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THE LITTLE BOY WHO WAS CROWNED KING
II Chronicles xxi: 1, to xxiv: 27.
 JEHOSHAPHAT, the king of Judah, was a good man and a wise king, but
he made one mistake which brought great trouble upon
his family and upon his land in after days. He married
his son Jehoram to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and
the wicked Jezebel. When Jehoshaphat died and Jehoram
became king of Judah, his wife, Athaliah, led him into
all the wickedness of the house of Arab. Jehoram killed
all his brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, so that no
one of them might rise up against him. His queen
Athaliah, set up idols all around Jerusalem and in
Judah, and led the people in worshipping them.
The prophet Elijah was still living in Israel when
Jehoram began to reign in Judah. He sent to King
Jehoram a letter containing a message from the Lord. He
"Thus saith the Lord, the God of David, 'Because you
have not walked in the ways of your father,
Jehoshaphat, but have walked in the ways of the kings
of Israel, and have led the people of Jerusalem and of
Judah to turn from the Lord to idols, and because you
have slain your brothers, who were better than you,
therefore the Lord will strike you and your house, and
your people; and you shall have a terrible disease
that none can cure."
And after this great troubles came upon Jehoram and his
land. The Edomites on the south, who had been under the
rule of Judah since the days of David, broke away from
King Jehoram and set up a kingdom of their own. The
Philistines on the west and the Arabians of the desert
made war upon him. They broke into his palace, and
carried away his treasures, and killed all his children
except one, the youngest.
 And upon Jehoram himself fell a sickness that lasted
many years, and caused him great suffering. No cure
could be found, and after long years of pain Jehoram
died. So evil had been his reign of eight years that no
one was sorry to have him die, and they would not allow
his body to be buried among the kings of Judah.
After Jehoram his youngest son, Ahaziah, became king.
His mother was the wicked Athaliah, the daughter of
Jezebel. Ahaziah reigned only one year; for while he
was visiting King Jehoram of Israel, his uncle, he was
slain by Jehu, as we read in Story 89;
for this was the time when Jehu rose against
the house of Ahab, killed Jehoram, Ahab's son, and
Jezebel, Ahab's widow, and made
himself king of Israel.
But Jehu gave to the body of Ahaziah a king's burial,
for he said, "He was the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought
the Lord with all his heart."
When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, heard that her
son was dead, all the fierceness of her mother Jezebel
arose in her. She seized the princes who belonged to
the family of David and killed them, so that there was
not a man of the royal line left. And she made herself
queen and ruler over the land of Judah. She shut
 up the house of the Lord, and built a temple for Baal;
and for six years led the people of Judah in all
In the slaughter of the royal family by Athaliah one
little child of Ahaziah had been saved alive. His name
was Joash. He was a baby, only a year old when his
grandmother, Athaliah, seized the throne, and his aunt,
a sister of Ahaziah and the wife of the priest
Jehoiada, hid him in the Temple of the Lord, and kept
him safe from the hate of Queen Athaliah. There he
stayed for six years, while Jehoiada, the priest,
was preparing to make him king.
When all things were ready and little Joash was
seven years old, Jehoiada, the priest,
brought him out of his hiding-place, and set him before
the people and the rulers in the temple, and placed the
crown upon his head. Then all the people shouted, "Long
live the king! Long live the king!"
THE LITTLE JOASH IS CROWNED KING
Queen Athaliah heard the noise of the shouting, and
came out of her palace to see what had taken place. She
saw the little boy-king standing by a pillar in the
Temple, with the crown upon his head, and around him
the soldiers and the people, crying aloud, "Long live
Athaliah was very angry as she saw all this. She called
for her servants and her soldiers to break up this
gathering of the people, and to take the boy-king. But
no one would follow her, for they were tired of her
cruel rule, and they wished to have for their king one
who came from the line of David.
Jehoiada said to the soldiers, "Take this woman a
prisoner, and carry her out of the Temple of the Lord.
Let not her blood be spilled in the holy house."
So they seized Athaliah, and dragged her out of the
Temple, and killed her. Then Jehoiada and all the
people made a promise to serve the Lord only. They tore
down the house of the idol Baal, and destroyed the
images, and broke its altar in pieces. They made the
Temple holy once more, and set the house in order, and
offered the sacrifices, and held the daily worship
before the altar. And all the people were glad to have
a descendant of David, one of the royal line, once more
on the throne of Judah.
As long as Jehoiada the good priest lived, Joash ruled
well, and his people served the Lord. When King Joash
grew up he wished to have the Temple of the Lord made
new and beautiful; for in the years that had passed
since the Temple had been built by Solomon,
 it had grown old, and had fallen into decay. Then, too,
Queen Athaliah and the men who worshipped Baal had
broken down the walls in many places, and they had
carried away the gold and the silver of the temple to
use in the worship of Baal.
At first King Joash told the priests and Levites, who
served in the Temple, to go through the land, and ask
the people for money to be spent in the fitting up of
the Temple. But the priests and the Levites were slow
in the work, and the king tried another plan for
getting the money that was needed.
He caused a large box or chest to be made, and had it
placed at the door of the Temple, so that all would see
it when they went to worship the Lord. In the lid of
the box was a hole through which they dropped money
into the box. And the king caused word to be sent
through all the land that the princes and the people
should bring gifts of money, and drop it into the
chest, whenever they came to the Temple.
The people were glad, and brought their gifts
willingly; for they all wished to have God's house made
beautiful. In a short time the box was full of gold and
silver. Then the king's officers opened the box, and
tied up the money in bags, and placed the bags of money
in a safe place. The box was filled with gold and
silver many times, until there was money in abundance
to pay for all the work needed in the Temple, and for
making new ornaments of gold and silver for the house.
When Jehoiada, the good priest, was very old, he died;
and after his death there was no one to keep King Joash
in the right way. The princes of the land loved to
worship idols, and did not serve God, and they led King
Joash into wicked ways after he had done so well. God
was not pleased with Joash after he forsook the Lord,
and God allowed the Syrians from the north to come upon
the land. They robbed the cities and left Joash sick
and poor. Soon after the coming of the Syrians his own
servants killed him, and made Amaziah, his son, king in