Jehoiada stages a violent revolution. He murders Queen Athaliah. He mandates religious conformity.
VERSE 1. In the seventh year, Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds—Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri—into a covenant with him.
In the seventh year. That is, 835 BC.
took the captains of hundreds. Jehoiada is staging a military coup. A violent revolution.
VERSE 2. They went around in Judah and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the heads of fathers’ households of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem.
VERSE 3. All the assembly made a covenant with the king in God’s house. Jehoiada said to them, “Behold, the king’s son must reign, as the LORD has spoken concerning the sons of David.
in God’s house. How many leaders had gathered in the temple?
It could not have been a vast number. That is because Solomon’s temple was disappointingly small
It measured 90 x 30 feet. That makes for 2,700 square feet. That was the size of the average house in the U.S. in 2009.
Jehoiada. The Hebrew says “He.”
the king’s son must reign. This phrase reveals why Jehoiada is staging this violent revolution. It is because he does not want a woman to be in charge.
That motive is not a biblical. Rather, it stems from misogyny.
The Bible and the Jewish tradition are very open to female prophets. How strange that we Christians are not. Read more »
VERSE 4. This is the thing that you must do: a third part of you, who come in on the Sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be gatekeepers of the thresholds.
gatekeepers of the thresholds. The Levites will act as guards. They will control who enters the temple.
VERSE 5. A third part shall be at the king’s house; and a third part at the gate of the foundation. All the people will be in the courts of the LORD’s house.
VERSE 6. But let no one come into the LORD’s house except the priests and those who minister of the Levites. They shall come in, for they are holy, but all the people shall follow the LORD’s instructions.
they are holy. Jehoiada says the priests and Levites are holy.
but all the people. Jehoiada sees the people as NOT holy.
This suggests clericalism has taken root. Clericalism sees religious leaders as morally superior to laypeople.
Clericalism is a theological error. And an ontological error. And simply not true.
If you are looking for moral excellence, look among laypeople. Moral excellence is rarely found among clerics.
VERSE 7. The Levites shall surround the king, every man with his weapons in his hand. Whoever comes into the house, let him be slain. Be with the king when he comes in and when he goes out.”
VERSE 8. So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. They each took his men, those who were to come in on the Sabbath, with those who were to go out on the Sabbath, for Jehoiada the priest didn’t dismiss the shift.
VERSE 9. Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds the spears, bucklers, and shields that had been king David’s, which were in God’s house.
VERSE 10. He set all the people, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, near the altar and the house, around the king.
VERSE 11. Then they brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, gave him the covenant, and made him king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and they said, “Long live the king!”
gave him the covenant. The Law required that the new king write his own copy of the Law. He was to carry it with him all the time. And he was to read from it every day of his life:
Deuteronomy 17:18. It shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write himself a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites.
Deuteronomy 17:19. It shall be with him, and he shall read from it all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them;
Deuteronomy 17:20. that his heart not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he not turn away from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left; to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the middle of Israel.
Long live the king! Jehoiada crowns a child named Joash as their king.
VERSE 12. When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the LORD’s house.
she came to the people into the LORD’s house. The one person who had not been in the temple was Queen Athaliah.
Maybe she didn’t frequent the temple.
VERSE 13. Then she looked, and behold, the king stood by his pillar at the entrance, with the captains and the trumpeters by the king. All the people of the land rejoiced and blew shofars. The singers also played musical instruments, and led the singing of praise. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and said, “Treason! treason!”
shofars. Or “trumpets.”
Treason! treason! What they did was indeed treason.
VERSE 14. Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks; and whoever follows her, let him be slain with the sword.” For the priest said, “Don’t kill her in the LORD’s house.”
VERSE 15. So they made way for her. She went to the entrance of the horse gate to the king’s house; and they killed her there.
they killed her there. Jehoiada orders the assassination of the royal leader of the nation.
VERSE 16. Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, all the people, and the king, that they should be the LORD’s people.
they should be the LORD’s people. This sounds wonderful. However, what did it actually mean to them?
Such covenants are usually based on externals. For example, we will keep thus-and-such relies requirements.
Such covenants rarely get at the heart of the matter. They cannot transform the human heart. They don’t magically entice people to fall in love with the LORD God.
VERSE 17. All the people went to the house of Baal, broke it down, broke his altars and his images in pieces, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.
VERSE 18. Jehoiada appointed the officers of the LORD’s house under the hand of the Levitical priests, whom David had distributed in the LORD’s house, to offer the burnt offerings of the LORD, as it is written in the Torah of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as David had ordered.
VERSE 19. He set the gatekeepers at the gates of the LORD’s house, that no one who was unclean in anything should enter in.
no one who was unclean. Jehoiada regulates who can enter the temple.
VERSE 20. He took the captains of hundreds, the nobles, the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought the king down from the LORD’s house. They came through the upper gate to the king’s house, and set the king on the throne of the kingdom.
VERSE 21. So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. They had slain Athaliah with the sword.
They had slain Athaliah. Their joy is not in the Lord. Rather, it is that they murdered the queen.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.