Bible Commentary: 2 Kings 10:32-36 and Related

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2 Kings 10:32-36 and Related

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The Failure of Jehu and His Son Jehoahaz; Joash Repairs the Temple

Note on the names of the kings: The passages for the next few days refer to "Joash" or "Jehoash" as being kings of Israel and Judah. This can be confusing to the casual reader. In 2 Kings 11:2 2 Kings 11:2But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.
American King James Version×
the king of Judah is referred to as "Joash," while in 2 Kings 12:2 2 Kings 12:2And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him.
American King James Version×
he is referred to as "Jehoash." The name of the king of Israel is also written both ways, even in the same chapter. Second Kings 13:9 refers to him as "Joash," while the next verse spells his name "Jehoash." In 2 Chronicles the king of Judah is referred to as "Jehoash." The New International Version uses "Jehoash" in 2 Kings 13:9-10 2 Kings 13:9-10 [9] And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his stead. [10] In the thirty and seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years.
American King James Version×
in both places, while other versions use the original Hebrew spellings. The answer to the dilemma is that, as in the cases of other Israelite kings, they are variations of the same name and are interchangeable—and there was a King Joash (or Jehoash) in both Judah and Israel. For the purpose of these notes, we have followed the practice of other commentators in referring to the king of Judah as "Joash" and the king of Israel as "Jehoash."

In Israel: During Jehu's reign, Israel began to pay tribute to Assyria in a partly successful effort to buy Assyrian protection (as a vassal state) from the Aramaeans (Syrians). An inscription of Shalmaneser III engraved upon his famous Black Obelisk, now in the British Museum, recorded, "The tribute of Jehu, son [i.e., royal successor] of Omri, silver, gold, bowls of gold, chalices of gold, cups of gold, vases of gold, lead, scepter for the king, and spear shafts, I have received" (quoted by T.C. Mitchell, The Bible in the British Museum, 2000, p. 47).

Yet, "because Shalmaneser III was occupied with political pressure in the east, Hazael [king of Syria] took advantage of the situation, harassing Israel throughout [Jehu's] long reign. After Jehu's death, Hazael marched freely into Israel and even into Judah ([2 Kings] 12:17, 18; 13:22). The important point of these verses is that the attacks of Hazael were part of God's judgment on Israel" (Nelson Study Bible, note on 10:32-33). It is Jehu's failure to complete the task of removing pagan worship that leads to God again taking action against Israel through the hand of the king of Syria (verses 32-33). Yet even with this punishment, when Jehu died, his son Jehoahaz failed to correct the wrongdoing (2 Kings 13:1-2 2 Kings 13:1-2 [1] In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years. [2] And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.
American King James Version×
).

In Judah: Meanwhile, in Judah, the Levitical priests had not undertaken the task committed to them by Joash to repair the temple (2 Kings 12:4-5 2 Kings 12:4-5 [4] And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passes the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that comes into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD, [5] Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wherever any breach shall be found.
American King James Version×
). The collection commanded by Moses was of three types (verse 4): money collected in the census (Exodus 30:14 Exodus 30:14Every one that passes among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to the LORD.
American King James Version×
), money assessed on personal vows (Leviticus 27:1-8 Leviticus 27:1-8 [1] And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, [2] Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the LORD by your estimation. [3] And your estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even to sixty years old, even your estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. [4] And if it be a female, then your estimation shall be thirty shekels. [5] And if it be from five years old even to twenty years old, then your estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels. [6] And if it be from a month old even to five years old, then your estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female your estimation shall be three shekels of silver. [7] And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then your estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels. [8] But if he be poorer than your estimation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him.
American King James Version×
) and voluntary offerings. Evidently, the priests were considering all that was given to them to be their personal income. "Apparently the priests were unwilling to divert 'their' income to the repair project, and were incapable of doing the work themselves. So Joash had them hand the money over directly to others who would do the work" (Bible Reader's Companion, note on 2 Kings 12:6-8 2 Kings 12:6-8 [6] But it was so, that in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house. [7] Then king Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and the other priests, and said to them, Why repair you not the breaches of the house? now therefore receive no more money of your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house. [8] And the priests consented to receive no more money of the people, neither to repair the breaches of the house.
American King James Version×
).

Disappointed with the priests, Joash summoned Jehoiada the priest, and arrangements were made for the repair of the temple to be handed over to skilled workmen. The king had Jehoiada make a special box to collect the offerings, and he issued a proclamation through the land. The response of the people was magnificent and more than what was required for repairing the temple. The temple repairs were placed ahead of other requirements, yet there was still sufficient left over to provide for the various articles for the temple.

Such was the honesty of those given responsibility over the funds that they were not required to keep accounts of the money supplied. And the workmen not only restored the temple to its original splendor, but even reinforced it. Sadly, the spiritual commitment of the people exceeded that of those who were supposed to be their teachers and good examples in following the ways of God.

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