Athaliah Queen of Judah
11 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah [king of Judah] saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal offspring. 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram [of Judah and half] sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and abducted him from among the king’s sons who were to be killed, and hid him and his nurse in the [a]bedroom. So they hid him from Athaliah, and he was not put to death. 3 Joash was hidden with his nurse in the house (temple) of the Lord for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.
4 Now in the seventh year Jehoiada [the priest, Jehosheba’s husband] sent for the captains of hundreds of the [b]Carites and of the guard and brought them to him to the house of the Lord. Then he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the Lord, and showed them the king’s [hidden] son. 5 He commanded them, saying, “This is the thing that you shall do: a third of you who come in [reporting for duty] on the Sabbath shall keep watch over the king’s house 6 (a third shall also be at the [city] gate Sur, and a third at the gate behind the guards); so you shall keep watch over the palace [from three posts] for defense. 7 Two units of you, all those who go out [off duty] on the Sabbath, shall also keep watch over the house (temple) of the Lord for [the protection of] the king. 8 You shall surround the [young] king, each man with weapons in his hand; and whoever comes through the ranks shall be put to death. You are to be with the king when he goes out and when he comes in.”
9 The captains of hundreds acted in accordance with everything that Jehoiada the priest commanded; and each of them took his men who were to come in (on duty) on the Sabbath, with those who were to go out (off duty) on the Sabbath, and they came to Jehoiada the priest. 10 The priest gave to the captains of hundreds the spears and shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of the Lord. 11 And the guards stood, each man with weapons in his hand, from the right side to the left side of the temple area, by the altar [in the courtyard] and by the temple [proper], all around the king. 12 Then Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the Testimony [a copy of the Mosaic Law]; and they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”
13 When Athaliah heard the sound of the guards and of the people, she went into the house of the Lord to the people. 14 When she looked, behold, there stood the [young] king [on the platform] by the pillar, as was customary [on such occasions], and the captains and the trumpeters were beside the king; and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing the trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” 15 Then Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of hundreds appointed over the army and said to them, “Take her out between the ranks, and whoever follows her put to death with the sword.” For the priest had said, “Let her not be put to death in the house (temple) of the Lord.” 16 So they seized her, and she went through the horses’ entrance to the king’s house (palace), and she was put to death there.
17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, the king, and the people, that they would be the Lord’s people—also between the king and the people [to be his subjects]. 18 Then all the people of the land went to the house of Baal and tore it down. They utterly smashed his altar and his images to pieces, and they put Mattan the priest of Baal to death in front of the altars. And [Jehoiada] the priest appointed officers over the house of the Lord. 19 Then he took the captains of hundreds, the Carites (royal bodyguards), the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought the [young] king down from the house of the Lord, and came by way of the guards’ gate to the king’s house. And [little] Joash sat on the throne of the kings. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced and the city [of Jerusalem] was quiet. For they had put Athaliah to death with the sword at the king’s house.
21 [c]Jehoash (Joash) was seven years old when he became king.
- 2 Kings 11:2 Most likely this was one of many bedrooms in the palace and served as a temporary hiding place until the child could be moved to the temple (v 3); but it is possible that this was a priest’s bedroom in the temple.
- 2 Kings 11:4 Mercenary soldiers recruited to serve as royal bodyguards.
- 2 Kings 11:21 Ch 12:1 in Hebrew.