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King Joash Just Can't Wait to Be King
- Joash was only a child when he took charge of Judah—seven years old to be exact.
- Usually, leaving a small child to rule over an entire country doesn't work out too well. But Joash must have done something right, because he stayed king for the next 40 years.
- One of his first orders of business was to restore the Temple in Jerusalem to its former glory. It seems Queen Athaliah had set up altars to Baal everywhere.
- But how to pay for the needed repairs? King Joash taxes the people. Strangely enough, they're happy to pay it. That may be the first time in history that taxation has actually made people rejoice.
- Finally, the king has enough money and the Temple can be restored. Everything's in working order and things are looking good for Joash.
- Well, kind of.
- When the high priest Jehoiada dies, King Joash starts to stray a little. Those other gods are just so tempting.
- Jehoiada's son Zechariah goes to Joash and tries to explain where the king has gone wrong. You might want to stop worshipping other gods and follow the laws of Moses. Just a thought.
- Joash isn't happy with Zechariah's take on the situation, so he has the prophet stoned to death. With his last dying breaths, Zechariah predicts that God will avenge him.
- And avenge he will.
- That same year, the King of Aram invades Judah and takes the place without much resistance. Even though he's got a smaller army than Judah, God lets Judah be crushed.
- King Joash is wounded in the fighting and his servants (who didn't like what he did to Zechariah) end up killing him in his bed.