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Icons of the Bible: King Jehoash (Joash) - The Boy Who Became King

Updated: Sep 15, 2022


painting of young Jehoash
Jehoash the Boy King


King Jehoash: An Archaeological Biography


Jehoash was the second of four kings who descended from Jehu to reign as king of Israel (Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, and Zechariah); he ruled from ca. 798-782 BC.1 The Bible summarizes his reign this way:

In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned sixteen years. He also did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin, but he walked in them. Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, and the might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? So Joash slept with his fathers, and Jeroboam sat on his throne. And Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. (2 Kings 13:10-13)

Jehoash was also called Joash (2 Chr 25:17), and is not to be confused with the more famous king of Judah also named Joash/Jehoash (2 Kings 12:1, 19). King Jehoash of Israel is primarily known for three events:

  • His defeat of Amaziah, King of Judah near Beth Shemesh (2 Chr. 25:21-23)

  • His interaction with the prophet Elisha, who upon his death bed, told Jehoash to strike the ground with arrows to symbolize the number of times he would defeat the king of Aram (2 Kings 13:14-19)

  • And his subsequent battles against the Arameans (2 Kings 13:24-25).

Numerous archaeological discoveries both confirm Jehoash as king of Israel and provide the wider historical context that helps us better understand the world in which he lived.." from the article: King Jehoash: An Archaeological Biography


The Jehoash Inscription: Evidence for the King of Israel Jehoash

Video from Gospel and Spade

"This Neo-Assyrian stele created by king Adad-nirari III of Assyria provides extra-biblical confirmation for the thirteenth king of Israel, Jehoash (also known as Joash) whose deeds can be found recorded in 2nd Kings 13:10-25. This video is intended for educational/commentary purposes and therefore images used in it fall under the rules of fair use. Every effort has been made to give appropriate credit where it is due when an image is not either in public domain, or, from my own personal collection." from video introduction


King Joash repairs the Temple in Jerusalem


2 Kings 11:1-21 Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah and daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, grabs power in Judah in 842BC. She murders all the princes except Joash, the baby son of Ahaziah, who is hidden in the Temple by his nurse. When he is seven years old, Joash is proclaimed King of Judah by Jehoiada the priest. Joash and Jehoiada make a covenant promise with the LORD and destroy the temple of Baal in Jerusalem.

2 Kings 12:1-16 During his reign (835-795BC), Joash supervises extensive repairs to the Temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem. He installs the first collection box in the Temple so worshippers can make an offering towards the cost of the Temple repairs.


Plan of Solomon's Temple drawn in 1905  (Internet Archive Book Images)
Plan of Solomon's Temple drawn in 1905 (Internet Archive Book Images)


2 Kings 12:17-21 Some years later, in 811BC, King Hazael of Syria attacks Gath and then turns his attention on Jerusalem. Joash buys him off with gold from the Temple treasury. When he is forty seven years old (in 795BC), Joash is murdered by his officials at Beth Millo on the road down from Jerusalem to Silla. Joash is succeeded as King of Judah by his son Amaziah (who reigns from 795 to 767BC).." from the article: King Joash repairs the Temple in Jerusalem


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