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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 the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel, Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, became king.
2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
3 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like his father David; he did everything as his father Joash had done.
4 However the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.
5 ¶ Now it happened, as soon as the kingdom was established in his hand, that he executed his servants who had murdered his father the king.
6 But the children of the murderers he did not execute, according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, in which the LORD commanded, saying, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; but a person shall be put to death for his own sin.”
|1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a loyal heart.
3 ¶ Now it happened, as soon as the kingdom was established for him, that he executed his servants who had murdered his father the king.
4 However he did not execute 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 be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; but a person 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 However the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.
Later on in his reign, Amaziah turns to false gods.
II Chronicles 25:14 Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them.
Amaziah makes a public relations error (II Kings 14:7; II Chronicles 25:5-13)
II Kings 14
II Chronicles 25
|7 ¶ He killed ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt, and took Sela by war, and called its name Joktheel to this day.||5 ¶ Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, according to their fathers’ houses, throughout all Judah and Benjamin; and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them to be three hundred thousand choice men, able to go to war, who could handle spear and shield.
6 He also hired one hundred thousand mighty men of valor from Israel for one hundred talents of silver.
7 But a man of God came to him, saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel—not with any of the children of Ephraim.
8 But if you go, be gone! Be strong in battle! Even so, God shall make you fall before the enemy; for God has power to help and to overthrow.”
9 ¶ Then Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do about the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?” ¶ And the man of God answered, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.”
10 So Amaziah discharged the troops that had come to him from Ephraim, to go back home. Therefore their anger was greatly aroused against Judah, and they returned home in great anger.
11 ¶ Then Amaziah strengthened himself, and leading his people, he went to the Valley of Salt and killed ten thousand of the people of Seir.
12 Also the children of Judah took captive ten thousand alive, brought them to the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were dashed in pieces.
13 ¶ But as for the soldiers of the army which Amaziah had discharged, so that they would not go with him to battle, they raided the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth Horon, killed three thousand in 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 was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them.
15 Therefore the anger of the LORD was aroused against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of the people, which could not rescue their own people from your hand?”
16 ¶ So it was, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, “Have we made you the king’s counselor? Cease! Why should you be killed?” ¶ Then the prophet ceased, and said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not heeded my advice.”
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 has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not heeded my advice." 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!
Amaziah gets whipped by Israel (II Kings 14:8-22; II Chronicles 25:17-28)
II Kings 14
II Chronicles 25
|8 ¶ Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us face one another in battle.”
9 And Jehoash 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 your daughter to my son as wife’; and a wild beast that was in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle.
10 You have indeed defeated Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Glory in that, and stay at home; for why should you meddle with trouble so that you fall—you and Judah with you?”
11 ¶ But Amaziah would not heed. Therefore Jehoash king of Israel went out; so he and Amaziah king of Judah faced one another at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah.
12 And Judah was defeated by Israel, and every man fled to his tent.
13 Then Jehoash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash, the son of Ahaziah, at Beth Shemesh; and he went to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate—four hundred cubits.
14 And he took all the gold and silver, all the articles that were found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and hostages, and returned to Samaria.
15 ¶ Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did—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 So Jehoash rested with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Then Jeroboam his son reigned in his place.
17 ¶ Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel.
18 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
19 And they formed a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there.
20 Then 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, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.
22 He built Elath and restored it to Judah, after the king rested with his fathers.
|17 ¶ Now Amaziah king of Judah asked advice and sent to Joash the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us face one another in battle.”
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 your daughter to my son as wife’; and a wild beast that was in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle.
19 Indeed you say that you have defeated the Edomites, and your heart is lifted up to boast. Stay at home now; why should you meddle with trouble, that you should fall—you and Judah with you?”
20 ¶ But Amaziah would not heed, for it came from God, that He might give them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought the gods of Edom.
21 So Joash king of Israel went out; and he and Amaziah king of Judah faced one another at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah.
22 And Judah was defeated by Israel, and every man fled to his tent.
23 Then Joash the king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth Shemesh; and he brought him to Jerusalem, and broke 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 silver, all the articles that were found in the house of God with Obed-edom, the treasures of the king’s house, and hostages, and returned to Samaria.
25 ¶ Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel.
26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, from first to last, indeed are they not written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel?
27 After the time that Amaziah turned away from following the LORD, they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there.
28 Then they brought him on 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.
And finally...one more Jeroboam (II Kings 14:23-29)
23 ¶ In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, became king in Samaria, and reigned forty-one years.
24 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.
25 He restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which He had spoken through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet who was from Gath Hepher.
26 For the LORD saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter; and whether bond or free, there was no helper for Israel.
27 And the LORD did not say 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—his might, how he made war, and how he recaptured for Israel, from Damascus and Hamath, what had belonged to Judah—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
29 So Jeroboam rested with his fathers, the kings of Israel. Then Zechariah his son reigned in his place.
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 evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.