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II Kings 14; II Chronicles 25 Listen
Amaziah - a good side and a bad side (II Kings 14:1-6; II Chronicles 25:1-4)
II Kings 14
II Chronicles 25
|1 In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel reigned Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah.
2 He was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did.
4 Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places.
5 And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which had slain the king his father.
6 But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
|1 Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.
3 Now it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, that he slew his servants that had killed the king his father.
4 But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.
Amaziah is Joash's (of Judah) boy. Judah was serious about the king being in the royal line of King David. Twenty-five-year-old Amaziah was good in that he got rid of the high places and idol worship for himself, but did not rid Judah of these pagan places of worship. He couldn't quite get past the fact that his father had been killed by his own servants (II Kings 12:17-21; II Chronicles 24:20-27, see notes) - even though his Dad was a rascal. He has those servants executed who had participated in that deed. However, he had respect for the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 24:16, see notes) in that he did not slay the children of the assassins. Amaziah reigned in Judah for 29 years.
A Summary of King #9 from 796 to 767 B.C. over Judah: Amaziah
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Kings 14:1-20
II Kings 14:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did.
II Chronicles 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.
II King 14:4 Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places.
Later on in his reign, Amaziah turns to false gods.
II Chronicles 25:14 Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them.
Amaziah makes a public relations error (II Kings 14:7; II Chronicles 25:5-13)
II Kings 14
II Chronicles 25
|7 He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day.||5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the houses of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them three hundred thousand choice men, able to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield.
6 He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver.
7 But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the LORD is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.
8 But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down.
9 And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this.
10 Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: wherefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in great anger.
11 And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir ten thousand.
12 And other ten thousand left alive did the children of Judah carry away captive, and brought them unto the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, that they all were broken in pieces.
13 But the soldiers of the army which Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Bethhoron, and smote three thousand of them, and took much spoil.
Amaziah had a big army - 300,000 strong. Feeling he needed more, he employs another 100,000 soldiers from his sister country, Israel. When the (unspecified) prophet comes to tell him that God's not happy with the use of these mercenaries, he dismisses them, apparently with full pay. Amaziah's army does well - has a big victory over the Edomites. He seems to violate the modern-day stipulations of the Geneva Convention in verse 12 when he takes 10,000 of those Edomites to the top of a mountain and throws them off.
By the way, remember the army he dismissed comprised of mercenary soldiers from the Northern Kingdom, Israel? Well, that army turns on him and plunders some of the cities of Judah (killing 3,000) while he's out fighting Edom. II Chronicles refers to these Edomites as the "children of Seir," a reference to the mountain range upon which the Edomites lived. For a complete look at the Edomites, click here.
Amaziah turns bad (II Chronicles 25:14-16)
14 Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them.
15 Wherefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?
16 And it came to pass, as he talked with him, that the king said unto him, Art thou made of the king’s counsel? forbear; why shouldest thou be smitten? Then the prophet forbare, and said, I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my counsel.
What is it about kings and their gods? Amaziah started out right, but upon his return from the land of the Edomites, he brings back some of their gods...and makes them his own. God sends a prophet (unspecified) to try to reason with him, but he just won't hear it. I particularly like the line the prophet gives Amaziah, "Why have you adopted the gods of a people who couldn't even protect them in battle against you?" Good point! The prophet issues his prophecy to Amaziah, "I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my counsel." Whoa! You gotta hate to get news like that!
So...Amaziah starts out his reign by serving God, but later begins serving the idols of the conquered Edomites - go figure! Can anything good now come out of a man who makes such a U-turn in his spiritual life. NO!
II Kings 14
II Chronicles 25
|8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.
9 And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.
10 Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory of this, and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?
11 But Amaziah would not hear. Therefore Jehoash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Bethshemesh, which belongeth to Judah.
12 And Judah was put to the worse before Israel; and they fled every man to their tents.
13 And Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah, at Bethshemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
14 And he took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and hostages, and returned to Samaria.
15 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, and his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
16 And Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his stead.
17 And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
18 And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
19 Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there.
20 And they brought him on horses: and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David.
21 And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.
22 He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
|17 Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us see one another in the face.
18 And Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.
19 Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the Edomites; and thine heart lifteth thee up to boast: abide now at home; why shouldest thou meddle to thine hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?
20 But Amaziah would not hear; for it came of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought after the gods of Edom.
21 So Joash the king of Israel went up; and they saw one another in the face, both he and Amaziah king of Judah, at Bethshemesh, which belongeth to Judah.
22 And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tent.
23 And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at Bethshemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
24 And he took all the gold and the silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obededom, and the treasures of the king’s house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
25 And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, are they not written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel?
27 Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.
28 And they brought him upon horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.
After his successful campaign against the Edomites, Amaziah is ready to take on Israel. Apparently he had his eye on the legacy of a united Israel once again - all twelve tribes together as one nation. Joash (aka Jehoash, King of Israel) doesn't want to go to war with Judah - tries to reason with him about war between them, but Amaziah is determined. Perhaps the analogy Joash used in his discussions with Amaziah made him more determined. In the analogy, Joash compares Judah to a thistle and Israel to a full-grown tree. The thistle wants to take the tree as his wife. That analogy, with Judah as the male head of the marriage relationship, shows that Joash understands Amaziah's intentions to be the head over a restored, united kingdom. Only problem - the analogy concludes with a wild beast inadvertently trampling down the insignificant thistle. Reading between the lines, the analogy cries out, "What...are you crazy!"
Despite the warning, Joash meets Amaziah about 15 miles west of Jerusalem in Bethshemesh and soundly beats him. Then Joash feels he has to come to Jerusalem to teach Amaziah a hard lesson. He takes hostages, valuables and even tears down some of the wall around Jerusalem in the process. The "gate of Ephraim" (verse 13) indicates that a portion of the wall was destroyed on the northern side of the city, making them vulnerable to attack from the north after that. Amaziah's son, Uzziah, repairs this breach and fortifies the walls later in II Chronicles 26:9 (see notes).
Amaziah is taken prisoner by Joash, King of Israel. He apparently is released from captivity and continues to rule over Judah...outlives Joash by 15 years. Finally, Amaziah is forced to flee Jerusalem to Lachish (about 30 miles southwest), but is captured and executed by his own people. Tough end for a guy who started out with such promise. He is counted worthy by his own people to be buried with his ancestors. Amaziah's sixteen-year-old son, Azariah, is made King of Judah after his father's execution.
23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years.
24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
25 He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher.
26 For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel.
27 And the LORD said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.
28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
29 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah his son reigned in his stead.
Thought you had your fill of Jeroboams? Hold on; there's one more; he's known as Jeroboam II - King of Israel for 41 years. Any chance he'll serve the true God? Nope - no chance. He lives up to his namesake. He had some successes against Syria - actually restored a good bit of real estate back under the control of the Northern Kingdom and leaves a relatively strong kingdom before his death, but he didn't serve God. A significant point of reference is seen in verse 25 where we see mention of "Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet." From this we know that Jonah prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II (793-753 B.C.) in Israel. Click here to go to the notes on the Book of Jonah.
The Expositor's Bible Commentary has some interesting insight on verses 27-29:
Because Israel had fallen into such desperate spiritual conditions (vv.26-27), a merciful God had acted on behalf of his people. As he had granted them deliverance from external pressures by sending Adad-Nirari III of Assyria against the Arameans (cf. 13:5, 22-23) initiating a period of recovery under Jehoash (13:25; 14:14-15), so now in a grander way he culminated that deliverance with full victory over the Arameans, one that included Israels recovery of its former boundaries (vv.27-28).
Despite the evil ways of Jeroboam and the Northern Kingdom, Israel, God had mercy upon them and determined that he would not "blot out the name of Israel from under heaven." Like it or not, sometimes God gives successes to bad people for reasons that have nothing to do with the bad people themselves.
A Summary of King #13 from 792 to 752 B.C. over Israel: Jeroboam (II)
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Kings 14:23-29
|Not specified - he was evil.||
II Kings 14:24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.