2Chronicles 25:1 ¶ 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.
2Chronicles 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.
Amaziah was 25 years old when he became king in Jerusalem; he ruled for 29 years. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. He did what was right before the LORD, but not with a whole-hearted commitment.
2Chronicles 25:3 Now it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, that he slew his servants that had killed the king his father.
2Chronicles 25:4 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.
Once he was firmly established as the king, he executed the servants that had killed his father. He did not, however, kill their children as was often done to preclude any possible future threat from them for his own life. He chose to follow the law of the LORD as recorded by Moses. Fathers were not to die because of the actions of their children, nor were children to die for the actions of their fathers. Every individual is accountable before the LORD for his own sin.
2Chronicles 25:5 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.
2Chronicles 25:6 He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver.
Amaziah also established an army. He appointed captains over thousands and captains over hundreds according to their families throughout Judah and Benjamin. He took a census of those 20 years and older to determine who was fit to go to war. His ended up with an army 300,000 strong that could handle spear and shield.
His next move was not a wise one. He also hired 100,000 mighty men of valor from the northern kingdom of Israel for 100 talents of silver—that’s over 3 tons of silver.
2Chronicles 25:7 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.
2Chronicles 25:8 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.
2Chronicles 25:9 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.
God sent an unnamed prophet to warn Amaziah not to let the men of Israel form a part of his army. Reason—The LORD is not with Israel. If he chose to go into battle with the men of Israel as part of his army, God would ensure that they were defeated. The prophet reminded the king that God had the power to help and the power to make them fall in defeat.
Amaziah took to heart the message of the prophet, but he asked him what he should do about the 100 talents that he had paid to the king of Israel for their services. The prophet basically said, “Don't worry about that; the LORD is able to restore to you much more than that.”
2Chronicles 25:10 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.
So King Amaziah sent the men of Israel back home. This made the men very angry because they were expecting to be paid from the spoils of battle.
2Chronicles 25:11 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.
2Chronicles 25:12 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.
Amaziah courageously led his troops to the Valley of Salt (south of the Dead Sea) and killed 10,000 men of Seir/Edom. Another 10,000 were taken captive to the top of a cliff and thrown off the cliff to their death.
2Chronicles 25:13 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.
Meantime, the soldiers that Amaziah had sent back home to Israel attacked the cities of Judah in their path from Samaria to Behthoron, killing 3000 people and taking much spoil. They were determined to get their payday.
2Chronicles 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.
2Chronicles 25:15 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?
2Chronicles 25:16 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.
This section is really hard to believe. The LORD had given Amaziah victory over the Edomites. So what does he decided to do? He takes the gods of the people he defeated and set them up as his own gods. He bowed before them in worship and burned incense unto them.
This really made the LORD angry with Amaziah. Again he sent an unnamed prophet to confront the king. He asked the king why he would choose to worship gods that could protect their people. The king basically said, “Who asked your advice? Do you really want to die?”
The prophet answered the king with one final pronouncement from the LORD saying, “I know that God has determined to destroy you because you have done this and refused my counsel.”
2Chronicles 25:17 ¶ 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.
2Chronicles 25:18 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.
2Chronicles 25:19 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?
2Chronicles 25:20 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.
Full of pride over his victory, Amaziah took the advice of his counselors and challenged Joash, the king of Israel, grandson of Jehu, to war. “See one another in the face” meant to meet for battle.
Joash basically responded by telling Amaziah that his defeat of the Edomites was nothing compared to facing the armies of Israel. In his message he likened himself to a mighty cedar of Lebanon and Amaziah to a little thistle or thorn. He warned Amaziah to reconsider his challenge.
Amaziah was too full of himself to listen. The Chronicler notes that this was of God because He had determined to deliver them into the hand of their enemy in judgment against them for seeking to follow the gods of Edom.
Chuck Smith makes a good application of verse 19: “Now this business of ‘why meddle to your own hurt?’ is a good warning really, because many times people think that they can meddle with sin and not get hurt. They think that they can play with fire and not get burned. And it is interesting that many times our greatest dangers lie immediately following our greatest victories. Having a great victory can be a dangerous thing, because many times flushed with victory we begin to gain confidence in our flesh. We begin to almost go out looking for trouble. Looking for temptation so that we can conquer over it. Putting ourselves in a place of temptation or jeopardy in order that we might show how strong we are. Meddling around with things that we have no business meddling with. In places we have no business being. Meddling usually results in our own hurt.”
2Chronicles 25:21 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.
2Chronicles 25:22 And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tent.
2Chronicles 25:23 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.
2Chronicles 25:24 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.
The armies of Joash, king of Israel, and Amaziah, king of Judah, met at Bethshemesh, land belonging to Judah. Judah was routed and the troops fled to go home.
The king of Israel took Amaziah to Jerusalem and broke down the walls of Jerusalaem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, a length of 400 cubits (about 600 feet). This left the city vulnerable to attack from the north, the area that was hardest to defend. He also took all the gold and silver and vessels from the temple (that were under the care of Obededom) as well as the treasures of the palace. He also took hostages with him back to Samaria.
Principle: The actions of a nation’s leader impact the people of his nation whether for good or bad.
It is this very truth that makes me tremble for my nation as our president positions us against God by seeking to take land that He has given them away from Israel.
Genesis 12:1–3 “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee…unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:”
2Chronicles 25:25 And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Chronicles 25:26 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?
King Amaziah of Judah ended up outliving Joash, king of Israel by 15 years. The historian notes that more was written concerning Amaziah in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
2Chronicles 25:27 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.
2Chronicles 25:28 And they brought him upon horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.
After Amaziah had turned away from following the LORD, a plot was made against him in Jerusalem. He evidently found out about it and fled to Lachish (about 30 miles SW of Jerusalem). It was to no avail because they followed him to Lachish and killed him. They did, however, bring him back to Jerusalem and bury him with his ancestors.