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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 23


In the seventh year, Jehoiada took courage and entered a conspiracy with certain captains: Azariah, son of Jehoram; Ishmael, son of Jehohanan; Azariah, son of Obed; Masseiah, son of Adaiah; and Elishaphat, son of Zichri.


They journeyed about Judah, gathering the Levites from all the cities of Judah and also the heads of the Israelite families. When they had come to Jerusalem,


the whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. Jehoiada said to them: "Here is the king's son who must reign, as the LORD promised concerning the sons of David.


This is what you must do: a third of your number, both priests and Levites, who come in on the sabbath must guard the thresholds,


another third must be at the king's palace, and the final third at the Foundation Gate, when all the people will be in the courts of the LORD'S temple.


Let no one enter the LORD'S house except the priests and those Levites who are ministering. They may enter because they are holy; but all the other people must observe the prescriptions of the LORD.


The Levites shall surround the king on all sides, each with his weapon drawn. Whoever tries to enter the house must be slain. Stay with the king wherever he goes."


The Levites and all Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each brought his men, those who were to come in on the sabbath as well as those who were to depart on the sabbath, since Jehoiada the priest had not dismissed any of the divisions.


Jehoiada the priest gave the captains the spears, shields and bucklers of King David which were in the house of God.


He stationed all the people, each with his spear in hand, from the southern to the northern extremity of the enclosure, around the altar and the temple on the king's behalf.


Then they brought out the king's son, set the crown and the insignia upon him, and made him king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and they cried, "Long live the king!"


When Athaliah heard the din of the people running and acclaiming the king, she went to the people in the temple of the LORD.


1 She looked, and there was the king standing beside his pillar at the entrance, the officers and the trumpeters around him, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, while the singers with their musical instruments were leading the acclaim. Athaliah tore her garments and cried out, "Treason! treason!"


Then Jehoiada the priest sent out the captains who were in command of the army; he said to them: "Take her outside through the ranks, and if anyone tries to follow her, let him die by the sword. For," the priest continued, "you must not put her to death in the LORD'S temple."


So they seized her, and when she arrived at the entrance to the Horse Gate of the palace, they put her to death there.


Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king, that they should be the LORD'S people.


And all the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed its altars and images, and they slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars.


Then Jehoiada gave the charge of the LORD'S temple into the hands of the levitical priests, to whom David had assigned turns in the temple for offering the holocausts of the LORD, as is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and song, as David had provided.


Moreover, he stationed guards at the gates of the LORD'S temple so that no one unclean in any respect might enter.


Then he took the captains, the nobles, the rulers among the people, and all the people of the land, and led the king out of the LORD'S house. When they had come within the upper gate of the king's house, they seated the king upon the royal throne.


All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been put to death by the sword.



1 [13] Beside his pillar: the king had a special place in the eastern gateway of the temple court that contained the altar of holocausts. He occupied this place on feasts and sabbaths at the time of the statutory offerings, or when he made free-will offerings of his own; cf 2 Kings 11:4 and also Ezekiel 46:1-8 for a later reflection of this.

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