2 Kings 14

CHAPTER XIV

Amaziah begins to reign well; his victory over the Edomites,

1-7.

He challenges Jehoash, king of Israel, 8.

Jehoash's parable of the thistle and the cedar, 9, 10.

The two armies meet at Beth-shemesh; and the men of Judah are

defeated, 11, 12.

Jehoash takes Jerusalem, breaks down four hundred cubits of

the wall; takes the treasures of the king's house, and of the

temple; and takes hostages, and returns to Samaria, 13, 14.

The death and burial of both these kings, 15-20.

Azariah, the son of Amaziah, made king; he builds Elath,

21, 22.

Jeroboam the second is made king over Israel: his wicked reign

and death, 23-29.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIV

Verse 1. In the second year of Joash] This second year should be

understood as referring to the time when his father Jehoahaz

associated him with himself in the kingdom: for he reigned two

years with his father; so this second year of Joash is the first

of his absolute and independent government.-See Calmet.

Verse 5. As soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand] No

doubt those wicked men, Jozachar and Jehozabad, who murdered his

father, had considerable power and influence; and therefore he

found it dangerous to bring them to justice, till he was assured

of the loyalty of his other officers: when this was clear, he

called them to account, and put them to death.

Verse 6. But the children of the murderers he slew not] Here he

showed his conscientious regard for the law of Moses; for God had

positively said, The fathers shall not be put to death for the

children, neither shall the children be put to death for the

fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin,

De 24:16.

Verse 7. He slew of Edom to the valley of salt] This war is more

circumstantially related in 2Ch 25:5, &c. The Idumeans had arisen

in the reign of Joram king of Judah, and shaken off the yoke of

the house of David. Amaziah determined to reduce them to

obedience; he therefore levied an army of three hundred thousand

men in his own kingdom, and hired a hundred thousand Israelites,

at the price of one hundred talents. When he was about to depart

at the head of this numerous army, a prophet came to him and

ordered him to dismiss the Israelitish army, for God was not with

them: and on the king of Judah expressing regret for the loss of

his hundred talents, he was answered, that the Lord could give him

much more than that. He obeyed, sent back the Israelites, and at

the head of his own men attacked the Edomites in the valley of

salt, slew ten thousand on the spot, and took ten thousand

prisoners, all of whom he precipitated from the rock, or Selah,

which was afterwards called Joktheel, a place or city supposed to

be the same with Petra, which gave name to Arabia Petraea, where

there must have been a great precipice, from which the place took

its name of Selah or Petra.

Verse 8. Come, let us look one another in the face.] This was a

real declaration of war; and the ground of it is most evident from

this circumstance: that the one hundred thousand men of Israel

that had been dismissed, though they had the stipulated money,

taking the advantage of Amaziah's absence, fell upon the cities of

Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and smote three thousand men,

and took much spoil, 2Ch 25:10-13. Amaziah no doubt remonstrated

with Jehoash, but to no purpose; and therefore he declared war

against him.

Verse 9. Jehoash-sent to Amaziah-saying] The meaning of this

parable is plain. The thistle that was in Lebanon-Amaziah, king of

Judah, sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon-Jehoash, king of

Israel, saying, Give thy daughter-a part of thy kingdom, to my son

to wife-to be united to, and possessed by the kings of Judah. And

there passed by a wild beast-Jehoash and his enraged army, and

trode down the thistle-utterly discomfited Amaziah and his troops,

pillaged the temple, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem: see

2Ki 14:12-14. Probably Amaziah had required certain cities of

Israel to be given up to Judah; if so, this accounts for that part

of the parable, Give thy daughter to my son to wife.

Verse 10. Glory of this, and tarry at home] There is a vast deal

of insolent dignity in this remonstrance of Jehoash: but it has

nothing conciliatory; no proposal of making amends for the injury

his army had done to the unoffending inhabitants of Judah. The

ravages committed by the army of Jehoash were totally unprovoked,

and they were base and cowardly; they fell upon women, old men,

and children, and butchered them in cold blood, for all the

effective men were gone off with their king against the

Edomites. The quarrel of Amaziah was certainly just, yet he was

put to the rout; he did meddle to his hurt; he fell, and Judah

fell with him, as Jehoash had said: but why was this? Why it came

of God; for he had brought the gods of Seir, and set them up to be

his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burnt incense to

them; therefore God delivered them into the hands of their

enemies, because they sought after the gods of Edom,

2Ch 25:14, 20. This was the reason why the Israelites

triumphed.

Verse 13. Took Amaziah king of Judah] It is plain that Amaziah

afterwards had his liberty; but how or on what terms he got it, is

not known. See on the following verse.

Verse 14. And he took-hostages] hattaaruboth, pledges;

from arab, to pledge, give security, &c., for the

performance of some promise. See the meaning of this word

interpreted in Clarke's note on "Ge 38:17". It is likely that Amaziah

gave some of the nobles or some of his own family as hostages,

that he might regain his liberty; and they were to get their

liberty when he had fulfilled his engagements; but of what kind

these were we cannot tell, nor, indeed, how he got his liberty.

Verse 15. How he fought with Amaziah] The only fighting between

them was the battle already mentioned; and this is minutely

related in 2Ch 25:21-24.

Verse 19. They made a conspiracy against him] His defeat by

Jehoash, and the consequent pillaging of the temple, and emptying

the royal exchequer, and the dismantling of Jerusalem, had made

him exceedingly unpopular; so that probably the whole of the last

fifteen years of his life were a series of troubles and

distresses.

Verse 21. Took Azariah] He is also called Uzziah, 2Ch 26:1.

The former signifies, The help of the Lord; the latter, The

strength of the Lord.

Verse 22. He built Elath] This city belonged to the Edomites;

and was situated on the eastern branch of the Red Sea, thence

called the Elanitic Gulf. It had probably suffered much in the

late war; and was now rebuilt by Uzziah, and brought entirely

under the dominion of Judah.

Verse 25. He restored the coast of Israel] From the description

that is here given, it appears that Jeroboam reconquered all the

territory that had been taken from the kings of Israel; so that

Jeroboam the second left the kingdom as ample as it was when the

ten tribes separated under Jeroboam the first.

Verse 26. The Lord saw the affliction of Israel] It appears that

about this time Israel had been greatly reduced; and great

calamities had fallen upon all indiscriminately; even the diseased

and captives in the dungeon had the hand of God heavy upon them,

and there was no helper; and then God sent Jonah to encourage

them, and to assure them of better days. He was the first of the

prophets, after Samuel, whose writings are preserved; yet the

prophecy delivered on this occasion is not extant; for what is now

in the prophecies of Jonah, relates wholly to Nineveh.

Verse 28. How he warred, and-recovered Damascus] We learn from

1Ch 18:3-11, that David had conquered

all Syria, and put garrisons in Damascus and other places, and

laid all the Syrians under tribute; but this yoke they had not

only shaken off, but they had conquered a considerable portion of

the Israelitish territory, and added it to Syria. These latter

Jeroboam now recovered; and thus the places which anciently

belonged to Judah by David's conquests, and were repossessed by

Syria, he now conquered, and added to Israel.

Verse 29. Jeroboam slept with his fathers] He died a natural

death; and was regularly succeeded by his son Zachariah, who,

reigning badly, was, after six months, slain by Shallum, who

succeeded him, and reigned but one month, being slain by Menahem,

who succeeded him, and reigned ten years over Israel. Amos the

prophet lived in the reign of Jeroboam; and was accused by

Amaziah, one of the idolatrous priests of Beth-el, of having

predicted the death of Jeroboam by the sword, but this was a

slander: what he did predict, and which came afterwards to pass,

may be seen Am 7:10-17. The

interregnum referred to in the margin cannot be accounted for in

a satisfactory manner.

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