2 Kings
1-3 Reign of Jehoash 4-8 Jehoash Commands to Restore the Temple 9-16 Temple Restoration Collection 17-18 Hazael Threatens Jerusalem 19-21 Death of Joash
Reign of Jehoash

1In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2Jehoash did right in the sight of the LORD all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.

There are seven or eight kings of whom we read that they did “right in the sight of the LORD”. Without exception, however, we also read of them that things went wrong with them later on. Experiences with the Lord are no guarantee of remaining faithful to the Lord. In youth there is often a freshness for the Lord that can disappear later. It are warnings for older believers.

Of Jehoash we read why it is that it goes wrong. As soon as Jehoiada dies, things go wrong. The big question for anyone who is young is whether faith is based on their own relationship with the Lord or on that of parents or older believers. There can be new life, without practice in personal contact with the Lord and without being taught by Him.

It is not good for (young) believers to remain dependent on older believers. For sisters it is important that in their faith they are not dependent on their husbands. The reverse is also true. For example, for sisters an own life of prayer is of great importance. It should not be the case that believers become helpless when certain believers disappear. This helplessness is the result of the fact that these believers have leaned too much upon other believers, without learning to bear their own responsibility. The same applies to parents and their children. They must teach their children to be independent in the Lord.

The high places mentioned in verse 33Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. are high places dedicated to the LORD. At such high places Solomon also sacrificed (1Kgs 3:2-32The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the LORD until those days.3Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.). As long as the temple is not there, God allows sacrifice to be made there. Now that the temple is there, they wouldn’t have to sacrifice there any more. It is like serving God in a place where the Lord Jesus cannot be in the midst. There are Christians who believe that the Lord Jesus is everywhere in the midst, even though things have been introduced that are not in accordance with God’s Word, such as a by man appointed pastor.

Jehoash Commands to Restore the Temple

4Then Jehoash said to the priests, “All the money of the sacred things which is brought into the house of the LORD, in current money, [both] the money of each man’s assessment [and] all the money which any man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of the LORD, 5let the priests take it for themselves, each from his acquaintance; and they shall repair the damages of the house wherever any damage may be found.” 6But it came about that in the twenty-third year of King Jehoash the priests had not repaired the damages of the house. 7Then King Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and for the [other] priests and said to them, “Why do you not repair the damages of the house? Now therefore take no [more] money from your acquaintances, but pay it for the damages of the house.” 8So the priests agreed that they would take no [more] money from the people, nor repair the damages of the house.

Jehoash understands that only the temple is the place where God’s people must come to sacrifice. Therefore he wants to restore the temple. Three types of money are used for this restoration: the ransom that every numbered person must pay (Exo 30:11-1611The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying,12“When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, so that there will be no plague among them when you number them.13This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD.14Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the LORD.15The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the LORD to make atonement for yourselves.16You shall take the atonement money from the sons of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the sons of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves.”), money from someone who has made a promise and converts that promise into a sum of money (Lev 27:1-81Again, the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,2“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When a man makes a difficult vow, he [shall be valued] according to your valuation of persons belonging to the LORD.3If your valuation is of the male from twenty years even to sixty years old, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary.4Or if it is a female, then your valuation shall be thirty shekels.5If it be from five years even to twenty years old then your valuation for the male shall be twenty shekels and for the female ten shekels.6But if [they are] from a month even up to five years old, then your valuation shall be five shekels of silver for the male, and for the female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver.7If [they are] from sixty years old and upward, if it is a male, then your valuation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.8But if he is poorer than your valuation, then he shall be placed before the priest and the priest shall value him; according to the means of the one who vowed, the priest shall value him.) and money that is given voluntarily.

Jehoash does not use the money to build a new temple. With Jehoash it is not about a new temple. He does not act from an attitude that does not like the old because in his opinion ‘it is no longer of this time’. This is the reasoning that is often heard and acted upon in Christianity. The old, what God Himself has given, may be restored to its original state. For us this means that in practicing to be a church, we are going back to the principles of the Word concerning the church.

At one point, “in the twenty-third year” of his reign, Jehoash noted that no work had been done to restore the temple. He calls Jehoiada and the priests to account about this and warns them about it. Jehoash is still so powerful here, that he can even warn Jehoiada. He does not wait for an answer – in any case, we are not informed of any answer – but immediately gives new orders to get the temple restored as soon as possible.

From the run-up to his renewed command to restore the temple, it may be possible to understand why nothing has been done so far to restore it. Jehoash says they shouldn’t accept any more money from their acquaintances. They may be so busy collecting and managing the money that the work for which they receive the money does not get off the ground (cf. Acts 6:1-61Now at this time while the disciples were increasing [in number], a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic [Jews] against the [native] Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving [of food].2So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.3Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”5The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.6And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.).

Another way has to be found. The priests should no longer be involved in collecting money. They also do not have to contribute to the restoration of the temple. That work will be done by others.

Temple Restoration Collection

9But Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid and put it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of the LORD; and the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money which was brought into the house of the LORD. 10When they saw that there was much money in the chest, the king’s scribe and the high priest came up and tied [it] in bags and counted the money which was found in the house of the LORD. 11They gave the money which was weighed out into the hands of those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of the LORD; and they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the house of the LORD; 12and to the masons and the stonecutters, and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the damages to the house of the LORD, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it. 13But there were not made for the house of the LORD silver cups, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver from the money which was brought into the house of the LORD; 14for they gave that to those who did the work, and with it they repaired the house of the LORD. 15Moreover, they did not require an accounting from the men into whose hand they gave the money to pay to those who did the work, for they dealt faithfully. 16The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the LORD; it was for the priests.

It is about the construction of the house of God, that is in our time the church. That house is in decay. There are many in that house who have no life out of God. Many believers associate themselves with unbelievers because they do not ask if there is life. We must restore in God’s house what is not good in it. All that is not of the Lord must be removed or restored according to His will.

Many revivals are aimed at personal experience. However, it is important that it is the church of the living God. Whoever repents becomes a member of the body of Christ. This means that such a person is there for the other and for the whole. How a member functions in the church depends on how he or she deals with the Lord. If there is contact with the Lord and His Word is read, He will make known what we can do for others. We live in an ‘I’ era. We also see this in the perception of faith, which is mainly ‘I-focused’.

The collection of the money for the restoration of the temple is now done in a box. Jojada bored a hole in the lid. The funds collected are used only for repair work and not for making utensils in the temple. The money is given to those who do the repair work. They can freely dispose of it and buy what they think they need. They do not have to account for how exactly they spent the money. There is trust because they deal faithfully. Trust is given, not demanded.

There also remains a strict separation between the gifts for the restoration and the money from the offerings. The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings is for the priests and is not used for the repair work. The money from the offerings comes from the twenty percent to be given when bringing a guilt offering (Lev 5:1616He shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it will be forgiven him.).

Hazael Threatens Jerusalem

17Then Hazael king of Aram went up and fought against Gath and captured it, and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem. 18Jehoash king of Judah took all the sacred things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred things and all the gold that was found among the treasuries of the house of the LORD and of the king’s house, and sent [them] to Hazael king of Aram. Then he went away from Jerusalem.

Without giving any reason, the historian suddenly mentions Hazael’s march against Jerusalem after capturing Gath. In 2 Chronicles 24 we read why this discipline comes over Judah (2Chr 24:17-2417But after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them.18They 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.19Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the LORD; though they testified against them, they would not listen.20Then 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.’”21So 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.22Thus 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!”23Now 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.24Indeed 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.). There we see that Jehoash is doing well, as long as he is under the good influence of the priest Jehoiada. When Jehoiada falls away, he listens to others. Jehoash is a man who can be influenced quickly. He admits quickly, he has no powerful own opinion. Good friends have a good influence, bad friends have a bad influence.

The result is that he leaves the LORD. Because of this the temple doesn’t mean much to him anymore. When he comes under the pressure of Hazael, he doesn't resort to the LORD. That was the purpose of the LORD, for this enemy comes down upon him as a chastisement from Him. But instead of going to the LORD he devises his own solution. He takes from the temple, which first meant so much to him, to pay the enemy of it, that he may depart from him. He succeeds in his purpose, but at the same time he is further away from the LORD than ever.

Death of Joash

19Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 20His servants arose and made a conspiracy and struck down Joash at the house of Millo [as he was] going down to Silla. 21For Jozacar the son of Shimeath and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, struck [him] and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Amaziah his son became king in his place.

The end of Joash is humiliating. He is murdered by two of his servants. These men are sons of pagan mothers (2Chr 24:2626Now these are those who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess.). Joash is buried in the city of David with his fathers. It does not mention that he enters the graves of the kings, which has been interpreted as a sign of disapproval of his later behavior.

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