2 Chronicles
Introduction 1-4 Amaziah King of Judah 5-13 God Has Power to Help 14-16 Amaziah and the Idols 17-24 Amaziah Defeated by Joash 25-28 The Death of Amaziah
Introduction

Pride comes before the fall. We see this with the next two kings, Amaziah – he reigns from 796-767 BC – and his son Uzziah (2Chr 26:1616But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.). Both kings begin good, but end evil, just like Joash. Both kings have great success and come to great power, which goes straight to their head. Success is the cause of their pride. As a result of their pride there is a lack of trust in the LORD, for the two cannot go together.


Amaziah King of Judah

1Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. 2He did right in the sight of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart. 3Now it came about as soon as the kingdom was firmly in his grasp, that he killed his servants who had slain his father the king. 4However, he did not put their children to death, but [did] as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, which the LORD commanded, saying, “Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor sons be put to death for fathers, but each shall be put to death for his own sin.”

The conspiracy to which Joash fell prey was against him and not against the royal family. That’s why Amaziah succeeds his father without further ado (verse 11Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.). He is twenty-five years old when he becomes king. The number of years he has ruled is, as usually happens, told to us right at the beginning. Amaziah has ruled for twenty-nine years. Also the chronicler, as he often does, mentions the name of his mother, Jehoaddan, and the place where she comes from, Jerusalem.

The life of Amaziah is summarized in one sentence: “He did right in the sight of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart” (verse 22He did right in the sight of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart.). In this he resembles his father Joash (2Kgs 14:33He did right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father; he did according to all that Joash his father had done.). The first part of the sentence is positive. That is also said of his father Joash. With Joash it is then said that doing what is right in the eyes of the LORD is limited to the duration of the life of Jehoiada. With Amaziah there is also a limitation, which is that he is not dedicated with all his heart to the LORD (cf. 1Chr 29:1919and give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes, and to do [them] all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision.”). The Lord asks our whole heart. Half or divided hearts lack what is due to Him. He wants us to be all for Him.

Amaziah needs some time to get used to his new position (verse 33Now it came about as soon as the kingdom was firmly in his grasp, that he killed his servants who had slain his father the king.). The sudden death of his father brings him suddenly to the throne. He will have watched the actions of the officials and their dealings with his father. Now that he himself is in power, he must learn to deal with them. He seems to have succeeded in getting the kingship firmly in his hands. This will certainly include the study of the law.

When he feels strong enough as king, he acts against his father’s murderers and lets them kill. Those murderers are called “his servants”. So he had to tolerate them for some time in his vicinity as his staff. All this time, however, he has not lost sight of the fact that these are his father’s murderers. In their execution, he does not go beyond what the law says (verse 44However, he did not put their children to death, but [did] as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, which the LORD commanded, saying, “Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor sons be put to death for fathers, but each shall be put to death for his own sin.”). He only executes them because the LORD has commanded in the law of Moses that not the whole family should be cut off, but only the guilty should be killed (Deu 24:1616“Fathers shall not be put to death for [their] sons, nor shall sons be put to death for [their] fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.; Jer 31:29-3029“In those days they will not say again,
‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
30But everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge.
; Eze 18:19-2019“Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity?’ When the son has practiced justice and righteousness and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live.20The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.).

It is also important for us to first reflect on our position as a believer and the responsibilities that go with it. That means we have to concentrate on God’s Word. The knowledge of God’s Word is necessary to make good decisions. When it comes to the condemnation of evil in the church, discipline over public evil has to be executed according to the norm of God’s Word. However, it must also be righteous, in accordance with the seriousness of the offence and applicable only to the person concerned.


God Has Power to Help

5Moreover, Amaziah assembled Judah and appointed them according to [their] fathers’ households under commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds throughout Judah and Benjamin; and he took a census of those from twenty years old and upward and found them to be 300,000 choice men, [able] to go to war [and] handle spear and shield. 6He hired also 100,000 valiant warriors out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver. 7But 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 [nor with] any of the sons of Ephraim. 8But if you do go, do [it], be strong for the battle; [yet] God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to bring down.” 9Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what [shall we] do for the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?” And the man of God answered, “The LORD has much more to give you than this.” 10Then Amaziah dismissed them, the troops which came to him from Ephraim, to go home; so their anger burned against Judah and they returned home in fierce anger. 11Now Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people forth, and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 of the sons of Seir. 12The sons of Judah also captured 10,000 alive and brought them to the top of the cliff and threw them down from the top of the cliff, so that they were all dashed to pieces. 13But the troops whom Amaziah sent back from going with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 of them and plundered much spoil.

Amaziah proceeds to a military action which, as we will see later, is directed against Edom (verse 55Moreover, Amaziah assembled Judah and appointed them according to [their] fathers’ households under commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds throughout Judah and Benjamin; and he took a census of those from twenty years old and upward and found them to be 300,000 choice men, [able] to go to war [and] handle spear and shield.; verse 1111Now Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people forth, and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 of the sons of Seir.11Now Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people forth, and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 of the sons of Seir.). The reason for this is not clear. Amaziah assembles Judah and appoints an army of the best men from twenty years old and upward (cf. Num 1:2-32“Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ households, according to the number of names, every male, head by head3from twenty years old and upward, whoever [is able to] go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies.). There appear to be 300,000 men who qualify and who can handle spear and shield. This is a considerable army, but it still does not reach to the armies of Asa and Jehoshaphat who had an army of 580,000 and more than 1,000,000 men respectively (2Chr 14:88Now Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, bearing large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, bearing shields and wielding bows; all of them were valiant warriors.; 17:14-1614This was their muster according to their fathers’ households: of Judah, commanders of thousands, Adnah [was] the commander, and with him 300,000 valiant warriors;15and next to him [was] Johanan the commander, and with him 280,000;16and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who volunteered for the LORD, and with him 200,000 valiant warriors;).

Perhaps Amaziah has those numbers in mind when assessing the size of his army. In any case, he is not convinced that he can defeat the Edomites with this army. Therefore he complements his army with mercenaries from the northern empire, for which he pays a hundred talents of silver (verse 66He hired also 100,000 valiant warriors out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver.). In his calculations, however, there is no room for the LORD.

Although Amaziah does not count with the LORD, He in His goodness sends a prophet, a man of God, to him (verse 77But 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 [nor with] any of the sons of Ephraim.; cf. 2Chr 16:77At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand.; 19:22Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD and so [bring] wrath on yourself from the LORD?). The name of the man of God is not given. His name doesn’t matter, because it’s about what he has to say. He warns Amaziah not to rely on the soldiers of Israel and not to take them with him. The reason is that “the LORD is not with Israel [nor with] any of the sons of Ephraim”. Because there is no place left for Him in the northern kingdom, He cannot be with them either. If we deny the Lord the first place in our lives, He cannot help us in what we do.

The man of God tells Amaziah that he is free to fight with Edom despite the warning, and use of the soldiers he hires (verse 88But if you do go, do [it], be strong for the battle; [yet] God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to bring down.”). If he wants to, he must do so. Then he must encourage himself to be strong in battle. But he must also know that he will lose the battle because God will bring him down before the enemy. For God has power to help, but if he refuses to use that power, God will prove His power by bringing him down.

Amaziah is almost convinced. The only question he still has is what about the money he has invested in this expedition (verse 99Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what [shall we] do for the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?” And the man of God answered, “The LORD has much more to give you than this.”). To this question the man of God gives the beautiful and encouraging and also comforting answer: “The LORD has much more to give you than this.” Amaziah may choose: loss of money or loss of the battle. The choice between these two possibilities is in reality the choice between fighting with or without the LORD. We may know that the Lord will pay double for all we leave for Him. Every loss to Him is amply compensated by Him. The only question is whether we trust Him in that promise.

Amaziah made his choice (verse 1010Then Amaziah dismissed them, the troops which came to him from Ephraim, to go home; so their anger burned against Judah and they returned home in fierce anger.10Then Amaziah dismissed them, the troops which came to him from Ephraim, to go home; so their anger burned against Judah and they returned home in fierce anger.). He wants to go out with the LORD and thus without the troops from Ephraim. He dismisses the mercenaries so they can go back home. We might think that the hired troops like that. They have their money (verse 66He hired also 100,000 valiant warriors out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver.) and can, without having to do anything for it and therefore without the chance that they will be killed in battle, return home. It is not like that, however. They get angry at Judah that they have been sent away.

The question is answered and the choice is made. Through the words of the prophet Amaziah takes courage and leads his people away to the Valley of Salt to fight against Edom (verse 1111Now Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people forth, and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 of the sons of Seir.11Now Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people forth, and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 of the sons of Seir.). Nothing is said about the battle, but about the result is. That’s all very well. Amaziah defeats the sons of Seir – those are the Edomites, named after the area where they live – 10,000 men. Another 10,000 are taken away as captives (verse 1212The sons of Judah also captured 10,000 alive and brought them to the top of the cliff and threw them down from the top of the cliff, so that they were all dashed to pieces.12The sons of Judah also captured 10,000 alive and brought them to the top of the cliff and threw them down from the top of the cliff, so that they were all dashed to pieces.). These prisoners are taken to the top of a cliff and thrown down from the top of the cliff. They are all dashed to pieces by it, by which, so to speak, their corrupt inner being comes out.

Edom or Esau (Gen 36:11Now these are [the records of] the generations of Esau (that is, Edom).) is a picture of sin, the old nature or flesh. Edom has always behaved as a merciless enemy of God’s people, and will be judged for it. The whole of Obadiah’s prophecy is devoted to this (Oba 1:1-211The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom—
We have heard a report from the LORD,
And an envoy has been sent among the nations [saying],
“Arise and let us go against her for battle”—
2“Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
You are greatly despised.
3“The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,
You who live in the clefts of the rock,
In the loftiness of your dwelling place,
Who say in your heart,
‘Who will bring me down to earth?’
4“Though you build high like the eagle,
Though you set your nest among the stars,
From there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD.
5“If thieves came to you,
If robbers by night—
O how you will be ruined!—
Would they not steal [only] until they had enough?
If grape gatherers came to you,
Would they not leave [some] gleanings?
6“O how Esau will be ransacked,
[And] his hidden treasures searched out!
7“All the men allied with you
Will send you forth to the border,
And the men at peace with you
Will deceive you and overpower you.
[They who eat] your bread
Will set an ambush for you.
(There is no understanding in him.)
8“Will I not on that day,” declares the LORD,
“Destroy wise men from Edom
And understanding from the mountain of Esau?
9“Then your mighty men will be dismayed, O Teman,
So that everyone may be cut off from the mountain of Esau by slaughter.
10“Because of violence to your brother Jacob,
You will be covered [with] shame,
And you will be cut off forever.
11“On the day that you stood aloof,
On the day that strangers carried off his wealth,
And foreigners entered his gate
And cast lots for Jerusalem—
You too were as one of them.
12“Do not gloat over your brother’s day,
The day of his misfortune.
And do not rejoice over the sons of Judah
In the day of their destruction;
Yes, do not boast
In the day of [their] distress.
13“Do not enter the gate of My people
In the day of their disaster.
Yes, you, do not gloat over their calamity
In the day of their disaster.
And do not loot their wealth
In the day of their disaster.
14“Do not stand at the fork of the road
To cut down their fugitives;
And do not imprison their survivors
In the day of their distress.
15“For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you.
Your dealings will return on your own head.
16“Because just as you drank on My holy mountain,
All the nations will drink continually.
They will drink and swallow
And become as if they had never existed.
17“But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape,
And it will be holy.
And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.
18“Then the house of Jacob will be a fire
And the house of Joseph a flame;
But the house of Esau [will be] as stubble.
And they will set them on fire and consume them,
So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau,”
For the LORD has spoken.
19Then [those of] the Negev will possess the mountain of Esau,
And [those of] the Shephelah the Philistine [plain];
Also, possess the territory of Ephraim and the territory of Samaria,
And Benjamin [will possess] Gilead.
20And the exiles of this host of the sons of Israel,
Who are [among] the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,
And the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
Will possess the cities of the Negev.
21The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion
To judge the mountain of Esau,
And the kingdom will be the LORD’S.
). We cannot feel sorry for sin, but must judge it mercilessly. Scripture calls us to kill our members which are on earth (Col 3:55Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.). This means for us that we must learn to judge ourselves (1Cor 11:3131But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.) and also to judge sin in the church (1Cor 5:13b13But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.).

Then the chronicler makes another comment about the mercenaries sent home by Amaziah (verse 1313But the troops whom Amaziah sent back from going with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 of them and plundered much spoil.13But the troops whom Amaziah sent back from going with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 of them and plundered much spoil.). We have seen that these men have become furious about their sending away (verse 1010Then Amaziah dismissed them, the troops which came to him from Ephraim, to go home; so their anger burned against Judah and they returned home in fierce anger.10Then Amaziah dismissed them, the troops which came to him from Ephraim, to go home; so their anger burned against Judah and they returned home in fierce anger.). From what we read now, we might conclude that the cause of their burning anger is that by sending them away they will miss a great booty. They are therefore going to get the loss of profit and compensate themselves by attacking the cities of Judah. There they kill a large number of men and plunder much spoil.

How could such people be a help to God’s affairs? People with selfish motives can never be a help in the struggle that children of God have to fight. They inflict losses on Amazia. We may wonder what about the LORD’s promise that He has more to give than Amaziah lost by sending the mercenaries away. That promise will be fulfilled. The LORD has also given Amaziah a great victory. Yet there is no complete trust in the LORD, as the sequel shows.


Amaziah and the Idols

14Now after Amaziah came from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought the gods of the sons of Seir, set them up as his gods, bowed down before them and burned incense to them. 15Then the anger of the LORD burned against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of the people who have not delivered their own people from your hand?” 16As he was talking with him, the king said to him, “Have we appointed you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” Then the prophet stopped and said, “I know that God has planned to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”

When Amaziah has defeated the Edomites, he returns home (verse 1414Now after Amaziah came from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought the gods of the sons of Seir, set them up as his gods, bowed down before them and burned incense to them.). He takes the gods of the defeated enemies with him. If he were to destroy them after that, it would be a tribute to the LORD who stands above all idols. But instead of honoring the LORD and thanking Him for the victory he has given, Amaziah commits the folly to set up the gods of his conquered enemies for himself, to bow down before them, and to burn incense to them!

In doing so, Amaziah is committing spiritually harlotry. Therefore the wrath of the LORD burns against him (verse 1515Then the anger of the LORD burned against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of the people who have not delivered their own people from your hand?”). The anger of God is the flip side of His love. Again He sends a prophet. He points out to Amaziah the folly of praying to gods who have been unable to save their people from his hand. It is too crazy for words, we would say. How does someone come to such a stupid thing.

However, Amaziah is not amused by such remarks. It seems that he does not even let the prophet speak the full message, but gags him (verse 1616As he was talking with him, the king said to him, “Have we appointed you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” Then the prophet stopped and said, “I know that God has planned to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”). The prophet must be well aware that he does not speak to the first one the best. How does he dare to take the place of advisor to him, the king! Amaziah does not allow himself to be dictated by some chatterbox. He decides for himself who he listens to.

Then the prophet stops his admonition. He sees that Amaziah does not want to listen and concludes that God wants to destroy him. Rejecting good advice is a sign of destruction. This does not mean that God wants destruction, but that He has decided that whoever rejects admonition will end up in destruction (Pro 15:32a32He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
). Amaziah himself has made the choice for destruction and God confirms that choice. The prophet says what God does, while what God does, comes from Amazia’s refusal to listen to admonition and to repent.


Amaziah Defeated by Joash

17Then Amaziah king of Judah took counsel and sent to Joash the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, the king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us face each other.” 18Joash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, “The thorn bush which was in Lebanon sent to the cedar which was in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ But there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon and trampled the thorn bush. 19You said, ‘Behold, you have defeated Edom.’ And your heart has become proud in boasting. Now stay at home; for why should you provoke trouble so that you, even you, would fall and Judah with you?” 20But Amaziah would not listen, for it was from God, that He might deliver them into the hand [of Joash] because they had sought the gods of Edom. 21So Joash king of Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah faced each other at Beth-shemesh, which belonged to Judah. 22Judah was defeated by Israel, and they fled each to his tent. 23Then Joash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth-shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem and tore down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate, 400 cubits. 24[He took] all the gold and silver and all the utensils which 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.

Instead of following the Divine counsel of God’s prophet, Amaziah goes to others for counsel (verse 1717Then Amaziah king of Judah took counsel and sent to Joash the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, the king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us face each other.”). Those with whom he consults are not mentioned. Nor is it about those others, but about Amazia’s attitude. Because He has said goodbye to God, He is working on the destruction that has been promised to Him.

The counsel he is taking is about a war he plans to wage with Joash, the king of Israel. A reason for that war could be the raid in Judah by mercenaries from the northern empire (verse 1313But the troops whom Amaziah sent back from going with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 of them and plundered much spoil.13But the troops whom Amaziah sent back from going with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 of them and plundered much spoil.). We also see that his victory over Edom has made him proud, as Joash notes (verse 1919You said, ‘Behold, you have defeated Edom.’ And your heart has become proud in boasting. Now stay at home; for why should you provoke trouble so that you, even you, would fall and Judah with you?”). The result of the counsel is that Amaziah sends messengers to the king of Israel to challenge him to fight each other.

Joash’ answer comes in the form of a fable (verse 1818Joash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, “The thorn bush which was in Lebanon sent to the cedar which was in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ But there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon and trampled the thorn bush.). The thorn bush, good to throw in the fire, that’s Amazia. The cedar, mighty and good for building, that is Joash. The wild beast that was in Lebanon is Joash’ army. Carelessly the thorn bush is trampled. Joash lets Amaziah know why he is looking for the battle. He reminds him of his victory over Edom and that this has made him overconfident and he thinks he can also win from Israel easily.

Joash himself is no better than Amazia. We see that wicked people can see through the motives of other wicked people. That is because they are driven by exactly the same motives. Joash is as proud as Amazia. He predicts disaster for Amaziah and advises him to stay at home (verse 1919You said, ‘Behold, you have defeated Edom.’ And your heart has become proud in boasting. Now stay at home; for why should you provoke trouble so that you, even you, would fall and Judah with you?”). Joash is as certain of victory as Amazia. Both men speak diluted language; with both dependence on the LORD is completely lacking.

Amaziah has not listened to the prophet and he certainly does not listen to the warning of Joash (verse 2020But Amaziah would not listen, for it was from God, that He might deliver them into the hand [of Joash] because they had sought the gods of Edom.). God has His hand in this, for He is going to use Joash to punish Amaziah for seeking the gods of Edom. When it turns out that Amaziah doesn’t want to listen, Joash goes up (verse 2121So Joash king of Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah faced each other at Beth-shemesh, which belonged to Judah.). They face each other at Beth-shemesh, where they fight each other. Amaziah suffers the defeat and the soldiers flee, each to his tent (verse 2222Judah was defeated by Israel, and they fled each to his tent.). Joash captures Amaziah and takes him to Jerusalem. What a humiliation it will have been for Amaziah to enter there as a prisoner.

More humiliations will follow. A large part of the wall of Jerusalem, “from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate, 400 cubits”. (verse 2323Then Joash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth-shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem and tore down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate, 400 cubits.), which is on the north and north-west side of the wall, is torn down. Many of the treasures of the house of God, which are entrusted to the care of Obed-edom, are robbed (verse 2424[He took] all the gold and silver and all the utensils which 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 also takes hostages with him, to guarantee that Amaziah keeps calm. Then he returns to Samaria. The punitive expedition is over.

We see in this history how much is lost when, through victories given by the Lord, we become arrogant and fight for our own honor. If we are deaf to warnings given by the Lord, the disaster is complete. We then suffer losses in all areas. Our esteem is impaired and with it the Name of the Lord Whom we confess to know and serve.

We also lose the spiritual blessings that are stored for us in the house of God and that we can enjoy there. In fact, as ‘hostages’ we are held by the enemy who has gained power over us. This means that we have lost our true spiritual freedom. What a loss, for ourselves, but above all for the Lord, Who does not receive from our lives the honor He is so worthy!


The Death of Amaziah

25And Amaziah, the son of Joash king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Joash, son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel. 26Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, from first to last, behold, are they not written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel? 27From the time that Amaziah turned away from following the LORD they conspired against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there. 28Then they brought him on horses and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.

After his humiliating defeat, Amaziah has fifteen years to live, counting from the death of Joash, king of Israel (verse 2525And Amaziah, the son of Joash king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Joash, son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel.). That his death is related to the death of the king of Israel, shows how much Amaziah has become dependent on the king of the northern empire. What Amaziah has done more than what is described of him in this chapter is described “in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel” (verse 2626Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, from first to last, behold, are they not written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel?; cf. 2Chr 16:1111Now, the acts of Asa from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.; 28:2626Now the rest of his acts and all his ways, from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.; 32:3232Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and his deeds of devotion, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.).

Since his departure from the LORD Amaziah has no rest anymore (verse 2727From the time that Amaziah turned away from following the LORD they conspired against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there.). He is always in fear of a conspiracy that is forged against him. A conspiracy is very threatening. There is always the threat of being killed, but it is not known where, when and by whom it happens. To escape the conspirators he flees Jerusalem and goes to Lachis. After a restless time of fear he thinks he might find peace there. But the conspirators know how to find him, and he finds death instead of the desired rest. Thus the life of a man who has started well comes an inglorious end.

His body is brought on horses to Jerusalem (verse 2828Then they brought him on horses and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.). There he is buried with his fathers.


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