II Kings

Chapter 12

"Identity of Joash (Jehoash) family [1-3]."
"Ecclesiastical reform [4-16]."
"Joash killed by his servants [17-21]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

It was during the purging of Israel by Jehu, that the destruction of all males of the royal family of Judah took place by queen Athaliah. Joash was just an infant of about one year old, when Jehosheba saved his life out of the pile of dead bodies of the rest of his kin. Jehosheba was not a member of Ahab's family, but a daughter of the king line of Judah, not Israel. Seven years had passed by after Jehu cleaned up Israel before Joash became king, and Athaliah was killed. Remember that the blood lines of the house of Israel and Judah mixed when the children of the kings intermarried. Now that all of Ahab's offspring are dead, Joash will start his reign as a child.

II Kings 12:1 "In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash [Joash] began to reign: and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba."

So this was the baby Joash that we read of in the prior chapter. Joash was taken from his mother by queen Athaliah when she tried to kill off all the males of the royal family, only Zibaih's child escaped the executioner's sword. He was taken to the temple and raised by the family of the high priest. Notice that he was of the seed line of Jehoshaphat, with his mother of Judah, not Ahab and Jezebel.

II Kings 12:2 "And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him."

All of the time when Jehoiada the high priest was there to instruct the child Joash, he would follow that advise and do those things he knew to be right. Joash was open to the instruction of Jehoiada, the father image in his life.

II Kings 12:3 "But the high places were not taken away: the People still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places."

This was just as it was in the house of Israel, for when Jehu destroyed all the places of Baal and grove worship, the people still had their little altars in the high places. Though the Baal temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, the people still had their private little altars to burn incense to their gods. Once you make a conversion, it is hard to throw out all those private personal traditions and set aside those things that were of the traditions of men. This is even common today when a person receives Christ through their believe and repentance in Jesus name. They still want to hold on to those little things that remind them of the family good times.

It still was not pleasing to the people to go into the temple. For the past two hundred years, since the Temple was built in Solomon's day, the structure was not maintained and was falling apart. It was an old structure, with all the gold and beautiful things gone, or aged to a point of needing restoration. The people found it easier to go to their own little private places and burn their incense, and worship in their ways that made them feel good. There isn't much difference in what we see today in our generation. Athaliah did a good job of destroying the temple and worshipping there until she was killed.

II Kings 12:4 "And Jehoash said to the priests, "All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the Lord, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the Lord,"

II Kings 12:5 "Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found."

The Temple at this time was very old and even the mortar and bricks needs attention. Remember that the priests of Baal built their own altars and places of worship, and completely left the house of the Lord alone, and unattended. However many thing were taken from the Temple for the sake of building their own religious forms to Baal. The word "breaches", means that there were actually holes in the walls of the Temple of God. When Joash was raised, this structure was the only building that he knew of until he became king. It was home to him, and he wanted to see his house put into a new order in repair.

What is strange here is that this child king had to instruct Jehoiada the high priest to take the money and do the repairs. This child Joash told this man of God that he knew to be a father image to him, to stop taking the money for themselves and use it to repair the church. Give that money to the carpenters, mortar, and other repairmen to get the job done.

II Kings 12:6 "But it was so, that in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house."

Joash started asking the priests to repair the temple twenty three years prior, and they had done nothing to fix the holes in the wall. So here Joash is thirty years old, and he is tired of waiting on the priests to get the job done, so he is rescinding the order.

II Kings 12:7 "Then king Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and the other priests, and said unto them, "Why repair ye not the breaches of the house? now therefore receive no more money of your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house."

Joash still trusts the priests to take the money and handle it in accordance with his instructions, but they can not use that money as before to cover their own needs.

II Kings 12:8 "And the priests consented to receive no more money of the people, neither to repair the breaches of the house."

This was a time of getting right down to the subject at hand,; for in the priests' "consenting", they agreed to go along with it, but they were not happy with the decision. They all knew that they did not try to get the repairs done, but you know after this talk with the king, things were on the line. Only now they could not use the money that they had before.

II Kings 12:9 "But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one cometh into the house of the Lord: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord."

This method did not completely cut the priest off of his livelihood, however that chest filled up very quickly. There was a reason that many of the people were not giving to free will offerings before, as they were at this time. I'm sure that the priests made it well know what the money in the chest was to be used for. They knew that the king ordered the Temple to be restored, however they saw that the money that was given was not going for the use it was intended. When there is a goal to be met, people are much more willing to open their purse strings and give. Remember though that over on the mount of Olives, people were still going to their high places to make sacrifices, even though the temple of Baal was destroyed, and the priests of killed. The book of Chronicles does not go very much in detail as to what was going on at this time, however there was something that happened to turn the hearts of the people back to God and the restoration of the Temple.

II Kings 12:10 "And it was so, when they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king's scribe and the high priest came up, and they put up in bags, and told the money that was found in the house of the Lord. "

In due time the chest of money was full and the people wanted an accounting of the money. So for a double witness, the king sent over one of his scribes, and together with the high priest took the chest, and they "told" or "weighed it" to see how much had been taken in. Instead of counting the money, they simply put the money in bags and put the bags of money on the scales.

II Kings 12:11 "And they gave the money, being told, into the hand of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the Lord: and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that wrought upon the house of the Lord."

Notice that there was a lot of trust both on the part of the people and the king for the priests. In fact the builders themselves never had to give account as to how this money was spent. The repairmen were faithful to God even in their workmanship. So from the point of weighing the money, all the money was given over to the men that would do the job of restoration. The priest were not in charge of the oversight of the building that was going on. For twenty three years, the priests held the money and they saw ways to spend it for things other than it was intended. Joash simple did not want to tempt the priests any more with such a large sum of money.

II Kings 12:12 "And to masons, and hewers of stone, and to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the breaches of the house of the Lord, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it."

There was enough given by the people to see to it that the job would be completed and restored exactly as it was constructed in Solomon's day. Friend, if you are doing God's ministry God will see to it that there will be enough to cover the expenses of the job before you. There was no signs put up, or special events for the project to raise money, just a money box placed to where no one could tamper with it.

II Kings 12:13 "Howbeit there were not made for the house of the Lord bowls of silver, snuffers, basons, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver, of money that was brought into the house of the Lord."

What this is saying, is that king Joash cut them off from the government funds to restore those things that were damaged within the Temple. The things that you want in your church house, the people are going to have to give as unto the Lord. This indicates that though the Temple will be put back in it's original condition, those things of gold and silver to dress it up will not be restored. Remember that it was the government, under Solomon that put those vessels made of gold and silver in the Temple in the first place.

II Kings 12:14 "But they gave that to the workmen, and repaired therewith the house of the Lord."

This was done in strict accordance with the orders by king Joash.

II Kings 12:15 "Moreover they reckoned not with the men into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen; for they dealt faithfully."

In fact the king did not require a receipt for the handling of the money by the workmen. The workmen were trusted men in their business, and the king felt that it was not necessary.

II Kings 12:16 "The trespass money and sin money was not brought into the house of the Lord: it was the priests'. "

This "sin money and the trespass money" was not part of the reconstruction, but it was for the priests and their families to live off of. The sin offering was given when an individual committed a specific sin, then the priest would judge that sin, and the law spelled out what would be given for forgiveness of that sin. The sin money was not to be brought into the Temple in the first place. It was the free-will money to the priest and that is all that they had to raise their families at this time.

The lesson that we can derive from this chapter is that we are responsible for those things that our Heavenly Father places in our hands. When that gift or money is misused it will be taken from us and placed in the hands of those that can handle it properly. Jehoiada was the high priest and during the entire twenty three years he mishandled the money that was given to be used for the rebuilding of the Temple. So the money then was taken from him, and given to the builders that could be trusted. After queen Athaliah was dead and the Baal temple tore down, the people had grown relaxed in their lives, and this when on for twenty three years before Joash finally put his foot down, nailed the lid shut to the money chest. Joash saw what was happening and said enough is enough, the money will be collected and given directly to those doing the job.

The lesson here is that you have to start somewhere. Faith is great, however, you have to go ahead and have the faith that God will provide the money, or conditions that will allow you to get the job done. This Temple structure was the foundation of the worship services of that day, however today our foundation is not in any building, but in Jesus Christ. He is the only foundation that we can build our spiritual house on, for all other structures are just sinking sand.

II Kings 12:17 "Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem."

The subject has now changed, and we are now studying a battle fought with Hazael, the king that God told Elijah to go and anoint king of Syria. Prior to this time, Hazael had already gone to war and taken much of the land of the nation of Israel. In a prior chapter we read where he had taken much of the land east of the Jordan, and he is now moving against the nation of the house of Judah. Hazael has moved west of the Jordan, and south west of Jerusalem, and taken the city of Gath, and it will not be long to where Hazael will move against Jerusalem.

II Kings 12:18 "And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat, and Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fathers, king of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the Lord, and in the king's houses, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem."

Joash [Jehoash] king of Judah was not ready for war, so he did the next best thing, he bought his way out of the war with Syria. This is told of in II Chronicles 24:25; "And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great disease,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings."

When we read the entire twenty fourth chapter, we see that Joash took a great beating when all this was going on. Joash sent his army out to meet Hazael's small band of troops, and Judah took a great beating from Hazael. So when the move came to offer Hazael the gold and silver, it was at the expense of the loss of many lives. God was not pleased with the priests nor the king, for they had not cleaned up the heathen worship in the land, and it continued on for the forty years of Joash's reign.

II Kings 12:19 "And the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the king of Judah?"

They sure are, in the twenty fourth chapter of II Chronicles.

II Kings 12:20 "And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla."

Joash was wounded in battle with Hazael and the Syrians, and lay up in the house of Millo healing. While he was on his sick bed, his own servants came in and killed him.

II Kings 12:21 "For Jozachar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, smote him, and he died; and they buried him with his father in the city of David: and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead."

This chapter is very important to ministers and lay persons, on keeping up the house of God. If you are placed in charged of taking care of God's things, God expects you to be accountable for what you do, and the Word of God and things of God you handle.

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