1Joash was seven when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for forty years. His mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba.
2Joash did what was right in the Lord's sight during the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest.
3Jehoiada arranged for him to marry two wives, and he had sons and daughters.
4Some time later, Joash decided to repair the Lord's Temple.
5He summoned the priests and Levites and told them, “Go to the towns of Judah and collect the yearly dues from everyone in Israel to repair the Temple of your God. Do it right away.” But the Levites did not go right away.
6So the king called for Jehoiada the high priest and asked him, “Why haven't you ordered the Levites to collect from Judah and Jerusalem the tax that Moses, the Lord's servant, and the assembly of Israel imposed to maintain the Tent of the Law?”
7(The supporters of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken into God's Temple and had stolen the holy objects of the Lord's Temple and used them to worship the Baals.)
8The king ordered a collection chest to be made and placed outside the entrance to the Lord's Temple.
9A decree was proclaimed throughout Judea and Jerusalem to bring to the Lord the tax that Moses, the Lord's servant, imposed on Israel in the wilderness.
10All the leaders and all the people were glad to do so and brought their taxes. They dropped them in the chest until it was full.
11Every so often the Levites took the chest to the king's officials. When they saw that it contained a large amount of money, the king's secretary and the chief officer of the high priest would come and empty the chest. Then they would carry it back to its place. They did this every day and collected a great deal of money.
12Then the king and Jehoiada would allocate the money of those supervising the work on the Lord's Temple to hire stonecutters and carpenters to restore the Lord's Temple and craftsmen in iron and bronze to repair the Lord's Temple.
13The men doing the repairs worked hard and made good progress. They restored God's Temple to its original condition and strengthened it.
14When they finished, they returned the money that was left to the king and Jehoiada, and with it utensils were made for the Lord's Temple, both for the worship services and for the burnt offerings, also bowls for incense and vessels of gold and silver. Burnt offerings were regularly offered in the Lord's Temple regularly throughout Jehoiada's lifetime.
15Jehoiada grew old and died at the age of 130, having lived a full life.
16He was buried with the kings in the City of David, for all the good he had done in Israel for God and his Temple.
17But after the death of Jehoiada, the leaders of Judah came to swear their loyalty to the king, and he listened to their advice.
18They abandoned the Temple of the Lord, the God of their forefathers, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols. Judah and Jerusalem were punished because of their sin.
19The Lord sent prophets to bring the people back to him and to warn them; but they refused to listen.
20Then the Spirit of God came to Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and told them, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you break the Lord's commandments so that you cannot be successful? Since you have abandoned the Lord, he has abandoned you.’”
21Then the leaders hatched a plot to kill Zechariah, and on the orders of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the Lord's Temple.
22King Joash showed he had forgotten all about the loyalty and love shown to him by Jehoiada, Zechariah's father, by killing his son. As he died, Zechariah cried out, “May the Lord see what you've done and pay you back!”
23At the end of the year, the Aramean army came to attack Joash. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem and killed all the people's leaders, and sent all their plunder back to the king of Damascus.
24Even though the Aramean army had come with only a few men, the Lord gave them the victory over a very large army, because Judah had abandoned the Lord, the God of their forefathers. In this way they punished Joash.
25When the Arameans departed, they left Joash badly wounded. But then his own officers plotted against him for murdering the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they killed him in his bed. He was buried in the City of David, but not in the cemetery of the kings.
26Those who plotted against him were Zabad, son of Shimeath, an Ammonite woman, and Jehozabad, son of Shimrith, a Moabite woman.
27The story of the sons of Joash, as well as the many prophecies about him and about the restoration of God's Temple, are recorded in the Commentary on the Book of the Kings. His son Amaziah took over as king.