Melachim II Twelve: Jehoash

“Jehoash was seven years old when he became king (Kings II 12:1).” This child king reigned for forty years from Jerusalem. What’s particularly interesting is that in the description that we’re given of him, we find out that his mother’s name is Zibiah. We don’t hear about his father or his advisors, but we do know about his mother, which means she must have been a woman of great influence during his reign. Jehoash seems to be a good king, and he follows the teachings of the priests. “However, the high places were not removed. The people were still slaughtering sacrifices and burning incense on the high places (Kings II 12:4).” So idolatry still had an outlet in Israel. At the same time, Jehoash told the priests that the taxes they collect should be used to take care of the upkeep of their house.

“And it was that in the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, the priests did not strengthen the damages of the house (Kings II 12:7).” Because the priests weren’t rebuilding properly, they were then instructed not to take money from the people. But Jehoiada the priest took a chest and drilled a hole in it to collect money. It would be given to the Temple workers, to continue to pay for its ongoing upkeep.

Eventually, Jehoash dies in battle. He is killed by his own servants, and his son, Amaziah, takes over the throne.

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