The Reign of Jehoram of Judah
21 1 Jehosh'aphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and Jeho'ram his son reigned in his stead. 2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehosh'aphat: Azari'ah, Jehi'el, Zechari'ah, Azari'ah, Michael, and Shephati'ah; all these were the sons of Jehosh'aphat king of Judah. 3 Their father gave them great gifts, of silver, gold, and valuable possessions, together with fortified cities in Judah; but he gave the kingdom to Jeho'ram, because he was the first-born. 4 When Jeho'ram had ascended the throne of his father and was established, he slew all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel. 5 Jeho'ram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done; for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 7 Yet the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant which he had made with David, and since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons for ever. 8 In his days Edom revolted from the rule of Judah, and set up a king of their own. 9 Then Jeho'ram passed over with his commanders and all his chariots, and he rose by night and smote the E'domites who had surrounded him and his chariot commanders. 10 So Edom revolted from the rule of Judah to this day. At that time Libnah also revolted from his rule, because he had forsaken the Lord, the God of his fathers. 11 Moreover he made high places in the hill country of Judah, and led the inhabitants of Jerusalem into unfaithfulness, and made Judah go astray.
12 And a letter came to him from Eli'jah the prophet, saying, "Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father, 'Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehosh'aphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into unfaithfulness, as the house of Ahab led Israel into unfaithfulness, and also you have killed your brothers, of your father's house, who were better than yourself; 14 behold, the Lord will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, 15 and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day.'" 16 And the Lord stirred up against Jeho'ram the anger of the Philistines and of the Arabs who are near the Ethiopians; 17 and they came up against Judah, and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king's house, and also his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jeho'ahaz, his youngest son. 18 And after all this the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 19 In course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony. His people made no fire in his honor, like the fires made for his fathers. 20 He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem; and he departed with no one's regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
The Reign of Ahaziah of Judah
22 1 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahazi'ah his youngest son king in his stead; for the band of men that came with the Arabs to the camp had slain all the older sons. So Ahazi'ah the son of Jeho'ram king of Judah reigned. 2 Ahazi'ah was forty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Athali'ah, the granddaughter of Omri. 3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly. 4 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done; for after the death of his father they were his counselors, to his undoing. 5 He even followed their counsel, and went with Jeho'ram the son of Ahab king of Israel to make war against Haz'ael king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead. And the Syrians wounded Joram, 6 and he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which he had received at Ramah, when he fought against Haz'ael king of Syria. And Ahazi'ah the son of Jeho'ram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
Jehu Kills Ahaziah
7 But it was ordained by God that the downfall of Ahazi'ah should come about through his going to visit Joram. For when he came there he went out with Jeho'ram to meet Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab. 8 And when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, he met the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahazi'ah's brothers, who attended Ahazi'ah, and he killed them. 9 He searched for Ahazi'ah, and he was captured while hiding in Sama'ria, and he was brought to Jehu and put to death. They buried him, for they said, "He is the grandson of Jehosh'aphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart." And the house of Ahazi'ah had no one able to rule the kingdom.
Athaliah Usurps the Throne
10 Now when Athali'ah the mother of Ahazi'ah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family of the house of Judah. 11 But Jeho-shab'e-ath, the daughter of the king, took Jo'ash the son of Ahazi'ah, and stole him away from among the king's sons who were about to be slain, and she put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. Thus Jeho-shab'e-ath, the daughter of King Jeho'ram and wife of Jehoi'ada the priest, because she was a sister of Ahazi'ah, hid him from Athali'ah, so that she did not slay him; 12 and he remained with them six years, hid in the house of God, while Athali'ah reigned over the land.
23 1 But in the seventh year Jehoi'ada took courage, and entered into a compact with the commanders of hundreds, Azari'ah the son of Jero'ham, Ish'mael the son of Jehoha'nan, Azari'ah the son of Obed, Ma-asei'ah the son of Adai'ah, and Elisha'phat the son of Zichri. 2 And they went about through Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the heads of fathers' houses of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3 And all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And Jehoi'ada said to them, "Behold, the king's son! Let him reign, as the Lord spoke concerning the sons of David. 4 This is the thing that you shall do: of you priests and Levites who come off duty on the sabbath, one third shall be gatekeepers 5 and one third shall be at the king's house and one third at the Gate of the Foundation; and all the people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord. 6 Let no one enter the house of the Lord except the priests and ministering Levites; they may enter, for they are holy, but all the people shall keep the charge of the Lord. 7 The Levites shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand; and whoever enters the house shall be slain. Be with the king when he comes in, and when he goes out." 8 The Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoi'ada the priest commanded. They each brought his men, who were to go off duty on the sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the sabbath; for Jehoi'ada the priest did not dismiss the divisions. 9 And Jehoi'ada the priest delivered to the captains the spears and the large and small shields that had been King David's, which were in the house of God; 10 and he set all the people as a guard for the king, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house. 11 Then he brought out the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they proclaimed him king, and Jehoi'ada and his sons anointed him, and they said, "Long live the king."
12 When Athali'ah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she went into the house of the Lord to the people; 13 and when she looked, there was the king standing by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and the singers with their musical instruments leading in the celebration. And Athali'ah rent her clothes, and cried, "Treason! Treason!" 14 Then Jehoi'ada the priest brought out the captains who were set over the army, saying to them, "Bring her out between the ranks; any one who follows her is to be slain with the sword." For the priest said, "Do not slay her in the house of the Lord. 15 So they laid hands on her; and she went into the entrance of the horse gate of the king's house, and they slew her there. 16 And Jehoi'ada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king that they should be the Lord's people. 17 Then all the people went to the house of Ba'al, and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they slew Mattan the priest of Ba'al before the altars. 18 And Jehoi'ada posted watchmen for the house of the Lord under the direction of the Levitical priests and the Levites whom David had organized to be in charge of the house of the Lord, to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, according to the order of David. 19 He stationed the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord so that no one should enter who was in any way unclean 20 And he took the captains, the nobles, the governors of the people, and all the people of the land; and they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, marching through the upper gate to the king's house. And they set the king upon the royal throne. 21 So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, after Athali'ah had been slain with the sword
The Reign of Joash of Judah
24 1 Jo'ash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; his mother's name was Zib'iah of Beer-sheba. 2 And Jo'ash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoi'ada the priest. 3 Jehoi'ada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters. 4 After this Jo'ash decided to restore the house of the Lord. 5 And he gathered the priests and the Levites, and said to them, "Go out to the cities of Judah, and gather from all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year; and see that you hasten the matter." But the Levites did not hasten it. 6 So the king summoned Jehoi'ada the chief, and 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 the Lord, on the congregation of Israel for the tent of testimony?" 7 For the sons of Athali'ah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God; and had also used all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord for the Ba'als. 8 So the king commanded, and they made a chest, and set it outside the gate of the house of the Lord. 9 And proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in for the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness. 10 And all the princes and all the people rejoiced and brought their tax and dropped it into the chest until they had finished. 11 And whenever the chest was brought to the king's officers by the Levites, when they saw that there was much money in it, the king's secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest and take it and return it to its place. Thus they did day after day, and collected money in abundance. 12 And the king and Jehoi'ada gave it to those who had charge of the work 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. 13 So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it. 14 And when they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoi'ada, and with it were made utensils for the house of the Lord, both for the service and for the burnt offerings, and dishes for incense, and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoi'ada.
15 But Jehoi'ada grew old and full of days, and died; he was a hundred and thirty years old at his death. 16 And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house. 17 Now after the death of Jehoi'ada the princes of Judah came and did obeisance to the king; then the king hearkened to them. 18 And they forsook the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Ashe'rim and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt. 19 Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the Lord; these testified against them, but they would not give heed. 20 Then the Spirit of God took possession of Zechari'ah the son of Jehoi'ada the priest; and he stood above the people, and said to them, "Thus says God, 'Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.'" 21 But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Jo'ash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoi'ada, Zechari'ah's father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, "May the Lord see and avenge!" 23 At the end of the year the army of the Syrians came up against Jo'ash. They came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24 Though the army of the Syrians had come with few men, the Lord delivered into their hand a very great army, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Jo'ash. 25 When they had departed from him, leaving him severely wounded, his servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoi'ada the priest, and slew 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. 26 Those who conspired against him were Zabad the son of Shim'e-ath the Ammonitess, and Jeho'zabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 27 Accounts of his sons, and of the many oracles against him, and of the rebuilding of the house of God are written in the Commentary on the Book of the Kings. And Amazi'ah his son reigned in his stead.