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23 In the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign, Jehoiada strengthened his position by making an agreement with the company commanders: Azariah, son of Jeroham, Ishmael, son of Jehohanan, Azariah, son of Obed, Maaseiah, son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat, son of Zichri. They went around Judah, gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah and the leaders of the families of Israel, and came to Jerusalem. The whole assembly made an agreement with the king in God’s temple.

Then Jehoiada said to them, “Here is the king’s son. He should be king, as the Lord said about David’s descendants. This is what you must do: One third of you, the priests and Levites who are on duty on the day of rest—a holy day, must guard the gates. Another third must be at the royal palace. And another third must be at Foundation Gate. All the people must be in the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. No one should come into the Lord’s temple except the priests and the Levites who are on duty with them. They may enter because they are holy, but all other people should follow the Lord’s regulations. The Levites should surround the king. Each man should have his weapon in his hand. Kill anyone who tries to come into the temple. Stay with the king wherever he goes.”

So the Levites and all the Judeans did what the priest Jehoiada had ordered them. Each took his men who were coming on duty on the day of rest—a holy day, as well as those who were about to go off duty. Jehoiada had not dismissed the priestly divisions.

Jehoiada gave the commanders the spears and the small and large shields that had belonged to King David but were now in God’s temple. 10 All the troops stood with their weapons drawn. They were stationed around the king and around the altar and the temple (from the south side to the north side of the temple). 11 Then they brought out the king’s son, gave him the crown and the religious instructions, and Jehoiada and his sons made him king by anointing him. They said, “Long live the king!”

12 When Athaliah heard the people running and praising the king, she went into the Lord’s temple, where the people were. 13 She looked, and the king was standing by the pillar at the entrance. The commanders and the trumpeters were by his side. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. The singers were leading the celebration with songs accompanied by musical instruments. As Athaliah tore her clothes in distress, she said, “Treason, treason!”

14 Then the priest Jehoiada brought the company commanders who were in charge of the army out of the temple. He said to them, “Take her out of the temple. Use your sword to kill anyone who follows her.” (The priest had said, “Don’t kill her in the Lord’s temple.”) 15 So they arrested her as she entered Horse Gate of the royal palace, and they killed her there.

16 Jehoiada made a promise to the Lord on behalf of the king and his people that they would be the Lord’s people. 17 Then all the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed Baal’s altars and his statues and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars.

18 Next, Jehoiada appointed officials to be in charge of the Lord’s temple under the direction of the priests and Levites.[a] (David had arranged them in divisions for the Lord’s temple. They were appointed to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord as it is written in Moses’ Teachings. They made these offerings with joy and singing as David had directed.) 19 Jehoiada appointed gatekeepers for the gates of the Lord’s temple so that no one who was unclean[b] for any reason could enter.

20 He took the company commanders, the nobles, the people’s governors, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king from the Lord’s temple. They went through Upper Gate to the royal palace and seated the king on the royal throne. The nobles, the governors of the people, and 21 all the people of the land were celebrating. But the city was quiet because they had killed Athaliah with a sword.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 23:18 A few Hebrew manuscripts, Greek, Syriac, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts “Levitical priests.”
  2. 2 Chronicles 23:19 “Unclean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.

23 In the seventh year Jehoiada showed his strength. He made a covenant with the commanders of units of a hundred: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri. They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites(A) and the heads of Israelite families from all the towns. When they came to Jerusalem, the whole assembly made a covenant(B) with the king at the temple of God.

Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son shall reign, as the Lord promised concerning the descendants of David.(C) Now this is what you are to do: A third of you priests and Levites who are going on duty on the Sabbath are to keep watch at the doors, a third of you at the royal palace and a third at the Foundation Gate, and all the others are to be in the courtyards of the temple of the Lord. No one is to enter the temple of the Lord except the priests and Levites on duty; they may enter because they are consecrated, but all the others are to observe(D) the Lord’s command not to enter.[a] The Levites are to station themselves around the king, each with weapon in hand. Anyone who enters the temple is to be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes.”

The Levites and all the men of Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered.(E) Each one took his men—those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty—for Jehoiada the priest had not released any of the divisions.(F) Then he gave the commanders of units of a hundred the spears and the large and small shields that had belonged to King David and that were in the temple of God. 10 He stationed all the men, each with his weapon in his hand, around the king—near the altar and the temple, from the south side to the north side of the temple.

11 Jehoiada and his sons brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; they presented him with a copy(G) of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him and shouted, “Long live the king!”

12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the king, she went to them at the temple of the Lord. 13 She looked, and there was the king,(H) standing by his pillar(I) at the entrance. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and musicians with their instruments were leading the praises. Then Athaliah tore her robes and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”

14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops, and said to them: “Bring her out between the ranks[b] and put to the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest had said, “Do not put her to death at the temple of the Lord.” 15 So they seized her as she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate(J) on the palace grounds, and there they put her to death.

16 Jehoiada then made a covenant(K) that he, the people and the king[c] would be the Lord’s people. 17 All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed(L) Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

18 Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the temple of the Lord in the hands of the Levitical priests,(M) to whom David had made assignments in the temple,(N) to present the burnt offerings of the Lord as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had ordered. 19 He also stationed gatekeepers(O) at the gates of the Lord’s temple so that no one who was in any way unclean might enter.

20 He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people and all the people of the land and brought the king down from the temple of the Lord. They went into the palace through the Upper Gate(P) and seated the king on the royal throne. 21 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword.(Q)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 23:6 Or are to stand guard where the Lord has assigned them
  2. 2 Chronicles 23:14 Or out from the precincts
  3. 2 Chronicles 23:16 Or covenant between the Lord and the people and the king that they (see 2 Kings 11:17)

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