2 KINGS CHAPTER 14.
Aniaziah in Judah, Jeroboam in Israel.
AMAZIAH KING IN JUDAH. — V. 1. In the second year of Joash, son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel, reigned Amaziah, the son of Joash, king of Judah, becoming king after the death of his father. V. 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, mentioned for the usual reason, on account of the influence of the queen-mother, was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. V. 3. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, be was devoted to the true worship of Jehovah, yet not like David, his father, not with all his heart, not with all the energy of his nature; he did according to all things as Joash, his father, did, in his general policy he followed the conduct of his father. V. 4. Howbeit, the high places were not taken away, where the people had erected altars in honor of Jehovah; as yet the people did sacrifice and burn incense on the high places. V. 5. And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, when his rule was firmly established, that he slew his servants which had slain the king, his father, chap. 12, 20. V. 6. But the children of the murderers he slew not, although it was the custom in the Orient to put to death also the children of conspirators; according unto that which is written in the book of the Law of Moses, Deut. 24, 16, 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. In this point, therefore, Amaziah showed himself a faithful king according to the standards of Israel. V. 7. He slew of Edom, who had rebelled at the time of Jehoram, chap. 8, 20-22, in the Valley of Salt, south of the Dead Sea, ten thousand, and took Selah, evidently the capital of the country, later known as Petra, by war, and called the name of It Joktheel unto this day. Cp. 2 Chron. 25, 6-16. V. 8. Then Amaziah, during the last part of his reign, after he had shown symptoms of laxity toward idolatry, sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face. It was a bold challenge to war, Amaziah probably feeling justified in taking this attitude by the act of Israel’s hired army in plundering many cities of Judah, 2 Chron. 25, 13. V. 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. The meaning of the parable is clear. Just as far as the briar is below the cedar in excellence, so Joash considered Amaziah to be beneath him in every respect. No wild beast can break down and crush the cedar, but this may very easily happen to the briar. In the same way, calamity was apt to strike the arrogant king of Judah, who trusted in his powerful army and sent challenges where he had no business to do so. V. 10. Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up, he was filled with proud arrogance. Glory of this, he should be content with the glory which had come to him on account of his overthrow of the Edomites, and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, why risk misfortune by a rash and causeless attack, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee? V. 11. But Amaziah, still puffed up in his own mind, would not hear, he paid no attention to the warning. Therefore Jehoash, king of Israel, went up, carrying the campaign into the enemy’s country; and he and Amaziah, king of Judah, looked one another in the face, met in battle, at Beth-shemesh, which belongeth to Judah, on the southern border of the territory of Dan. V. 12. And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, suffering a decisive defeat; and they fled every man to their tents. V. 13. And Jehoash, king of Israel, took Amaziah, king of Judah, the son of Jehoash, the son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh, a captive of war, and came to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim, on the north side, unto the corner gate, toward the northwest, four hundred cubits (about 700 feet). This act marked the city as captured, and as lying open on the side of Israel, whose army might march in at any time: V. 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, all of which had been added to during the reign of Joash, then sent as tribute to Hazael, chap. 12, 18, but now probably again filled up in consequence of the victory over Edom, and hostages, from the most important families, the intention being to hold Amaziah in check, and returned to Samaria. V. 15. Now, the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, and his might, his political and military deeds, and how he fought with Amaziah, king of Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? V. 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 repetition of this statement from chap. 13, 13 serves to introduce the remark concerning Amaziah in the next verses. V. 17. And Amaziah, the son of Joash, king of Judah, lived after the death of Jehoash, son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel, fifteen years, never regaining, however, his former prestige. V. 18. And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? V. 19. Now, they, chiefly the military party in Judah, made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish, a city in the lowlands of Judah, near the border of the Philistines; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there. V. 20. And they brought him on horses, on the royal chariot; and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David. V. 21. And all the people of Judah, adhering to the succession of the house of David, took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah. Azariah also bore the name Uzziah, Is. 1, 1. V. 22 He built Elath, the harbor at the head of the Elanitic Gulf, belonging to the territory of Edom, and restored it to Judah after that the king slept with his fathers. It seems that he was co-regent with his father for eleven years, reigning fifty-two years after his coronation, or forty-one years after his father’s death. The story of Amaziah shows that it is courting misfortune to begin a war without real reason. In spiritual matters the same thing holds true. He who would meet the enemies of the Church trusting in his own powers will probably find himself conquered and in disgrace.
JEROBOAM KING OF ISRAEL. — V. 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. He is usually called Jeroboam II, to distinguish him from the first king of Israel. V. 24. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, in sanctioning idolatry; he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. V. 25. He restored the coast of Israel, established the ancient boundaries, from the entering of Hamath, in the extreme north, in the valley of the Orontes, unto the Sea of the Plain, the Dead Sea, 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 Gath-hepher, probably the same man who wrote the Book of Jonah. V. 26. For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel that it was very bitter, chap. 13, 4; for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel, as had been foretold Deut. 32, 36. V. 27. And the Lord said not, He had not yet announced His intention through any prophet, 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, their time of grace had not yet fully expired. V. 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, restoring the power of Israel as in the days of its greatest might, and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, namely, at the time of David, 2 Sam. 8, 6, for Israel, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? V. 29. And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah, his son, reigned in his stead, although not immediately, since for a number of years a state of anarchy seems to have prevailed. God has patience with the sinners, desiring that they return to repentance. He often waits a long while before He pronounces the judgment of condemnation.