Scriptures

2 Chronicles 25

Introduction

‘Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan; she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly. After the kingdom was firmly in his control, he executed the officials who had murdered his father the king. Yet he did not put their children to death but acted in accordance with what is written in the Law, in the Book of Moses, where the LORD commanded: “Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor children be put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.” 2 Chronicles 25:1-4

Amaziah King Of Judah

Amaziah became king of Judah and reigned from 796 B.C. to 767 B.C. His reign was also marred with idolatry, and so, he opposed the true prophets of God.

2 Kings 14:5-7, tells us that after taking full control of the kingdom, Amaziah killed the officials who killed his father, Genesis 9:5-7, but he didn’t kill the children, Deuteronomy 24:16.

The writer tells us who wrote the Book of Moses, that is, the first five books of the Bible, it was Moses, 1 Kings 2:3.

Notice that ‘he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord but not wholeheartedly’, 2 Kings 14:1-4. The text doesn’t tell us what he did right, but it’s possible that he didn’t promote the worship of Baal and lead God’s people away from Him.

‘Amaziah called the people of Judah together and assigned them according to their families to commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin. He then mustered those twenty years old or more and found that there were three hundred thousand men fit for military service, able to handle the spear and shield. He also hired a hundred thousand fighting men from Israel for a hundred talents of silver. But a man of God came to him and said, “Your Majesty, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the LORD is not with Israel—not with any of the people of Ephraim. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow.” Amaziah asked the man of God, “But what about the hundred talents I paid for these Israelite troops?” The man of God replied, “The LORD can give you much more than that.” So Amaziah dismissed the troops who had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home. They were furious with Judah and left for home in a great rage. Amaziah then marshalled his strength and led his army to the Valley of Salt, where he killed ten thousand men of Seir. The army of Judah also captured ten thousand men alive, took them to the top of a cliff and threw them down so that all were dashed to pieces. Meanwhile the troops that Amaziah had sent back and had not allowed to take part in the war raided towns belonging to Judah from Samaria to Beth Horon. They killed three thousand people and carried off great quantities of plunder.’ 2 Chronicles 25:5-13

So that he could strengthen his kingdom and defeat the Edomites, Amaziah gathers together an army of men from Judah. When Amaziah was preparing to invade Edom, he paid a hundred talents in silver to hire some soldiers from the tribe of Ephraim, 2 Kings 14:8-16.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Asa’s army had been nearly twice as numerous, amounting to 580,000, 2 Chronicles 14:8. The diminution was due, in part, to wars, 2 Chronicles 21:8 / 2 Chronicles 21:16 / 2 Chronicles 24:23-24, in part, to the general decadence of the kingdom.’

Despite being warned not to do this, because it would result in bringing the idolatrous northern mercenaries into contact with those of Judah.

If he didn’t listen to the warning, then he would reap the punishment of God. The good news is, upon the advice of a prophet he sent them back home, which they took as an insult.

The Edomites were descendants of Esau, Jacob’s twin brother and their hatred for one another went on for centuries. They were constantly at war with Israel as a whole, 1 Kings 11:15 / Ezekiel 25:12 / Obadiah 1:14.

Amaziah went to war and captured Sela, 2 Kings 14:5-7. Sela was the capital city of Edom, Isaiah 16:1, which today is referred to as Petra, Obadiah 1-4. As a result of Amaziah taking Sela, Edom now belonged to Judah.

Notice what happened after the mercenaries were sent home, in anger and filled with rage against Judah, these very same men plundered the cities of Judah on their way home. In a sense, this was his punishment from God, for them hiring them in the first place.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following concerning, 2 Chronicles 25:7.

‘The man of God here made it plain that the rebellion of the northern tribes against the Davidic dynasty had forfeited their further identity as God’s Chosen People. This is the reason that the Chronicler completely ignored, in as much as it was possible, the entire Northern Israel, focusing his attention completely upon the fortunes of Judah.’

‘When Amaziah returned from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir. He set them up as his own gods, bowed down to them and burned sacrifices to them. The anger of the LORD burned against Amaziah, and he sent a prophet to him, who said, “Why do you consult this people’s gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?” While he was still speaking, the king said to him, “Have we appointed you an adviser to the king? Stop! Why be struck down?” So the prophet stopped but said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.” 2 Chronicles 25:14-16

It is clear though that he didn’t serve God with all his heart, because he didn’t remove the high places of worship, 2 Kings 14:1-6. He also followed the example of his father, Joash, which according to 2 Chronicles 25:14-28, involved him bringing back the pagan gods of Edom to worship them, 1 Samuel 5:1-2.

These people’s gods Seir weren’t able to defend or help the Edomites, yet Amaziah worshipped them, hence, why God sends a prophet to make this point clear to Amaziah.

Ellison, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Amaziah held the debased view that Jehovah was the supreme God, but yet was only one god among many gods. His purpose in carrying away the gods of Edom, of whom we know nothing, was perhaps that of depriving the Edomites of any support they might have been supposed to give Edom. Amaziah’s worshipping them and burning incense to them was a cardinal violation of the Law of Moses and the Decalogue, ‘thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, that is, images’, Exodus 20:5.’

‘After Amaziah king of Judah consulted his advisers, he sent this challenge to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel: “Come, let us face each other in battle.” But Jehoash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah: “A thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ Then a wild beast in Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle underfoot. You say to yourself that you have defeated Edom, and now you are arrogant and proud. But stay at home! Why ask for trouble and cause your own downfall and that of Judah also?” Amaziah, however, would not listen, for God so worked that he might deliver them into the hands of Jehoash, because they sought the gods of Edom. So Jehoash king of Israel attacked. He and Amaziah king of Judah faced each other at Beth Shemesh in Judah. Judah was routed by Israel, and every man fled to his home. Jehoash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Ahaziah, at Beth Shemesh. Then Jehoash brought him to Jerusalem and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate—a section about four hundred cubits long. He took all the gold and silver and all the articles found in the temple of God that had been in the care of Obed-Edom, together with the palace treasures and the hostages, and returned to Samaria.’ 2 Chronicles 25:17-24

2 Kings 14:8-16, tells us that Amaziah sends messengers to Jehoash, king of Israel asking for a face to face battle. Amaziah wanted to punish those who had plundered the cities of Judah and so, he calls upon Joash of Israel to battle.

He was very confident he could win, after all, with an army of 300,000 men, he just killed 20,000 Edomites, 2 Chronicles 25:5 / 2 Chronicles 25:11-12.

Jehoahaz of Israel appeared very weak, having only 50 horsemen, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers after being defeated by the Arameans, 2 Kings 13:7. It’s not surprising he’s confident.

The war didn’t go well for Amaziah as Joash defeated his army, took him captive, and in order to lessen the chance of any future aggression on the part of Judah, he tore down part of the wall of Jerusalem. He then plundered the riches of the temple treasury.

Coffman, in his commentary, say the following.

‘Amaziah could not resist the temptation to secure loyalty by honouring the gods of those who resisted him. This was both intended and understood to be a declaration of war. Joash properly understood the arrogant and egotistical intentions of Amaziah and warned him of the fate that would overtake him but Amaziah would not hearken to any sound advice.’

Adam Clarke says the following, in his commentary about the parable.

‘The thistle’ that was in Lebanon, Amaziah, king of Judah, sent to ‘the cedar’ that was in Lebanon, Jehoash, king of Israel, saying, ‘Give thy daughter’, a part of thy kingdom, ‘to my son to wife’, to be united to, and possessed by the kings of Judah. And there passed by a ‘wild beast’, Jehoash and his enraged army, and ‘trod down the thistle’, utterly discomfited Amaziah and his troops, ‘pillaged the temple, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem’, 2 Kings 14:12-14. Probably Amaziah had required certain cities of Israel to be given up to Judah, if so, this accounts for that part of the parable, ‘Give thy daughter to my son to wife’.

The parable was given to Amaziah so that he would back down from his threat but it appears that Amaziah was overconfident, probably because he just defeated the Edomites.

Amaziah refused to listen and so Jehoash defeated Amaziah’s army and chased them all the way to Jerusalem. Jehoash then goes on to plunder the treasury of the royal palace and the temple.

The two kingdoms of Israel and Judah were now beyond the point reconciliation, and because Israel was now at war within itself, they became easy targets for the Assyrians. The Northern Kingdom of Israel were soon to go into captivity in Assyria because of their apostasy.

‘Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel. As for the other events of Amaziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel? From the time that Amaziah turned away from following the LORD, they conspired against him in Jerusalem and he fled to Lachish, but they sent men after him to Lachish and killed him there. He was brought back by horse and was buried with his ancestors in the City of Judah.’ 2 Chronicles 25:25-28

2 Kings 14:17-22 tells us because Amaziah was defeated by Jehoash, and because the royal treasury and temple had been plumaged, it’s no wonder that Amaziah had become very unpopular.

He fled to Lachish, which tells us how unpopular he had become, he was later killed in Lachish, Micah 1:13. He was assassinated, just like his father was, 2 Kings 12:20-21, and his death was a complete fulfilment of the prophecy of 2 Chronicles 25:16. The last fifteen years of his life was filled with trouble and distress.

In 2 Kings, we read about a conspiracy but we’re not told the reason behind it. However, here, the text tells us that many in Judah were still trying to be faithful to the Lord, this may have been the centre of the conspiracy.

It was Amaziah’s apostasy from the Lord in bringing in those pagan deities from Edom, 2 Kings 14:17-22, that caused the opposition to take his life.

Go To 2 Chronicles 26

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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