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Jehoiada, in the Bible, was an important priest in the kingdom of Judah during the reigns of Ahaziah (c. 842 – 841 BCE), Athaliah (c. 841–835 BCE), and Joash (c. 836–796 BC). His name means “Yahweh knows.” Jehoiada the priest married Jehosheba, the sister of King Ahaziah of Judah. Both Jehosheba and Ahaziah were children of King Jehoram of Judah (reigned c. 849 – 842 BCE). Ahaziah died a year after assuming the throne.
The Crowning of Joash
When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she killed all the royal heirs. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram (Joram) and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered. And she hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. Thus, he was hidden in the house of the Lord for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land (2 Kings 11:1-3).
When the young king grew to be six years old, Jehoiada the priest called the captains of the hundreds and Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. Then, he revealed to them the identity of the rightful king to the throne of King David and he made a covenant with them to back up the king (2 Chronicles 23:1-7; 2 Kings 11:4-8). Then, Jehoiada crowned the king and gave him the Testimony of the law and the people said, “Long live the king!” (2 Chronicles 23:11; 2 Kings 11:12).
The Positive Influence
When Joash came of age, Jehoiada played a key role in shaping the young king’s spiritual and political education. 2 Chronicles 24:2 highlights Jehoiada’s positive influence on Joash, emphasizing that the king did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
Under Jehoiada’s guidance, Joash embarked on a mission to repair the temple, which had fallen into a state of disrepair. The funds collected for this restoration project were diligently managed by Jehoiada, reflecting his commitment to the proper use of resources for the service of God (2 Kings 12:4-16).
Jehoiada’s commitment to the worship of the true God extended beyond the temple restoration. He took a bold stand against idolatry, a persistent issue in the history of Israel and Judah. In 2 Chronicles 23:16, Jehoiada initiated a covenant between the people, the king, and the Lord, renewing their commitment to be the people of God and forsake false worship. This covenant led to the destruction of the house of Baal and the execution of its priest, demonstrating Jehoiada’s unwavering dedication to purifying the worship of God in the land.
Jehoiada lived 130 years and was buried in Jerusalem with the kings for his great work for God (2 Chronicles 24:15). This great honor was due to his religious devotion, to his services to the nation in overthrowing Athaliah and the placing of Joash upon the throne, and to the fact that he must have been king for some 10 or 12 years, till Joash became old enough to reign.
Regrettably, after Jehoiada died, King Joash took the advise of the adulterous leaders of Judah and they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols so the wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass (2 Chronicles 24:17–19). Also, King Joash did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada had shown him by saving his life but killed his son Zechariah for speaking the truth and rebuking sin (2 Chronicles 24:22).
Jehoiada’s life provides numerous lessons for contemporary readers. His courage in preserving the royal line and commitment to righteous reforms underscore the importance of standing firm in the face of adversity. Additionally, his influence on Joash highlights the impact of mentorship and guidance, particularly in the realm of spiritual development. His dedication to the purity of worship serves as a timeless reminder of the dangers of idolatry and the need for constant vigilance in maintaining true worship.
In conclusion, Jehoiada’s legacy is one of faith, courage, and dedication to God. His life serves as a beacon in the biblical narrative, inspiring readers to stand for righteousness, nurture the next generation, and uphold the true worship of the Almighty.
In His service,