The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Fourth Book of Kings
Upon the death of Ochozias, his mother Athalia put all the princes of the royal house to death,
except Ochozias’ son Joas, who was saved by his aunt Josaba, daughter to king Joram. When the princes were slain, she stole him away, with his nurse, out of the bed-room, and kept him in hiding so that Athalia could not make away with him.
For six whole years she kept him by her secretly in the Lord’s house, while Athalia governed the country as queen.
In the seventh year, Joiada sent for the commanders of the army and the royal bodyguard, took them into the temple and there made a compact with them, with the Lord’s own house to be witness of their oath; then he shewed them the young prince.
And with that, he gave them their directions.
A third of your number, this sabbath day, will be keeping guard over the palace; some will be at the Sur gate, some at the gate by the armourers’ lodging, and you have to guard, too, the house of Messa.✻
The other two thirds, that are relieved of duty that day, must come and keep guard over the king’s person, in the Lord’s house.
Hedge him about well, with your swords drawn; do not let anyone enter the temple precincts with his life; wherever the king goes, attend him closely.
All the directions which the high priest Joiada gave them these commanders faithfully carried out; mustered their men, alike those who mounted guard and those who were relieved of duty on the sabbath, and presented themselves before Joiada,
who supplied them with the spears and other weapons king David had bequeathed to the Lord’s house;
to right and to left of altar and temple stood armed men ready to protect the king.
Then he brought the young prince out, and gave the royal crown and a copy of the law into his keeping. So was he crowned and anointed, while all clapped their hands and cried aloud, Long live the king!
Meanwhile, the stir which the soldiers made in going about their errand reached the ears of Athalia; and she made her way into the temple, there where all the crowds were gathered,
to find the king standing on a dais, as the king should, with singers and trumpeters at his side, while all the folk rejoiced, and the trumpets sounded. Well might she rend her clothes, and cry out, Treason, treason!
Thereupon Joiada gave word to the commanders of the army that she must be taken out beyond the temple precincts, and if anyone tried to follow, he should be put to the sword; she must not be slain in the Lord’s house, he told them.
So they made her prisoner, and as she passed along the horse-way that leads to the palace, she was slain.
After this, Joiada would have a covenant made, that bound king and people to the Lord, as the Lord’s own people; bound king and people to one another.
And the whole populace went into Baal’s temple, where they pulled down his altars and broke his images for good and all; they killed Mathan, too, Baal’s priest, there at the altar. Then the high priest set guards over the Lord’s temple,
and presently he summoned the officers of the guard, with the Cerethite and Phelethite auxiliaries, and the whole populace with them; and together they brought the king back from the Lord’s house, by way of the armourers’ gate, into the palace, and he took his seat on the royal throne.
All through the land were great rejoicings, and the city had rest, now that Athalia lay dead, there in the palace.
Thus Joas came to his throne, a boy of seven years.
The Holy Bible