Amaziah was the ninth king of Judah. He reigned from 796 to 767 BC and succeeded his father, King Joash, who was at first a righteous king but later slipped away and was murdered by his officers (2 Kings 12:20–21). Amaziah’s mother was Jehoaddan (2 Kings 14:1–4) and his son was Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:1).
The word Amaziah means “the strength of the Lord,” “strengthened by Yahweh,” or “Yahweh is mighty.” He took the throne at the age of 25, after the death of his father, and reigned for 29 years, (2 Kings 14:2 2 Chronicles 25:1), 24 years of which were with the co-regency of his son.
There was obviously a period of unrest and confusion after the murder of his father Joash of Judah (2 kings 12:20, 21). But when these troubles had passed and the authority of the king had been established throughout the nation, he took effective measures against the murderers of his father (2 Kings 14:5).
Amaziah conquered the enemies of Israel, the Edomites. But he greatly erred when he brought home their gods and sacrificed to them. So, the Lord rebuked his idolatrous action by His prophet. But the king said to the prophet, “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 Chronicles 25:16).
Amaziah refused to heed the voice of God, and apparently was on the verge of ordering the prophet put to death. The Lord revealed to the prophet that Amaziah’s evil defection would not be overlooked and that divine judgment had been decreed against him. Having forsaken the Lord, he turned for counsel to men whose advice was against the divine will and which brought upon him the judgments.
After the victory over Edome, Amaziah felt proud and challenged King Jehoash of Isarel to battle (2 Kings 14:9–10; 2 Chronicles 25:18–19). So, King Jehoash attacked Amaziah and the latter was overcome and arrested. And King Jehoash of Israel brought him to Jerusalem and took all the gold and silver that were found in the house of God and returned to Samaria (2 Kings 14:14; 2 Chronicles 25:24). Not only had the pride of Amaziah been humbled, but the whole nation of Judah had to suffer greatly because of the king’s unwise challenge to Jehoash.
Amaziah was assassinated by the men of Judah at Lachish and was buried with his ancestors in the City of Judah (2 Chronicles 25:28). The second Book of Kings and the second Book of Chronicles consider him a righteous king, for “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not as his father David had done” (2 Kings 14:3).
The sin of this king was his sacrifice to the gods of Edom after he had overcome the Edomites in battle, and his threatening the life of the prophet who rebuked him because of his sin (2 Chronicles 25:14–16). Also, he failed to remove the high places where people continued to sacrifice opposing God’s clear command to offer sacrifices in the temple of Jerusalem (2 Kings 14:4; Deuteronomy 12:13–14). Following his steps, Judah continued to worship at the high places till these shrines were taken away by Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4).
In His service,
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