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2 Chronicles 24


(LXX versing)
Young Joash Influenced by Jehoiada Joash Repairs the Temple The Good Beginning of Joash; His Later Apostasy and Subsequent Punishment King Joash of Judah
24:1-3 24:1-3 24:1-3 24:1-3
Faithless Priests Joash Repairs the Temple
24:4-7 24:4-7 24:4-7 24:4-6 24:4-10
Temple Repaired 24:7
24:8-14 24:8-14 24:8-14 24:8-11
Apostasy of Joash Jehoiada's Policies are Reversed
24:15-16 24:15-16 24:15-16 24:15-16
Joash's Decline and Death
24:17-19 24:17-22 24:17-19 24:17-22 24:17-22
Joash Murders Son of Jehoiada
24:20-22 24:20-22
Aram Invades and Defeats Judah Death of Joash The End of Joash's Reign
24:23-24 24:23-25 24:23-24 24:23-27 24:23-24a
24:25-27 24:25-27

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


1Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Zibiah from Beersheba. 2Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. 3Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he became the father of sons and daughters.

24:1 "Joash" In 2 Kgs. 11:21; 12:1-21, he is called "Jehoash." Both mean "YWHW supports (BDB 219).

"he reigned forty years in Jerusalem" This is one of the longest reigns besides Manasseh. The tragic pattern of initial godliness (2 Chr. 24:2) followed by end-of-life rebellion continues. As long as Jehoiada the priest was alive things went well (i.e., v. 12).

24:2 "did what was right in the sight of the Lord" This is an idiomatic expression for the kings of Judah (and possibly of Israel, i.e., Jeroboam I) who acted faithfully, like David (1 Kgs. 15:3) in keeping and promoting obedience to the Mosaic Law (cf. Deut. 6:16-18; 12:28; 13:18).

  1. Jeroboam I of Israel ‒ condition of YHWH's blessing: obedience to His covenant ‒ 1 Kgs. 11:33,38; 14:8, but he did not
  2. Asa (initially) ‒ 1 Kgs. 15:11; 2 Chr. 14:2
  3. Jehoshaphat (mostly) ‒ 1 Kgs. 22:43; 2 Chr. 20:32
  4. Jehu ‒ 2 Kgs. 10:30
  5. Jehoash (initially) ‒ 2 Kgs. 12:2
  6. Joash (initially) ‒ 2 Chr. 24:2
  7. Amaziah ‒ 2 Kgs. 14:2; 2 Chr. 25:2
  8. Jotham ‒ 2 Kgs. 15:33; 2 Chr. 27:2
  9. Ahaz ‒ 2 Kgs. 16:2; 2 Chr. 28:1 (negative)
  10. Hezekiah ‒ 2 Kgs. 18:3; 2 Chr. 29:2; 31:20
  11. Josiah ‒ 2 Kgs. 22:2

24:3 The godly High Priest, Jehoiada (cf. 2 Chr. 24:6, i.e., "head") chose wives for the young king. Although the text does not give any details, one assumes

  1. they were not of the line of Ahab (i.e., Jezebel and Athaliah)
  2. they were worshipers of YHWH from Judah
  3. the text does not mention additional wives or concubines

One of the two wives is named in 2 Chr. 25:1.

4Now it came about after this that Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord. 5He gathered the priests and Levites and said to them, "Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to repair the house of your God annually, and you shall do the matter quickly." But the Levites did not act quickly. 6So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, "Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the levy fixed by Moses the servant of the Lord on the congregation of Israel for the tent of the testimony?" 7For the sons of the wicked Athaliah had broken into the house of God and even used the holy things of the house of the Lord for the Baals.

24:4 YHWH's temple had deteriorated from non-use and the ransacking and theft by Athaliah's people (cf. 2 Chr. 24:7).

The purpose of restoration was the restart of YHWH's worship in its Mosaic form (i.e.., 2 Chr. 24:5,6,9).

24:5 "cities of Judah. . .all Israel" It is obvious that the Chronicler considered Judah to be the true covenant people, "Israel" (cf. vv. 9,16).

The NASB Study Bible, p. 613, mentions that

  1. this verse only mentions one source of revenue (i.e., the census tax, cf. Exod. 30:14; 38:26)
  2. 2 Kgs. 12:4-5 lists three sources
    1. a census tax (i.e., "each man's assessment")
    2. freewill offering (i.e., "which any man's heart prompts him," cf. Exod. 35:5,22,29)
    3. payments from personal vows (cf. Lev. 27:1-8; Num. 18:15-16)

"But the Levites did not act quickly" The reason for the delay is not stated but from the context, one wonders if they, too, had become followers of Ba'al. They had allowed YHWH's temple to be ransacked and looted.

The other option is the parallel in 2 Kgs. 12:6-8 which mentions the date of the request, which may denote a time when Jehoiada had little influence (NASB Study Bible, p. 613).

A third option is expressed by Josephus, Antiq. 9.8.2., "but the high priest did not do this, as concluding that no one would willingly pay the money."

24:6 Joash wants to restore Mosaic guidelines for the sacrificial system.


"the levy fixed by Moses" See Exod. 30:12-16.

"the servant of the Lord" In 2 Chr. 24:9 this is changed to "the servant of God." The Chronicler must have viewed these as synonymous statements.


"the tent of testimony" This is one of several titles for the tabernacle of the wilderness (i.e., Num. 1:50).

The "testimony" would be the two tablets of stone commandments given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai/Horeb.

24:7 This verse reveals the people's continuing worship of Ba'al and Asherah. Notice the recurrent elements.

  1. There was a temple and priesthood to Ba'al in Jerusalem, 2 Chr. 23:17.
  2. Followers (lit. "sons") of Athaliah invaded the temple of YHWH and took some holy things to Ba'al's temple, 2 Chr. 24:7.
  3. The people returned to Ba'al worship even after the temple of YHWH was restored, 2 Chr. 24:18.

"the Baals" The reason Ba'al is plural is because every village and high place (naturally raised place) had its own Ba'al and Asherah shrine. Ba'al was symbolized by an uplifted, elongated stone and Asherah by a live tree or carved stake, symbolizing the tree of life.

8So the king commanded, and they made a chest and set it outside by the gate of the house of the Lord. 9They made a proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem to bring to the Lord the levy fixed by Moses the servant of God on Israel in the wilderness. 10All the officers and all the people rejoiced and brought in their levies and dropped them into the chest until they had finished. 11It came about whenever the chest was brought in to the king's officer by the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, then the king's scribe and tmuchhe chief priest's officer would come, empty the chest, take it, and return it to its place. Thus they did daily and collected money. 12The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the service of the house of the Lord; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the Lord, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord. 13So the workmen labored, and the repair work progressed in their hands, and they restored the house of God according to its specifications and strengthened it. 14When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; and it was made into utensils for the house of the Lord, utensils for the service and the burnt offering, and pans and utensils of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada.

24:8 "set it outside by the gate of the house of the Lord" This would be where all the Judeans could place their offerings. 2 Kings 12:9 says it was placed next to the altar of sacrifice, which would limit access to the priest and Levites. 2 Chronicles makes more sense. Obviously Kings and Chronicles have their own unique sources.

24:10 This verse is surprising because in 2 Chr. 24:18 the people revert to Ba'al worship. Either there was a group of faithful followers all along or the whole population was religiously fickle.

"the people rejoiced. . .dropped" Here is a good example of how context determines meaning. Words have meaning only in a context (i.e., sentence, paragraph). The VERB (BDB 1020, KB 1527, Hiphil IMPERFECT with waw) usually means "throw," but here, "dropped" fits best. Their giving was a joy not a burden to be resented.

24:11 The large amount of money collected in the chest was not tallied nor dispensed by the Levites but by several special leaders only.

  1. King's scribe
  2. High Priest's officer

The reason is never stated. It may relate to

  1. 2 Chr. 24:5, "they did not act quickly"
  2. 2 Chr. 24:17-18, bad counselors and a return to Ba'al worship

"the king's scribe" Kings uses royal documents often but Chronicles uses prophetic writings more often.


24:13 "according to its specifications" This meant the guidelines from King David and King Solomon.

24:12-14 Notice the different metals used. See parallel in 2 Kgs. 12:13.

  1. iron, 2 Chr. 24:12 (probably for support, i.e., "strengthened it," v. 13)
  2. bronze, 2 Chr. 24:12 (for the sacrificial altar)
  3. gold, 2 Chr. 24:14 (for the Holy of Holies and Holy Place)
  4. silver, 2 Chr. 24:14 (for the Holy Place)

24:14 "utensils" Apparently most of the sacred utensils had been stolen and taken to the temple of Ba'al in Jerusalem (cf. 2 Chr. 23:17; 24:7).

15Now when Jehoiada reached a ripe old age he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old at his death. 16They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done well in Israel and to God and His house.

24:15 Death was not seen as an enemy. The time of death was the concern. Life taken early, violently or by sickness, was seen as the problem.

24:16 This priest was buried among the kings in Jerusalem because of his faithful, life-long service.

17But 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.

24:17 This shows

  1. the problem of faithless counselors
  2. the people's devotion to Ba'al (cf. 2 Kgs. 12:3)

Joash listened to them, as he had previously listened to Jehoiada. It shows his weak personality.

24:18 Again, the Chronicler asserts that judgment came because of disobedience to YHWH's covenant.

YHWH wanted to bless His people as a witness to the world but because of the curses involved in "the two ways" (cf. Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28; 30; Psalm 1; Proverbs 1), only judgment was seen.

The Chronicler saw all history in YHWH's hand. Judgment (temporal) was meant to turn His people back to Him (cf. 2 Chr. 24:19).


24:19 "He sent prophets" Prophets, their message, and their writings were very important to the Chronicler!

YHWH had not abandoned His people. They just would not listen (cf. Isa. 6:9-13).

See Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, pp. 184-189.

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!"

24:20 "the Spirit of God came on" This is literally "clothed" (BDB 527, KB 519, Qal PERFECT, cf. Jdgs. 6:34; 1 Chr. 12:18). See full note at 2 Chr. 20:14.


24:21-22 This is so shocking. Resistence to God's word blinded their minds to the service of Jehoiada and his family. They

  1. conspired (BDB 905, KB 1153, Qal IMPERFECT with waw; "plot to kill," cf. 1 Sam. 22:8,13; 1 Kgs. 15:27; 16:9; 2 Kgs. 10:9; 15:10,25; 21:23,24; 2 Chr. 33:24-25)
  2. stoned him
  3. in the court of the Lord (i.e., a holy place, cf. 2 Chr. 23:14)



24:21 This murder is mentioned by Jesus in Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51.

There is some confusion over the name of the father.

  1. Zechariah of 2 Chronicles, father is Jehoiada
  2. Zechariah, the writer of canonical book, Zechariah's father is Berechiah

Luke 11:51 does not give the father's name.

If "Abel" was the first, then the second reference should be the last. This does not fit 2 Chronicles 24 well. We do not know how, where, or when Zechariah, son of Berechiah, died, but he is a better option for a late death. See Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, pp. 337-338.

24:22 "May the Lord see and avenge!" The "he" must refer to Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada.

This phrase has two IMPERFECTS used as JUSSIVES. They are a prayer to YHWH. The VERB (BDB 205, KB 233, Qal IMPERFECT) is "seek" with no stated object. Instead of YHWH's people "seeking" Him, He will seek them for judgment!

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.

24:23-26 These verses record how the curse of 2 Chr. 24:22 was fulfilled.

  1. the Syrians invaded with a small force
    1. killed all officials (same title as 2 Chr. 24:17)
    2. took all the spoil of Jerusalem to Damascus (cf. 2 Kgs. 12:18)
  2. Joash was sickened or wounded (NIDOTTE, vol. 2, p. 142, #6)
  3. Joash's foreign servants (2 Chr. 24:26; names different in 2 Kgs. 12:21) "conspired" against him and killed him ("beware of foreigners" was surely a concern of the small post-exilic Judah of the Chronicler's day)
  4. he was not buried in the royal tombs

25When they had departed from him (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and murdered him on his bed. So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings. 26Now these are those who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 27As to his sons and the many oracles against him and the rebuilding of the house of God, behold, they are written in the treatise of the Book of the Kings. Then Amaziah his son became king in his place.

24:25 Again, the Chronicler explains historical events in light of the "two ways" (see note at 2 Chr. 24:18).

"sons" The MT is PLURAL (also Peshitta). Possibly the people tried to wipe out the whole family. The LXX has "son," followed by the Vulgate.

"murdered him on his bed" It is hard to reconcile the account here with the parallel in 2 Kgs. 12:20. See John H. Walton and D. Brent Sandy, The Lost World of Scripture, which documents how oral cultures passed down their traditions. Here, it seems to be two written sources which differ.

24:27 Usually the written records used by the Chronicler are prophetic writings (i.e., 2 Chr. 13:22), but here, royal archives. See Introduction, IV. Authorship, #2.


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. Why did the Levites not act quickly to repair the temple?
  2. Why did the temple need repair?
  3. Why is 2 Chr. 24:18 so shocking?
  4. What does "the Spirit clothed Zechariah" mean?
  5. How was Joash killed?

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