"Amaziah Rules over Judah. [1 - 2]"
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
The Temple was built during the early years of King Solomon's reign. It was a beautiful building; built to the glory of God. The worship and sacrifice that went on in the Temple at that time was a glory to God. However, by the time of Queen Athaliah of Judah, the daughter of Jezebel, those glorious days were over. Queen Athaliah brought in her prophets to Baal, and the Temple had become run down. When Athaliah took the throne she murdered all the sons of the king except hers. However, there at the bottom of the pile of dead bodies, lay the little baby Joash. Though Athaliah thought she had killed off the lineage of David, breath was still in this child's body as Joash's sister Jehoshabeath took this child back to the Temple to raise him as her own. Jehoshabeath was the wife of the High priest Jehoiada.
Joash was raised in the Temple and became king over Judah at the age of seven. For many years he followed the ways of God, and in time Joash restored the Temple from it's fallen state. When Jehoiada died, Joash listened to the counsel of the Kenites, the men of Athaliah. Joash allowed all sorts of wickedness of Baal worship enter back into the land. Paul warned us in I Corinthians 10:11 that these things of the Old Testament happened as an "ensample"; a examples as to what would befall us in these latter time we are living in today. So as we read and observe what these kings did and said, it lets us know how our Heavenly Father thinks of similar things happening today.
By reading and understanding His Word, we can know what pleases and displeases Him. And when we turn our backs to God's instructions for our lives, then He has told us also what we can expect to enter into our lives. This applies to both the individual, and to the nation.
The prior chapter ended with servants of the king killing Joash for the evil he had brought on the kingdom of Judah. With Joash dead, a new king will ascend to the throne of Judah.
II Chronicles 25:1 "Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to riegn, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem."
Amaziah ruled twenty nine years in Jerusalem over the nation of Judah. His mother "Jehoaddan" in the Hebrew tongue means "whom God adorns". When you are in the Lord, God adorns you, and your countenance of spirit will show it; for the Spirit of God will be in and with your spirit.
II Chronicles 25:2 "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart."
II Kings 14:3 tells us that Amaziah did try to please God, in seeking to do what was right in the sight of the Lord. However he used his father Joash as the guide for his life, rather than seeking to live by the instructions taught by David. So just as Joash allowed grove worship and other forms of idolatry in the kingdom along side of the ways of the Lord, Amaziah followed in the same manner.
II Kings 14:4 "Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the People did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places.
These high places were set up right across the valley of Kedron, on the mount of Olives. The people of Judah followed the traditions of Baal worship right along side of their Temple worship. Many of the church practices of today mixed the things of the groves and other traditions with the things of God in their religious practices. These practices all took place in the same location that our Lord would offer Himself to be a blood sacrifice for the souls of believers some seven hundred and seventy years later.
Remember when King Joash of Judah took his army and defeated the Edomites, he took the Edomites gods back to Jerusalem with him, and allowed all Judah to bow to their gods also. Even though Joash was killed by his servants for allowing this to happen, Amaziah allowed this same heathen practice to continue in the land of Judah. The kings of Judah were becoming just like the kings of Israel, allowing idolatry to be practiced by the people with out a word in resistance.
II Chronicles 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."
We read in II Kings 12:20: "And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Milo which goeth down to Silla."
II Chronicles 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."
This is a quote from Deuteronomy 24:16; "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for their fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sins." If the sin of the fathers are passed on down to many generations, then each generation will be judged for the sins that each of them did themselves.
In the case of Ahab, God allowed all of the males of that family to be put to death by Jehu, as ordered by Elisha the prophet of God. The reason for this was that they were worse than their father was. God knew the hearts of those men and what they were doing. God doesn't make the law, and then go against His laws. If God orders a judgment down on people, then that is the right judgment. If you ever feel that God has made a mistake, that the error is in your judgment and not God's.
II Chronicles 25:5 "Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the house 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, above to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield."
One of the first things that Amaziah did when he assumed the throne over Judah was to take a census of all the young men over the age of 20, and establish an army. From this censes, Judah's army selected 300,000 young men that were able to take the spear and shield and go into battle. During a time of war even in our country this process is done for the sake of preparing the nation to defend itself. It's called the draft today, under the selective service department of the government.
II Chronicles 25:6 "He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver."
However even with these three hundred thousand men, Amaziah still wanted a larger army ready for battle. King Amaziah looked to his own power for the victory rather than relying on God for the nation's protection. So Amaziah went north to the nation of Israel, and brought 100,000 more men to come to Judah and help with the fighting. This was the same mistake that David made when he came to power, and took the census, and relied on his army for the victory, rather than turning to God.
II Chronicles 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."
This "man of God" warned Amaziah that taking these idol worshippers out of Israel and mixing them with is own army was not right; for God would not go with them into battle and give Judah the victory.
II Chronicles 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."
God does have the power to give the victory or take it away from you. He will bless those who do it the right way, and curse those those that go and rely on their own ways.
II Chronicles 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."
Amaziah now had another problem, and that was in the money that he had already spent. It cost hundred talents of silver to buy these mercenaries from Israel. Amaziah asked the prophet of God, "How can I account for that loss?" The man of God told Amaziah; "The Lord is able to give them far more than this" amount that you have spent here.
II Chronicles 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."
When Amaziah followed the advice of the man of God and sent those men of Israel home, these men of Israel became very angry. Telling this number of men that they are unfit to serve caused another problem for Amaziah to deal with.
II Chronicles 25:11 "And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his People, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Sier ten thousand."
So with only the young fighting men of Judah, Amaziah and his army went up against the army of the Edomites; and God gave them the victory.
II Chronicles 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 all were broken in pieces."
The army of Judah chased these Edomites, and these Edomites fled right over the cliffs and on to the rocks below. As the army of Judah was off in battle having their victory, those 100,000 men that were reject turned back on Judah, and went on a rampage through the communities of Judah.
II Chronicles 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 Beth-horon, and smote three thousand of them, and too much spoil."
When the army of Judah march off to the south to fight the Edomites, Amaziah assumed that the men of Israel took their silver and went back home. Amaziah didn't know it at the time, but when the Israelites were returning home, they had turned into many gangs of roaming thieves and robbers. The king of Israel was already getting ready for war when he heard what his people had done in Judah. These rejected men of war had become drunken murderous hoods were out of control. These men knew that they would not receive any of the spoils of war of the Edomites, so they decided amongst themselves to take their spoils from the towns of Judah on their way back to Israel.
II Chronicles 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 god, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them."
Amaziah was marching home with these heathen idols of the Edomites, and he is going to set them up right along side the other idols of Baal, and have the people bow to these gods and worship as the Edomites did. This was the same sin that Joash his father did, and here one generation later the House of Judah had learned nothing from the past.
II Chronicles 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?"
The taking of heathen gods and bowing down to them is what caused God's anger to turn against Amaziah's father Joash. God's anger was set against Amaziah for this great sin bowing to these heathen gods, and allowing the people to do so also. God lifted his hand of protection from the House or Nation of Judah and this brought on another problem.
This problem was family problem of next of kin, for Israel and Judah are of Jacob. The men that went south to fight for their brothers in battle were rejected, and denied the spoils of war. When the man of God said to send them home, and the men took this as an insult. While Judah was off fighting it's war with the Edomites, these men of Israel were starting their own civil war back in Judah. Jehoash, the king of Israel blamed all the trouble on Amaziah for listening to the man of God, and following his advice. Before Amaziah was returned from the battle field, and he promised these men a share of the booty. The problem came when those men of Israel saw they would not share the maidens, the live stock, and all the gold and silver with the army of Judah.
II Kings 14:8 "Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, l the king of Israel, saying, "come, let us look one another in the face."
King Jehoash of Israel knew that this was not a time to set up a meeting with Amaziah, for his men had just killed thousands in Judah and tore through towns, and robbed many people. So Jehoash sent a message back to the king of Judah saying:
II Kings 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."
Old king Jehoash [Joash], the king of Israel gave his answer to Amaziah's challenge quickly, giving him this little riddle of the thistles. This riddle is saying that down in Edom, you may have been a big army, but up here in Israel your nothing but a thistle. The "cedars of Lebanon" are symbolic of "the House of Israel, and those cedars represents something very big and strong. Jehoash [Joash] is comparing himself to the cedars of Lebanon, and telling Amaziah that his army is nothing but a patch of "trodden down thistles". Remember that these two families had intermarried back five generations to the time of Omri, through the children of kings Joshaphat of Judah and Ahab of Israel. Keep in mind that the names of Jehoash and Joash given in the chapter are the same man, the king of Israel.
II Chronicles 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."
As Amaziah is thinking over the words from Joash, calling him and the army of Judah a trodden down little thistle, the prophet of God came again to him. Amaziah knew that he had done the wrong thing by bringing this Edomite idol back with him and worshipping it. The prophet of God warned Amaziah that because of his actions, "I know that God hath determined to destroy you," why? Because Amaziah did not listen to the counsel that was given to him before he went into battle.
II Chronicles 25:17 "Then Amaziah king of Judah took advise and sent to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, "Come, let us see one another in the face."
The name Jehoash will not change to Joash, but we are speaking of the same person; King Jehoash, king of Israel.
II Chronicles 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."
This is a copy of the warning given above and also stated in II Kings 14:8-9.
II Chronicles 25:19 Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the Edomites; and thine heart lifteth thee up to boast: abide not at home; why shouldest thou meddle to thine hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?"
These Kenite scribes made a direct copy from II Kings 14:10.
II Kings 14:10 "That 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?"
Josiah is asking Amaziah, are you so proud of the battle that you just fought and won, that you think you can come against the army of Israel. You killed twenty thousand men from Edom, but you won't have that success against Israel. Go home and glory in the battle that you just won, and stay there, for you will get hurt or even die if you come our way. Then Joash adds a little salt to the wound, by telling him that his pride will get others of Judah hurt right along with you.
Joash is pushing Amaziah right over the cliff into battle, as he first compares Amaziah to a thistle, and himself as a big strong cedar of Lebanon. Then Joash tells Amaziah he nothing but a meddling old man, about to get himself and other killed because he can't control himself. This is family talk, cousins egging on each other. These words should have been given with respect, and received gracefully, but they were not.
II Chronicles 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."
The prophet of God stood before Amaziah and told him directly that God was not with him in his fight with Israel because of taking the Edomites gods, and bowing to them. God is going to teach Amaziah a lesson through Joash and the Israelites, and Amaziah is going to walk right into his trap.
Sure you may have one victory for following the way of the Lord, but God is watching who you give the glory to for that victory and blessing. The blessing for the victory over the Edomites was given to the gods of the Edomites, not YHVH our Heavenly Father. The moment that you leave serving God and turn to serving other gods or religious system, God is going to deal harshly with you over your decision. Sure, you may use all the right words in what you say, but what counts is in the intent of your heart. Are those traditions of your in accordance with God's Word?
Once the man of God told Amaziah the outcome of the battle, Amaziah turned on the Prophet of God and threatened him, and that was not a wise thing to do. No, it would not make the prophet mad, but it made God angry.
II Chronicles 25:21 "So Josh the king of Israel went up; and they saw one another in the face, both he and Amaziah king of Judah, at Beth-shemesh, which belongeth to Judah."
II Chronicles 25:22 "And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tent."
This war between Israel and Judah did not last long, for once the men of the army of Judah heard that God was not on their side, they took off for home. Very few lives were lost for no one stuck around for the battle.
II Chronicles 25:23 "And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth-shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits."
Joash did not want to harm the men of the army of Judah, but he took king Amaziah back to Jerusalem. The Israelites then broke down the walls of Jerusalem and took all the gold and silver and things of value that they could find. This gate that was broken down was on the north side and is called the gate of Benjamin. A cubit is the measurement from the palm of the hand to the elbo of a mature man, or about two feet. So the breech in the wall was about eight hundred feet long. Again, remember that the Kenite scribes interchanged the names Joash and Jehoash, for they are the same person.
II Chronicles 25:24 "And he took all the gold and the silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed-edom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria."
Joash and the men of Israel took it all, everything that they could find. They took all the gold and silver from the king's house, from the Temple as well as all the booty of war that was brought back from the war with the Edomites. The reason that hostages were taken by Joash was that he wanted Amaziah to remain in Jerusalem to rule over Judah, and he didn't want any trouble on his way back home to Samaria. In the Hebrew text, the hostage was taken as a "pledge of good faith". These hostages were sons of the king to insure securities of the agreements reached and agreed to. This is the only place in the entire Scripture where "hostages" were taken for the sake of security.
Joash [Jehoash] died shortly after this attack on Jerusalem, but King Amaziah the son of King Joash of Judah lived fifteen years after the death of Joash of Israel. Remember that the kings of these two nations name their children by the same names.
II Chronicles 25:25 "And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son to Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years."
II Chronicles 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?"
Before the Joash of Israel died he had wars with Syria, and later he came to Amaziah and Judah for help. This dates to when God told his father that He would give him a victory for each arrow he shot into the ground. Because his father shot only three of his many arrows into the ground God would not give him the fourth. Joash would now have to rely on Judah to finish the battle with the Syrians. God works in strange ways, but He gets the job done.
II Chronicles 25:27 "Now after the time that Amaziah did turn conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Leachish after him, and slew him there."
We read in II Kings 14:19 of this action.
II Kings 14:19 "Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lechish, and slew him there."
There was a reason that there was a conspiracy that grew against Amaziah, for Amaziah turned away from following the Lord. The conspiracy grew in Jerusalem for Judah was becoming just like Israel in chasing after heathen gods. At the beginning Amaziah listened to and followed the man of God, but in time he picked up all sorts of bad habits and playing around with idolatry. Those men of God in Jerusalem saw what was happening in their land, and they wanted to put a stop to it. Amaziah brought in many false traditions into the house of God, and this made him an enemy with the priests and Levites. When any nation messes around with idolatry and turns their back to God's laws and ways, God pulls His protection from them. These men of God in Jerusalem knew the curses that this would bring down on them and their nation. This is just as true for our land today, as it was in these ancient times in Judah and Israel.
II Chronicles 25:28 "And they brought him upon horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah."
Many times families fall apart when one member of the family thinks of himself more highly than he ought to think, and communications stop between members of that family. A brother will go for years and not say one word to his brother; or father to son. This is when a little humility comes in, for a little humility can heal a deep wound, and mend a family fence. Though the harsh words of Joash against Amaziah were hard to take, in time Joash did humble himself and turn to Amaziah and Judah for help. Then King Amaziah helped King Joash when the fourth battle against the Syrians went against him and Israel.
II Kings 14:21 "And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah."
Amaziah was just a young man when he came to the throne, but now the people of Judah are taking Azariah [Uzziah] another boy of age sixteen to rule over them.
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