The Antiquities of the Jews

第223章

5.And when Jehoiada had set these things in order, he, with the captains of hundreds, and the rulers, and all the people, took Jehoash out of the temple into the king's palace; and when he had set him upon the king's throne, the people shouted for joy, and betook themselves to feasting, and kept a festival for many days;but the city was quiet upon the death of Athaliah.Now Jehoash was seven years old when he took the kingdom.His mother's name was Zibiah, of the city Beersheba.And all the time that Jehoiada lived Jehoash was careful that the laws should be kept, and very zealous in the worship of God; and when he was of age, he married two wives, who were given to him by the high priest, by whom were born to him both sons and daughters.And thus much shall suffice to have related concerning king Jehoash, how he escaped the treachery of Athaliah, and how he received the kingdom.

CHAPTER 8.

Hazael Makes An Expedition Against The People Of Israel And The Inhabitants Of Jerusalem.Jehu Dies, And Jehoahaz Succeeds In The Government.Jehoash The King Of Jerusalem At First Is Careful About The Worship Of God But Afterwards Becomes Impious And Commands Zechariah To Be Stoned.When Jehoash [King Of Judah] Was Dead, Amaziah Succeeds Him In The Kingdom.

1.Now Hazael, king of Syria, fought against the Israelites and their king Jehu, and spoiled the eastern parts of the country beyond Jordan, which belonged to the Reubenites and Gadites, and to [the half tribe of] Manassites; as also Gilead and Bashan, burning, and spoiling, and offering violence to all that he laid his hands on, and this without impeachment from Jehu, who made no haste to defend the country when it was under this distress; nay, he was become a contemner of religion, and a despiser of holiness, and of the laws, and died when he had reigned over the Israelites twenty-seven years.He was buried in Samaria, and left Jehoahaz his son his successor in the government.

2.Now Jehoash, king of Jerusalem, had an inclination to repair the temple of God; so he called Jehoiada, and bid him send the Levites and priests through all the country, to require half a shekel of silver for every head, towards the rebuilding and repairing of the temple, which was brought to decay by Jehoram, and Athaliah and her sons.But the high priest did not do this, as concluding that no one would willingly pay that money; but in the twenty-third year of Jehoash's reign, when the king sent for him and the Levites, and complained that they had not obeyed what he enjoined them, and still commanded them to take care of the rebuilding the temple, he used this stratagem for collecting the money, with which the multitude was pleased.He made a wooden chest, and closed it up fast on all sides, but opened one hole in it; he then set it in the temple beside the altar, and desired every one to cast into it, through the hole, what he pleased, for the repair of the temple.This contrivance was acceptable to the people, and they strove one with another, and brought in jointly large quantities of silver and gold; and when the scribe and the priest that were over the treasuries had emptied the chest, and counted the money in the king's presence, they then set it in its former place, and thus did they every day.But when the multitude appeared to have cast in as much as was wanted, the high priest Jehoiada, and king Joash, sent to hire masons and carpenters, and to buy large pieces of timber, and of the most curious sort; and when they had repaired the temple, they made use of the remaining gold and silver, which was not a little, for bowls, and basons, and cups, and other vessels, and they went on to make the altar every day fat with sacrifices of great value.And these things were taken suitable care of as long as Jehoiada lived.

3.But as soon as he was dead (which was when he had lived one hundred and thirty years, having been a righteous, and in every respect a very good man, and was buried in the king's sepulchers at Jerusalem, because he had recovered the kingdom to the family of David) king Jehoash betrayed his [want of] care about God.The principal men of the people were corrupted also together with him, and offended against their duty, and what their constitution determined to be most for their good.Hereupon God was displeased with the change that was made on the king, and on the rest of the people, and sent prophets to testify to them what their actions were, and to bring them to leave off their wickedness; but they had gotten such a strong affection and so violent an inclination to it, that neither could the examples of those that had offered affronts to the laws, and had been so severely punished, they and their entire families, nor could the fear of what the prophets now foretold, bring them to repentance, and turn them back from their course of transgression to their former duty.But the king commanded that Zechariah, the son of the high priest Jehoiada, should be stoned to death in the temple, and forgot the kindnesses he had received from his father; for when God had appointed him to prophesy, he stood in the midst of the multitude, and gave this counsel to them and to the king: That they should act righteously; and foretold to them, that if they would not hearken to his admonitions, they should suffer a heavy punishment.But as Zechariah was ready to die, he appealed to God as a witness of what he suffered for the good counsel he had given them, and how he perished after a most severe and violent manner for the good deeds his father had done to Jehoash.

Flavius Josephus

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