2Kings 14:1 ¶ In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel reigned Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah.
2Kings 14:2 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.
2Kings 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.
2Kings 14:4 Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places.
Amaziah, son of Joash, became king of Judah in the 2nd year of the reign of Joash, son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel. He was 25 years old when he became king, and he ruled for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
Amaziah did what was right before the LORD, but not as wholeheartedly as did David; he was more like his father Joash. Like his father before him, he did not remove the high places; and the people continued to sacrifice and burn incense at those places in disobedience to God’s law.
Reminder: There are no words for grandfather, great grandfather etc. in scripture. Forefathers are all referred to as fathers; grandchildren, great grandchildren etc. are all called sons.
2Kings 14:5 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.
2Kings 14:6 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.
One Amaziah was firmly established as king, he killed the men—Jozachar and Jehozabad—that had murdered his father.
2 Kings 12:21 “For Jozachar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, smote him, and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.”
The king did not harm the children of the murderers in accordance with the law of the LORD as recorded by Moses.
Deuteronomy 24:16 “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”
2Kings 14:7 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.
Amaziah destroyed 10,000 of the people of Edom in the valley of salt and captured Selah (thought by many to be the same as Petra), renaming it Joktheel, meaning “subdued by God.” (per Easton’s Dictionary)
The Chronicler (chapter 25) tells us a bit more of what happened before this. Amaziah gathered out of Judah an army of 300,000 choice men who were skillful with spear and shield. He then hired an army of 100,000 of the choice troops of Israel to join with them for 100 talents of silver. The LORD sent a man of God to warn him not to use the men from Israel. If he did, they would suffer defeat. He did not need those mercenaries; God would give him the victory. Amaziah was worried about the 100 talents he had already given the men of Israel, but the man of God told him that the LORD could replace that and much more. So Amaziah sent the men of Israel back home, and this made them very angry. They attacked several cities in Judah, killing 3,000 and taking much spoil.
The Chronicler also notes that Amaziah took 10,000 captives from Edom that they eventually killed by throwing them off of a cliff.
Sadly, the Chronicler also notes that Amaziah brought back the false gods of Edom to Jerusalem and set them up to worship as his own. When the LORD sent His prophet to confront him, the king threatened him. The prophet then told the king that the LORD would destroy him.
It’s really confusing. Amaziah was willing to listen to the LORD’s prophet before going into battle. After achieving the victory that was promised by the LORD, the king chose to worship the false gods of the people he just defeated. He turned from trust in Almighty God to trust in an impotent false god. Absolutely makes no sense.
2Kings 14:8 ¶ 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.
2Kings 14:9 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.
2Kings 14:10 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?
Amaziah next sent messengers to Jehoash, king of Israel, challenging him to battle. He had reason to want revenge for what the mercenaries had done when they returned home in anger.
Jehoash’s answer was basically a warning to the king to stay home. He acknowledged the king’s defeat of Edom and noted that the victory had gone to his head. He insinuated that his pride in that victory had impaired his ability to see things clearly. He was just a thistle in comparison to a mighty tree (a reference to himself, the king of Israel). He basically told the king to stay away or he and his kingdom would suffer.
Chuck Smith makes a good application regarding the phrase “meddle to thy hurt.” - “This meddling to your own hurt, it’s something that people quite often do. There are things that you have no business meddling with. You can only get hurt if you do. There are places that as a Christian you have no business meddling around. And if you do, you’re only going to get hurt.”
2Kings 14:11 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.
2Kings 14:12 And Judah was put to the worse before Israel; and they fled every man to their tents.
2Kings 14:13 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.
2Kings 14:14 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.
Amaziah refused to heed the word of Jehoash, and the two kings met in battle at Bethshemesh. The Chronicler notes that Amaziah’s response was “from God.” It was purposed to bring judgment against the king for his rebellion and disobedience.
2 Chronicles 25:20 “But Amatzyah wouldn’t listen. And this was from God, so that he could hand them over [to their enemies], because they had sought the gods of Edom.”
Amaziah had made his choice. We are all but clay in the potter’s hands. The LORD did not cause Amaziah to go against his will. We have no right to question the prerogative of the One who made us. Jeremiah speaks to this; his application is to the nation, but the application to the individual is just as valid.
Jeremiah 18:1–10 “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”
Back to the chapter—Judah was soundly defeated and the troops beat a hasty retreat. Jehoash took Amaziah captive and took him to Jerusalem. He then broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim (*to the north) to the corner gate (*where the northern and eastern walls met), an area of about 400 cubits or 600 feet long. He then confiscated all the gold, silver, vessels from the temple, treasures from the king’s house and a group of hostages before returning to Samaria. Some commentators infer that Amaziah was one of the hostages taken, but scripture does not affirm that.
2Kings 14:15 ¶ 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?
2Kings 14:16 And Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his stead.
The historian notes that the rest of the acts of Jehoash, king of Israel, are recorded in the chronicles of the kings of Israel. When he died, he was buried in Samaria in the royal graveyard. His son Jeroboam became the next king.
2Kings 14:17 And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Kings 14:18 And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
Amaziah, king of Judah, lived 15 years more after the death of Jehoash. It is noted that more is written about him in the chronicles of the kings of Judah.
2Kings 14:19 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.
2Kings 14:20 And they brought him on horses: and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David.
2Kings 14:21 And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.
2Kings 14:22 He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
A group of men in Jerusalem plotted against the king, and the Chronicler tells us why—because he had rebelled against the LORD.
2 Chronicles 25:27 “Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem….”
Amaziah evidently became aware of this plot and fled to Lachish, but they followed him there and killed him. They took his body back to Jerusalem and buried him in the royal graveyard.
The people of Judah then took Azariah, the 16-year-old son of Amaziah, and made him king. The historian makes mention of one thing accomplished by the young king. He repaired Elath, a port city on the shores of the Red Sea, and restored it to Judah. He too died and was buried with his fathers.
It’s interesting how both this historian and the Chronicler make this summary statement about Azariah (called Uzziah by the Chronicler) that seems to imply they are going to say nothing more about him. The Chronicler, however, will add quite a bit more. He was a very good king that made a very bad choice in the end for which God struck him with leprosy; he reigned for 52 years.
2Kings 14:23 ¶ 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.
2Kings 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.
It was in the 15th year of Amaziah, king of Judah, that Jeroboam, son of Joash, became king in Israel; he reigned for 41 years. The NIV Commentary dates his reign from 793-752 BC. He was yet another of the many evil kings in Israel that followed in the ways of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who had established the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.
2Kings 14:25 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.
2Kings 14:26 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.
2Kings 14:27 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.
Jeroboam reclaimed the territory to Israel that stretched from Hamath in the north to the sea of the plain, the Dead Sea, as had been declared by the LORD God of Israel by Jonah, son of Amittai, the prophet from Gathhepher.
Yes, this is the prophet of the book of Jonah; but the prophecy referenced here is not recorded in scripture. Guzik notes that the prophets Amos and Hosea also served during this time.
The LORD saw the suffering of Israel and the fact that there was no one available to help them. The LORD was determined to preserve Israel as a people in accordance with his covenant with Abraham, so he raised up Jeroboam as their deliverer.
2Kings 14:28 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?
2Kings 14:29 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah his son reigned in his stead.
The historian notes that more is recorded about Jeroboam—how he warred and took back Damascus and Hamath from Judah—in the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
When Jeroboam died, he was buried with the former kings of Israel. His son Zachariah became the next king of Israel.