Joash, or Jehoash, King of Judah

Joash ("God has bestowed/donated") was King of Judah from 836 BC to 798 BC. He was the son of King Ahaziah. His mother's name was Zibiah. He became king at the age of seven, after Jehoiada the priest rebelled against Athaliah, and proclaimed Joash the rightful ruler.

Joash tried hard to please the Lord during the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada arranged two marriages for him, and he had sons and daughters. Under the influence of Jehoiada, Joash repaired the Temple and destroyed the cult of Baal. However, after Jehoiada's death, at age 130, the leaders of Judah induced King Joash to abandon the Temple of God, and to worship pagan idols instead.

Jehoiada's son, Zechariah, resisted the cult of Baal, and for this he was killed by orders from King Joash (2 Chronicles 24:22). A few months later, the Syrian army successfully attacked Judah and Jerusalem. In 2 Chronicles 24:24, the Bible explains that the tiny Syrian army was allowed to defeat Judah because people had foresaken the Lord. Joash was severely wounded by the Syrians, and after they left, his own officials assassinated him as he lay in bed.

He was buried in the City of David, but not in the cemetery of the Kings. His son, Amaziah, became the next king. The story of Joash is found in 2 Kings, chapters 11 and 12, and 2 Chronicles, chapters 23 and 24.

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