- 2 Kings 12:21b; 14:1-6; 13:20b-25
- 2 Chron. 25:5-24
- 2 Kings 14:15-16, 23-24
Amaziah, son of Joash, became king in Judah after Joash was assassinated. He was 25 years old and reigned 29 years. Amaziah did what was right before GOD, but not completely, as David had done. He followed the example of his father Joash. The high places were not removed, and the people continued their idolatry there. Amaziah had the officials killed who had assassinated his father.
Meanwhile, in Israel, the Moabites oppressed the people each spring. One time, while some Israelites were burying a man, they suddenly saw the raiders coming, so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. Amazingly, when the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.
Hazael, king of Aram (Syria) oppressed the Israelites throughout the reign of King Jehoahaz. Eventually, Hazael died and his son Ben-Hadad became king of Aram. Jehoash, son of Jehoahaz, was king of Israel, and GOD allowed Jehoash to recapture the Israelite towns that Hazael had taken. Three times Jehoash defeated Aram, as the prophet Elisha had said.
In Judah, Amaziah gathered a force to attack Edom. Initially he paid 100,000 fighting men from Israel to join him in attacking Edom. However, GOD spoke to Amaziah through a prophet and told him not to go to battle with those Israelite hired soldiers because GOD was not with Israel because of their idolatry. So Amaziah sent the mercenaries (hired soldiers) back home. They were very angry, so along the way they raided Judean towns from Samaria to Beth Horon, killing 3,000 people and carrying off a lot of plunder.
Without aid from Israel, Judah attacked Edom and GOD gave them the victory. However, Amaziah carried back the idols of Seir and set them up as his own gods, bowed down to them and offered sacrifices to them. GOD’s anger burned against Amaziah, so he sent a prophet with a message:
“Why have you sought the gods of the people, which could not rescue their own people from your hand?” 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.”
(2 Chron. 25:15-16 NKJV)
What a stupid decision by Amaziah! The true and living GOD gave him victory and he thanks GOD by bringing back the idols and worshiping them! Then, GOD gives him yet another chance to repent, by word of the prophet, but Amaziah’s heart was hardened and he shut up the prophet and put him out.
Afterward, Amaziah grew arrogant because he had defeated Edom, so he sent a challenge to Israel’s king, Jehoash. Jehoash advised Amaziah to reconsider making war with Israel, but Amaziah was bloodthirsty and would not listen. This was of the LORD. Israel routed Judah in battle and they captured Amaziah. Israel broke down a section of the Jerusalem wall and took all the treasure from the temple of GOD and brought it to Samaria.
Jehoash died and his son, Jeroboam II, reigned in his place in Israel. He too did evil in the eyes of GOD, failing to turn from the sins of Jeroboam. Jeroboam II was king for 41 years.