Joash Becomes King of Judah
In the seventh year of the reign of evil Queen Athaliah, Jehoida the priest, with the support and protection of the "captains of hundreds" of the army and the Levites and the "chief fathers of Israel," anointed Joash to be the new king of Judah. This was done on the Sabbath (2 Chronicles 23:4, 8). Joash was seven years old when he was appointed and proclaimed to be the new king (2 Kings 11:21, 12). Jehoida had Queen Athaliah killed by the captains of the army (2 Chronicles 23:14-15). He then "made a covenant between the Lord, the king, and the people, that they should be the Lord's people, and also between the king and the people" (2 Kings 11:17; 2 Chronicles 23:16 adds that the priest was also a party to this covenant.)
Note that two agreements (covenants) were made: one between the Lord, the king and the people, rededicating themselves to God; and a second between only the king and the people. This second covenant was apparently a rededication to constitutional monarchy, in which the king is not above the law. Jehoiada was engaged in reestablishing right government in Judah after the disastrous reigns of Ahaziah and Athaliah. A feature of that reestablishment was settling Judah's government upon its original ground—that of a limited monarchy established under Samuel's superintendence when he "explained to the people the regulations of the kingship" (1 Samuel 10:25, NIV).
Also interesting in this reading is that when Joash was crowned he "stood by his pillar" (2 Chronicles 23:13)—2 Kings 11:14 reads "a pillar." Israel's kings, according to the custom (2 Kings 11:14), were crowned in a ceremony involving a "pillar." This pillar was apparently a matsebah, a standing stone. It is interesting to note that Britain's sovereigns are also crowned in a ceremony involving a "pillar"—Jacob's stone. The Hebrew in these passages is even more interesting, for it literally says the king stood "upon his pillar." Britain's monarchs are also crowned "upon" a pillar stone—sitting upon it (i.e., upon a throne that contains it). Thus, though slightly modified, the custom still prevails thousands of years later. Indeed, the royal house of Britain is a continuation of the very same dynasty of ancient Judah—the dynasty of David (see "The Throne of David: Its Biblical Origin and Future").
As a consequence of renewed commitment to God under Joash, the people destroyed the center of Baal worship in Judah (2 Kings 11:18; 2 Chronicles 23:17), and they reinstituted the proper sacrificial worship system, as commanded "in the Law of Moses" (verse 18). But, as we will see, some idolatry remained in the land.