“Then the Spirit of God took possession of Zechariah son of the priest Jehoiada. He stood above the people and said to them.
‘Thus says God.
Why do you transgress the commandments of Yahweh?
Thus you cannot prosper
Because you have forsaken Yahweh,
He has also forsaken you.’
But they conspired against him. By the command of King Joash they stoned him to death in the court of the house of Yahweh. King Joash did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but he killed his son. As he was dying, he said. ‘May Yahweh see and avenge!’”
This section is not found anywhere else in the biblical literature except here. The Spirit of God came on Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada. He began to prophesize in the name of Yahweh. He asked why they had transgressed the commandments of Yahweh. Generally when they say this, the prophets are referring to idolatry and false gods. There was a direct correlation between keeping the commandments and prospering. Here then is the famous phrase, because you have forsaken God, he has forsaken you. There was a revolt and a conspiracy against Zechariah. King Joash, who had been tutored and been given advice by his father Jehoiada, now turned on his son Zechariah. He had him stoned to death. The dying words of Zechariah were that Yahweh might avenge his death. This does not look good for King Joash, who up until his point had been on Yahweh’s good list. It is not clear why King Joash turned on the son of Jehoiada, except that leaders of Judah did not like him.
“Now after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and did obeisance to King Joash. Then the king listened to them. They abandoned the house of Yahweh, the God of their ancestors. They served the sacred poles and the idols. Wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for their guilt. Nevertheless, God sent prophets among them to bring them back to Yahweh. These testified against them. However, they would not listen.”
This is not to found anywhere in the biblical literature, but is consistent with what was going on at that time. There was a continual return to the idols and the sacred poles since this must have been popular with people rather than the worship of Yahweh at the Temple of Jerusalem. However, Yahweh sent prophets to warn them, but they did not listen to his prophets.
“However, Jehoiada grew old and full of days. He died. He was one hundred and thirty years old at his death. They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good things in Israel, for God and his house.”
There was no mention of the death of the priest Jehoiada in 2 Kings or in any other biblical source. Here Jehoiada lived to 130 years old when everyone else was dying around 50-60 years old. This seems strange. Apparently he took on the mantle of a patriarch, like in Genesis, where people lived to a good age. He was buried among the kings even though he was not a king, but his influence on the young King Joash may have given him more authority. Certainly he had done good things for God and his house. However, he had not done things for Israel, since that was the northern kingdom with the good King Jehu there. He had served Judah and Jerusalem as is often mentioned here, not Israel.
“King Joash and Jehoiada gave the money to those who had charge of the work of the house of Yahweh. They hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of Yahweh. They also had workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of Yahweh. So those who were engaged in the work labored. The repairs went forward in their hands. They restored the house of God to its proper condition. In fact, they strengthened it. When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada. With this money they made utensils for the house of Yahweh, utensils for the service and for the burnt offerings, ladles, and vessels of gold and silver. They offered burnt offerings in the house of Yahweh regularly all the days of Jehoiada.”
This once again is loosely based on 2 Kings, chapter 12. They gave the money to the people who had the oversight of the repairs. They were to pay the workers and materials for this work. Unlike 2 Kings, where there was no money for the basins, gold and silver vessels, or trumpets, here there is plenty of money for the gold and silver vessels of the Temple. There is nothing here about whether they kept a good accounting of the money or not. Finally there is no mention that that the priests got the money from the sin offerings as in 2 Kings.
“King Joash gave a command. They made a chest. They set it outside the gate of the house of Yahweh. A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in the tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness for Yahweh. All the leaders and all the people rejoiced. They brought their tax and dropped it into the chest until it was full. Whenever the chest was brought to the king’s officers by the Levites, when they saw that there was a large amount of money in it, the king’s secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest. They took it and returned it to its place. So they did day after day. They collected money in abundance.”
This once again is loosely based on 2 Kings, chapter 12. Here it is King Joash not the priest Jehoiada who had an idea to leave a chest with a hole in top on the right side of the altar. Here it is a tax that Moses demanded in the wilderness. It is unclear when Moses imposed such a tax. All the money that was given to the temple went into this chest. Here the chest is outside the Temple while in 2 Kings, it was by the altar. When the money chest got full, the secretary and the high priest would take it away. Apparently this was on a daily basis. Here they did not count it as in 2 Kings. This program seemed to be successful as the money poured in.
“Some time afterward, King Joash decided to restore the house of Yahweh. He assembled the priests and the Levites. He said to them. ‘Go out to the cities of Judah. Gather money from all Israel to repair the house of your God, year by year. See that you act quickly!’ However, the Levites did not act quickly. So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief. He said to him. ‘Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax levied by Moses, the servant of Yahweh, on the congregation of Israel for the tent of the covenant?’ The children of Queen Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God. They had even used all the dedicated things of the house of Yahweh for the Baals.”
This is loosely based on 2 Kings, chapter 12. This section is kinder and gentler towards the Levites and priests than 2 Kings. King Joash had a special relationship to the priests and the temple because of his early upbringing. Here he wants them to go out all over Judah and get the money to repair the Temple quickly, instead of just from donations. Here there is no mention that he waited 23 years for the Temple to be repaired. Then he summoned his old master the priest Jehoiada with the other priests. Here the explanation for the repair of the Temple is due to the evil Queen Athaliah who let the Baal worshipers ruin the Temple and use the sacred vessels. There is nothing about not taking any more money until the Temple is repaired. Also there is no mention that the priests said that they were not going to repair the Temple.
“King Joash was seven years old when he began to reign. He reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. King Joash did what was right in the sight of Yahweh all the days of the priest Jehoiada. Jehoiada got two wives for him. He had sons and daughters.”
This is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 12, except there is nothing about how people were still worshipping and making sacrifices at the high places. This biblical chronicler decided not to mention that. King Joash was 7 when he was crowned king. King Joash ruled for 40 years so that his impact was important. He was a good king because he followed Yahweh as long as the priest Jehoiada was there to guide him. He had been instructed by the priest Jehoiada during his first 7 years. Once again we see the importance of early childhood learning. Zibiah was his mother but we never hear of her otherwise, unlike Athaliah or Jezebel. Notice the priest Jehoiada got him 2 wives.