““When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
(2 Samuel 7:12–13, NASB95)
The Lord’s promise to David serves as one of the most important Messianic prophesies in the Bible. And while its ultimate fulfillment would be in Jesus Christ, the son of David (Matthew 1.1), God was also careful to keep His promise so long as there was a physical kingdom. Thus, while He ripped away ten tribes from Solomon, his heir would still reign over Judah “for the sake of My servant David” (1Kings 11.13).
Roughly 100 years had elapsed by the time we come to 2Kings 11 and 2Chronicles 23. God had kept His promise, but as we noted in our study of Ahab’s legacy, David’s line was being threatened in Judah. Jehoram, son of righteous Jehoshaphat, slew all of his brothers (2Chronicles 21.4) and then had all of his heirs, save one, taken captive by the Philistines and Arabs (2Chronicles 22.16-17). And when Ahaziah was slain by Jehu he was succeeded by his mother Athaliah, daughter of Ahab, who promptly killed all of her grandchildren (2Chronicles 22.10). Only one child escaped (2Chronicles 22.11-12); the line of David was in peril. But God is faithful!
Joash & The Preserving of David’s Line (2Chronicles 23 2Kings 11).
Athaliah’s wicked reign would last six years (2Chronicles 22.12) during which time David’s lone remaining descendant, Joash, was being hidden by the faithful in the Temple. However, when Joash reached the age of seven, Jehoiada the priest deemed the time right to restore David’s line to its rightful place. “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has spoken concerning the sons of David” (2Chronicles 23.3). Note the following as you read the text:
- Some of the captains of hundreds (2Chronicles 23.1) are described as “Carites” (2Kings 11.4). These were part of David’s bodyguard (see 2Samuel 20.23) and may have been mercenary troops from Crete or Philistia.
- “as the Lord has spoken concerning the sons of David” (2Chronicles 23.3): Jehoiada bases this covenant on the Lord’s promise to David in 2Samuel 7.12-13.
- Position of Levites (2Chronicles 23.4-5): the royal palace was in close proximity to the Temple, separated by a wall. Jehoida insures that Levites and priests, those loyal to the king, would be in position to secure the Temple, the royal palace and the gate that separated the two.
- “gave him the testimony” (2Chronicles 23.11) This act shows Jehoiada’s recognition that the king was to be guided by God’s word (see Deuteronomy 17.18-20).
- “king was standing by his pillar at the entrance” (2Chronicles 23.13): Likely one of the two pillars mentioned in the construction of the Temple (see 1Kings 7.15-22,41-42). One was named Jachin (“he shall establish”) the other Boaz (“in it is strength”).
- “Let her not be put to death in the house of the Lord” (2Chronicles 23.14): tragically, as we will see Jehoiada’s regard for the sanctity of the Lord’s house would not be shared by Joash.
- “Jehoiada made a covenant” (2Chronicles 23.16): Jehoiada not only renewed the covenant between all the people and the Lord, but between the people and the king (2Kings 11.17).
- “house of Baal” (2Chronicles 23.17) only reference to such a temple in Judah, but unsurprising given the ~15 years Ahab’s family ruled in Jerusalem. Just as Jehu’s purge of Ahab’s family in Israel involved the eradication of Baal worship, the death of Athaliah was followed by the eradication of Baal worship.
Joash’s Faithfulness & Apostasy; His Good & Wicked Counselors (2Chronicles 24 2Kings 12).
No king since Solomon swung so completely from faithfulness to apostasy as Joash. He went from taking great care to restore the Lord’s Temple, to murdering the son of his mentor and protector. Significantly, Joash’s faithfulness depended on who was his counselor; faithful during the days of Jehovah, apostate when other counselors took over. Ultimately, Joash would be faced with the reality that “because you have forsaken the Lord, He has also forsaken you” (2Chronicles 24.20). Note the following as you read the text:
- “reigned forty years” (2Chronicles 24.1): “Joash’s long reign (ca. 835–796 B.C.) overlaps with Jehu and Jehoahaz in the Northern Kingdom and reflects a time of Aramean resurgence under Hazael and Ben-Hadad and continued strength in Assyria, particularly under the rule of Shalmaneser III and Adad-nirari III.” (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary)
- “all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (2Chronicles 24.2): as we will note, Joash’s faithfulness would not extend beyond the life of Jehoiada.
- money collected to repair the Temple (2Chronicles 24.4-6; 2Kings 12.4-5): this would include payments from the census (Exodus 30.11-16) and payments related to vows (Leviticus 27).
- “Levites did not act quickly” (2Chronicles 24.5): according to 2Kings 12.6 the repairs were still not completed by the 23rd year of Joash’s reign.
- Jehoiada’s death (2Chronicles 24.15-16): Jehoida would have been born in 940 B.C. and would have been old enough to remember when Solomon died. Note that he was granted a royal burial.
- “officials of Judah” (2Chronicles 24.17): Remember, Ahab’s family ruled over Judah for almost 15 years and so it may have been that these officials had been influenced by their wickedness.
- He sent prophets (2Chronicles 24.19): an act of mercy and grace from the Lord.
- Death of Zechariah, son of Jehoiada (2Chronicles 24.20-22): See Matthew 23.34-35. Contrast with 23.14… wicked Athaliah would not be killed in the Temple, but righteous Zedekiah would!
- “army of the Arameans came up against him” (2Chronicles 24.23): “The capture of the Philistine city of Gath (see 8:22) in fact presupposes that Hazael could move at will through Israelite territory to the north. The campaign is best explained in terms of an attempt by Damascus to gain control over the western part of the incense trade that in later times came from south Arabia via the Wadi Arabah to southern Philistia. It is best dated during the reign of Jehu’s son Jehoahaz (c. 815–799), who, according to 13:1–7, 22–23, fared even worse than his father at the hands of Aram and thus provided no bulwark of defense (conscious or unconscious) for Judah.” (ZIBBC)
- “destroyed all the officials…” (2Chronicles 24.23) God’s judgment against the very people who turned Joash to idols (see vs. 17).
- “did not bury him in the tombs of the kings” (2Chronicles 24.25) contrast with Jehoiada’s burial (vs. 16)
The Reign of Amaziah (2Chronicles 25; 2Kings 14.1-20).
Sadly, the adage “like father, like son” proved true with Amaziah. The general character of his early reign was characterized by righteousness (2Chronicles 25.2), but not only would he turn to idols (2Chronicles 25.14) but would become consumed by pride… to his detriment. Note the following as you read the text:
- “reigned twenty-nine years” (2Chronicles 25.1): “last twenty-four years of Amaziah’s reign were in a coregency with his son Uzziah.” (Kaiser 350)
- “did not put their children to death” (2Chronicles 25.4): see Deuteronomy 24.16.
- Mercenary troops from Israel (2Chronicles 25.6-9): it would seem that Amaziah was placing his trust in military might, but he demonstrated enough trust to dismiss the Israelite troops even though it came at great expense. Yet, he believed that “the Lord has much more to give you than this” (vs. 9).
- “raided the cities of Judah” (2Chronicles 25.13): note their anger at being dismissed in vs. 10.
- “from Samaria to Beth-horon (2Chronicles 25.13): “This surprising information must be construed to mean that Judean colonies existed here and there throughout the northern kingdom. Perhaps these were the towns in Israel that Asa had captured; they may also have been the towns to which Jehoshaphat had sent priests and Levites as teachers (see 15:8; 17:2; 19:4).” (Kingdom of Priests 386)
- “gods of the sons of Seir” (2Chronicles 25.14): “The honoring or adoption of the gods of other peoples (even conquered peoples) was common in the ancient Near East. In the case of warfare, the victorious army would even refer to the help of the deity of the conquered people in his summary of victory, as with the Persian general Cyrus acknowledging the help of the Babylonian god Marduk in his taking of Babylon. Similarly, the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III paused at Aleppo to give homage to the Syrian storm god Hadad (Adad) during one of his military campaigns. The taking of an enemy idol was considered a way to gain the favor of that deity (with the mind-set that favor with as many gods as possible is ideal).” (ZIBBC)
- “Come, let us face each other” (2Chronicles 25.17): “Amaziah obviously believed that this massacre was tolerated, if not encouraged, by Jehoash, for he immediately challenged the king of Israel to a confrontation (25:17, cf. 21).” (KOP 386)
- Beth-shemesh (2Chronicles 25.21): “Beth Shemesh, an important town on the northwest border of Judah, about twenty miles from Jerusalem, that sat in the Valley of Sorek and guarded the pass from the Philistine plain.” (ZIBBC)
- “lived fifteen years after the death of Joash” (2Chronicles 25.25): “Both the author of Kings and the Chronicler stress that Amaziah outlived Jehoash by fifteen years (2 Kings 14:17; 2 Chron. 25:25). This may be their oblique way of suggesting that Amaziah’s release from Israelite control is to be tied in with the death of his captor” (KOP 387)
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