Amaziah, King of Judah
1 Amaziah was 25 years old when he became king. He ruled for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddin. Jehoaddin was from Jerusalem. 2 Amaziah did what the LORD wanted him to do, but not with all his heart. 3 He became a strong king and killed the officials who had killed his father the king. 4 But Amaziah obeyed the law written in the Book of Moses and did not kill the official’s children. The LORD commanded, “Parents must not be put to death for something their children did, and children must not be put to death for something their parents did. People should be put to death only for what they themselves did.”* Parents … did See Deuteronomy 24:16.
5 Amaziah gathered the people of Judah together. He grouped them by families and he put generals and captains in charge of these groups. The leaders were in charge of all the soldiers from Judah and Benjamin. All the men who were chosen to be soldiers were 20 years old and older. In all there were 300,000 skilled soldiers ready to fight with spears and shields. 6 Amaziah also hired 100,000 soldiers from Israel. He paid 3 3/4 tons† 3 3/4 tons Literally, “100 talents” (3450 kg). of silver to hire these soldiers. 7 But a man of God came to Amaziah and said, “King, don’t let the army of Israel go with you. The LORD is not with Israel or the people of Ephraim. 8 Maybe you will make yourself strong and ready for war, but God can help you win or help you lose.” 9 Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what about the money I already paid to the Israelite army?” The man of God answered, “The LORD has plenty. He can give you much more than that.”
10 So Amaziah sent the Israelite army back home to Ephraim. These men were very angry with the king and the people of Judah. They went back home very angry.
11 Then Amaziah became very brave and led his army to the Salt Valley in the country of Edom. There his army killed 10,000 men from Seir.‡ Seir Or “Edom,” a country east of Judah. 12 They also captured 10,000 men from Seir and took them to the top of a cliff. Then the army of Judah threw them from the top of the cliff while they were still alive and their bodies were broken on the rocks below.
13 Meanwhile, the Israelite army was attacking towns in Judah. They attacked the towns from Beth Horon all the way to Samaria. They killed 3000 people and took many valuable things. They were angry because Amaziah didn’t let them join him in the war.
14 Amaziah came home after he defeated the Edomites. He brought the idols that the people of Seir worshiped. He started to worship those idols. He bowed down in front of them and burned incense to them. 15 The LORD was very angry with Amaziah, so he sent a prophet to him. The prophet said, “Amaziah, why have you worshiped the gods those people worship? Those gods could not even save their own people from you!”
16 When the prophet spoke, Amaziah said to the prophet, “We never made you an advisor to the king. Be quiet! If you don’t be quiet, you will be killed.” The prophet became quiet, but then said, “God has decided to destroy you because you did this and didn’t listen to my advice.”
17 King Amaziah of Judah talked with his advisors. Then he sent a message to King Jehoash of Israel. Amaziah said to Jehoash, “Let’s meet face to face.” Jehoash was Jehoahaz’s son. Jehoahaz was Jehu’s son.
18 Then Jehoash sent his answer to Amaziah. Jehoash was the king of Israel and Amaziah was the king of Judah. Jehoash told this story: “A little thornbush of Lebanon sent a message to a big cedar tree of Lebanon. The little thornbush said, ‘Let your daughter marry my son.’ But a wild animal came and walked over the thornbush and destroyed it. 19 You say to yourself, ‘I have defeated Edom!’ You are proud and you brag. But you should stay at home. There is no need for you to get into trouble. If you fight me, you and Judah will be destroyed.”
20 But Amaziah refused to listen. God made this happen. God planned to let Israel defeat Judah, because the people of Judah followed the gods the people of Edom followed. 21 So King Jehoash of Israel met King Amaziah of Judah face to face at the town of Beth Shemesh in Judah. 22 Israel defeated Judah. Every man of Judah ran away to his home. 23 Jehoash captured Amaziah at Beth Shemesh and took him to Jerusalem. Amaziah was the son of Joash, and Joash was the son of Jehoahaz. Jehoash tore down the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate, a section about 600 feet§ 600 feet Literally, “400 cubits” (207.33 m). long. 24 He took the gold and silver and all the other things in God’s Temple that Obed Edom was responsible for. Jehoash also took the treasures from the king’s palace and some people as hostages. Then he went back to Samaria.
25 Amaziah lived 15 years after Jehoash died. Amaziah’s father was King Joash of Judah. 26 Everything else Amaziah did, from beginning to end, is written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 When Amaziah stopped obeying the LORD, the people in Jerusalem made plans against Amaziah. He ran away to the town of Lachish. But the people sent men to Lachish and they killed Amaziah there. 28 Then they carried his body on horses and buried him with his ancestors in the City of Judah.
†25:6 3 3/4 tons Literally, “100 talents” (3450 kg).
‡25:11 Seir Or “Edom,” a country east of Judah.
§25:23 600 feet Literally, “400 cubits” (207.33 m).