22 The residents of Jerusalem 1 made his youngest son Ahaziah king in his place, for the raiding party that invaded the city with the Arabs had killed all the older sons. 2 So Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah. 2 Ahaziah was twenty-two 3 years old when he became king and he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, the granddaughter 4 of Omri. 3 He followed in the footsteps of Ahab’s dynasty, 5 for his mother gave him evil advice. 6 4 He did evil in the sight of 7 the Lord like Ahab’s dynasty because, after his father’s death, they 8 gave him advice that led to his destruction. 5 He followed their advice and joined Ahab’s son King Joram 9 of Israel in a battle against King Hazael of Syria 10 at Ramoth Gilead in which the Syrians defeated Joram. 6 Joram 11 returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians 12 in Ramah when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. Ahaziah 13 son of King Jehoram of Judah went down to visit Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he had been wounded. 14
7 God brought about Ahaziah’s downfall through his visit to Joram. 15 When Ahaziah 16 arrived, he went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had commissioned 17 to wipe out Ahab’s family. 18 8 While Jehu was dishing out punishment to Ahab’s family, he discovered the officials of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s relatives who were serving Ahaziah and killed them. 9 He looked for Ahaziah, who was captured while hiding in Samaria. 19 They brought him to Jehu and then executed him. They did give him a burial, for they reasoned, 20 “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with his whole heart.” There was no one in Ahaziah’s family strong enough to rule in his place. 21
10 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she was determined to destroy the entire royal line 22 of Judah. 23 11 So Jehoshabeath, 24 the daughter of King Jehoram, 25 took Ahaziah’s son Joash and sneaked him away 26 from the rest of the royal descendants who were to be executed. She hid him and his nurse in the room where the bed covers were stored. So Jehoshabeath the daughter of King Jehoram, wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, hid him from Athaliah so she could not execute him. 12 He remained in hiding in God’s temple 27 for six years, while Athaliah was ruling over the land.
23 In the seventh year Jehoiada made a bold move. He made a pact 1 with the officers of the units of hundreds: Azariah son of Jehoram, Ishmael son of Jehochanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri. 2 They traveled throughout Judah and assembled the Levites from all the cities of Judah, as well as the Israelite family leaders.
They came to Jerusalem, 2 3 and the whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the temple of God. Jehoiada 3 said to them, “The king’s son will rule, just as the Lord promised David’s descendants. 4 This is what you must do. One third of you priests and Levites who are on duty during the Sabbath will guard the doors. 5 Another third of you will be stationed at the royal palace and still another third at the Foundation Gate. All the others 4 will stand in the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. 6 No one must enter the Lord’s temple except the priests and Levites who are on duty. They may enter because they are ceremonially pure. All the others should carry out their assigned service to the Lord. 7 The Levites must surround the king. Each of you must hold his weapon in his hand. Whoever tries to enter the temple 5 must be killed. You must accompany the king wherever he goes.” 6
8 The Levites and all the men of Judah 7 did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each of them took his men, those who were on duty during the Sabbath as well as those who were off duty on the Sabbath. Jehoiada the priest did not release his divisions from their duties. 9 Jehoiada the priest gave to the officers of the units of hundreds King David’s spears and shields 8 that were kept in God’s temple. 10 He placed the men at their posts, each holding his weapon in his hand. They lined up from the south side of the temple to the north side and stood near the altar and the temple, surrounding the king. 9 11 Jehoiada and his sons led out the king’s son and placed on him the crown and the royal insignia. 10 They proclaimed him king and poured olive oil on his head. 11 They declared, “Long live the king!”
12 When Athaliah heard the royal guard 12 shouting and praising the king, she joined the crowd 13 at the Lord’s temple. 13 Then she saw 14 the king standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and trumpeters stood beside the king and all the people of the land were celebrating and blowing trumpets, and the musicians with various instruments were leading the celebration. Athaliah tore her clothes and yelled, “Treason! Treason!” 15 14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the officers of the units of hundreds, who were in charge of the army, and ordered them, “Bring her outside the temple to the guards. 16 Put the sword to anyone who follows her.” The priest gave this order because he had decided she should not be executed in the Lord’s temple. 17 15 They seized her and took her into the precincts of the royal palace through the horses’ entrance. 18 There they executed her.
16 Jehoiada then drew up a covenant stipulating that he, all the people, and the king should be loyal to the Lord. 19 17 All the people went and demolished 20 the temple of Baal. They smashed its altars and idols. 21 They killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. 18 Jehoiada then assigned the duties of the Lord’s temple to the priests, the Levites whom David had assigned to the Lord’s temple. They were responsible for offering burnt sacrifices to the Lord with joy and music, according to 22 the law of Moses and the edict of David. 19 He posted guards at the gates of the Lord’s temple, so no one who was ceremonially unclean in any way could enter. 20 He summoned 23 the officers of the units of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all the people of land, and he then led the king down from the Lord’s temple. They entered the royal palace through the Upper Gate and seated the king on the royal throne. 21 All the people of the land celebrated, for the city had rest now that they had killed Athaliah. 24