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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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son of Ahaziah, king of Judah. When the impious Athaliah undertook to extinguish the race of the kings of Judah, that she might seize the crown herself, she ordered all the princes, her grandchildren, to be murdered. But Jehosheba, the sister of Ahaziah, and wife to the High Priest Jehoiada, rescued young Joash, then a child, from the cruelty of Athaliah, and lodged him in the temple with his nurse. Here he abode six years. In the seventh year Jehoiada procured him to be acknowledged king, and so well concerted his plan, that young Joash was placed on the throne, and saluted king in the temple, before the queen was informed of it. She was killed without the temple, 2 Kings 11:1 , &c. Joash received the diadem, together with the book of the law, from the hands of Jehoiada, the high priest, who, in the young king's name, made a covenant between the Lord, the king, and the people, for their future fidelity to God. He also obliged the people to take an oath of fidelity to the king. Joash was only seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years at Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba. He governed with justice and piety, so long as he was guided by the High Priest Jehoiada. Yet he did not abolish the high places.

Jehoiada, during the king's minority, had issued orders for collecting voluntary offerings to the holy place, with the design of repairing the temple; but his orders were ill executed till the twentieth year of Joash. Then this prince directed chests to be placed at the entrance of the temple, and an account to be given him of what money was received from them, that it might be faithfully employed in repairing the house of God. Jehoiada dying at the age of a hundred and thirty years, Joash was misled by the evil counsel of his courtiers, who had before been restrained by the high priest's authority. They began to forsake the temple of the Lord, and to worship idols, and groves consecrated to idols. Then the Spirit of the Lord coming upon the High Priest Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, he reproved the people; but they who heard him stoned him, according to orders from their king. It was not long before God inflicted on Joash the just punishment of his ingratitude to Jehoiada, whose son he had so lately murdered. Hazael, king of Syria, besieged Gath, which belonged to Judah; and having taken it he marched against Jerusalem. Joash, to redeem himself from the difficulties of a siege, and from the danger of being plundered, took what money he could find in the temple, which had been consecrated by Ahaziah his father, Jehoram his grandfather, and himself, and gave the whole to Hazael. It is believed by some, that the next year the Syrian army marched again into Judah; but Hazael was not there in person. The Syrians made great havoc, defeated the troops of Joash, entered Jerusalem, slew the princes of Judah, and sent a great booty to the king of Syria at Damascus. They treated Joash himself with great ignominy, and left him extremely ill. His servants then revolted against him, and killed him in his bed, by which the blood of Zechariah the high priest was avenged. He was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the royal sepulchre. Amaziah his son succeeded him.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Joash'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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