The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Fourth Book of Kings
Joas began his reign in the seventh year of Jehu, and for forty years he reigned as king at Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Sebia, a woman of Bersabee.
As long as the high priest Joiada was his adviser, he obeyed the Lord’s will;
only he did not abolish the hill-shrines, men still sacrificed and burned incense on the mountain-tops.
This Joas made a proclamation to the priests; Here are gifts being brought to the temple all the while by pious folk that worship there, one paying a ransom for his life, another contributing as his devotion moves him.
Such money the priests may take for their own, according to their rank; but they must be answerable for repairing the Lord’s house, if they find anything that needs to be made good.
The twenty-third year of King Joas came, and still the priests had done nothing to repair the temple.
Whereupon king Joas summoned Joiada and the other priests; What means it, he asked, that you have not made good the temple’s needs? Henceforth there must be no more taking money according to your rank; it must all be given up to the repairing of the temple.
It was ordered, then, that the priests should no longer receive the gifts, and no longer be answerable for the repairs;
instead, the high priest Joiada had a chest made, with a hole in the top of it, and put it close to the altar at the right hand side of the temple entrance; into this the priests who keep the door put all the money that was brought there.
Whenever the chest seemed to be over full, one of the king’s secretaries betook himself to the temple, with the high priest, and together they emptied out and counted the money that was to be found there.
This, when its value had been duly reckoned, they paid over to the master-builders, who distributed it to the carpenters and masons that worked in the Lord’s house
and carried out the repairs. The stone-cutters, too, must be paid, and wood and stone must be bought ready for fashioning. Thus the repairing of the Lord’s house would not go short for the money which the work needed.
The money was not to be used for making pitcher or fork, censer or trumpet, or any other piece of gold or silver ware for the Lord’s house; all the offerings given to the temple
were paid out to the workmen that were repairing the temple;
nor was any account asked of those who handled this money and distributed it to the workmen, they were trusted with the handling of it.
Meanwhile the fines paid for fault or wrong done were not put into the treasury, since these belonged to the priests as of right.
It was at this time that Hazael, king of Syria, marched on the town of Geth and took it by storm; then wheeled about and threatened to march on Jerusalem itself.
Nor might Joas preserve the city from attack, till he had collected all the offerings dedicated in the temple by himself, or by Josaphat, Joram and Ochozias, that were kings of Juda before him, all the silver, too, that was to be found there or in the royal palace, and sent them to Hazael, king of Syria.
What else Joas did, all his history, is to be found in the Annals of the kings of Juda.
It was his own servants that set a conspiracy on foot against him, and slew him in the house at Mello, where the road goes down to Sella;
Josachar son of Semaath and Jozabad son of Somer, his own attendants, gave him his death-blow. He was laid to rest with his fathers in the Keep of David, and the throne passed to his son Amasias.
The Holy Bible