Jehoash, Joash

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


("Jehovah gifted".)

1. Gideon's father, an Abiezrite of wealth. (See GIDEON.) During the Midianite oppression he conformed to the popular idolatry, and had an altar to Baal and a "grove," i.e. Asherah, in his own ground. But on his son's destroying both Joash defended his son with a sarcastic sneer at Baal's impotence to "plead for himself" (Jdg_6:11-25; Jdg_6:29-31; Jdg_7:14; Jdg_8:13; Jdg_8:29; Jdg_8:32).

2. 1Ch_4:22. Ruled anciently in Moab.

3. 1Ch_7:8.

4. 1Ch_12:1-3; 1Ch_12:21. One of David's "helpers in the battle ... against the band (giduwd, the same word as in Samuel is used of the Amalekite spoiling 'troop' or company) of the rovers," i.e. the Amalekites who spoiled Ziklag in David's absence (1Sa_30:1-10; 1Sa_30:15).

5. 1Ch_27:28.

6. Ahab's son, viceroy in his absence at Ramoth Gilead (1Ki_22:26; 2Ch_18:25), or else left with the governor of the city, Amon, for military education.

7. The only son of Ahaziah king of Judah that escaped Athaliah's murderous hand, and the only surviving descendant of Solomon, for his grandfather Jehoram had killed all his brethren (2Ch_21:4; 2Ch_21:17; 2Ch_22:1; 2Ch_22:8-11), and all his own sons except Jehoahaz or Ahaziah the Arabians had slain; and on Ahaziah's destruction by Jehu Athaliah his mother (the instigator of sin becoming the instrument of punishment, compare 2Ch_22:3 with 2Ch_22:10) destroyed all the seed royal of Judah except Joash, hidden by his aunt Jehoshabeath, Ahaziah's sister, Jehoiada's wife. (See ATHALIAH.) After remaining six years hidden in the temple, Jehoiada by a well contrived revolution raised him to the throne. (See JEHOIADA.) For 23 years Joash prospered, so long as he adhered to the "covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, that they should be the Lord's people."

Baal's house, altars, and images were first of all destroyed by the people under Jehoiada; and Mattan, Baal's priest, was slain (2Ch_23:17; 2Ki_11:17-19), The high places alone were spared, the people still sacrificing and burning incense on them. But after his faithful counselor Jehoiada was dead the princes with flattering "obeisance" (compare Pro_29:5) persuaded the weak king to forsake Jehovah for Asheerah and idols. Wrath from God visited Judah for their trespass; then Zechariah, Jehoiada's son, standing in the inner higher court, "above the people" in the outer court, denounced their apostasy and declared God's consequent withdrawal of blessing (2Ch_24:20; compare 2Ch_12:5; 2Ch_15:2).

They stoned the prophet "at the king's commandment in the court of Jehovah's house," "between the temple and the altar" (Mat_23:35); contrast Jehoiada's reverent care not to slay Athaliah there (2Ch_23:14). Joash slew other "sons" of Jehoiada also (2Ch_24:25). Zechariah left his cause in the Lord's hands, "the Lord look upon it and require it." So Hazael, as executioner of God's judgment, with a small Syrian army came to Judah and Jerusalem, and in battle destroyed all the princes (a just retribution on the instigators of the apostasy, 2Ch_24:23). Joash bought his withdrawal only at the cost of all his own and the temple treasures (2Ki_12:17-18).

Severely wounded and sick, in his helpless state he was slain on his bed in the house of Millo by two conspirators, Zabad or Jozachar, son of an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad, son of a Moabitess; from the nations whose idols he adopted came also God's punishers of his idolatry. His body at death was excluded from the royal sepulchres, to which good Jehoiada for his special goodness had been admitted. His reign lasted 40 years (878-838 B.C.). Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah are the three omitted in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus Christ.

8. Jehoahaz' son and successor as king of Israel (840-825 B.C.). For two years contemporary of Joash of Judah (2Ki_14:1; compare 2Ki_12:1; 2Ki_13:10). God, in pity to Israel's extreme oppression by Hazael and the Syrians, remembered "His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," and by Elisha on his deathbed promised deliverance through Joash. The king had lamented the prophet's near decease as the loss of "the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof," using the same language as Elisha had used of Elijah. By Elisha's direction Joash put his hand on a bow, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands (for God must bless our handiwork, else we labour in vain: compare Gen_49:24). Then Joash shot eastward and Elisha promised that Joash "should smite the Syrians in Aphek until he consumed them." Then by Elisha's direction Joash smote on the ground with arrows.

Smiting only thrice he was reproved by the prophet: "thou shouldest have smitten five or six times, then hadst thou smitten Syria until thou hadst consumed them, whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice." So Joash took again out of the hands of Hazael's successor, Benhadad, Israel's cities and beat him thrice. Joash overcame at Bethshemesh, and took Amaziah, who challenged him because of the depredations of Israelite mercenaries whom Amaziah had sent away (2 Chronicles 25) and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim gate (or that of Benjamin leading northward) to the N.W. corner gate, 400 cubits, (the N. side being Jerusalem's only accessible side,) and carried away the gold and silver found under Obed Edom's charge in the temple and in the palace. (See AMAZIAH; JERUSALEM.) Joash after his return to Samaria died in the 15th year of Amaziah's reign, and was buried in the sepulchres of the kings of Israel. Jeroboam II was his successor.


Taken from: Fausset's Bible Dictionary by Andrew Robert Fausset (1821-1910)