Haftarah-Shekalim-Reading the Text I-God’s Message to Renew the Covenant
Yehoiada then made a covenant between God and the king and people that they would be God’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.
Then Yehoiada the kohen posted guards at the temple of God. He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards and all the people of the land, and together they brought the king down from the temple of God and went into the palace, entering by way of the gate of the guards. The king then took his place on the royal throne. All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the palace.
Yoash was seven years old when he began to reign. (II Kings 11:17-21)
We approach this story with a sense of having closed many outstanding issues in the history of the nation: the prophecies of Elijah, Elisha and Jonah have come to pass (Read Historical Background I, II, III, IV & V). Naboth has been avenged. Yehu rose to greatness and then fell as did so many before him. The Talmud traces the story of Yoash all the way back to King David and his in direct responsibility for the massacre by King Saul of the city of Kohanim, Nov. There is a strong sense in the nation of having closed many painful chapters in their history, and that they are now prepared for a fresh start.
Yehoiada uses this as an opportunity to “seal the covenant,” between God and the King and the people. God did not initiate this renewal of the covenant it was Yehoiada. The Kohen had not received a message from God instructing him to renew the covenant. There was no direct communication from God that He was ready to renew the covenant, and yet, Yehoiada knew that he was empowered to renew the covenant between God, the King, and the people.
Yehoiada knew this with absolute clarity because of all the major events that had taken place. He wanted the people to understand that all that had taken place over the past few decades had been guided by the hand of God. Yehoiada understood that with the realization of the prophecies of Elijah, Elisha and Jonah, that God had already initiated the renewal of the covenant. All that was necessary was for the people to respond to these events as being guided by God’s Hand. The acknowledgment of God’s guidance was the renewal of the covenant.
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