2 Kings 12

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Read 2 Kings 12

Joash Repairs the Temple

12 In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money that is brought as sacred offerings to the temple of the Lord—the money collected in the census, the money received from personal vows and the money brought voluntarily to the temple. Let every priest receive the money from one of the treasurers, then use it to repair whatever damage is found in the temple.”

But by the twenty-third year of King Joash the priests still had not repaired the temple. Therefore King Joash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and asked them, “Why aren’t you repairing the damage done to the temple? Take no more money from your treasurers, but hand it over for repairing the temple.” The priests agreed that they would not collect any more money from the people and that they would not repair the temple themselves.

Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one enters the temple of the Lord. The priests who guarded the entrance put into the chest all the money that was brought to the temple of the Lord. 10 Whenever they saw that there was a large amount of money in the chest, the royal secretary and the high priest came, counted the money that had been brought into the temple of the Lord and put it into bags. 11 When the amount had been determined, they gave the money to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. With it they paid those who worked on the temple of the Lord—the carpenters and builders, 12 the masons and stonecutters. They purchased timber and blocks of dressed stone for the repair of the temple of the Lord and met all the other expenses of restoring the temple.

13 The money brought into the temple was not spent for making silver basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, trumpets or any other articles of gold or silver for the temple of the Lord; 14 it was paid to the workers, who used it to repair the temple. 15 They did not require an accounting from those to whom they gave the money to pay the workers, because they acted with complete honesty. 16 The money from the guilt offerings and sin offerings was not brought into the temple of the Lord; it belonged to the priests.

17 About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. 18 But Joash king of Judah took all the sacred objects dedicated by his predecessors—Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, the kings of Judah—and the gifts he himself had dedicated and all the gold found in the treasuries of the temple of the Lord and of the royal palace, and he sent them to Hazael king of Aram, who then withdrew from Jerusalem.

19 As for the other events of the reign of Joash, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 20 His officials conspired against him and assassinated him at Beth Millo, on the road down to Silla. 21 The officials who murdered him were Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer. He died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.

Go Deeper

​​In the passage, we see the greed of the priests to hide away portions of offerings and despite their word being to repair the temple, they keep it for themselves. They had told King Joash they would repair the temple, but this did not happen. The king sees this, questions the priests, then commands them to do an offering next to the altar in honor of repairing the temple. The treasure given as offering then was given to the workers, builders, stone men, etc. of the temple. They were awarded for their work.

We have two primary takeaways in this chapter.

The first one being that when placed with physical treasures in front of us, we are easily distracted from our spiritual responsibilities. This is the case for money, relationships, goals, careers, or whatever else stands in front of your sight of Kingdom work. We tend to fix our eyes on the things that we believe will “repair” our own problems. We look and see where we can get a portion here or there and don’t truly place our whole selves, needs and all, at the altar. By doing this, we place only pieces before the Lord. He wants our whole selves though.

The second takeaway is that we need to pay attention to those who received the treasure and ultimate payment of coins. It was the workers who spent time on the temple. They were the ones who toiled and put forth effort in restoring the temple. They got paid according to their humble and honest work (v. 14). In the Kingdom of God, throughout Scripture, we read of the faithful servants who serve the Lord having great reward. This is not to be confused with working in order to gain salvation, but rather to do good works because of salvation. Jesus’ death and resurrection is not to be celebrated once we have done “enough” to earn it, but we celebrate His death and resurrection because He did it. It is because of the work of the cross that we celebrate and work. He has paid for us to now share the repair of our own lives that was done on the cross.


  1. In what ways have you sacrificed this week to give to the Lord? In finances, time, relationships, resting?
  2. In what ways is the Lord asking you to be obedient today?
  3. How are you walking in the works set before you with freedom?


Lord, I thank you for the ways that you have given to me. You have given me grace abundantly. I pray that you reveal to me ways that I need to sacrifice to you. I pray that greed for finances or time would cease, and that I would freely offer everything to you. It’s all from you, help me to see it as all for you. Show me ways I can be obedient to you today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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5 thoughts on “2 Kings 12”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    King Joash had an interesting reign. His life had been spared as an infant, crowned king at 7, and afterward ruled for 40 years. We learn that he was willing to be led and followed the instructions of the priest, Jehoiada, in the ways of the Lord, while he was still living. I wonder what happened after he died? We see once again that “high places were not removed and people worshipped there.” His life came to a tragic end, as Joash was assassinated by his own officials. All our efforts to live wholesome lives will still fall short. Even on our best days we still need a Savior. I’m checking to see what the “high places” are where I’m worshiping instead of coming faithfully to Holy God. This is a daily choice I must make as I repent and remove them. Let’s learn something from the OT kings to have no other gods before us.

    1. Read in 2 Chronicles 24, and you’ll read what happened and why Joash was assonated after Jehoiada’s death.

  2. In almost all situations I try to “repair” before I go to God. I am definitely a work in progress and He is helping me with that, thank You God!!! I think when I read passages like this that in that situation I wouldn’t do that, but I do have a fix it mentality, and all that money would probably “fix it” so maybe. Regeneration has taught me so much about myself I had not realized. I cannot highly suggest it enough for all, just to help take the boulders we have in our own eyes out or at least shift one or two out so we see a little more clearly.
    Thank You God for Your guidance. Thank you for my asking for Your wisdom more and more and more!!! Thank You for doing right things and making right choices minute-ly in Jesus name amen

  3. Dannette Woodard

    This chapter is so rich. I find It interesting at the beginning of the passage Joash is remembered as doing right in the eyes of the Lord, but at the same time he and the high preist Jeholada were holding out. They were not fully giving everything to the Lord when we read the high places had not been torn down…the place where worship and sacrifices to other gods happened. They were holding on to and controlling that one little area of their lives. Fast forward 23 years later…we see the high priest never had enough money left over to rebuild the temple. It seems so clear when we see someone else’s life laid out before us and their compromise, but I’m doing the same thing. It breaks my heart to see the places in my life where I am “sloppy” with giving everything (time, talents, treasures) to the Lord. What am I holding onto or haven’t fully given up? That “thing” immediately pops into my head. I know where I am allowing compromise to creep into my heart and that compromise is like a cancer that spreads to other areas of my life and the daily decisions I make. I’m reminded of the verse in James…a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Please Lord, help me to daily give it all to you and tear down the high places in my heart. I want to be fully devoted to you – no compromise.

  4. I was reminded last week that in the OT only a portion was to be tithed, but in the NT Jesus says it’s ALL God’s money.
    As I read this passage, I kept focusing on the word “all”. In my reading this week, I came across where the real adventure began when us start giving above and beyond your tithe. If you think about it, you never hear a testimony of people giving less to God, and him doing remarkable things in their lives. And it wasn’t until the priests started giving all that their attitudes and work became honest. Funny how letting go of your idols makes you repent and honest… hmmm 🤔 (and priests/pastors are human, too)

    In regards to Joash: I get that the temple had to be of a place special to him. Especially since he was hidden there for 6 years. It’s commendable that he forgave the priests, and especially Jehoiada for neglecting their duty. But it seemed to me Jehoiada was his rock more than God. Seeing what he did after Jehoiada died…. But that’s my opinion. Interesting read today…a lot of angles to glean on.

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