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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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1. Father of BENAIAH. Prince leader of the 3,700 Aaronites, i.e. priests who joined David at Hebron (1 Chronicles 27:5; 1 Chronicles 12:27).

2. Benaiah's son, named after his grandfather; succeeded to Ahithophel as one of David's chief counselors (1 Chronicles 27:34).

3. Amariah's successor in the high-priesthood. Married, king Jehoram's daughter, sister of king Ahaziah, on whose death by Jehu's hands the queen mother Athaliah slew all the seed royal; but Jehosheba stole Joash the youngest son, and with her husband hid him in the house of God six years. (See JEHOSHEBA; ATHALIAH; JOASH.) Then when Athaliah's tyranny and foreign idolatries had disgusted the people, he with great prudence and tact made a secret compact in the temple with the five captains of the king's body guard (literally, the executioners and runners), Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah, and Elishaphat.

These summoned the Levites and heads of families throughout Judah, probably under pretext of a festal celebration. Then Jehoiada with the whole assembly "made a covenant with the king in the temple, saying, Behold the king's son shall reign, as Jehovah hath said of the sons of David" (2 Chronicles 23:3), or, as 2 Kings 11:4 expresses it, "Jehoiada made a covenant with the rulers over hundreds, the captains, and the guard, taking an oath of them and showing them the king's son." The Levite temple servants entering upon the sabbath service (relieving guard), and those being relieved, Jehoiada directed, under the captains of the royal body "guard" (2 Kings 11:11, halberdiers ) to keep watch, the former in three divisions, the latter in two. The first of the three divisions stood by the gate Sur (2 Kings 11) or Jesod (2 Chronicles 23 "the foundation," a gate in the outer court at the hollow of the Tyropeon or the Kedron).

The second to guard the king's house (2 Chronicles 23:5, not the royal palace, but the young king's place of residence in the temple), at the gate behind the guard, i.e. the gate of the guard (2 Kings 11:6; 2 Kings 11:19), the gate leading from the temple court to the royal palace on Zion; or else this division had to guard the royal avenue to the temple from the palace outside, they watching from a post in the outer courts what went on in the palace. The third to guard the house (the temple) "that it be not broken down" (Keil, "to ward off" intruders), "to be guards ('porters') of the thresholds" (of the ascent to the temple, 1 Chronicles 9:19 margin, 2 Chronicles 23:4 margin). Jehoiada furnished them with David's weapons stored in the temple. Some of the royal "guard," on whom the captains could rely, were with the Levites (2 Chronicles 23:12; 2 Kings 11:13).

Those relieved on the sabbath, whom Jehoiada still retained (for "he dismissed not the courses," 2 Chronicles 23:8) kept watch of Jehovah's house about (in respect to) the king (2 Kings 11:7) in two divisions; these answer to (2 Chronicles 23:5) "all the people (the remainder besides the three bodies under the captains) in the courts of the house of Jehovah" (2 Kings 11:13; 2 Kings 11:19). The whole royal body guard, probably after Athaliah's slaughter, joined the people in the courts, to lead the king thence to the palace; at all events the relieved Levite guards were with the people in the courts, and probably some of the royal guards who took share in the plot. 2 Kings emphasizes the part performed by the royal body guard; 2 Chronicles that performed by the Levites: there is no irreconcilable discrepancy. The guard and people kept to the courts, none but the priests and consecrated Levites entered the holy place (2 Chronicles 23:6).

Any coming within the ranks ("ranges," 2 Kings 11:8) of the guards so stationed, i.e. within the temple precincts (2 Chronicles 23:7), were to be put to death. The captains over hundreds (2 Kings 11:9) answer to "all Judah," namely, "chiefs of the fathers" (2 Chronicles 23:2; 2 Chronicles 23:8), with "the Levites." He "dismissed not the courses" (who had charge of the temple service, 1 Chronicles 24-26), answering to 2 Kings 11:7, "all you that go forth ... shall keep the watch." Jehoiada, having enthroned Joash, restored the temple worship as David had settled it, it having been neglected under the idolatrous Athaliah. Mattan the Baal priest alone was slain by the people when breaking Baal's images and altars. Jehoiada made a solemn covenant between the king and all the people, "that they should be the Lord's people." Joash repaired the house by his help, "doing that which was right in the sight of Jehovah" all the days "wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him." Joash ordered "the money of the dedicated things" to be applied to the repair of the temple, namely,

(1) "the money of every one that passeth" the census (not "the account), half a shekel, Exodus 30:13;

(2) "the money that every man is set (valued) at," namely, the valuation in redeeming the firstborn (Numbers 18:15-16), or in payment for a vow;

(3) "all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of Jehovah," freewill offerings.

When, in the 23rd year of Jonah's reign, the temple was still not repaired, through the Levites' and priests' dilatoriness, he took the money and the repairs out of their hands; "the priests consented to receive no more money of the people (i.e. for repairs), neither to repair." Jehoiada then took a chest, with a hole made in the lid, and set it against the outer wall beside the burnt offering altar on the right, by the S. entrance into Jehovah's house, to receive the people's freewill offerings for the repairs. No golden or silver vessels, basins, knives, etc., were made with the money, until the repairs were first completed (2 Kings 12:13, compare the complementary, not contradictory, statement 2 Chronicles 24:14). The trespass money and freewill gifts to the priest, for his trouble in offering the sin offerings, the priests retained; this money did not go to the repairs. Jehoiada died (2 Chronicles 24:15-16) at last, 130 years old, "full of days."

But there is perhaps an error; Lord A. C. Hervey would read 83. Otherwise he would be 95 at Joash's accession, supposing him to live 35 of Joash's 40 years of reign, which is improbable; fifteen years before, when Jehoram was 32 (whose daughter he married), he would have been 80 (2 Chronicles 21:5; 2 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 22:12). Disinterested patriotism, loyalty where loyalty was at immense risks, tact and practical wisdom, power of influencing others, above all deep reverence (e.g. his jealous care, amidst the irregularities of a revolution, that none should "come into Jehovah's house save the priests and ministering Levites," also that Athaliah should be thrust forth outside "the ranges," and not be slain "in the house of Jehovah," 2 Chronicles 23:6; 2 Chronicles 23:14), and zeal for the Lord's honour and the purity of His worship, were conspicuous in Jehoiada.

His death was the fatal turning point of Joash's declension. The religion that leans on man only will fail when the earthly prop is removed. Jehoiada had saved Joash's life and throne, and had been God's providential instrument in preventing the extinction of David's line, which then hung upon the one seemingly frail thread, but which could not be broken since to it belonged the promises of Messiah; he had stifled the idolatry transplanted into Judah by Joram's marriage into apostate Ahab's house, and restored Jehovah's worship. He therefore was honoured (1 Samuel 2:30) with the unique privilege of interment "among the kings in the city of David, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God and toward His (God's) house." The fickle people, princes, and king soon forgot all his benefits, and slew his son Zechariah "in the court of the Lord's house," (the very scene of Jehoiada's reverent care to remove pollution, 2 Chronicles 23:14, in restoring the throne and the temple,) for his faithful reproofs of their idolatry (2 Chronicles 24:15-16; 2 Chronicles 24:20-22). (See ZECHARIAH.)

4. Second priest (sagan ) to Seraiah, the high priest. Either carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, or deposed by the Jewish rulers as a favorer of Jeremiah. This accords with the false prophet at Babylon, Shemaiah's, accusation by letter against Zephaniah, who was promoted to Jehoiada's place, for ingratitude to God in not apprehending Jeremiah, seeing that (in Shemaiah's view) "the Lord had made him priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest" for this very purpose (Jeremiah 29:25-29; 2 Kings 25:18). The second priest was "officer in the house of Jehovah." The high priest was "chief governor in the house of Jehovah"; then the second priest; then the 24 "governors of the sanctuary and of the house of God" (Jeremiah 20:1; 1 Chronicles 24:5).

5. Nehemiah 3:6.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Jehoiada'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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