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Lesson 62: Joash, The Boy King

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

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INTRODUCTION. During the time Elijah and Elisha were doing their work, there was

turmoil in the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. In the northern kingdom of Israel, the

wicked Ahab was succeeded on the throne first by one son, and following his death, by

a second son. Both of these kings were wicked as their father.

A descendant of David ascended the throne in Judah about the same time as Ahab's

first son began reigning in Israel. This king of Judah was married to Athaliah who was

the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. The king was wicked, as was his wife, and his son

who succeeded him on the throne was also wicked.

Meanwhile God instructed Elisha to anoint Jehu as king of Israel. God chose Jehu as

his instrument to destroy the house (descendants) of Ahab, thus fulfilling the prophecy

of Elijah (I Kings 21:21-22; II Kings 9:1-13). Jehu immediately commenced the task of conspiring against the descendants of Ahab and eliminating them. First, Jehu rode in his chariot to the city of Jezreel. As he approached the city, the king of Israel and the king of Judah who were visiting one another rode in their chariots to meet Jehu. Jehu slew both kings then continued on to the city (II Kings 9:14-29).

Next, as Jehu entered the city, Jezebel greeted him from an upper window. He com-

manded some servants in the house to throw Jezebel down. They threw her down, and

Jehu trampled her underfoot with his horses and chariot. He went inside, ate and drank, then commanded the servants to bury Jezebel, for she was a king's daughter. When the servants went outside only the skull, feet, and palms of her hands remained, for the dogs had eaten her as prophesied by Elijah (I Kings 21:23; II Kings 9:30-37).

Jehu proceeded to slay all that remained of the house of Ahab, both in Israel and

Judah. Then he destroyed the house of Baal and killed the worshippers of Baal. He didnnot remove Jeroboam's two golden calves, however, nor did he walk in the law of the Lord with all his heart (II Kings 10).

When Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, saw that her son the king of Judah

was dead, she destroyed all the royal heirs and declared herself queen of Judah. How-

ever, the wife of the high priest, who was also the sister of the dead king, managed to

rescue one of the king's sons, Joash (her nephew), and hide him from Athaliah. He remained hidden for six years in the house of the Lord.

In the seventh year, the high priest Jehoiada presented Joash to the officers of the tem-

ple and took an oath of allegiance from them. Jehoiada then armed temple guards, and

as they stood round about Joash, Jehoiada placed a crown upon the boy. As the people shouted, Long live the king!, Athaliah, hearing the noise, came to the temple and saw the young king standing by the pillar. While all the people of the land rejoiced and blew the trumpets, Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, Treason! treason! Jehoiada then

commanded the officers to follow Athaliah and slay her outside the temple.

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