Scripture reading – 2 Kings 11; 2 Kings 12

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If today’s Scripture reading sounds familiar, you might recall we have read a parallel record in our study of 2 Chronicles 22. Rather than submit an exhaustive survey of the same, I will review the personalities and events found in 2 Kings 11 and 12. Once again, I invite you to look at these historical accounts through the prism of our day. You will find that the fallen nature of man has not changed, and the tactics of the enemies of truth have been a constant cycle throughout history.

2 Kings 11 – Four Historical Events

Queen Athaliah’s Ascension to the Throne of Judah (2 Kings 11:1-3)

Athaliah was the granddaughter of Omri (the father of Ahab, 2 Kings 8:26). She was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, the wicked king and queen of Israel (2 Kings 8:18). Athaliah was the wife of Joram (also known as Jehoram), who had been king of Judah (2 Chronicles 21) and whose son Ahaziah reigned for a year before he was slain by Jehu (the newly crowned king of Israel, 2 Kings 9:27).

When Athaliah learned her son, King Ahaziah, was dead, she moved quickly to secure Judah’s throne and ordered the slaying of her grandsons. Unbeknownst to her, the youngest grandson escaped the slaughter when his aunt “Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram” (2 Kings 11:2), fled the palace and sought refuge for herself and the young prince in the Temple (2 Kings 11:3).

Queen Athaliah’s Ascension to the Throne of Judah (2 Kings 11:1-3)

The Coronation of Joash, King of Judah (2 Kings 11:4-12)

Joash, the infant son of Ahaziah and the heir to Judah’s throne, was concealed in the Temple for six years, where he was under the spiritual tutelage and protection of Jehoiada, the high priest (2 Kings 11:4). When Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada established a covenant with key leaders of the priesthood and the military who anointed and hailed the young prince as Judah’s king.

The Assassination of Queen Athaliah (2 Kings 11:13-16)

Athaliah, hearing the shouts, “God save the king!” rushed to the Temple. There, she found her grandson, Joash, wearing the king’s crown and standing at the pillar reserved for the king (2 Kings 11:13-14). “Treason, Treason!” Athaliah shouted, and Jehoiada, the high priest, commanded she be removed from the Temple and slain (2 Kings 11:15-16).

The Coronation of Joash, King of Judah (2 Kings 11:4-12)

A Sacred Covenant (2 Kings 11:14-21)

With the wicked rule of Athaliah ended, “Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, that they should be the Lord’s people” (2 Kings 11:17). The temple of Baal and his images were destroyed, and the priest of Baal was killed (2 Kings 11:18). Jehoiada then led Joash to the palace. The young king then “sat on the throne of the kings” of Judah, and the nation rejoiced. Jerusalem enjoyed a season of peace (2 Kings 11:20).


Closing thoughts for 2 Kings 11 –

Athaliah, the wicked queen-mother, was especially noted in the Scriptures for her crusade against the LORD. Much like the Marxists of our day have torn down the memorials and statutes of the United States and denied its Biblical foundation, Athaliah influenced her sons to break “up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord did they bestow upon Baalim” (2 Chronicles 24:7).

We are once again reminded never to underestimate the influence of leadership. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: But when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Proverbs 29:2).

2 Kings 12 – The Reign and Shame of Joash (i.e., Jehoash)

Judah’s peace and prosperity was not perpetual. Joash (also spelled Jehoash) reigned forty years over Judah. He honored the LORD and “did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him” (2 Kings 12:2). Notice the last phrase and how the young king remained under the tutelage of the high priest throughout most of his reign in Jerusalem.


Jehoash Ordered the Restoration of the Temple (2 Kings 12:4-16).

Jehoash ordered the Temple to be restored and the damages caused by his grandmother to be repaired. (2 Kings 12:4-5). The king also ordered money to be collected and repairs to be made (2 Kings 12:5). Yet, in the twenty-third year of his reign, “the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house” (2 Kings 12:6).

Jehoash challenged the priests and questioned why they failed to repair the Temple (2 Kings 12:7). The implication would seem that there was some dishonesty and mishandling of monies given. The king commanded the priests to “receive no more money of the people” (2 Kings 12:7-8), except that which would be given to those who labored in repairing the Temple (2 Kings 12:9-15).

Jehoash was assassinated by his servants (2 Kings 12:20), and in his place, Amaziah, his son, became king (2 Kings 12:21).

Hazael, King of Syria, Began to Make War Against Judah (2 Kings 12:17-21)

Fulfilling Elisha’s prophecy (2 Kings 8:10-12), the king of Syria marched through Israel. Hazael laid siege to Jerusalem (2 Kings 12:17). When Jehoash was wounded in battle (2 Chronicles 24:25), he paid tribute to Hazael rather than seek the LORD for deliverance. Jehoash gave the king of Syria the treasures of the Temple and his royal treasures (2 Kings 12:19).

Though the king of Syria “went away from Jerusalem,” the king of Judah was weakened. Soon after, Jehoash was assassinated by his servants (2 Kings 12:20), and in his place, Amaziah, his son, became king (2 Kings 12:21).

Closing thoughts –

What do people tend to remember about leaders? Not how their journey began but how they finished. 

Jehoash’s reign as king of Judah began gloriously as a seven-year-old boy (2 Kings 11:21); however, the last chapter of his life was disgraceful. After giving away the treasuries of the Temple and the palace, he was assassinated by his servants (2 Kings 12:17-21).  

How will you be remembered? All believers should aspire to Paul’s summary of his life and ministry when he wrote: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Abraham Lincoln

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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