Scriptures

2 Kings 14

Introduction

‘In the second year of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel, Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah began to reign. He 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 as his father David had done. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.’ 2 Kings 14:1-4

Amaziah became king of Judah and reigned from 796 B.C. to 767 B.C. Notice that ‘he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father David’.

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. 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 Chronicles 25:1-13.

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.

‘After the kingdom was firmly in his grasp, he executed the officials who had murdered his father the king. Yet he did not put the children of the assassins to death, in accordance with what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses where the LORD commanded: ‘Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.’ He was the one who defeated ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt and captured Sela in battle, calling it Joktheel, the name it has to this day.’ 2 Kings 14:5-7

After taking full control of the kingdom, Amaziah killed the officials who killed his father, but he didn’t kill the children, Deuteronomy 24:16. The writer tells us who wrote the Book of the Law, that is the first five books of the Bible, it was Moses, 1 Kings 2:3.

Amaziah went to war and captured Sela, 2 Chronicles 25:11-13. 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.

‘Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, with the challenge: ‘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 have indeed defeated Edom and now you are arrogant. Glory in your victory but stay at home! Why ask for trouble and cause your own downfall and that of Judah also?’ Amaziah, however, would not listen, 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 went 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 the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace. He also took hostages and returned to Samaria. As for the other events of the reign of Jehoash, what he did and his achievements, including his war against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Jehoash rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. And Jeroboam his son succeeded him as king.’ 2 Kings 14:8-16

Amaziah, king of Judah, sends messengers to Jehoash, king of Israel asking for a face to face battle. When Amaziah was preparing to invade Edom, he paid a hundred talents in silver to hire some soldiers from the tribe of Ephraim.

Upon the advice of a prophet he sent them back home, which dismissal they took as an insult, and during his campaign in Edom they raided cities in Judah. In the meantime, Amaziah’s victory convinced him that he could reunite Israel under the Davidic dynasty, 2 Chronicles 25:1-13 / 2 Chronicles 25:17-26:2.

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, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 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 in Jerusalem with his ancestors, in the City of David. Then all the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his ancestors.’ 2 Kings 14:17-22

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. The last fifteen years of his life was filled with trouble and distress.

Here we read about a conspiracy but we’re not told the reason behind it. However, 2 Chronicles 25:27 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 Chronicles 25:14-28, that caused the opposition to take his life.

Jeroboam II King Of Israel

‘In the fifteenth year of Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel became king in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit. He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Dead Sea, in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher. The LORD had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them. And since the LORD had not said he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash. As for the other events of Jeroboam’s reign, all he did, and his military achievements, including how he recovered for Israel both Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Jeroboam rested with his ancestors, the kings of Israel. And Zechariah his son succeeded him as king.’ 2 Kings 14:23-29

Jeroboam II reigned in the Northern Kingdom of Israel from 782 to 753 B.C. and because he was a wise leader and a great administrator, he took the Northern Kingdom of Israel to its peak in terms of power and prosperity. As a leader, he reclaimed a lot of land which was earlier taken by the Arameans.

Sadly, he did evil in the eyes of the Lord and turn didn’t away from the sins of Jeroboam I. In other words, he maintained the division between the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom, by promoting loyalty to the altars at Bethel and Dan, 1 Kings 12:25-30.

There’s no doubt that the prophet Jonah mentioned here is the same prophet who wrote the Book of Jonah, Jonah 1:1. Notice that God ‘saved them by the hand of Jeroboam’, in other words, God saved Israel from total destruction through the leadership of Jeroboam II, and in doing so, He fulfilled the prophecy of 2 Kings 13:5.

There is a sense in which Jeroboam was Israel’s last chance to get back to being right with God and repent of their idolatry. Zechariah who succeeded Jeroboam was a weak ruler, and with this, Israel began to deteriorate, this deterioration would eventually lead to their destruction, some thirty years after Jeroboam died.

Go To 2 Kings 15

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Romans 8:28

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