Joash's Early Reign
Joash (also referred to as Jehoash) reigned 40 years in Jerusalem. As long as Jehoida lived and instructed him, he generally did what was right in the sight of God (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×; 2 Chronicles 24:2 2 Chronicles 24:2And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
American King James Version×). Undoubtedly his mother Zibiah also had a positive influence on him, as she is specifically mentioned in 2 Kings 12:1 2 Kings 12:1In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba.
American King James Version×and 2 Chronicles 24:1 2 Chronicles 24:1Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Zibiah of Beersheba.
American King James Version×. Jehoida must have assumed a fatherly role for Joash—we read that the priest selected "two wives for him, and [Joash] had sons and daughters" (verse 3).
Regrettably, we are told that "the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places" (2 Kings 12:3 2 Kings 12:3But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
American King James Version×). Was this the fault of the people who did not cooperate with the young king's instructions? Was it the fault of the priest for failing to instruct the king properly? Was it Joash's fault? The Bible does not provide us with a clear answer. It should be noted that Scripture levels this criticism at the reigns of most of the few righteous kings of Judah. In any event, Joash did "set his heart" on repairing the temple (verses 4-5; 2 Chronicles 24:4 2 Chronicles 24:4And it came to pass after this, that Joash was minded to repair the house of the LORD.
American King James Version×) and instructed the priests and Levites to collect money for the necessary repairs. However, we are told that "the Levites did not do it quickly" (2 Chronicles 24:5 2 Chronicles 24:5And he gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out to the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that you hasten the matter. However, the Levites hastened it not.
American King James Version×), which perhaps takes on some significance in light of our next reading in the book of Joel.