Study Guide

Joash of Judah in 2 Kings

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Joash of Judah

Joash is yet another Biblical example of a heroic figure saved from a massacre while a baby. Moses and Jesus manage to play the same divine trick. In this case, Joash's evil, power-hungry granny Athaliah is the one pulling the strings. The high priest Jehoiada helps protect baby Joash (the son of the former king, Ahaziah—who actually was a pretty evil king) and eventually, after years of hiding, Jehoiada leads soldiers who kill Athaliah and make Joash the new king.

And Joash is a good king (his name means "Given by the Lord"). Unlike Jehoash of Israel (with whom Joash shouldn't be confused, even though the same two names are used to refer to both of them), he helps end the worship of gods like Baal and overthrows a good amount of non-monotheistic rituals—though he isn't one of the ultra-righteous good kings, like Hezekiah or Josiah. Yet, for the most part, the narrators approve of him. He ends up being murdered by a conspiracy, though: his own servants kill him.

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