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Jehoiada (Hebrew Yehoyada Hebrew: יהוידע) in the Hebrew Bible, was a prominent priest during the reigns of Ahaziah, Athaliah, and Joash. Jehoiada became the brother-in-law of King Ahaziah as a result of his arranged marriage with princess Jehosheba (alternately Jehoshabeath). Both Jehosheba and Ahaziah were children of King Jehoram of Judah. Ahaziah died a year after assuming the throne, which was then usurped by his mother Athaliah, who ordered the execution of all members of the royal family.
Jehosheba and Jehoiada rescued from Athaliah's slaughter, Athaliah's one year old grandson, Joash. For six years, they hid the sole surviving heir to the throne within the Temple. Jehoiada was instrumental in the staging of the coup that dethroned and killed Athaliah. Under Jehoiada's guidance, Baal-worship was renounced and the altar and temple of Baal were destroyed.
Jehoiada is also noteworthy for the national covenant that he made "between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the LORD's people" (2 Chronicles 23:16). Jehoiada lived 130 years and was buried very honorably among the kings in the city of David. Jehoiada's son, Zechariah, was later martyred by King Joash.
Priest or High priest?
Josephus mentions Jehoiada as "high priest in his Jewish Antiquites Book 9, Chapter 7," "How Athaliah reigned over Jerusalem for five [six] years, when Jehoiada the high priest slew her." However, Josephus does not mention a Jehoiada in his list of High Priests (Antiquities of the Jews 10:151-153).
According to the medieval chronicle Seder Olam Zutta (804 CE), Jehoiada was a High priest.
- "Jehoiada", Jewish Encyclopedia
- The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus - Page 237 William Whiston
|High Priest of Israel||Succeeded by
(Je·hoi′a·da) [May Jehovah Know].
1. Father of the Benaiah who is almost always identified as “Benaiah the son of Jehoiada,” and who was one of David’s mighty men and also Solomon’s army chief. (2Sa 23:8, 20, 22, 23; 1Ki 2:35) Jehoiada himself is connected with the priesthood, being called “the chief priest.” He is referred to as “the leader of the sons of Aaron” and was among those flocking to David when he became king over all Israel at Hebron.—1Ch 27:5; 12:27, 38.
2. A counselor of King David; apparently a grandson of No. 1.—1Ch 27:33, 34.
3. High priest in the time of Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah, and Jehoash. Jehoiada was married to King Jehoram’s daughter Jehosheba, also called Jehoshabeath (the only recorded instance of a high priest marrying into the royal family). Jehoiada was noted especially for overthrowing Athaliah and elevating true worship in Judah. After Athaliah’s ruling son Ahaziah was slain, she proceeded to kill off all the remaining royal offspring and placed herself on the throne. However, Jehosheba, herself a sister of Ahaziah though not necessarily Athaliah’s daughter, took Ahaziah’s infant son Jehoash away and kept him hidden for six years. In the seventh year, Jehoiada secured the support of the Levites, the chiefs of the Carian bodyguard and of the runners, as well as the heads of the paternal houses of Israel. He then produced Jehoash, whom they proclaimed as king. Jehoiada next ordered Athaliah taken outside the temple grounds and slain.—2Ki 11:1-16; 2Ch 22:10–23:15.
Jehoiada thereafter wasted no time in advancing Jehovah’s worship. He renewed Israel’s covenant relationship with Jehovah, whereupon the people tore down the house of Baal and removed its altars, images, and priesthood. Jehoiada then restored full temple services. He had a strong influence for good upon the life of Jehoash. Jehoiada and the king repaired the temple and made various utensils for Jehovah’s house. When, at the age of 130, Jehoiada finally died, he was given the exceptional honor of burial with the kings “because he had done good in Israel and with the true God and His house.” Unfortunately, his good influence died with him, for Jehoash then listened to the princes of Judah and turned aside from Jehovah, even to the point of ordering the killing of Jehoiada’s son Zechariah, who issued the unfaithful people a rebuke.—2Ki 11:17–12:16; 2Ch 23:16–24:22.
4. A priest who was replaced by Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah during Jeremiah’s time.—Jer 29:24-27.
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