financial dealings of Joash. King Joash’s main achievement was making repairs to the temple (2 Kings 12:4–16). He also used a monetary gift to dissuade King Hazael of Aram (Syria) from attacking Jerusalem (2 Kings 12:17–18).

The tragedy of King Joash of Judah is that, after his mentor and guardian, Jehoiada, died, he began listening to wicked advisers. Joash revived Baal and Asherah worship in Judah (2 Chronicles 24:17–19). God sent prophets to warn Joash, but he did not listen to them. Finally, the prophet Zechariah, son of the priest Jehoiada, brought God’s word to Joash, but the king callously ordered the son of his old friend to be stoned to death (2Ch 24:19–22). Joash’s reign did not end peacefully: “His officials conspired against him and assassinated him at Beth Millo, on the road down to Silla” (2 Kings 12:20). Joash’s son Amaziah took over the throne, and Amaziah “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord,” but, the Bible notes, he was more like his father Joash than his ancestor David (2 Kings 14:3–4). Interestingly, Amaziah interacted with the other King Joash in the Bible.

King Joash of Israel

King Joash of Israel began his reign in the thirty-seventh year of the reign of King Joash of Judah, so there was some overlap. King Amaziah started ruling Judah in the second year of King Joash of Israel. Amaziah of Judah battled against the Edomites and then challenged Joash of Israel to battle (2 Kings 14:7–8). Joash refused, essentially telling Amaziah he was needlessly stirring up trouble (2 Kings 14:9–10). Amaziah did not heed the warning, and Joash of Israel defeated Judah in battle. 2 Chronicles 25:20 says that Judah’s defeat was “because they sought the gods of Edom.”

Second Kings records another of Joash of Israel’s military victories. When Joash’s father, Jehoahaz, was reigning, King Hazael of Aram (the same king that Joash of Judah had kept from attacking Jerusalem) oppressed Israel (2 Kings 13:22). “But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence” (2 Kings 13:23). When the prophet Elisha was sick and near to death, King Joash of Israel visited the prophet, apparently disconcerted over the military situation in Israel (2 Kings 13:14). Elisha instructed Joash to shoot arrows out of the open window. The prophet then proclaimed, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram! . . . You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek” (2 Kings 13:17). Elisha next instructed Joash to strike the ground with the arrows. Joash did so but stopped after three strikes. “The man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times’” (2 Kings 13:19). When Hazael died and his son, Ben-hadad, took over, Joash did defeat him three times. Israel was able to recover cities that previously had been taken from them (2 Kings 13:24–25).

King Joash of Israel ruled for sixteen years and “did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he continued in them” (2 Kings 13:11). After he died, Joash of Israel was succeeded by his son Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:16).GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 24:2 Joash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.

  • Joash (KJV): 2Ch 25:2 26:4,5 2Ki 12:2 Ps 78:36,37 106:12,13 Mk 4:16,17 
  • all the days of Jehoiada (KJV): 2Ch 24:17-22 Isa 29:13  


Joash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.

2 Chronicles 24:3 Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he became the father of sons and daughters.

  • took for him (KJV): Not for himself, as the Jewish expositors suppose, but for Joash; for Jehoiada's advanced age renders it highly improbable that he should take them for himself.  He was born in the reign of Solomon, and lived through six successive reigns; and must, on any computation, have been upwards of 100 years old when Joash began to reign. 2Ch 24:15 Ge 21:21 24:4 
  • two wives (KJV): Ge 4:19 Mt 19:4-8 

Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he became the father of sons and daughters.

Raymond Dillard: Jehoiada’s securing wives for Joash addressed the dynastic threat that had brought him to the throne. Through the subsequent children the Davidic dynasty would begin to rebuild and broaden after the murders of members of the royal house during the reigns of Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Athaliah. V 3 is unique to Chronicles: beyond the concern with rebuilding the Davidic household, for the Chronicler numerous progeny were a token of divine blessing (1 Chr 14:2–7; 25:4–5; 26:4–5; 2 Chr 11:18– 23; 13:21). The additional material the Chronicler inserted regarding the wives and children of Joash was apparently drawn from the source he cites (24:27).

QUESTION - Who was Jehoiada in the Bible?

ANSWER - The best known of the Jehoiadas in the Bible was a leading priest of Israel who served several of the kings of Judah. After Israel split into two kingdoms, Judah, the southern kingdom, which included Jerusalem, remained more faithful to the Lord. Jehoiada the priest married the sister of King Ahaziah of Judah. King Ahaziah reigned just one year before being killed.

Ahaziah’s power-hungry mother, Athaliah, smelled an opportunity. She rounded up all of her son’s family, anyone with a potential claim to the throne, and had them all killed so she could become the queen (2 Kings 11:1). She missed only one in the slaughter. When Ahaziah’s sister Jehoshabeath, Jehoiada’s wife, realized what Athaliah was up to, she hid the youngest of her nephews, Joash, away (2Ki 11:2). Just a year old, Joash was too young to claim his rightful throne, but he was protected by Jehoiada and Jehoshabeath in the temple of the Lord (2Ki 11:3).

Six years passed, during which the usurping queen mother Athaliah remained in power and the rightful king grew into a boy within the temple courts. Finally, Jehoiada the priest decided the time had come to make the boy king. He called the captains of the guard and influential Levites and other leaders of the people to come to Jerusalem. He let them all in on the secret that one of the king’s sons still lived, the rightful heir to the throne as a direct descendant of David. The soldiers and the people agreed, under oath, to provide protection and support for the king while he was being crowned and anointed in the temple (2 Chronicles 23:1–3).

When the day came, every person in the assembly stood ready to defend the young king (2 Chronicles 23:8–10). Jehoiada brought Joash out, placed the crown on the boy, anointed him with oil, and gave to him the testimony (or royal law). The people clapped and shouted, “Long live the king!” while the trumpets blared (2Ch 23:11).

Athaliah, the queen mother and Joash’s grandmother, heard the noise from the temple and came over from the palace (2 Chronicles 23:12). When she saw the scene surrounding a boy wearing the crown of the king, she realized what was going on. She screamed out, “Treason!” and tore her own clothes in grief and fury (2Ch 23:13).

Jeohiada commanded the captains of the guard to take Queen Athaliah out of the temple and put her to death, along with anyone who followed her. The guards obeyed, and Athaliah was executed by the Horse Gate on the palace grounds (2 Chronicles 23:15). Serving now as the king’s proxy, Jehoiada made a covenant between the king and the people that they would be the Lord’s people and no longer worship Baal as the queen mother had allowed (2Ch 23:16). The people stormed and destroyed the temple of Baal and killed the idolatrous chief priest (2Ch 23:17).

Joash, just seven years old, assumed the throne and reigned as king over Judah for 40 years. Thanks to his adviser Jehoiada, Joash was known as one of the good kings of Judah who served the Lord. Together, Joash and Jehoiada oversaw extensive repairs to the Lord’s temple that had gone neglected for far too long. 2 Kings 12:1–3 says that Joash “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him.”

Jehoiada lived to be an impressive 130 years old and blessed the kingdom of Judah with his godly wisdom and able direction. Highly regarded by the people for his service both to the kings of Judah and the house of God, Jehoiada the priest was buried in Jerusalem in the place of the kings. Unfortunately, after Jehoiada died, King Joash began listening to wicked advisers, and Baal and Asherah worship revived in Judah (2 Chronicles 24:17–19).

You can read more of Jehoiada’s story in 2 Kings 11–12 and 2 Chronicles 22:10–24:16.GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 24:4 Now it came about after this that Joash decided to restore the house of the LORD.

  • repair (KJV): Heb. renew, 2Ch 24:5-7 


Now it came about after this that Joash decided to restore the house of the LORD - What a great, God honoring start for this king! 

Raymond Dillard: Royal initiative was crucial to the building of the temple at the time of David and Solomon; here royal initiative leads to its restoration. However, royal initiative and precedent would also have led the priests and Levites to expect the royal treasury to bear much of the expense. The king instead seeks to finance the restoration work by reallocating some of the temple income used for the maintenance of the cultic staff to the building project. The priests respond with inaction.

Spurgeon - Jehoiada had with him broken in pieces the images of Baal, and battered down the temples of the idols; and now the young king is “minded to repair the house of Jehovah.”

Frederick Mabie: Joash’s repair and restoration of the temple are similar to the later efforts of Hezekiah (29:3-36) and Josiah (34:8-13). Such refurbishing provided a tangible way for the ruler to show his devotion to God. As such, emphasis is placed on the involvement of many sectors of the community (cf. vv. 9-12) as well as the skill and carefulness of those involved in the process of restoration (cf. v. 13).

Ryrie - 24:4-14  On Joash's (= Jehoash's) zeal to repair the Temple, see notes on 2 Kings 12:2-13. 

Walton - ideology of temple restoration in the ancient Near East. The temple was the center of culture, economy and society in Syria, Mesopotamia and Israel. It served as the house of the city’s patron deity, and thus the god’s presence was considered to exist there. It was incumbent upon the ruler of the city to attend to the “care and feeding” of the deity. The statue of the god was bathed, clothed and fed daily. Just as important as the king’s military success was his attention to the upkeep of the god’s house. Countless building inscriptions from both Assyria and Babylonia attest to the king’s piety because of his restoration of a certain god’s house. Similarly, those who rebuilt or restored Yahweh’s were accorded this same type of piety. Restoration entailed both physical and ritual aspects. A neglected temple would need structural repairs (see comment on v. 13) and perhaps the restoration of pilfered furniture and accessories. It is possible that gold objects or gold plating on walls would need to be replaced. Then the temple would need to have its sanctity reestablished through appropriate rituals. Finally, it would need to be provided with funding and personnel so that it could operate. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 445)

Steven Cole - How God’s Work Gets Done (2 Chronicles 24:4-14)

Last week Mike Hendricks, who led our worship time, said that after the first service someone told him that he should have people stand during the choruses, since it’s hard to worship while sitting down. So, in the second service he had us stand, only to have someone tell him that it’s too hard to stand that long; he should have us sit down!

I share that story because no doubt there will be some who will hear my message today and think, “Not again! He’s beating that subject to death!” But there will be others who will think, “Why hasn’t this been communicated more often? We should have heard more about this!”

As I preached on the rest of chapter 24 last week, I debated whether I should preach on verses 4-14, which are easy to relate to our current need to pay off and fix up the building next door, or skip them and move on. I brought it up at our elders and deacons meeting last Sunday afternoon, and the consensus was that since I preached the message in which I encouraged us to get on with this project last summer, when many were gone, and since we have many who have started coming to FCF since that time, that it probably needed to be addressed again. I pointed out that I even wrote about it in our last newsletter, but the raised eyebrows around the room said, “You don’t expect people actually to read that, do you?”

I read a book earlier this year by Hans Finzel, executive director of CBInternational called The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make (Victor Books), one of which is the failure to communicate adequately. He says, “Never assume that anyone knows anything.... We can never communicate enough in our organizations” (p. 115, emphasis his). He tells of one new employee who complained about the lack of information by saying, “I feel like a part of a mushroom farm--I’m left completely in the dark and fed more manure from time to time” (p. 117). So today I want to bring everyone out of the dark, and I hope no one thinks I’m feeding manure!

In my July message, I set forth a purpose or vision statement for our church which I hope we all will keep at the forefront:

Flagstaff Christian Fellowship exists to show how great God is by helping each person grow in all-out love for God, for one another, and for the lost, both locally and globally, through the careful teaching and practice of God’s Word of Truth. In particular, in light of our location, we seek to be a lighthouse to the nearby university community, especially to the international students.

I also pointed out that a bottleneck in our ministry is the current lack of facilities. We actually own enough space, but we can’t use the two houses we own due to the need to rent them to pay the mortgage on the house next door. So I encouraged us to move as quickly as possible to pay off the remaining $37,000 on the mortgage, plus give enough extra to do necessary modifications and repairs to use the properties for ministry. I suggested that if 150 families or individuals would give $300, we would meet that goal. And, I set a target date of October 2nd (next Sunday).

Some may wonder, “Why that date?” It’s somewhat arbitrary, but there were several factors behind that date. It was ten weeks away from when I gave the original challenge, which left enough time to pray about what God would have each one give and to see the money get raised if people didn’t have it. Also, our renter was moving out in early August, and we needed to know whether we should find new renters (and thus go for a number of months more without the use of that building) or get it paid off. So I picked a date that didn’t leave us up in the air for too long. As you may know, we’re already using the building for the new young married’s class. And I believe the Boy’s Brigade is using it as well. Our junior high Sunday School class last week had 22 students, too many to squeeze into the library. Clearly, we need the space for ministry!

As of last Sunday, about one-third of the needed amount had come in. I’m hoping and praying that most of you, like myself, have not yet given what you’re planning to give toward this project, but are waiting until next Sunday. That means that about $30,000 above and beyond our normal budget needs to be given next Sunday. I believe that God can do it, although I don’t know if He will do it. If that amount does not come in, then we’ll need to evaluate where we’re at and how to proceed. My main concern is that each of you would go before the Lord and wait obediently on Him for what He would have you to do. That way, you’ll be blessed and God will be honored.

With that as a backdrop, I’d like us to study these verses which tell us how King Joash restored the Temple after it had fallen into disrepair under the godless Athaliah. We’re going to conclude our service with a time of corporate prayer. These verses show us how God gets His work done, namely,

God’s work gets done by strong leaders, cheerful givers, and faithful workers.

Joash (2Ch 24:4) and Jehoiada (2Ch 24:6) were the leaders who got the work started, moved along, and completed; the people rejoiced at the opportunity to give toward this project (2Ch 24:10); and, the workers were faithful to make the needed repairs (2Ch 24:12-13); the result was that burnt offerings were offered continually all the days of Jehoiada (2Ch 24:14).

1. God’s work gets done by strong leaders.

In my younger, more idealistic days, which included my first years in pastoral ministry, I downplayed the need for strong leadership in the church. Perhaps I was swayed in part by a reaction against some of the leadership abuses I saw both in the church and in our society (this was the post-Vietnam, post-Watergate era!). Also, I was influenced by a number of Plymouth Brethren writers who were reacting against churches in which the pastor did everything, while the so-called “laity” was passive. These writers rightly emphasized the functioning of the entire body. But due to their fault or my own, I’m not sure which, I missed in their writings a proper biblical emphasis on how God uses strong leaders to accomplish His purposes. As a result, I was very laid back and non-directive in my leadership style.

I remember eating dinner at a conference in 1982 with Gene Getz, who has done a lot of thinking and has extensive experience with the subject of biblical church government through the Fellowship Bible Churches he has planted. He was arguing that even though there should be a plurality of elders in a local church, the pastor needs to be the one in charge in the sense that the buck stops there. I countered that such responsibility could be shared mutually and that only Christ needed to be in charge. But over the years, I’ve come around to his point-of-view. In both the Old and New Testaments, as well as in church history, you can see how God uses strong, godly leaders to accomplish His purpose.

I could cite numerous examples from all over the Bible, but for the sake of time, I’ll limit myself to a few observations on Joash and Jehoiada from this chapter. Jehoiada was the godly old priest, uncle of Joash, who had rescued him as an infant from Athaliah’s sword. He had raised him in the temple precincts and he courageously deposed Athaliah and installed Joash as king when the boy was only seven. To depose a wicked tyrant like Athaliah (who also happened to be his mother-in-law!) took some strong leadership on Jehoiada’s part (see chap. 23). No doubt Jehoiada served as the regent over Joash until he grew old enough to reign. But by virtue of his age and position, Jehoiada must have served as chief counselor to the king until his death.

As we saw last week, Joash followed the Lord all the days of Jehoiada, but was seduced to turn to idolatry after the godly old man died (24:2, 17). But in the verses we are considering, Joash was following the Lord. His actions reveal three marks of the kind of leadership God uses to get His work done:


Strong leaders have a clear picture of what God wants to accomplish with His people and they communicate it. Joash realized that the temple needed to be restored (2Ch 24:4), so he gathered the priests and Levites and directed them to scatter through the cities of Judah and collect the money to do the necessary repairs (2Ch 24:5). Joash found out what many leaders have discovered, namely that telling your vision to people is one thing; having them accept and act on it with proper zeal is another! So Joash had to reprove Jehoiada (who was about 120 by this time, which may explain why things weren’t moving quickly) and change his plan. But Joash diligently kept at it until the project got done.

Although I’m not naive enough to think that there are more than a dozen people (if that!) who could articulate our vision here at FCF, I keep plugging away at trying to keep it in front of us. I stated it when I candidated here. I put it in writing in our philosophy of ministry, which I use in the New Member’s Class. I preach on it every so often, when it fits in with a text. I write about it occasionally in the newsletter. I’ve recently had Patti put it on the bulletin board in several places around the building. I tried to make sure everyone had a copy of it in print from the sermon on it last July.

Once more: Flagstaff Christian Fellowship exists to show how great God is by helping each person grow in fervent love for God, for one another, and for the lost, both locally and globally, through the careful teaching and practice of God’s Word of Truth. In particular, in light of our location, we seek to be a lighthouse to the nearby university community, especially to the international students.

Buildings or facilities are not our goal. Glorifying God through ministry to people based on His Word is our goal. But, at least in our culture at this point in history, adequate facilities are useful in helping to accomplish our goal. As you know if you’ve peeked inside the house next door, we’re not talking about some extravagant cathedral! We just need room for some classes to meet in!


Strong, godly leaders always get their vision from God’s Word. Joash knew the importance of the temple and of worship from the Law of Moses. He appeals to that law as the basis for the collection (2Ch 24:6, 9). In other words, the people needed to know that what they were doing was in obedience to God and His Word, not just something to make the king happy.

On our particular project of paying off the house next door, we have sought to take an approach where each person does what God wants him to do, not what I or the elders want. My desire is for each person prayerfully to consider what the Lord would have you do and to do it to please Him. There are many Scriptures which show that God wants us as His people to be generous givers out of love for Him and gratitude for His great gift to us. I’ll mention some in a moment, as I did in the earlier sermon. I want this offering to be a heartfelt, obedient response based on the authority of God’s Word.


The third factor of strong leadership seen here is diligence. Joash’s first attempt at getting the priests and Levites to collect the money failed. But he didn’t quit; he tried another approach (the collection chest; 2Ch 24:8) and kept at it until the project got done. There may have been some critics who thought he was ramrodding the project through. But the fact is, you can’t lead if you aren’t focused enough and persistent enough to keep trying to move God’s people toward what He wants.

I realize that there is a fine line between being diligent and being stubborn. Even godly leaders may sometimes err on the side of stubbornness. But if you err on the side of giving up or backing off when something doesn’t happen right away, you won’t be a strong leader. Strong leadership is one thing God uses to get His work done.

2. God’s work gets done by cheerful givers.

I don’t know for sure why the people didn’t give when the priests and Levites went into their cities. A comparison with the account in 2 Kings 12 seems to indicate that the money wasn’t actually going toward the intended project, but was being spent on the priests themselves. But when Joash came up with a method (the chest at the door of the temple) for the money to go to the workers, everyone rejoiced and gave generously until the project was completed (2Ch 24:10). There was even enough left over to make the utensils for the burnt offerings (2Ch 24:14).

Some people complain that the church is always after their money. But such complaints tip your hand! God makes no bones about it--He is after your money, because He knows that your money and your heart are inextricably bound together, and if your heart isn’t given fully to Him, you’ll keep a tight grip on your money, as if it were yours anyway! (See Matt. 6:19-21). But when you give your heart fully to God, you realize that your money is not yours, but His. You’re just a steward of what He has entrusted to you to invest in His kingdom. If you squander it on selfish pleasure, you aren’t a faithful steward. So, yes, God is after your money because He’s after your heart!

That’s why motive is crucial in giving. God wants you to give cheerfully as you have purposed in your heart, overflowing with thanksgiving to Him for His indescribable gift to you in Christ (see 2 Cor. 9:7, 12, 15). Alexander Maclaren wrote (Expositions of Holy Scripture [Baker reprint] on 2 Chron. 24:4-14, pp. 195-196):

Love is a longing to give to the beloved, and whoever truly loves God will know no keener delight than surrender for His dear sake. Pecuniary contributions for religious purposes afford a rough but real test of the depth of a man’s religion; but it is one available only for himself, since the motive, and not the amount, is the determining factor.

Whenever I think of giving cheerfully I remember the story I heard of a stingy Scot who accidentally threw a crown into the collection plate thinking it was a penny. When he saw his mistake he asked to have it back, but the deacon refused. The Scot grumbled, “A well, a well, I’ll get credit for it in heaven.” The deacon shot back, “Na, na, ye’ll get credit for the penny.” It’s the heart motive that counts!

Andrew Fuller, a friend of the missionary great, William Carey, announced a collection for foreign missions. A good friend said to him, “Very well, Andrew, seeing it is you, I’ll give $500.” Andrew replied, “No, I can’t take the money since you give it seeing me.” The friend saw his point and said, “You’re right, Andrew. Here is $1,000, seeing it’s for the Lord Jesus.” God has always used cheerful givers who give generously to His work because they love Him who gave everything for them.

But not only does God’s work get done by strong leaders and cheerful givers. Also,

3. God’s work gets done by faithful workers.

When Joash’s chest at the temple got full, at least two men (not one!) would empty it, the money was given to contractors who hired workers to get the job done. The parallel account (2 Kings 12:15) states that they didn’t even require an accounting from those who paid the workers, since they dealt faithfully.

I realize that there is a difference between these paid workers and those who serve the Lord faithfully without monetary wages. But the point still stands and is well-supported throughout the New Testament, that God’s work is not accomplished just by the leaders and not just by the leaders along with those who give, but also by every part serving as the Head of the body directs (Eph. 4:16). We all have a vital function in serving the Lord. If you are not serving Him in some capacity, with your time and giftedness along with your giving, it’s safe to say that you are too self-focused. Every Christian is in the ministry (= service), accountable to God for how you fulfill that ministry.


What was the result of strong leadership, cheerful givers, and faithful workers in Joash’s day? “They offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada” (2Ch 24:14). The offerings were an act of worship, a sweet-smelling savor to God, just as our lives are to be offered continually to God as an act of worship because of His mercy toward us in Christ (Rom. 12:1-2).

The offerings also pointed to the need for atonement, for reconciliation to God through the shedding of blood. In our sin, we cannot approach God through our own good deeds, be it leading, giving, or serving Him. We can only approach God through a blood sacrifice. Jesus Christ gave Himself as that sacrifice to God on our behalf (Eph. 5:2), so that now we can draw near to God through Him. Any service we now render to God is a thank offering because Christ, our sacrifice has opened the way for us into God’s holy presence.

The restored temple also provided a place for God’s people to gather in worship and service to Him. The “house of the Lord” occurs nine times in these eleven verses (2Ch 24:4, 5, 7, 8, 12 [2x], 2Ch 24:13, 14 [2x]), plus the phrase, “the tent of the testimony” (2Ch 24:6). The Lord’s house is where He dwells, where His holy presence is manifested, where His glory shone forth. While church buildings are not the house of the Lord today (God’s people are His house; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 3:6; 10:21), and we may be forced to gather in secret in homes if persecution sets in, at least for now church buildings do provide a place for God’s house to meet for worship and instruction.

As we look to our goal of paying off the mortgage, Grant Kolkow, myself, and the non-staff elders are seeking to provide godly, strong leadership by providing a biblically-based vision and by being diligent in helping the body move toward it. We, along with every member of the body here, want to be cheerful givers to the Lord’s work. We want to set the example so that we all will faithfully serve the Lord as He has gifted and enabled us. We invite you to join with us. In that way, God’s work will get done.

Discussion Questions

  1. How do we maintain the biblical balance between strong leadership and every-member ministry?
  2. An occasional church attender complains to you, “The church is always after my money.” Your response?
  3. Agree/disagree: A Christian who isn’t serving the Lord in some capacity is too self-focused.

2 Chronicles 24:5 He gathered the priests and Levites and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to repair the house of your God annually, and you shall do the matter quickly.” But the Levites did not act quickly.

  • gather of all Israel (KJV): 2Ch 29:3 34:8,9 2Ki 12:4,5 
  • Howbeit (KJV): 2Ki 12:6,7 

He gathered the priests and Levites and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to repair the house of your God annually, and you shall do the matter quickly.” But the Levites did not act quickly.

John Olley Details in 2 Kings 11:6–8 suggest that Jehoiada regarded his first priority to be the support of priests, with little attention given to the building (a question of budget allocations!).

Spurgeon - It is a great pity when those who live in the house of God have not enough interest in it to see to its repair. The fact was, the offerings presented at the temple, like the tithes in modern times, were intended not only for the ministers, but for the maintaining of the fabric, too. But these priests and Levites would not allow anything to be deducted from their own income even for the repair of the house in which they served. So Joash ordained that special collections should be made for the purpose.

August Konkel: There is no indication when Joash first tried to refurbish the temple. After the first failure to raise funds, Joash summoned Jehoiada a second tie, in his twenty-third year (2 Kings 12:6). Failure to collect the temple tax might have been the result of the king’s intervention in what was regarded as a priestly jurisdiction. Over time disagreement had arisen between crown and priesthood over funding the restoration work; priests looked to the royal treasury, but the king wanted to reallocate temple money. The king censured Jehoiada for his failure to act and proposed a plan of action that put the offering on a more voluntary basis.

Waltoncollection of funds. The collecting of funds for the restoration of a temple was a common occurrence by monarchs in the ancient Near East. Often, though, the monarch would restore the temple by means of corvee labor or by collecting building materials from his subjects. The initial collection procedure is described only in 2 Kings 12:5–7 and was unsuccessful. It entailed receiving funds from the “treasurers” (NIV). This word only occurs in this context and has now been identified in both Ugaritic and Akkadian texts dealing with temple treasuries. It could refer either to officers who distributed temple assets or to the assets themselves. TAXATION IN ISRAEL -  There are surprisingly few words in Scripture for “tax.” The most common term was a generic word meaning to “evaluate for taxation.” The term is used for the tribute that Israelite kings were obliged to pay ruling overlords. It was also used in connection with collecting funds for the temple, as here. The process of taxation is described in 1 Samuel 8:15–17. The king could also exempt a household from taxation (see 1 Sam 17:25). Solomon had a core of governors who periodically collected taxes (1 Kings 4:7–19). It appears that the rebellion against Rehoboam was motivated by tax abuse. Ostraca from Samaria record deliveries of wine for the use of the king, with the phrase, “for the king.” These ostraca were from several sites that were probably depots where the local taxes were gathered. Another aspect of taxation was forced labor (see Ex 1:10; Josh 16:10; 2 Sam 20:24). Although taxation in Mesopotamia is much better documented, it appears to have similar attributes to taxation practices found in Israel.(IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 445)

2 Chronicles 24:6 So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the levy fixed by Moses the servant of the LORD on the congregation of Israel for the tent of the testimony?”

  • Why hast thou (KJV): 2Sa 24:3 
  • the collection (KJV): This was the poll-tax fixed by Moses, of half a shekel, which was levied on every man of twenty years old and upwards, as "a ransom for their souls, that there might be no plague among them." Ex 30:12-16 
  • tabernacle (KJV): Nu 1:50 17:7,8 18:2 Ac 7:44 

So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the levy fixed by Moses the servant of the LORD on the congregation of Israel for the tent of the testimony?”

Andrew Hill: The favorable report concerning Joash’s reign centers on the dual themes of the renovation of Yahweh’s temple and the figure of Jehoiada as the ideal high priest. The temple of Solomon has apparently fallen into a general state of disrepair. In addition, Athaliah not only usurped the Davidic throne but also seized the temple and implemented Baal worship there. The desecration of the sanctuary included structural damage as well (24:7). The reference to the “sons of . . . Athaliah” (24:7) is puzzling, since she had them murdered. Perhaps the expression is used figuratively to denote her followers or adherents, or perhaps her sons conspired in the desecration of the temple before their deaths.

J.A. Thompson: Some commentators suggest that the term “son” is flexible in meaning and could refer to “adherents” (NEB). Yet others, by a very slight emendation, read “her builders” (boneyha), suggesting that the temple materials as well as its “dedicated things” had been used in building temples for the Baals.

Walton - Tent of the Testimony. The Tent of the Testimony was more commonly called the Tent of Meeting or tabernacle (see comment on Ex 33:7–10). It was the central place of worship for the Israelites before the construction of the temple of Solomon. It was the shrine that housed the ark of the covenant and various other cultic objects. The tabernacle continued to play an important link to Israel’s history, even during the monarchy, and one gets the impression that somehow the tent was set up inside the temple precinct (see 1 Kings 8:4 = 2 Chron 5:5).(IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 445)

2 Chronicles 24:7 For the sons of the wicked Athaliah had broken into the house of God and even used the holy things of the house of the LORD for the Baals.

  • the sons of Athaliah (KJV): As Jehoram's sons, Ahaziah excepted, whether by Athaliah or any other, were all slain before his death (ch. 22:1), this spoilation of the temple must have taken place in his life-time. 2Ch 21:17 
  • that wicked (KJV): 2Ch 28:22-24 Es 7:6 Pr 10:7 2Th 2:8 Rev 2:20 
  • the dedicated (KJV): 2Ki 12:4 
  • did they bestow (KJV): De 32:15-17 Eze 16:17-21 Da 5:2-4,23 Ho 2:8,9,13 

For the sons of the wicked Athaliah had broken into the house of God and even used the holy things of the house of the LORD for the Baals.

2 Chronicles 24:8 So the king commanded, and they made a chest and set it outside by the gate of the house of the LORD.

  • at the king's (KJV): 2Ki 12:8,9 Mk 12:41 

So the king commanded, and they made a chest and set it outside by the gate of the house of the LORD.

Raymond Dillard: Donations to the first temple were not brought in the form of coins— that would be an anachronism. Judging from the analogies with Mesopotamian temples prior to the use of coinage, offerings of precious metals would have come in the form of ingots, ores, and amalgams of various grades. Some temple personnel served primarily as goldsmiths or assayers; these would refine, hammer, and cast the offerings into the desired shapes for temple paraphernalia, make ingots for storage in the temple treasury, and make repairs to damaged implements. Foundries were commonly associated with Mesopotamian temples, and one can infer that the temple in Jerusalem probably had a similar operation.

2 Chronicles 24:9 They made a proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem to bring to the LORD the levy fixed by Moses the servant of God on Israel in the wilderness.

  • collection (KJV): 2Ch 24:6 Mt 17:24-27 

They made a proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem to bring to the LORD the levy fixed by Moses the servant of God on Israel in the wilderness.

Andrew Hill: Joash brokers a compromise with the priests to the effect that the people will bring their taxes and offerings to the temple rather than contribute to Levitical “collection agents” (2 Kings 12:6-8; 2 Chron. 24:8-11). In addition, laborers are contracted to do the repair work instead of using the Levites as construction workers. . . A chest or collection box is stationed near the altar (in the courtyard) outside the gate of the temple building (2 Kings 12:9; 2 Chron. 24:8). Joint oversight of the funds deposited in the chest is provided by a royal and priestly official (2 Kings 12:10; 2 Chron. 24:11). Workers, including carpenters, masons, and smiths, are hired and paid directly from the funds deposited in the temple collection box (2 Kings 12:10-12; 2 Chron. 24:12-13). Presumably these funds include the three types of revenues specified by Joash: the annual tax, personal vows, and freewill offerings (2 Kings 12:4).

Raymond Dillard: The Chronicler frequently draws parallels between the tabernacle and the first temple. The joyous, unfettered giving of the wilderness community (Exod 36:4–7) was repeated in the history of the first temple (1 Chr 29:1–9; 2 Chr 24:9–10); for the Chronicler this spirit of joyous giving was of homiletical relevance to encourage a similar attitude toward the second temple in his own day.

2 Chronicles 24:10 All the officers and all the people rejoiced and brought in their levies and dropped them into the chest until they had finished. 

  • rejoiced (KJV): 1Ch 29:9 Isa 64:5 Ac 2:45-47 2Co 8:2 9:7

All the officers and all the people rejoiced and brought in their levies and dropped them into the chest until they had finished. 

Spurgeon -See the influence of one man. One man can sway a state. One man can check sin. One man can be the head of a host who shall serve God, and honour his name.

2 Chronicles 24:11 It came about whenever the chest was brought in to the king’s officer by the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, then the king’s scribe and the chief priest’s officer would come, empty the chest, take it, and return it to its place. Thus they did daily and collected much money.

  • at what time (KJV): 2Ki 12:10-12 
  • the king's scribe (KJV): It was necessary to associate with the high priest some civil authority and activity, in order to get the neglected work performed.
  • Thus they did (KJV): 1Co 16:2 

It came about whenever the chest was brought in to the king’s officer by the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, then the king’s scribe and the chief priest’s officer would come, empty the chest, take it, and return it to its place. Thus they did daily and collected much money.

Walton - shared custody of funds between king and priests. The sharing of custody for funds used in temple restorations is attested in the records of Assyrian king Esarhaddon (seventh century). Here also there are accusations on both sides regarding who is responsible for the delay in the project..(IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 445)

2 Chronicles 24:12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the service of the house of the LORD; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the LORD, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the LORD.

  • gave it to such (KJV): 2Ch 34:9-11 
  • masons (KJV): 1Ki 5:15 

The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the service of the house of the LORD; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the LORD, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the LORD.

Walton - repair crew. The regular maintenance of the temple complex was the responsibility of the “workmen in charge of the temple.” Major repairs had to be contracted out to skilled workers. The listing of these skilled laborers is typical of contemporary Assyrian records. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 445)

2 Chronicles 24:13 So the workmen labored, and the repair work progressed in their hands, and they restored the house of God according to its specifications and strengthened it.

  • the work was perfected by them (KJV): Heb. the healing went up upon the work by their hand, Ne 4:7 
  • they set (KJV): etc. That is, "they restored it to its former proper state."
  • in his state (KJV): 1Ch 22:5 Hag 2:3 Mk 13:1,2 

So the workmen labored, and the repair work progressed in their hands, and they restored the house of God according to its specifications and strengthened it.

J.A. Thompson: The “original design” came from God (1 Chr 28:11-19), and the reformers did not want to try to improve on it. The diligence of the workers further reveals the celebratory atmosphere of this revival.

Joseph Parker - The life tabernacle is a wondrous building; there is room for workers of all kinds in the uprearing of its mysterious and glorious walls. If we cannot do the greatest work, we may do the least; our heaven will come out of the realization of the fact that it was God’s tabernacle we were building, and under God’s blessing that we were working.

Walton - nature of the work. It appears that the skilled workers restored the temple to its original foundations. The skilled workers were carpenters, builders, masons and stonecutters. The term for “builder” was used for both skilled and unskilled laborers who worked primarily with mudbrick. The carpenter was responsible for all of the wood items in construction, including the roof, door, window and stair fittings, and various cultic objects in the temple. The mason/stonecutter quarried the stones from natural caves or drove shafts in the hillside. Then the stones were cut and fitted into place. It will be remembered that Solomon contracted Phoenician craftsmen to build the temple. It is not expressly stated that foreign workers were used to refurbish the temple during the reign of Joash.(IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 445)

2 Chronicles 24:14 When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; and it was made into utensils for the house of the LORD, utensils for the service and the burnt offering, and pans and utensils of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada.  

  • vessels of the house, 2Ki 12:13,14 
  • vessels to minister (KJV): 1Ki 7:50 
  • to offer withal (KJV): or, pestils, Pr 27:22 
  • And they offered (KJV): It appears from this, that the daily morning and evening sacrifices had been previously intermitted; and that they were again neglected after the death of Jehoiada. Ex 29:38-42 Nu 28:2-29:40 
  • all the days (KJV): 2Ch 24:2 

When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; and it was made into utensils for the house of the LORD, utensils for the service and the burnt offering, and pans and utensils of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada.  

J.A. Thompson: The workers’ integrity was such that they could be relied on to use only what was needed for the job. As the Chronicler informs us, they finished their work considerably under budget. The reference to the regular burnt offerings is intended as an indication that there was full cultic faithfulness throughout Jehoiada’s lifetime.

Raymond Dillard: “As long as Jehoiada lived” (v 14). These words form an inclusio with 24:2. They reflect the regular practice of the Chronicler to use chronological notes to divide the accounts of individual reigns into good and bad periods; the transition to the record of Joash’s apostasy begins with the similar notice at the beginning of v 15.

Walton - articles for the temple. The cultic vessels mentioned here were made by Solomon’s craftsmen (1 Kings 7:50) and were distinct from those made by the Phoenicians (1 Kings 7:13–47). They became booty for Nebuchadnezzar II during his capture of Jerusalem more than two centuries after Joash. The terms are best described as “vessels for the service and for the burnt offering, bowls and gold and silver vessels.”.(IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 445)

2 Chronicles 24:15 Now when Jehoiada reached a ripe old age he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old at his death.

  • and was full of days (KJV): {Wyyisba yammim,} "satiated with days;" which seems to be a metaphor taken from a guest regaled by a plentiful banquet, used to express the termination of life without reluctance. Ge 15:15 25:8 1Ch 23:1 Job 5:26 Ps 91:16 
  • an hundred (KJV): Ge 47:9 Ps 90:10 

Now when Jehoiada reached a ripe old age he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old at his death.

Morris - Jehoiada lived far longer than any others of his generation. He was the uncle of King Joash, as well as high priest, and was almost solely responsible for preserving the Davidic line and the true faith of Jehovah during the critical reign of the pagan queen Athaliah. In fact, he was largely responsible for leading the country in its great reforms under the long reign of Joash, who became an apostate after Jehoiada died. When Jehoiada's son, Zechariah, rebuked him for this Joash slew him.

Spurgeon - It happened to him as it must happen to us all; for the best of men must grow old, and pass away. Let us value them while we have them. Too often we give them stones while they are alive, in anticipation of giving them bigger stones to keep them in memory when they die. “Jehoiada waxed old,” —An unusual age for that time; short enough as compared with the years of the antediluvian patriarchs, but still a great age for those days.

August Konkel: The priest Jehoiada lived to the extraordinary age of 130 years (2 Chron 24:15), longer than great figures such as Moses. Living to such and advanced age was a sign of blessing.

Walton - Jehoiada lived longer than Moses (120 years) and Aaron (123 years), showing his great favor with God. The fact that the Chronicler called attention to Jehoiada’s age shows his great importance, equal to any of the Judahite monarchs. Egyptian texts considered 110 to be the ideal old age, while Mesopotamian ideas targeted 120. In the sixth century, Adad-Guppi, the mother of the Babylonian king Nabonidus, is said to have lived to the age of 104. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 446)

Matthew Henry Notes: 2Ch 24:15-27
We have here a sad account of the degeneracy and apostasy of Joash. God had done great things for him; he had done something for God; but now he proved ungrateful to his God and false to the engagements he had laid himself under to him. How has the gold become dim, and the most fine gold changed! Here we find,

I. The occasions of his apostasy. When he did that which was right it was not with a perfect heart. He never was sincere, never acted from principle, but in compliance to Jehoiada, who had helped him to the crown, and because he had been protected in the temple and rose upon the ruins of idolatry; and therefore, when the wind turned, he turned with it.

1. His good counsellor left him, and was by death removed from him. It was a mercy to him and his kingdom that Jehoiada lived so long-130 years (2Ch 24:15), by which it appears that he was born in Solomon's time, and had lived six entire reigns before this. It was an encouragement to him to go on in that good way which Jehoiada had trained him up in to see what honour was done to Jehoiada at his death: They buried him among the kings, with this honourable encomium (perhaps it was part of the inscription on his grave-stone), that he had done good in Israel. Judah is called Israel, because, the other tribes having revolted from God, they only were Israelites indeed. Note, It is the greatest honour to do good in our generations, and those who do that which is good shall have praise of the same. He had done good towards God; not that any man's goodness can extend unto him, but he had done good towards his house, in reviving the temple service, 2Ch 23:8. Note, Those do the greatest good to their country that lay out themselves in their places to promote religion. Well, Jehoiada finished his course with honour; but the little religion that Joash had was all buried in his grave, and, after his death, both king and kingdom miserably degenerated. See how much one head may sustain, and what a great judgment to any prince or people the death of godly, zealous, useful men is. See how necessary it is that, as our Saviour speaks, we have salt in ourselves, that we act in religion from an inward principle, which will carry us on through all changes. Then the loss of a parent, a minister, a friend, will not involve the loss of our religion.

2. Bad counsellors got about him, insinuated themselves into his affections, wheedled him, flattered him, made obeisance to him, and, instead of condoling, congratulated him upon the death of his old tutor, as his release from the discipline he had been so long under, unworthy a man, a king. They tell him he must be priest-ridden no longer, he is now discharged from grave lessons and restraints, he may do as he pleases: and (would you think it?) the princes of Judah were the men that were so industrious to debauch him, 2Ch 24:17. His father and grandfather were corrupted by the house of Ahab, from whom no better could be expected. But that the princes of Judah should be seducers to their king was very sad. But those that incline to the counsels of the ungodly will never want ungodly counsellors. They made obeisance to the king, flattered him into an opinion of his absolute power, promised to stand by him in making his royal will and pleasure pass for a law, any divine precept or institution to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. And he hearkened to them: their discourse pleased him, and was more agreeable than Jehoiada's dictates used to be. Princes and inferior people have been many a time thus flattered into their ruin by those who have promised them liberty and dignity, but who have really brought them into the greatest servitude and disgrace.

II. The apostasy itself: They left the house of God, and served groves and idols, v. 18. The princes, it is likely, had a request to the king, which they tell him they durst not offer while Jehoiada lived; but now they hope it will give no offence: it is that they may set up the groves and idols again which were thrown down in the beginning of his reign, for they hate to be always confined to the dull old-fashioned service of the temple. And he not only gave them leave to do it themselves, but he joined with them. The king and princes, who, a little while ago, were repairing the temple, now forsook the temple; those who had pulled down groves and idols now themselves served them. So inconstant a thing is man and so little confidence is to be put in him!

III. The aggravations of this apostasy and the additions of guilt to it. God sent prophets to them (2Ch 24: 19) to reprove them for their wickedness, and to tell them what would be in the end thereof, and so to bring them again unto the Lord. It is the work of ministers to bring people, not to themselves, but to God-to bring those again to him who have gone a whoring from him. In the most degenerate times God left not himself without witness; though they had dealt very disingenuously with God, yet he sent prophets to them to convince and instruct them, and to assure them that they should find favour with him if yet they would return; for he would rather sinners should turn and live than go on and die, and those that perish shall be left inexcusable. The prophets did their part: they testified against them; but, few or none received their testimony.

1. They slighted all the prophets; they would not give ear, were so strangely wedded to their idols that no reproofs, warnings, threatenings, nor any of the various methods which the prophets took to convince them would reclaim them. Few would hear them, fewer would heed them, but fewest of all would believe them or be governed by them.

2. They slew one of the most eminent, Zechariah the son of Jehoiada, and perhaps others. Concerning him observe,

(1.) The message which he delivered to them in the name of God, 2Ch 24:20. The people were assembled in the court of the temple (for they had not quite left it), probably on occasion of some solemn feast, when this Zechariah, being filled with the spirit of prophecy, and known (it is likely) to be a prophet, stood up in some of the desks that were in the court of the priests, and very plainly, but without any provoking language, told the people of their sin and what would be the consequences of it. He did not impeach any particular persons, nor predict any particular judgments, as sometimes the prophets did, but as inoffensively as possible reminded them of what was written in the law. Let them but look into their Bibles, and there they would find,

{1.} The precept they broke: "You transgress the commandments of the Lord, you know you do so, in serving groves and idols: and why will you so offend God and wrong yourselves?''

{2.} The penalty they incurred: "You know, if the word of God be true, you cannot prosper in this evil way; never expect to do ill and fare well. Nay, you find already that because you have forsaken the Lord he hath forsaken you, as he told you he would,'' Deu. 29:25; 31:16,17. This is the work of ministers, by the word of God, as a lamp and a light, to expose the sin of men and expound the providences of God.

(2.) The barbarous treatment they gave him for his kindness and faithfulness in delivering this message to them, v. 21. By the conspiracy of the princes, or some of their party, and by the commandment of the king, who thought himself affronted by this fair warning, they stoned him to death immediately, not under colour of law, accusing him as a blasphemer, a traitor, or a false prophet, but in a popular tumult, in the court of the house of the Lord-as horrid a piece of wickedness as perhaps any we read of in all the history of the kings. The person was sacred-a priest, the place sacred-the court of the temple (the inner court, between the porch and the altar), the message yet more sacred, and we have reason to think that they knew it came from the spirit of prophecy. The reproof was just, the warning fair, both backed with scripture, and the delivery very gentle and tender; and yet so impudently and daringly do they defy God himself that nothing less than the blood of the prophet can satisfy their indignation at the prophecy. Be astonished, O heavens! at this, and tremble, O earth! that ever such villany should be committed by men, by Israelites, in contempt and violation of every thing that is just, honourable, and sacred-that a king, a king in covenant with God, should command the murder of one whom it was his office to protect and countenance! The Jews say there were seven transgressions in this; for they killed a priest, a prophet, a judge, they shed innocent blood, and polluted the court of the temple, the sabbath, and the day of expiation: for on that day, their tradition says, this happened.

(3.) The aggravation of this sin, that this Zechariah, who suffered martyrdom for his faithfulness to God and his country, was the son of Jehoiada, who had done so much good in Israel, and particularly had been as a father to Joash, 2Ch 24:22. The affront done by it to God, and the contempt put on religion, are not so particularly taken notice of as the ingratitude there was in it to the memory of Jehoiada. He remembered not the kindness of the father, but slew the son for doing his duty, and what the father would have done if he had been there. Call a man ungrateful, and you can call him no worse.

(4.) The dying martyr's prophetic imprecation of vengeance upon his murderers: The Lord look upon it, and require it! This came not from a spirit of revenge, but a spirit of prophecy: He will require it. This would be the continual cry of the blood they shed, as Abel's blood cried against Cain: "Let the God to whom vengeance belongs demand blood for blood. He will do it, for he is righteous.'' This precious blood was quickly reckoned for in the judgments that came upon this apostate prince; it came into the account afterwards in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans-their misusing the prophets was that which brought upon them ruin without remedy (2Ch 36:16); nay, our Saviour makes the persecutors of him and his gospel answerable for the blood of this Zechariah; so loud, so long, does the blood of the martyrs cry. See Mt. 23:35. Such as this is the cry of the souls under the altar (Rev. 6:10), How long ere thou avenge our blood? For it shall not always go unrevenged.

IV. The judgments of God which came upon Joash for this aggravated wickedness of his.

1. A small army of Syrians made themselves masters of Jerusalem, destroyed the princes, plundered the city, and sent the spoil of it to Damascus, 2Ch 24:23, 24. God's people, while they kept in with God, had often been conquerors when the enemy had the advantage of the greater number; but now, on the contrary, an inconsiderable handful of Syrians routed a very great host of Israelites, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers, and then they were not only put upon the level with their enemies, but opposed them with the utmost disadvantage; for their God not only departed from them, but turned to be their enemy and fought against them. The Syrians were employed as instruments in God's hand to execute judgments against Joash, though they little thought so, Isa. 10:6, 7, and see Deu. 32:30.

2. God smote him with great diseases, of body, or mind, or both, either like his grandfather (2Ch 24:18), or, like Saul, an evil spirit from God troubling him. While he was plagued with the Syrians he thought that, if he could but get clear of them, he should do well enough. But, before they departed from him, God smote him with diseases. If vengeance pursue men, the end of one trouble will but be the beginning of another.

3. His own servants conspired against him. Perhaps he began to hope his disease would be cured-he was but a middle-aged man and might recover it; but he that cometh up out of the pit shall fall into the snare. When he thought he should escape death by sickness he met it by the sword. They slew him in his bed for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada, by which it should seem that he did not only slay Zechariah, but others of the sons of Jehoiada for his sake. Perhaps those that slew him intended to take vengeance for that blood; but, whether they did or not, this was what God intended in permitting them to slay him. Those that drink the blood of the saints shall have their own blood given them to drink, for they are worthy. The regicides are here named (2Ch 24:26), and it is observable that the mothers of them both were foreigners, one an Ammonitess and the other a Moabitess. The idolatrous kings, it is likely, countenanced those marriages which the law prohibited for the prevention of idolatry; and see how they resulted in their own destruction.

4. His people would not bury him in the sepulchres of the kings because he had stained his honour by his mal-administration. Let him not be written with the righteous, Ps. 69:28. These judgments are called the burdens laid upon him (v. 27), for the wrath of God is a heavy burden, too heavy for any man to bear. Or it may be meant of the threatenings denounced against him by the prophets, for those are called burdens. Usually God sets some special marks of his displeasure upon apostates in this life, for warning to all to remember Lot's wife.

2 Chronicles 24:16 They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done well in Israel and to God and His house.  

  • in the city (KJV): 1Sa 2:30 1Ki 2:10 Ac 2:29 
  • because (KJV): 2Ch 23:1-21 31:20 Ne 13:14 Heb 6:10 

They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done well in Israel and to God and His house.  

Raymond Dillard: By virtue of his regency over his young ward Joash, Jehoiada was somewhat a priest/king, and he is given a royal burial among the graves of the kings, a sharp contrast to the burial of Joash (24:25). The role played by Jehoiada may reflect also the growing influence of the high priest in the absence of a monarchy during the post-exilic period.

Frederick Mabie: Jehoiada’s death notice (vv. 15-16) reads more like a Judean regnal summary than a death notice for a priest. This final summary of his life reflects a number of subtle editorial strokes that work to portray Jehoiada’s actions in a kinglike manner, including - the phraseology that Jehoiada “showed his strength” (cf. 23:1), - his leading in national covenant ratification (23:1, 3), - his oversight of reforms to ensure adherence to Mosaic and Davidic instructions (cf. 23:18-19), - his selection of wives for Joash (24:3), and - his burial in the royal cemetery (v. 16, an honor not given to Joash himself, cf. v. 25). Thus, it can be argued that Jehoiada to an extent functioned as a surrogate king in a manner similar to Samuel during the reign of Saul (note that both were king-makers with extensive national authority). Obviously, Joash’s young age at his enthronement would have necessitated a significant degree of assistance with his royal responsibilities at the beginning of his reign.

Spurgeon -That is the best kind of good which begins with doing good toward God, and then goes on to doing good towards God’s house. The Church is to be served, but even it must be second to God’s glory. God first, and then the very best must come next.

2 Chronicles 24:17 But after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them.

  • Now after (KJV): De 31:27 Ac 20:29,30 2Pe 1:15 
  • the princes of Judah (KJV): 2Ch 10:8-10 22:3,4 Pr 7:21-23 20:19 26:8,28 29:5 Da 11:32 
  • Then the king (KJV): Pr 29:12 

But after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them.

But - Term of contrast - Key indicator that divides the two periods of the reign of Joash. Jehoiada had been the godly influence. 

Spurgeon - These flatterers came with all their daintiest manners, and made obeisance to the king, and “the king hearkened unto them.” All the days of Jehoiada, these princes had been afraid to set up the fashionable worship the worship of Baalim, that had been introduced by the Sidonian queen Jezebel, that wicked woman of strong and masterful spirit. This worldly and false religion had been put down by the strong hand of Jehoiada; but when its adherents thought they had a chance to get to the front again, they came and flattered the king, and “the king hearkened unto them.”

Andrew Hill: The Chronicler informs us that the king is led astray by the counsel of the officials of Judah (24:17). The expression “paid homage” (hwh; lit., “do obeisance”) may suggest that the leaders of the clans of Judah exploit a character weakness in Joash through flattery. The elders prefer to return to the policies of Joash’s father, Ahaziah, for unspecified reasons. Perhaps the “old ways” are now custom in Judah, or such religious policy is advantageous socially and economically. For the Chronicler, however, to abandon the temple is to abandon God (24:18).

August Konkel: Materialism is exceedingly deceptive and pervasive. Upon the passing of the priest, it immediately began to assert its ugly influence in Judah. The influence of Athaliah had been subdued, but its impulses were ever present, and at the first opportunity the king was pressured to make changes. The wealth of the Phoenicians and their trading empire was constantly alluring. One of the ways to realize those benefits more readily was with the revival of their religion. The impression given is that the change effected by Jehoiada was more a coercive force than a real change of life and values. Another generation had arisen in the decades following the coronation of Joash, and the dramatic transformation of those events had faded. The king himself succumbed to the demands for change. . .Power, greed and materialism invariably breed violent conflict. The king, incapacitated by the wounds of war, became particularly vulnerable to conspiracy. The mothers of the conspirators who killed Joash were both foreign women, perhaps a reminder of the danger of turning to foreign worship. Materialism and greed leave a terrible legacy. Jehoiada, the faithful priest, was buried as a king; Joash, the privileged king, was buried in disgrace.

See sermon by Steven Cole - excerpt - Joash faced spiritual testing; so will we. We read (2Ch 24:2) that “Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” But Jehoiada finally died and then Joash was faced with a spiritual test (2Ch 24:17). This was a hinge-point in his life, and Joash failed the test. Our enemy, the devil, is neither stupid nor impetuous. He is waiting in the wings, biding his time for the right moment to attack. The officials of Judah did not approach Joash while Jehoiada was alive--the time was not right. But as soon as he was dead, and Joash was vulnerable, they hit and he fell. Joash’s temptation was a common one. In Deuteronomy 31:29 Moses warned Israel that after his death, they would act corruptly and turn from the way which he had commanded them. In Joshua 24:31 we read that Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the leaders who survived Joshua, who had known all the deeds which the Lord had done for Israel. But then comes the book of Judges, when everyone in Israel forsook the Lord and did what was right in his own eyes. The time comes for us all when we can no longer lean on those who have nurtured us in the faith. We must be weaned and learn to stand on our own spiritual legs. We must develop and maintain our own walk with God, or else we will fall when Satan comes, as surely he will, to tempt us. The story of Joash shows four dangers Satan often uses to test those who are spiritually privileged (For full sermon click A Good Boy Gone Bad - 2 Chronicles 23 and 24) 

G Campbell Morgan - 2 Chr 24.17
These are very simple words, but they are inexpressibly sad, and full of arresting power and suggestion. Under the reign of Joash real reformation was achieved in Judah, but it was wholly due to the influence of Jehoiada the priest. This is clearly indicated in the statement of the chronicler that: "Joash did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah all the days of Jehoiada the priest." Nevertheless, during this period it is evident that Joash was honesty zealous in his endeavour to re-establish the true worship of God. The reform circumferenced the Temple: "They set up the house of God in its state, and strengthened it." The worship was maintained while Jehoiada lived. After his death, the princes of Judah, evidently corrupt men, came to the king, and he "hearkened unto them." The house of God was forsaken, and idolatry was again established in the land. Joash, who had been zealous in reform, now became determined in wickedness. The study of the story of Joash offers a striking illustration of how a weak man is easily influenced. It emphasizes the need of strong individual character, which can only be created by direct dealing with God. However valuable the influence of a good man may be, it remains true that if a man have nothing more to lean on than that, if it should fail, collapse is almost inevitable. All foundations fail, save one. When the will of man is yielded wholly to the will of God, and no other authority is sought or permitted, that man is safe. Where this is lacking, every changing tide of circumstances will change the currents of life.

2 Chronicles 24:18 They abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols; so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt.

And they left (KJV): 2Ch 24:4 21:13 33:3-7 1Ki 11:4,5 14:9,23 
wrath (KJV): 2Ch 19:2 28:13 29:8 32:25 36:14-16 Jos 22:20 Jud 5:8 2Sa 24:1 Ho 5:10,11,14 Zep 1:4-6 Eph 5:6 

They abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols; so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt.

Spurgeon -Or, “Asherah and idols.” The word is mistakenly translated “groves.” These were certain horrible and disgusting emblems of the heathen goddess Ashtaroth, or Astarte: “They served Asherah and idols.”

J.A. Thompson: It is evident that despite Jehoiada’s restraining influence, the Asherah poles and idols continued to be served. A common story in Israel and elsewhere is that despite religious reforms directed from the top by a leader or leaders, popular forms of religion linger on and break out again when restraints are lifted.

Walton - The Asherah poles were apparently man-made objects and often were situated near trees (see Jer 17:2), although they may have actually been living trees on occasion (see Deut 16:21). The Asherah cult object symbolized the goddess herself. The poles were often associated with the image of the goddess, which was a separate item altogether. For more information see comment on 2 Kings 13:6. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 446)

2 Chronicles 24:19 Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the LORD; though they testified against them, they would not listen.

  • Yet he sent (KJV): 2Ch 36:15,16 2Ki 17:13-15 Ne 9:26 Jer 7:25,26 25:4,5 26:5 44:4,5 Lu 11:47-51 16:31 20:9-15 
  • but they would (KJV): Ps 95:7,8 Isa 28:23 42:23 51:4 55:3 Mt 13:9,15,16 

Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the LORD; though they testified against them, they would not listen.

Frederick Mabie: Despite his anger at the rapid abandonment of covenantal faithfulness by Joash and the Judeans, God emphatically demonstrated his love, patience, and grace for his covenantal people by repeatedly sending prophets to proclaim his word to urge the people to return to God in obedience. The summary of God’s (unsuccessful) efforts to bring his people back to himself is reminiscent of the closing verses of Chronicles reflecting on the tragedy of the exile: “The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.” (2Ch 36:15-18)

Spurgeon - “These old Puritans have come back again,” said they. “We will not listen to them.” The common people were still mostly worshippers of Jehovah; but the great ones of the earth had gone over to the idols, and they could not endure that one and another of the prophets, often very humble and unlearned men, should come and bear testimony for Jehovah.

2 Chronicles 24:20 Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, “Thus God has said, ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He has also forsaken you.’”

  • And the Spirit (KJV): 2Ch 15:1 20:14 
  • came upon (KJV): Heb. clothed, Jud 6:34 1Ch 12:18 
  • the son (KJV): 2Ch 23:11 
  • transgress (KJV): Nu 14:41 1Sa 13:13,14 2Sa 12:9,10 Zec 7:11-14 
  • because (KJV): 2Ch 15:2 De 29:25,26 1Ch 28:9 Jer 2:19 4:18 5:19,25 

Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, “Thus God has said, ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He has also forsaken you.’”

Ryrie - On the Spirit's work in the OT, see note on Judg. 3:10. Zechariah the son of Jehoiada. Not the prophet Zechariah, but likely the grandson of Jehoiada. See note on Matt. 23:35. The Spirit of the LORD came upon many in OT times, as here with Othniel (see 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 1 Sam. 10:9-10; 16:13; 1 Chron. 12:18). He was also in some people (Num. 27:18; Dan. 4:8; 6:3; 1 Peter 1:11) and filled some for special service (Ex. 31:3; 35:31). These relationships are characterized by the Lord, as the Spirit, being "with" them, in contrast to His permanent indwelling of all believers from the Day of Pentecost on (John 14:17). 

Spurgeon - He spoke very temperately and affectionately. The warning was faithful; but it was delivered in the very best and kindest spirit. But now see what the wicked men did.

Raymond Dillard: Though the Chronicler demonstrates the coherence of action and effect by showing judgment for wrongdoing, sanctions are ordinarily imposed only after a prophet offers hope of escape through repentance and forgiveness (Williamson, 323). Many prophets confronted Joash (24:19, 27), but the writer elaborates only on the death of Zechariah (24:20–22).

John Olley: The tragedy is expressed: Joash “did not remember” (from Hb. zakar), a play on the name “Zechar-iah” (“The Lord has remembered”); to “remember” involves acting on the basis of what is called to memory. A further wordplay is evident as Zechariah called for the Lord to “avenge” (Hb. darash, “seek” [cf. ESV mg.]); since the king did not “seek” God, the Lord was to “seek” the king, leading to judgment.

F B Meyer - 2 Chronicles 24:20   The Spirit of God clothed itself with Zechariah the son of Jehoiada. (R. V. marg.)

As we put on a cloak or dress, so does the Spirit of God, as it were, hide Himself in those who surrender themselves to Him, so that it is not they who speak and act, but He within them. Have you at any time been conscious of having the clothing of the Holy Spirit? Remember that cloth or leather must yield itself easily to the movements of its wearer, and not less pliable and supple must we be to the Spirit of God.

When the Spirit of God is thus within us, and speaks or acts for us, we may expect, as Zechariah found it, to come into collision with the entire drift and current of society around us, and to incur odium and hatred. Men do not like to be told that they cannot prosper because they have forsaken God; but we have no alternative than to witness against their sins. Does the Spirit clothe Himself with you, my friend, as you anticipate the work of to-day? Are you using Him, or is He to use you? Are you seeking to clothe yourself with His power for some personal ambition, or are you desirous that He should array Himself in you, so that the glory may evidently be His? In the agony of battle; when great deeds are to be done, no one stops to think of the uniform of the soldier, but only of the might beneath it.

But for this you must be prepared to pay the cost, and be willing to cross the cherished purposes of men, as the Spirit of God by your voice or deed witnesses against them. They stoned Zechariah at the command of the king; but years after the Lord Jesus referred to it, for no faithful martyr seals his witness with his blood without some quick glance of recognition from the Master, and some record on the imperishable tablets of his heart.

2 Chronicles 24:21 So they conspired against him and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the LORD.

  • conspired (KJV): Jer 11:19 18:18 38:4-6 
  • stoned him (KJV): Mt 21:35 23:34-37 Ac 7:58,59 

So they conspired against him and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the LORD.

Spurgeon - This is probably the prophet to whom Christ alludes when he speaks of Zechariah, “whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” It was a crime most foul to murder the son of Jehoiada, one of those who had helped to put the crown upon the head of the king. To do this evil deed in the court of God’s house, when the prophet was engaged in his Master’s business, and delivering a divine message, was to heap sin upon sin. 

Raymond Dillard: There is great irony in the passage: Zechariah, the son of the priest who had saved the throne for Joash, is murdered in the place where Joash was protected during the coup; Jehoiada, who had preserved the sanctity of the temple from bloodshed, installed the king who would murder his own son there. Joash falls to treason (24:25), just as Athaliah (23:13) had before him.

J.A. Thompson: Matthew 23:35 and Luke 11:51 may refer to this incident. If that is the case, then Jesus was referring to all the martyrs from the beginning of the canon (Abel, in Genesis) to its end (Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, in Chronicles). This probably indicates that Chronicles stood last in the Hebrew canon in Jesus’ time, as it does today. A difficulty is that Matthew’s version mentions “Zechariah the son of Berachiah,” that is, not the Zechariah of this text but the author of the Book of Zechariah. But as far as we know, the son of Berachiah was not martyred in the temple courtyard, and it seems apparent that Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, is intended.

Frederick Mabie: Amazingly, the king and the people plot the murder of Zechariah, and the prophet is stoned to death (the punishment for a false prophet; cf. Dt 13:5; 18:20). What is especially striking about this low moment in the history of the Judean monarchy is that Zechariah had been like a brother to Joash, as Jehoiada (Zechariah’s father) had been a father figure to Joash from his days as an infant rescued from the murderous rampage of Athaliah (2Ch 22:10-12).

2 Chronicles 24:22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which his father Jehoiada had shown him, but he murdered his son. And as he died he said, “May the LORD see and avenge!”

  • remembered (KJV): Ps 109:4 Lu 17:15-18 Joh 10:32 
  • but slew his son (KJV): Pr 17:13 
  • The Lord (KJV): These words were prophetic, and not imprecatory; and should be rendered as Houbigant proposes, in the future tense:  "The Lord will look upon it, and avenge it."  The event soon verified this prediction; for, before the year was expired, the Syrians came up against Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people, and Joash himself was slain in his bed by his own servants.  Many circumstances served to aggravate this barbarous act.  Zechariah was a high-priest and a prophet, upright and unblameable in the discharge of his high offices; this murder was perpetrated within the very precincts of the courts of the Lord; and this truly good man was by blood the nearest relative of Joash, and the son of the man who had save him from being murdered, and raised him to the throne! Ge 9:5 Jer 11:20 26:14,15 Lu 11:51 2Ti 4:14,16 Rev 6:9-11 Rev 18:20 19:2 
  • and require it (KJV): Ps 10:14 Jer 51:56 

Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which his father Jehoiada had shown him, but he murdered his son. And as he died he said, “May the LORD see and avenge!”

J.A. Thompson: This was a dastardly act. Joash had “forgotten” the kindness shown to him by Jehoiada. In short, he had no sense of loyalty or gratitude. The verb used for “killed” (harag) is used also of the execution of the idolatrous priest Mattan in 23:17 and of the death of Joash in v. 25.

2 Chronicles 24:23 Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.

  • at the end (KJV): Heb. in the revolution, 1Ki 20:22,26 
  • the host (KJV): De 32:35 2Ki 12:17,18 
  • princes (KJV): 2Ch 24:17,18 Ps 2:10,11 58:10,11 82:6,7 
  • Damascus (KJV): Heb. Darmesek

Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.

Cyril Barber - Several important ironies are to be found in these verses. The people of Judah and Jerusalem had been worshiping Astarte (i.e., Ashtoreth, identified as the goddess of love and war). When the Syrians invaded the land, the people of Judah would have expected Astarte to protect them and give them success in battle. Obviously, being only the creation of human minds, she could not. Judah suffered a resounding defeat, and the “leaders,” who had persuaded Joash to grant latitude to the people thus paving the way for their apostasy, were themselves killed.(2 Chronicles

Spurgeon - God delayed not long the punishment of the evil-doers. When his servants are persecuted, he will speedily avenge his own elect. “They destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people.” Was not that remarkable? These were the authors of the sin; and they had chiefly to endure the penalty. It is not always that invaders lay hold upon the princes alone, and slay them; but these Syrians did so.

Believer's Study Bible - It is not unusual for biblical writers to refer to the kings of various nations and empires as the kings of their respective capital cities. Here, for instance, Ben-Hadad, known to the chronicler as the king of Syria (Aram), is identified as the king of Damascus, which was the capital city of Syria. Ahab was known as the king of the northern kingdom (Israel) but on occasion is referred to as the king of Samaria (1 Kin. 21:1). Hiram is called the king of Tyre (Phoenicia) on several occasions (cf. 2:3, 11; 2 Sam. 5:11; 1 Kin. 5:1; 9:11; 1 Chr. 14:1). In keeping with this precedent, Jonah spoke of the king of Assyria as the king of Nineveh, which was its capital city (Jon. 3:6).

Raymond Dillard: The “turn of the year” was in the spring, at the beginning of the dry season and a period of reduced agricultural activity after harvest; it was “the time when kings go off to war” (1 Chr 20:1; 2 Sam 11:1; 1 Kgs 20:26). The coup of Jehu had left both the Northern and Southern kingdoms in a condition of great military weakness; Hazael was quick to exploit the advantage, reducing the army of Jehoahaz in the North to no more than needed for a good parade (2 Kgs 13:7), and taking tribute from Joash in the South. In the holy war ideology of Israel, Yahweh fought for his people so that a small force could overcome a larger (13:3–18; 14:8–15; 1 Kgs 20:27; 1 Sam 14:6; Judg 7; cf. 25:7–8); here the reverse happened: due to the infidelity of Joash, with Yahweh’s aid a smaller enemy force overturned the army of Judah.

Walton - turn of the year - war in spring. In the ancient Near East spring was a popular time in which to commence military ventures. First of all, the weather in the winter was prohibitive for extensive military travel. Second, because of harvesting in the spring, invading armies were able to forage for food. The Assyrian annals make a point of describing any particular military campaign that happened during the winter or the dead of summer, when there was unbearable heat for the soldiers. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 446)

2 Chronicles 24:24 Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the LORD delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.  

  • came (KJV): Lev 26:8,37 De 32:30 Isa 30:17 Jer 37:10 
  • delivered (KJV): 2Ch 16:8,9 20:11,12 Lev 26:25 De 28:25,48 
  • So (KJV): 2Ch 22:8 Isa 10:5,6 13:5 Hab 1:12 

Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the LORD delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.  

Walton - war with Aram. In the last decades of the ninth century the Aramean kingdom of Damascus was relieved of Assyrian pressures and was able to assert its influence south and west into Judah (see comment on 2 Kings 10:32). There was an attack on Gath (probably Gittaim in the northern Shephelah, not Philistine Gath), which posed a direct threat on Jerusalem (see 2 Kings 12:18). The Aramean king at this time was Hazael (see comment on 2 Kings 8:8), who ruled from 843 B.C. to near the end of the ninth century. (IVP Background Commentary - OT - page 446)

2 Chronicles 24:25 When they had departed from him (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and murdered 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.

AMP When they left Joash (for they left him very ill), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they murdered 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.

CSB When the Arameans saw that Joash had many wounds, they left him. His servants conspired against him, and killed him on his bed, because he had shed the blood of the sons of the priest Jehoiada. So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings.

CEV Joash was severely wounded during the battle, and as soon as the Syrians left Judah, two of his officials, Zabad and Jehozabad, decided to revenge the death of Zechariah. They plotted and killed Joash while he was in bed, recovering from his wounds. Joash was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the royal tombs.

EXB When the Arameans left, Joash was badly wounded. His own ·officers [officials] made plans against him because ·he had killed [of the shed blood of] Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. So they ·killed [murdered] Joash in his own bed. He died and was buried in the City of David [Jerusalem] but not in the ·graves [tombs] of the kings.

  • great diseases (KJV): 2Ch 21:16,18,19 22:6 
  • his own servants (KJV): 2Ki 12:20 14:19,20 
  • for the blood (KJV): 2Ch 24:21,22 Ps 10:14 Rev 16:6 
  • the sons of Jehoiada (KJV): Houbigant reads, "the sons of Jehoiada;" but perhaps Joash slew some other sons of Jehoiada.
  • not (KJV): 2Ch 24:16 21:20 28:27 

Cyril Barber - Those who seek God find Him; those who abandon Him are themselves abandoned; those who conspire to do evil are conspired against; and those who kill are themselves killed. (ibid)

When they had departed from him (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and murdered him on his bed.

Spurgeon - When one set of executioners had gone, his own servants conspired against him and slew him. Here ends our reading. May it be profitable to us!

So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings - Did you catch that last contrasting "but"? No royal burial for Joash. What a contrast with righteous Jehoiada who was honored by being buried with the kings of Judah! 

THOUGHT - In which plot would your rather be buried? The choice is yours. Choose to "love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you" in this life and and the life to come when you will reign as a king! (Dt 30:16+

Raymond Dillard: The Chronicler commonly uses burial notices to exhibit a theme important to him: righteous kings are buried in honor, while the ignominy of the unrighteous extends even to their interment (16:14; 21:19–20; 26:23; 28:27). In this context the refusal to bury the unrighteous Joash in the tombs of the kings contrasts sharply to the burial of the righteous priest Jehoiada there (24:16).

2 Chronicles 24:26 Now these are those who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess.

  • Zabad (KJV): or, Jozachar, 2Ki 12:21 
  • Shimrith (KJV): or, Shomer

Now these are those who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess.

Andrew Hill: According to the Chronicler, Joash’s officials conspire against him in retaliation for the murder of Zechariah (24:25b). Interestingly, the writer is careful to note that prominent among the conspirators are Zabad and Jehozabad – both sons of non-Hebrew women (24:26). It is as if the Chronicler seeks to emphasize the irony of the situation since these “mixed-blood” Israelites have a greater sense of justice than the king and citizens of Judah.

2 Chronicles 24:27 As to his sons and the many oracles against him and the rebuilding of the house of God, behold, they are written in the treatise of the Book of the Kings. Then Amaziah his son became king in his place.

  • burdens (KJV): 2Ki 12:18 
  • repairing (KJV): Heb. founding, 2Ch 24:13 
  • story (KJV): or, commentary, 2Ch 9:29 16:11 20:34 
  • Amaziah (KJV): 2Ch 25:1 2Ki 12:21 1Ch 3:12


As to his sons and the many oracles against him and the rebuilding of the house of God, behold, they are written in the treatise of the Book of the Kings. Many oracles refer to threatening prophecies against him as described in 2Ch 24:19, 20. 

Then Amaziah his son became king in his place.


1) How could a leader degenerate so quickly from a privileged disciple of a godly priest to a treacherous apostate killer of God’s prophet?

2) Are we sensitive today to the warnings provided to us by the Holy Spirit?

3) How can we make sure that our Christian giving is voluntary and not coercive?

4) What are some of the points of irony that you see in this passage?


Iain Duguid: To whom do we look for advice? The first part of Joash’s reign illustrates the positive value of good mentors, whose experience and knowledge of God’s Word provide guidance without taking control. Paul has this stance as he writes to the younger Timothy, concerned for his well-being and that of the church he serves (cf. 1 Tim. 1:2, 18–19; 2 Tim. 1:2–7). This contrasts with Joash’s later acceptance of the counsel of the “princes,” perhaps his own peers. Here we see an example of the all-toocommon looking for advice and teaching from those who will tell us what we want to hear (cf. Jer. 5:31; Mic. 2:6, 11; 2 Tim. 4:3–4). The lack of interest in being challenged is reflected in Joash’s angry response to Zechariah’s message. The drastic command to kill seems disproportionate to the general nature of the message and is an example of heated reaction when a criticism hits home or a wrongdoing is exposed that threatens the hearer’s self-perception, position, practices, or reputation. The message is publicly and vehemently denied (whether its truth is recognized internally or not) and the messenger derided and penalized. It is a clear sign of folly and self-deception to believe that, if the messenger is removed, the message can be forgotten. We see something similar in the angry response of the Nazareth congregation to Jesus’ use of Scripture (Luke 4:16–30), or of the leaders who instigated the crucifixion. Wise is the person who seeks and listens to friends and mentors who are lovingly honest (Prov. 27:6, 9).

August Konkel: The Chronicler has cast the life of Joash into two periods that serve to explain why his life would end in Syrian domination and his own assassination. The whole is linked to the loss of the good counsel of Jehoiada. But the punishment does not come without the warnings of the prophets urging him to repent. The account as a whole serves as an alert to the Chronicler’s readers; it reminds them that judgment will not overtake them without warning. Disaster can be avoided by accepting responsibility and turning in repentance.

August Konkel: Teaching Moral Values: It is very important for Christians to be mindful that the essence of moral behavior is internal motivation and not external control or influence. Joash becomes one of the most negative examples of turning opportunity into disaster. Faithfulness comes from an internal disposition; influence can help maintain a commitment, but it can never be a replacement for personal choice. The guidance and instruction of Jehoiada apparently did not transform the young king he tutored. Once the priest was no longer present, the forces of power and greed quickly took control. This is not to suggest that the efforts of Jehoiada proved of no value. They did preserve the dynasty of David and changed the course of political events. However, they did not have the effect that the priest desired; no amount of influence has the power to convert. Faith and choice of life values are a personal matter. Only by the grace of God can instruction and perseverance transform individuals to do what is right and good. Believers need to be faithful in doing and teaching what is right, but one must never presume that these have the power to bring others to do the same. Christians must remember these limitations in seeking to be a positive influence in their world. There is a tendency to change laws to coerce behavior deemed to be moral. Law does not have the power to create a moral society any more than the priest Jehoiada had in his time. The first priority for Christians is not the creation of law. . . The highest priority then must be instruction and a change of thinking. . . Such instruction will often be frustrated, just as that of the priest Jehoiada. But it still must be undertaken, with the knowledge that it will not be without results. The immediate outcome for Jehoiada and his family was tragic; but his story is not the end of the Chronicler’s story. In the story of the Chronicler, the work of Jehoiada was the means God provided for the continuity of the dynasty and the kingdom. The same will be true for those who are faithful in the work of God’s kingdom. Christians must pursue the work of a kingdom that is not of this world.

Phil Winfield: Joash – The Boy King and Figurehead


  • Joash decided to repair the house of God (v.1).
  • Joash decreed that the census taxes must resume (v.4-5).
  • Joash decried the delay in the temple repairing process (v.5b-7).
  • Joash devised an alternative plan for receiving the offerings (v:8-14). o It is was visible and encouraging (v.8-11). o It was diligently counted and administered (v.12-14).


  • Joash was indiscriminate in his choice of counsellor (v.17).
  • Joash revealed that his heart was not loyal to God (v.18).
  • Joash and his new counsellors rejected the merciful warnings of the prophets sent to him (v.19).
  • Joash was filled with murderous rage at God’s messenger (v.20-21).
  • Joash was disloyal to the God and to Jehoida who put him on the throne (v.22).
  • Joash reaped what he sowed (v.23-27).

What can we learn about leadership from Joash?

  • A leader can borrow brains; he can even borrow wisdom.
  • A leader can never borrow character
  • A leader can never borrow conviction.
  • A leader will be revealed by the counsellors he chooses. Once again show me how a man’s associates and friends are and I will tell you who he is. 
  • A leader that can’t be corrected shouldn’t be selected.
  • A leader that will not be accountable is a leader that is destined to fall.
  • A leader who has shifting loyalties will fall prey to disloyalty.
  • A leader who has no principle other than doing what is necessary to stay in power is not a leader he/she is a figurehead, a puppet being controlled by winds of opinion.

Geoffrey Kirkland: What’s the downward spiral of Joash’s life? What are the steps that led to his doom?

1. Alone (isolation) — lack of accountability, oversight, leadership, care, shepherding

2. Pride — people bowed down to him, praised him, revered/honored him >> and he LISTENED to them [their flattery fooled him!]

3. Indifferent (toward worship) — he abandoned the Temple, forsook Yahweh & His worship.

4. Idolatrous (wandering heart) — began to serve the Asherim & the Idols >> even w/ God’s discipline/wrath/ punishment

5. Stubborn/Brazen/Callous — God (!) sent prophets to them to bring them back (=repent).



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