Smith's Bible Dictionary


Jo'ash. (to whom Jehovah hastens, that is, to help), contracted from Jehoash.

1. Son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, (B.C. 884), and the only one of his children, who escaped the murderous hand of Athaliah. After his father's sister, Jehoshabeath, the wife of Jehoiada, the high priest, had stolen him from among the king's sons, he was hidden for six years in the chambers of the Temple. In the seventh year of his age, and of his concealment, a successful revolution, conducted by Jehoiada, placed him on the throne of his ancestors, and freed the country from the tyranny, and idolatries of Athaliah.

For at least twenty-three years, while Jehoiada lived, his reign was very prosperous; but after the death of Jehoiada, Joash fell into the hands of bad advisers, at whose suggestion, he revived the worship of Baal and Ashtaroth. When he was rebuked for this by Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, Joash caused him to be stoned to death, in the very court of the Lord's house. Mat_23:35. That very year, Hazael, king of Syria, came up against Jerusalem, and carried off a vast booty, as the price of his departure.

Joash had scarcely escaped this danger, when he fell into another and fatal one. Two of his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his bed, and in the fortress of Millo. Joash's reign lasted forty years, from 878 to 838 B.C.

2. Son and successor of Jehoahaz, on the throne of Israel, from B.C. 840 to 825, and for two full years, a contemporary sovereign with Joash, 1. 2Ki_14:1. Compare this with 2Ki_12:1; 2Ki_13:10. When he succeeded to the crown, the kingdom was in a deplorable state, from the devastations of Hazael and Ben-hadad, kings of Syria.

On occasion of a friendly visit, paid by Joash to Elisha on his death-bed, the prophet promised him deliverance, from the Syrian yoke in Aphek. 1Ki_20:26-30. He then bade him smite upon the ground, and the king smote thrice and then stayed. The prophet rebuked him for staying, and limited to three his victories over Syria. Accordingly, Joash did defeat Ben-hadad three times on the field of battle, and recovered from him the cities, which Hazael had taken from Jehoahaz.

The other great military event of Joash's reign, was the successful war with Amaziah, king of Judah. He died in the fifteenth year of Amaziah, king of Judah.

3. The father of Gideon, and a wealthy man, among the Abiezrites. Jdg_6:11. (B.C. before 1256).

4. Apparently, a younger son of Ahab, who held a subordinate jurisdiction, in the lifetime of his father. 1Ki_22:26; 2Ch_18:25. (B.C. 896).

5. A descendant of Shelah, the son of Judah, but whether his son or the son of Jokim is not clear. 1Ch_4:22.

6. A Benjamite, son of Shemaah of Gibeah, 1Ch_12:3, who resorted to David at Ziklag.

7. One of the officers, of David's household. 1Ch_27:28.

8. Son of Becher, and head of a Benjamite house. 1Ch_7:8.


Taken from: Smith's Bible Dictionary by Dr. William Smith (1884)