The Second Book of Kings
2-Kings. Chapter 14.
King Amaziah of Judah.
Amaziah attacks Edom.
King Amaziah of Judah at War with Joash
King of Israel. Joash succeeded by Jeroboam-2. Amaziah followed by Azariah (Uzziah).
2 Kings 14
[2-Kings 14:1] In the second year of
the son of Jehoahaz,
king of Israel, Amaziah
the son of Joash,
king of Judah, became king.
Just to keep some kind of perspective: The Kings of Judah and Israel as spoken
of so far.
In Israel there reigned: Jeroboam-1, Nadav, Baasha, Elah, Omri, Ahab, Ahaziah,
Joram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, Joash, Jeroboam-2.
In Judah the Kings were: Rehoboam, Avia, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram (Joram),
Ahaziah, Athaliah, Jehoash (Joash), Amaziah, Uzziah (Azariah).
Amaziah became King over Judah when Joash reigned over Israel.
[2-Kings 14:2] He was twenty-five years
old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His
name was Jehoaddan
Daat Mikra suggests that the name of his mother is mentioned since she played an
important role in the Kingdom.
[2-Kings 14:3] 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
We shall see that in fact (as Daat Mikra notes) there were two periods in his
a. The Righteous Stage up unto his war against Edom.
b. Idolatry and Disaster after the Edom episode.
[2-Kings 14:4] However the high places
were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the
[2-Kings 14:5] 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.
[2-Kings 14:6] 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.'
This is from Deuteronomy 24:16.
It is forbidden for the courts to punish the children of offenders for the sins
of their parents.
The Almighty however does punish children for their forebears in the same way as
HE rewards the descendants of the Righteous.
# ...For I, the LORD your God, am a
jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third
and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands,
to those who love Me and keep My commandments # (Exodus 20:4).
The Sages explained that the children of the wicked are punished when they go in
the same path as their parents and grandparents. Otherwise, if they are good,
they may avoid tribulation.
[2-Kings 14:6] He killed ten thousand
in the Valley of Salt, and took
Sela by war, and called its name
to this day.
The Edomites had rebelled against Judah in the time of Joram (son of Jehoshaphat)
the father of his grandfather.
# Sela # This name in Hebrew means "Rock". Nowadays the site is named "Petra"
which also means rock.
cf. Josephus (Antiquities 9
s1....After this he chose him an army out of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, of
such as were in the flower of their age, and about twenty years old; and when he
had collected about three hundred thousand of them together, he set captains of
hundreds over them. He also sent to the king of Israel, and hired a hundred
thousand of his soldiers for a hundred talents of silver, for he had resolved to
make an expedition against the nations of the
but as he was preparing for his expedition, and ready to go out to the war, a
prophet gave him counsel to dismiss the army of the Israelites, because they
were bad men, and because God foretold that he should be beaten, if he made use
of them as auxiliaries; but that he should overcome his enemies, though he had
but a few soldiers, when it so pleased God. And when the king grudged at his
having already paid the hire of the Israelites, the prophet exhorted him to do
what God would have him, because he should thereby obtain much wealth from God.
So he dismissed them, and said that he still freely gave them their pay, and
went himself with his own army, and made war with the nations before mentioned;
and when he had beaten them in battle, he slew of them ten thousand, and took as
many prisoners alive, whom he brought to the great rock which is in Arabia, and
threw them down from it headlong. He also brought away a great deal of prey and
vast riches from those nations. But while
was engaged in this expedition, those Israelites whom he had hired, and then
dismissed, were very uneasy at it, and taking their
for an affront, (as supposing that this would not have been done to them but out
of contempt,) they fell upon his kingdom, and proceeded to spoil the country as
far as Beth-horon,
and took much cattle, and slew three thousand men.
s2. Now upon the victory which
had gotten, and the great acts he had done, he was puffed up, and began to
overlook God, who had given him the victory, and proceeded to worship the gods
he had brought out of the country of the
So a prophet came to him, and said, that he wondered how he could esteem these
to be gods, who had been of no advantage to their own people who paid them
honors, nor had delivered them from his hands, but had overlooked the
destruction of many of them, and had suffered themselves to be carried captive,
for that they had been carried to Jerusalem in the same manner as any one might
have taken some of the enemy alive, and led them thither. This reproof provoked
the king to anger, and he commanded the prophet to hold his peace, and
threatened to punish him if he meddled with his conduct. So he replied, that he
should indeed hold his peace; but foretold withal, that God would not overlook
his attempts for innovation....
[2-Kings 14:8] 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.'
Jehoash is called Joash in 2-King 13:12ff and 2 Chronicles 25:17ff. The two
names are interchangeable.
# messengers # in Hebrew "Malacim" which is the same word used for angels. An
angel is a messenger of the Almighty. Angels exist.
[2-Kings 14:9] And
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.
[2-Kings 14:10] 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''
[2-Kings 14:11] But Amaziah
would not heed. Therefore Jehoash
king of Israel went out; so he and
king of Judah faced one another at Beth
which belongs to Judah.
Let us compare the parallel passage in the Book of Chronicles:
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
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
had discharged, so that they would not go with him to battle, they raided the
cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth
killed three thousand in them, and took much spoil.
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
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.'
17 Now Amaziah
king of Judah asked advice and sent to
the son of Jehoahaz,
the son of Jehu,
king of Israel, saying, 'Come, let us face one another in battle.'
Amaziah of Judah fought against Joash King of Israel and was defeated.
Amaziah had first fought against Edom and conquered it.
His treatment of Edom has aroused questions as to whether or not this was in
accordance with the Law.
cf. Deuteronomy 2:
4 And command the people, saying, 'You are about to pass through the territory
of your brethren, the descendants of Esau, who live in
and they will be afraid of you. Therefore watch yourselves carefully. 5 Do not
meddle with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as
one footstep, because I have given Mount
to Esau as a possession.
Josephus (Ant. 9.9.1) above tells us that the Edomites he warred against
included "Amalekites, and Edomites, and Gebalites".
The Edomites had other nations and elite warrior clans further to the north.
After defeating Edom, Amaziah began to worship the Edomite idols which he had
captured. In principle he should have destroyed all representations of such
deities. As punishment he was induced by his own counsel to wage war with the
northern Kingdom of Israel (against the will of that Kingdom) and suffer a
disastrous defeat. The ostensible reason for the war was probably the ravaging
of Judah by the disgruntled Ephraimite mercenaries (who had been peremptorily
dismissed) and their slaughter of three thousand men.
Amaziah was probably justified in going to war with Ephraim on this matter but
because he had sinned it was occasion of his punishment.
His subject also suffered over this and it may be that they had induced their
monarch to act as he did, so they too were culpable.
The Book of Kings continues:
[2-Kings 14:12] And Judah was defeated
by Israel, and every man fled to his tent.
[2-Kings 14:13] 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.
The gate of Ephraim is considered to have been somewhere near the present Gate
of Schechem (Nablus Gate) and may be identical with the Gate of Benjamin
mentioned by Jeremiah (20:2).
[2-Kings 14:14] 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.
This was not the only time that the forces of Ephraim raided the Temple and took
away appliances etc. Did they keep any of it?
Did perchance they take some of it with them into Exile?
[2-Kings 14:15] 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?
[2-Kings 14:16] So
rested with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
Then Jeroboam his son reigned in his place.
[2-Kings 14:17] Amaziah
the son of Joash,
king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of
the son of Jehoahaz,
king of Israel.
[2-Kings 14:18] Now the rest of the acts of
are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah'
[2-Kings 14:19] 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.
[2-Kings 14:20] Then they brought him on horses, and he was buried at
Jerusalem with his fathers in the City of David.
Azariah King of Judah.
[2-Kings 14:21] And all the people of
Judah took Azariah,
who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father
Azariah is called Uzziah in 2-Chronicles 26:1ff, Isaiah 6:1, and elsewhere
[2-Kings 14:22] He built
and restored it to Judah, after the king rested with his fathers.
Formerly Elath had been in the hands of Edom. Amaziah had liberated it so now
Azariah established a settlement there.
The Jeroboam-2 Empire
[2-King 14:23] In the fifteenth year of
the son of Joash,
king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of
king of Israel, became king in Samaria, and reigned forty-one years.
[2-King 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
who had made Israel sin.
[2-King 14:25] He restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of
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
We have here a mention of Jonah the Prophet.
Brit-Am Commentary on the
book of Jonah
We are told in Chronicles that Jeroboam-2 took the genealogical
lists of the Tribes east of the Jordan (Reuben, Gad, and half-Manasseh):
[1-Chronicles 5:17] All these were
registered by genealogies in the days of
king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel.
Yehudah Kiel (Daat Mikra) points out that Jeroboam-2 reigned some time
before Jotham of Judah. Jotham was to fight against Edom east of the Jordan and
apparently had some involvement with the Israelite Tribes in that area. There
were two genealogical inquiries one in the time of Jeroboam-2 of Israel and the
other that of Jotham of Judah. This shows that the Israelites were concerned to
record who was who.
Nowadays no-one can be really certain what Tribe they belong to. Nevertheless
indications do exist and with a little effort much more information may well
Jeroboam was the son and successor of
(alternatively spelled Joash),
and the fourteenth king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, over which he ruled
for forty-one years according to 2 Kings (2 Kings 14:23). His reign was
contemporary with those of
Amaziah (2 Kings 14:23) and
(15:1), kings of Judah. He was victorious over the Syrians (13:4; 14:26, 27),
conquered Damascus (14:28), and extended Israel to its former limits, from "the
entering of Hamath
to the sea of the plain" (14:25; Amos 6:14).
William F. Albright has dated his reign
to 786 BC ? 746 BC, while E. R. Thiele says he was coregent with
793 BC to 782 BC and sole ruler 782 BC to 753 BC.
In 1910, G. A. Reisner
found sixty-three inscribed potsherds while excavating the royal palace at
Samaria, which were later dated to the reign of Jeroboam II and mention
years extending from the ninth to the 17th of his reign. These
while unremarkable in themselves, contain valuable information about the script,
language, religion and administrative system of the period.
Archaeological evidence confirms the biblical account of his reign as the most
prosperous that Israel had yet known. ...This prosperity was built on trade in
olive oil, wine, and possibly horses, with Egypt and especially Assyria
providing the markets.
Jeroboam's reign was also the period of the prophets Hosea, Joel, Jonah and
Amos, all of whom condemned the materialism and selfishness of the Israelite
elite of their day: "Woe unto those who lie upon beds of ivory...eat lambs from
the flock and calves...[and] sing idle songs..." The book of Kings, written a
century later condemns Jeroboam for doing "evil in the eyes of the Lord",
meaning both the oppression of the poor and his continuing support of the cult
of Dan and Bethel, in opposition to the temple in Jerusalem.
Josephus, Antiquities, Book 9, ch.10,
1. IN the fifteenth year of the reign of
Jeroboam the son of Joash
reigned over Israel in Samaria forty years. This king was guilty of contumely
against God, and became very wicked in worshipping of idols, and in many
undertakings that were absurd and foreign. He was also the cause of ten thousand
misfortunes to the people of Israel. Now one Jonah, a prophet, foretold to him
that he should make war with the Syrians, and conquer their army, and enlarge
the bounds of his kingdom on the northern parts to the city
and on the southern to the lake
Asphaltitis [Dead Sea]; for the
bounds of the Canaanites originally were these, as Joshua their general had
determined them. So Jeroboam made an expedition against the Syrians, and overran
all their country, as Jonah had foretold.
[2-King 14:26] For the LORD saw that the
affliction of Israel was very bitter; and whether bond or free, there was no
helper for Israel.
[2-King 14:27] 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
[2-King 14:28] Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he
might, how he made war, and how he recaptured for Israel, from Damascus and
what had belonged to Judah ?are they not written in the book of the chronicles
of the kings of Israel?
Re the expression above,
## he recaptured for Israel, from
Damascus and Hamath,
what had belonged to Judah ##
The Hebrew Text should preferably be translated as saying:
# He returned Damascus and
to Judah in Israel #
Damascus is not the city now known as Damascus, capital of Syria but rather
another region to the north.
"Brit-Am Now"- 402
#3. The NORTHERN BORDERS of Biblical Israel
"Judah in Israel" does not mean the Kingdom of Judah but rather an enclave from
Judah in the north in what is now southeast Turkey and north Syria. This in
archaeological records is known as Yadi (Que) and neighbored Smal of the Danunnu
meaning from the tribe of Dan.
|So-Called Neo-Hittite states|
includes regions populated and at times controlled by Israel.
Halab and Pattina are included in the Biblical Hamath; Zincirli is Yadi/ Smal, Damascus in Biblical terms concerning the period in question is in the neighborhood
Source of Map:
[2-King 14:29] So Jeroboam rested with
his fathers, the kings of Israel. Then Zechariah his son reigned in his place.
Continued in Chapter 15!