When Jesus Christ returns to the earth that will in certain respects be perhaps the greatest single event in history, at least since the creation of man. It will be a pivotal point in man’s history and in the working out of God’s plan for mankind (Acts 3:19-21).
As we study various parts of the Bible dealing with this great event and the times immediately preceding it, we discover that it will occur to the accompaniment of a veritable chorus of sounding trumpets.
This great event which signals, among other things, the restoration of genuine peace, prosperity and joy to a suffering humanity. is prophesied and prefigured in the Bible in many different places. That this event is so prominent should not surprise us, because it is the very focal point of the gospel of the Kingdom of God, which is in various ways the theme of the Bible from one end to the other.
Among a variety of historical events which prefigure events relating to the return of Jesus Christ and the restoration of God’s government to the earth is a particular one I want to discuss in this article. Specifically I want to discuss the coronation of King Joash of Judah, and circumstances associated with it. and show you how Joash’s coronation prefigures the coming of Jesus Christ.
A very minor and insignificant episode in world history — that’s what most historians would no doubt consider the events leading to the ascendancy of Joash as king of Judah, if they believed it at all. Perhaps many of us have read over this episode without giving a second thought to its deeper meaning. Actually, the survival of Joash was crucial to the fulfillment of God’s plan, and what finally emerged, etched in the pages of history and preserved in your Bible, is a living picture of some key highlights of God’s plan in microcosm.
We’ll see that the coronation of Joash as king of Judah was accompanied by the sound of trumpets, just as Jesus Christ’s coming to take the reigns of government over the whole earth will be. But first, let’s take a look at the preceding events.
Athaliah was the wife of Jehoram (or Joram), a king of Judah. She was also the daughter of Ahab, king of the northern ten tribes, the kingdom of Israel. Athaliah’s mother was Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, and daughter of a Zidonian king. Ahab and Jezebel were the wicked pair who became the very symbols of evil in Israel (1 Kings 21:25-26). Among their sins were the murders of many of the prophets and worshipers of God in Israel (2 Kings 9:7).
Athaliah lived according to the wicked and treacherous example of her parents, and when her husband, Jehoram, died, his youngest son, Ahaziah, became king of Judah. Athaliah was the mother of king Ahaziah, and was his counselor to do wickedly (2 Chronicles 22:2-3).
Jehu, an officer in Israel’s army, had been anointed by God’s command to annihilate the men of the house of Ahab who were in Israel, as divine retribution (2 Kings 9:6-8). In so doing he killed the sons of the king of Israel, and the other remaining members of the house of Ahab in Israel (2 Kings 10).
Jehu also killed Ahaziah, Athaliah’s son, who was king of Judah. King Ahaziah of Judah had been in Israel visiting with King Joram of Israel, a son of Ahab, at the time when Jehu had come to Jezreel to kill him (2 Kings 9:27). Jehu also killed other male relatives of Ahaziah, King of Judah, when he discovered them in Israel on their way to visit the sons of the King of Israel (2 Kings 10:13-14). So Jehu fulfilled God’s command to destroy the male descendants of Ahab in Israel (2 Kings 9:8; 10:11; 17, 30). Jehu was used as an instrument of God’s vengeance, but his own bloodlust was later avenged as Jehu’s dynasty came to an end (Hosea 1:4).
Athaliah, seeing that her son the king was dead, saw an opportunity to seize the throne of Judah for herself outright. Only standing in her way were the rightful heirs, the remaining royal seed of the house of Judah, including her own grandchildren. So she
proceeded to murder all the remaining legitimate male heirs of the throne of Judah (2 Kings 11:1).
However, Ahaziah, the late king of Judah, had a sister named Jehosheba, a daughter of king Jehoram. Jehosheba was most likely only a half-sister of Ahaziah, having a different mother. Jehosheba was married to the High Priest. Jehosheba hid one of the Ahaziah’s sons, Joash, in the Temple, so he was not killed (2 Kings 11:2-3). Interestingly, Jehosheba’s name means “Yahweh [has] sworn” ( cf. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance dictionary). God had sworn to David that his seed would remain forever (Psalm 89:3-4).
Now do you see how important the survival of Joash was to God’s plan? Had he been killed there apparently would have remained no legitimate male heirs to carry on the line of descent from king David to the Messiah. But God, of course, was able to accomplish his purpose, and leave vital lessons for us in the process.
Note that Joash was hidden in the Temple for six years (2 Kings 11:3). Could this be typical of the 6000 year period in which time the rightful King of the Earth has been hidden in heaven, as it were?
We’re told in Scripture, “that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). The weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, is a type of God’s Kingdom (Hebrews 4:1, 4, 9; cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:7; James 2:5). “Rest” in Hebrews 4:9 is from sabbatismós, “Sabbath rest” or “Sabbath keeping.” The New English Translation renders the verse: “Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God.” The reign of God’s kingdom prior to the second resurrection is a period of a thousand years (Revelation 20:2-7).
Could Athaliah be typical of the evil world ruling idolatrous political and religious system which has reigned supreme while God has constrained himself for 6000 years? Athaliah’s name means “the Eternal [Yah(weh)] constrained” (cf. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance dictionary).
During Athaliah’s illegitimate reign, she promoted Baal worship and other evils, as her parents had done in Israel (2 Kings 11:18; 2 Chronicles 22:2-4, 17). The wicked typically lose sight of the fact that God is watching, and he knows what they are up to, though he may allow them to prosper in their way for a time (Psalm 44:20-21; 73:3-12; 94:3-7; Isaiah 29:15). The righteous, too, in such circumstances, might wonder, does God not see, does he not know what has become of us? (Psalm 44:22-24). But God sees and he knows (Psalm 94:8-10). Unbeknown to most, Jehoiada and his wife had hidden the rightful heir of David’s throne through this dark period. Jehoiada’s name means “Yahweh (the Eternal) knows.”
It was at the beginning of the seventh year of Athaliah’s illegitimate reign that the true king of Judah was revealed. Jehoiada, the High Priest, first showed Joash to the leaders among the priests and Levites, and also civil and probably military leaders. After seeing Joash and having the situation explained, they agreed to help execute a plan to restore the throne to its rightful heir (2 Kings 11:4). Then the Levites and tribal leaders of Judah were gathered, and they also entered into the covenant to restore the kingdom to the legitimate heir, Joash, the son of the late king (2 Chronicles 23:2-3).
On the Sabbath the king was brought forth (2 Chronicles 23:4-11), symbolic again of the seventh thousand year period in God’s plan. The king was crowned and was accompanied by his armed servants, just as Jesus Christ will go forth to make war accompanied by his servants at the initial stage of his return (Psalm 149:5-9; Matthew 13:39-43; 25:31-32, 41; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 19:11-21).
Could Joash be a type of Jesus Christ at his coming to take his rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords? A likely meaning of the name Joash is “the Eternal [is] a flaming fire,” or “The Eternal glorified” (cf. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance dictionary; Brown, Driver, Briggs Lexicon at אשׁ, Strong’s 784). Jesus Christ will return in his glory, his face shining as the sun, and as a consuming fire (Psalm 24:7-10; 50:2-3; Isaiah 30:27, 30; 66:15-16; Matthew 25:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8; Hebrews 12:28-29).
The trumpets sound at the coronation of Joash (2 Chronicles 23:12-13). For his servants the trumpets were a sound of rejoicing, but for Athaliah they signaled alarm and doom. Compare Psalm 7:11-16; Isaiah 14:5; Revelation 11:15, 17-18. Athaliah cried treason, but she had usurped power, and having it was in a continuous state of rebellion against God.
After the king was coronated the usurper was slain (2 Chronicles 23:14-15), just as Christ will toss the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire at the commencement of his rule (Revelation 19:19-21).
A covenant was concluded where the people promised to be the people of God (2 Chronicles 23:16), just as Christ will establish the New Covenant with Israel and Judah at the time of his coming (Jeremiah 31:31-33).
The false religion was destroyed (2 Kings 11:18). God had commanded the people of Israel to destroy the places of pagan worship with the idols and not use them in his worship (Deuteronomy 12:2-4). Leading up to the time of Christ’s return God is going to intervene to destroy idolatry out of Israel (Ezekiel 6:2-10). After a relatively short time all false religion will be abolished and all flesh will worship the true God (Isaiah 66:23-24).
After the usurper and her false system was destroyed the city was in peace and quiet, and the people rejoiced (2 Kings 11:19-20). Peace is possible only in the absence of evil. That’s why only Christ can restore true and permanent peace to this earth (Psalm 37:9-11).
Joash reigned 40 years (2 Kings 12:1). Forty is a number often used in connection with judgment. Christ and the saints will judge the earth for 1000 years following his return (Revelation 20:6). Following that will come the white throne judgment, as it’s called. Then for eternity the family of God will dwell in peace and joy (Revelation 22:3-5; Psalm 16:11).
I believe the incidents we read about in the life of Joash were more than coincidental. They reveal the hidden hand of God working to accomplish his purpose in the world. The outline of God’s plan being here revealed so subtly yet dramatically is another powerful proof of the unity and divine inspiration of God’s word.
We can take great encouragement from the prophetic implications of these events. As surely as Joash emerged from his six years of hiding to take the throne of Judah, so Jesus Christ will emerge in due time with a deafening trumpet blast to take his rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His reign will bring an end to evil and oppression, and produce a new age of universal peace, prosperity, abundance, happiness and joy to all the earth!
Unless otherwise noted Scripture taken from the New King James VersionTM
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