23:1 In the seventh year Jehoiada made a bold move. He made a pact with the officers of the units of hundreds: Azariah son of Jehoram, Ishmael son of Jehochanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri. 23:2 They traveled throughout Judah and assembled the Levites from all the cities of Judah, as well as the Israelite family leaders.
They came to Jerusalem, 23:3 and the whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son will rule, just as the Lord promised David’s descendants. 23:4 This is what you must do. One third of you priests and Levites who are on duty during the Sabbath will guard the doors. 23:5 Another third of you will be stationed at the royal palace and still another third at the Foundation Gate. All the others will stand in the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. 23:6 No one must enter the Lord’s temple except the priests and Levites who are on duty. They may enter because they are ceremonially pure. All the others should carry out their assigned service to the Lord. 23:7 The Levites must surround the king. Each of you must hold his weapon in his hand. Whoever tries to enter the temple must be killed. You must accompany the king wherever he goes.”
23:8 The Levites and all the men of Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each of them took his men, those who were on duty during the Sabbath as well as those who were off duty on the Sabbath. Jehoiada the priest did not release his divisions from their duties. 23:9 Jehoiada the priest gave to the officers of the units of hundreds King David’s spears and shields that were kept in God’s temple. 23:10 He placed the men at their posts, each holding his weapon in his hand. They lined up from the south side of the temple to the north side and stood near the altar and the temple, surrounding the king. 23:11 Jehoiada and his sons led out the king’s son and placed on him the crown and the royal insignia. They proclaimed him king and poured olive oil on his head. They declared, “Long live the king!”
23:12 When Athaliah heard the royal guard shouting and praising the king, she joined the crowd at the Lord’s temple. 23:13 Then she saw the king standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and trumpeters stood beside the king and all the people of the land were celebrating and blowing trumpets, and the musicians with various instruments were leading the celebration. Athaliah tore her clothes and yelled, “Treason! Treason!” 23:14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the officers of the units of hundreds, who were in charge of the army, and ordered them, “Bring her outside the temple to the guards. Put the sword to anyone who follows her.” The priest gave this order because he had decided she should not be executed in the Lord’s temple. 23:15 They seized her and took her into the precincts of the royal palace through the horses’ entrance. There they executed her.
23:16 Jehoiada then drew up a covenant stipulating that he, all the people, and the king should be loyal to the Lord. 23:17 All the people went and demolished the temple of Baal. They smashed its altars and idols. They killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. 23:18 Jehoiada then assigned the duties of the Lord’s temple to the priests, the Levites whom David had assigned to the Lord’s temple. They were responsible for offering burnt sacrifices to the Lord with joy and music, according to the law of Moses and the edict of David. 23:19 He posted guards at the gates of the Lord’s temple, so no one who was ceremonially unclean in any way could enter. 23:20 He summoned the officers of the units of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all the people of land, and he then led the king down from the Lord’s temple. They entered the royal palace through the Upper Gate and seated the king on the royal throne. 23:21 All the people of the land celebrated, for the city had rest now that they had killed Athaliah.