King Amaziah of Judah—2 Kings 14:1–7
1 Amaziah was 25 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jehoaddan from Jerusalem. 2 He did what the Lord considered right, but he did not do it wholeheartedly. 3 As soon as he had firm control over the kingdom, he executed the officials who killed his father, the former king. 4 But he didn’t execute their children. He obeyed the Lord’s command written in the Book of Moses’ Teachings: “Parents must never be put to death for the crimes of their children, and children must never be put to death for the crimes of their parents. Each person must be put to death for his own crime.”
5 Amaziah called the people of Judah together and assigned them by families to regiment and battalion commanders for all of Judah and Benjamin. He organized those who were at least 20 years old and found that he had 300,000 of the best men for the army, those who could handle a spear and a shield. 6 He also hired 100,000 soldiers from Israel for 7,500 pounds of silver.
7 But a man of God came to him and said, “Your Majesty, Israel’s army must not go with you, because the Lord isn’t with Israel. He’s not with these men from Ephraim. 8 If you go into battle with them, no matter how courageous you are, God will use the enemy to defeat you, because God has the power to help you or to defeat you.”
9 Amaziah asked the man of God, “What should I do about the 7,500 pounds of silver I gave the troops from Israel?”
The man of God answered, “The Lord can give you much more than that.”
10 Then Amaziah dismissed the troops that had come to him from Ephraim. But they became furious with Judah and returned home.
11 Amaziah courageously led his troops. When he came to the Dead Sea region, he killed 10,000 men from Seir.a 12 The Judeans captured another 10,000 alive, took them to the top of a cliff, and threw them off the top of the cliff so that they were dismembered.
13 The troops that Amaziah sent back so that they couldn’t go with him into battle raided the towns in Judah from Samaria to Beth Horon. They killed 3,000 people and took a lot of goods.
King Amaziah’s Sin Leads to His Defeat—2 Kings 14:8–20
14 After Amaziah came back from defeating the Edomites, he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up as his gods, bowed down to them, and burned sacrifices to them. 15 The Lord became angry with Amaziah. He sent him a prophet who asked him, “Why do you dedicate your life to serving the gods of those people? Those gods couldn’t save their own people from you.”
16 As he was talking, the king asked him, “Did we make you an adviser to the king? Stop! Do you want me to have you killed?”
The prophet stopped. He said, “I know that God has decided to destroy you because you did this, but you refuse to listen to my advice.”
17 After getting advice ⸤from his advisers⸥, King Amaziah of Judah sent messengers to King Jehoash,b son of Jehoahaz and grandson of Jehu of Israel, to declare war on Israel.
18 King Jehoash of Israel sent this message to King Amaziah of Judah: “A thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar in Lebanon. It said, ‘Let your daughter marry my son,’ but a wild animal from Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle. 19 You say you defeated Edom, and now you’ve become arrogant enough to look for more fame. Stay home! Why must you invite disaster and your own defeat and take Judah with you?”
20 But Amaziah wouldn’t listen. (God made this happen because he wanted to hand over the Judeans to Jehoash because they had sought help from Edom’s gods.) 21 So King Jehoash of Israel attacked, and King Amaziah of Judah met him in battle at Beth Shemesh in Judah. 22 Israel defeated the army of Judah, and the Judeans fled to their homes. 23 King Jehoash of Israel captured King Amaziah, son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah of Judah, at Beth Shemesh and brought him to Jerusalem. He tore down a 600-foot section of the wall around Jerusalem from Ephraim Gate to Corner Gate. 24 ⸤He took⸥ all the gold, silver, and all the utensils he found in God’s temple with Obed Edom and in the royal palace treasury. He also took hostages. Then he returned to Samaria.
25 Joash’s son King Amaziah of Judah lived 15 years after the death of Jehoahaz’s son King Jehoash of Israel. 26 Isn’t everything else about Amaziah, from beginning to end, written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel? 27 After Amaziah turned away from the Lord, conspirators in Jerusalem plotted against him. Amaziah fled to Lachish, but they sent men to Lachish after him and killed him there. 28 They brought him back by horse and buried him in the city of Judah with his ancestors.
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