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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Joash, 1

Jo´ash (God-given), a contraction of Jehoash, son of Ahaziah and eighth king of Judah, who began to reign in B.C. 878, at the age of seven, and reigned forty-one years.

Joash, when an infant, was secretly saved by his aunt Jehoshebah, who was married to the high-priest Jehoiada, from the general massacre of the family by Athaliah, who had usurped the throne [ATHALIAH; JEHOIADA]. By the high-priest and his wife the child was privily brought up in the chambers connected with the temple till he had attained his eighth year, when Jehoiada deemed that the state of affairs required him to produce the youthful heir of the throne to the people, and claim for him the crown which his grandmother had so unrighteously usurped. Finding the influential persons whom he consulted favorable to the design, everything was secretly, but admirably, arranged for producing Joash, and investing him with the regalia, in such a manner that Athaliah could have no suspicion of the event till it actually occurred. On the day appointed, the sole surviving scion of David's illustrious house appeared in the place of the kings, by a particular pillar in the temple-court, and was crowned and anointed with the usual ceremonies. The high-wrought enthusiasm of the spectators then found vent in clapping of hands and exulting shouts of 'Long live the king!' The joyful uproar was heard even in the palace, and brought Athaliah to the temple, from which, at a word from Jehoiada, she was led to her death.

Joash behaved well during his nonage, and so long after as he remained under the influence of the high-priest. But when he died the king seems to have felt himself relieved from a yoke; and, to manifest his freedom, began to take the contrary course to that which he had followed while under pupilage. Gradually the persons who had possessed influence formerly, when the house of David was contaminated by its alliance with the house of Ahab, insinuated themselves into his councils, and before long the worship of Jehovah and the observances of the law were neglected, and the land was defiled with idolatries and idolatrous usages. The prophets then uttered their warnings, but were not heard; and the infatuated king had the atrocious ingratitude to put to death Zechariah, the son and successor of his benefactor Jehoiada. For these deeds Joash was made an example of the divine judgments. He saw his realm devastated by the Syrians under Hazael; his armies were cut in pieces by an enemy of inferior numbers; and he was even besieged in Jerusalem, and only preserved his capital and his crown by giving up the treasures of the temple. Besides this, a painful malady embittered all his latter days, and at length he became so odious that his own servants conspired against him, and slew him on his bed. Joash was buried in the city of David; but a place in the sepulcher of the kings was denied to his remains (2 Kings 11; 2 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 24).

Joash, 2

Joash, son and successor of Jehoahaz on the throne of Israel, of which he was the twelfth king. He began to reign in B.C. 840, and reigned sixteen incomplete years. He followed the example of his predecessors in the policy of keeping up the worship of the golden calves; but apart from this, he bears a fair character, and had intervals, at least, of sincere piety and true devotion to the God of his fathers. He held the prophet Elisha in high honor, looking up to him as a father. When he heard of his last illness he repaired to the bed-side of the dying prophet, and was favored with promises of victories over the Syrians, by whom his dominions were then harassed. These promises were accomplished after the prophet's death. In three signal and successive victories Joash overcame the Syrians, and retook from them the towns which Hazael had rent from Israel.

These advantages rendered the kingdom of Israel more potent than that of Judah. He, however, sought no quarrel with that kingdom; but when he received a defiance from Amaziah king of Judah, he answered with becoming spirit in a parable, which by its images calls to mind that of Jotham [PARABLE]: the cool disdain of the answer must have been, and in fact was, exceedingly galling to Amaziah. In the war, or rather action, which followed, Joash was victorious. Having defeated Amaziah at Beth-shemesh, in Judah, he advanced to Jerusalem, broke down the wall to the extent of 400 cubits, and carried away the treasures both of the temple and the palace, together with hostages for the future good behavior of the crest-fallen Amaziah. Joash himself did not long survive this victory; he died in peace, and was buried in Samaria (; ).





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Joash'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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