Bible Commentary: 2 Kings 12:1-5 and Related

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Bible Commentary

2 Kings 12:1-5 and Related

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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 Chronicles 24:2). Undoubtedly his mother Zibiah also had a positive influence on him, as she is specifically mentioned in 2 Kings 12:1 and 2 Chronicles 24:1. 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). 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) 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), which perhaps takes on some significance in light of our next reading in the book of Joel.