Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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      2 Kings - Chapter 14 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. Amaziah son of Joash became king of Judah in the second year of Jehoash's rule in Israel.
    2. Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled twenty-nine years from Jerusalem, which was also the hometown of his mother Jehoaddin.
    3. Amaziah followed the example of his father Joash by obeying the LORD and doing right. But he was not as faithful as his ancestor David.
    4. Amaziah did not destroy the local shrines, and they were still used as places for offering sacrifices.
    5. As soon as Amaziah had control of Judah, he arrested and killed the officers who had murdered his father.
    6. But the children of those officers were not killed. The LORD had commanded in the Law of Moses that only the people who sinned were to be punished, not their parents or children.
    7. While Amaziah was king, he killed ten thousand Edomite soldiers in Salt Valley. He captured the town of Sela and renamed it Joktheel, which is still its name.
    8. One day, Amaziah sent a message to King Jehoash of Israel: "Come out and face me in battle!"
    9. Jehoash sent back this reply: Once upon a time, a small thornbush in Lebanon announced that his son was going to marry the daughter of a large cedar tree. But a wild animal came along and trampled the small bush.
    10. Amaziah, you think you're so powerful because you defeated Edom. Go ahead and celebrate--but stay at home. If you cause any trouble, both you and your kingdom of Judah will be destroyed.
    11. But Amaziah refused to listen. So Jehoash and his troops marched to the town of Beth-Shemesh in Judah to attack Amaziah and his troops.
    12. During the battle, Judah's army was crushed. Every soldier from Judah ran back home,
    13. and Jehoash captured Amaziah. Jehoash then marched to Jerusalem and broke down the city wall from Ephraim Gate to Corner Gate, a section about six hundred feet long.
    14. He took the gold and silver, as well as everything of value from the LORD's temple and the king's treasury. He took hostages, then returned to Samaria.
    15. Everything else Jehoash did while he was king, including his brave deeds and how he defeated King Amaziah of Judah, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel.
    16. Jehoash died and was buried in Samaria beside the other Israelite kings. His son Jeroboam then became king.
    17. Fifteen years after Jehoash died,
    18. some people in Jerusalem plotted against Amaziah. He was able to escape to the town of Lachish, but another group of people caught him and killed him there. His body was taken back to Jerusalem on horseback and buried beside his ancestors. Everything else Amaziah did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah.
    19. (SEE 14:18)
    20. (SEE 14:18)
    21. After his death the people of Judah made his son Azariah king, even though he was only sixteen at the time.
    22. Azariah was the one who later recaptured and rebuilt the town of Elath.
    23. Jeroboam son of Jehoash became king of Israel in the fifteenth year of Amaziah's rule in Judah. Jeroboam ruled forty-one years from Samaria.
    24. He disobeyed the LORD by following the evil example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused the Israelites to sin.
    25. Jeroboam extended the boundaries of Israel from Lebo-Hamath in the north to the Dead Sea in the south, just as the LORD had promised his servant Jonah son of Amittai, who was a prophet from Gath-Hepher.
    26. The LORD helped Jeroboam do this because he had seen how terribly the Israelites were suffering, whether slave or free, and no one was left to help them.
    27. And since the LORD had promised that he would not let Israel be completely destroyed, he helped Jeroboam rescue them.
    28. Everything else Jeroboam did while he was king, including his brave deeds and how he recaptured the towns of Damascus and Hamath, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel.
    29. Jeroboam died and was buried, and his son Zechariah became king.
Reflections

2 Kings - Chapter 14

Entered: January 15, 2008
[SEE CHAPTER 13]

Entered: September 25, 2013

The writer moves rather rapidly through the reigns of two kings of Judah, Amaziah and Azariah, and one king of Israel, Jeroboam. Because Azariah was coregency with his father, Amaziah, for a period of time and Jeroboam coregency with his father, Jehoash, for a period of time, there are references back and forth to these fathers making the narrative a bit difficult to follow at times while keeping straight the line of kings.

Chapter 13 tells of the reign of Jehoash in Israel. Chapter 14 begins with Amaziah becoming king in Judah in place of his father, Joash. Because Amaziah became king during the second year of king Jehoash's reign in Israel, the narrative goes back in time from where it ended in chapter 13. Amaziah's rule in Judah followed in the footsteps of his father, Joash. Both were good kings until the later years of their rule when they allowed pagan influences to corrupt them spiritually. Because of this, they both died at the hands of assassins as a result of God's judgment.

Amaziah's first act as king was to kill the assassins of his father. One of his most significant accomplishments was a decisive victory over the Edomites and taking possession of the city of Sela. This victory caused him to become prideful and over confident and he challenged Jehoash, king of Israel, to a show of strength. This very poor judgment by Amaziah led to the fulfillment of God's judgment against him because he had brought back Edomite gods after defeating Edom and began to worship these gods. Amaziah's invitation to Jehoash sounds innocent enough on the surface, "Come, let us meet face to face." (14:8) But it was, in fact, a challenge to battle. Jehoash's reply bruised Amaziah's pride reinforcing his resolve to fight the Israelites. Jehoash replied to him, "The thistle that was in Lebanon once sent a message to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, 'Give your daughter to my son as a wife.' Then a wild animal that was in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle. You have indeed defeated Edom, and you have become overconfident. Enjoy your glory and stay at home. Why should you stir up such trouble that you fall--you and Judah with you?" (14:9-10) This reply was no less a challenge than was Amaziah's invitation to meet.

Jehoash didn't wait for Judah to attack, instead taking the initiative to attack first, meeting Judah in battle at Beth-shemesh. Judah was routed, sending her army into retreat, and king Amaziah was captured and taken prisoner. The Israelites also went to Jerusalem and tore down a portion of the city walls and confiscated the gold and silver treasuries of the temple and palace, along with the taking of hostages. Amaziah remained captive in Israel until Jehoash died, at which time he was released. While he was a captive, his son, Azariah, ruled in Judah as coregency. Azariah was 16 at the time he began to rule. After Amaziah's release, he returned to Jerusalem and ruled with his son until a conspiracy against him was discovered. We are not told of the reason for the conspiracy. Amaziah fled to Lachish but was followed there and killed. His son, Azariah, was then made sole king.

When Jehoash, king of Israel died and Amaziah released, Jehoash's son, Jeroboam, became king in Israel. He followed in the footsteps of his father and the kings before him by doing what was "evil in the Lord's sight." (14:24) Though he was an evil king, he was a strong king, reigning for 41 years. He restored Israel's borders by defeating the Arameans and taking back territory they had taken. Though Jeroboam may have been an able military leader, the writer credits this accomplishment to the Lord, stating that, "The LORD had not said He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so He delivered them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash." (14:27)