2 Chronicles 25

Amaziah’s Reign

1Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jehoaddan, who was from Jerusalem. 2He did what the Lord approved,
Heb “he did what was proper in the eyes of the Lord.”
but not with wholehearted devotion.
Heb “a complete heart.”

3 When he had secured control of the kingdom,
Heb “when the kingdom was secure upon him.”
he executed the servants who had assassinated his father.
Heb “he killed his servants, the ones who had struck down the king, his father.”
4However, he did not execute their sons. He obeyed the Lord’s commandment as recorded in the law scroll of Moses,
Heb “as it is written in the scroll of the law of Moses which the Lord commanded, saying.”
“Fathers must not be executed for what their sons do,
Heb “on account of sons.”
and sons must not be executed for what their fathers do.
Heb “on account of fathers.”
A man must be executed only for his own sin.”
This law is recorded in Deut 24:16.

5 Amaziah assembled the people of Judah
Heb “Judah.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” by metonymy here for the people of Judah.
and assigned them by families to the commanders of units of a thousand and the commanders of units of a hundred for all Judah and Benjamin. He counted those twenty years old and up and discovered there were 300,000 young men of fighting age
Heb “young men going out to war.”
equipped with spears and shields.
Heb “holding a spear and a shield.”
6He hired 100,000 Israelite warriors for a hundred talents
The Hebrew word כִּכַּר (kikar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or, by extension, to a standard unit of weight. According to the older (Babylonian) standard the “talent” weighed 130 lbs. (58.9 kg), but later this was lowered to 108.3 lbs. (49.1 kg). More recent research suggests the “light” standard talent was 67.3 lbs. (30.6 kg). Using this as the standard for calculation, the weight of the silver was 6,730 lbs. (3,060 kg).
of silver.

7 But a prophet
Heb “man of God.”
visited him and said: “O king, the Israelite troops must not go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel or any of the Ephraimites.
Heb “Israel, all the sons of Ephraim.”
8Even if you go and fight bravely in battle, God will defeat you
Heb “cause you to stumble.”
before the enemy. God is capable of helping or defeating.”
Heb “to cause to stumble.”
9Amaziah asked the prophet:
Heb “said to the man of God.”
“But what should I do about the hundred talents of silver I paid the Israelite troops?” The prophet
Heb “man of God.”
replied, “The Lord is capable of giving you more than that.”
10So Amaziah dismissed the troops that had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home.
Heb “and Amaziah separated them, the troops who came to him from Ephraim, to go to their place.”
They were very angry at Judah and returned home incensed.
11Amaziah boldly led his army to the Valley of Salt,
Heb “and Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people and went to the Valley of Salt.”
where he defeated
Or “struck down.”
10,000 Edomites.
Heb “sons of Seir.”
12The men
Heb “sons.”
of Judah captured 10,000 men alive. They took them to the top of a cliff and threw them over.
Heb “and threw them from the top of the cliff.”
All the captives
Heb “all of them.”
fell to their death.
Heb “smashed in pieces.”
13Now the troops Amaziah had dismissed and had not allowed to fight in the battle
Heb “had sent back from going with him to the battle.”
Heb “stripped.”
the cities of Judah from Samaria
For location see Map2-B1; Map4-D3; Map5-E2; Map6-A4; Map7-C1.
to Beth Horon. They killed
Heb “struck down.”
3,000 people and carried off a large amount of plunder.

14 When Amaziah returned from defeating the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people
Heb “sons.”
of Seir and made them his personal gods.
Heb “caused them to stand for him as gods.”
He bowed down before them and offered them sacrifices.
15The Lord was angry at Amaziah and sent a prophet to him, who said, “Why are you following
Heb “seeking,” perhaps in the sense of “consulting [an oracle from].”
these gods
Heb “the gods of the people.”
that could not deliver their own people from your power?”
Heb “hand.”
16While he was speaking, Amaziah
Heb “he”; the referent (Amaziah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
said to him, “Did we appoint you to be a royal counselor? Stop prophesying or else you will be killed!”
Heb “Stop yourself! Why should they strike you down?”
So the prophet stopped, but added, “I know that the Lord has decided
The verb יָעַץ (yaats, “has decided”) is from the same root as יוֹעֵץ (yoets, “counselor”) in v. 16 and עֵצָה (’etsah, “advice”) later in v. 16. The wordplay highlights the appropriate nature of the divine punishment. Amaziah rejected the counsel of God’s prophet; now he would be the victim of God’s “counsel.”
to destroy you, because you have done this thing and refused to listen to my advice.”

17 After King Amaziah of Judah consulted with his advisers,
The words “with his advisers” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
he sent this message to the king of Israel, Joash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, “Come, face me on the battlefield.”
Heb “let us look at each other [in the] face.” The expression refers here not to a visit but to meeting in battle. See v. 21.
18King Joash of Israel sent this message back to King Amaziah of Judah, “A thorn bush in Lebanon sent this message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ Then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and trampled down the thorn bush.
The thorn bush in the allegory is Judah. Amaziah’s success had deceived him into thinking he was on the same level as the major powers in the area (symbolized by the cedar). In reality he was not capable of withstanding an attack by a real military power such as Israel (symbolized by the wild animal).
19You defeated Edom
Heb “you say [to yourself], ‘look, you have defeated Edom.’”
and it has gone to your head.
Heb “and your heart is lifted up.”
Gloat over your success,
Heb “to glorify.”
but stay in your palace. Why bring calamity on yourself? Why bring down yourself and Judah along with you?”
Heb “Why get involved in calamity and fall, you and Judah with you?”

20 But Amaziah did not heed the warning,
Heb “did not listen.”
for God wanted to hand them over to Joash because they followed the gods of Edom.
Heb “because it was from God in order to give them into the hand because they sought the gods of Edom.”
21So King Joash of Israel attacked. He and King Amaziah of Judah faced each other on the battlefield
Heb “looked at each other [in the] face.” See the note on the expression “Come on, face me on the battlefield” in v. 17.
in Beth Shemesh of Judah.
22Judah was defeated by Israel, and each man ran back home.
Heb “and Judah was struck down before Israel and they fled, each to his tent.”
23King Joash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, son of Joash son of Jehoahaz, in Beth Shemesh and brought him to Jerusalem. He broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate – a distance of about six hundred feet.
Heb “400 cubits.” Assuming a cubit of 18 inches (45 cm), the distance would have been about 600 feet (180 m).
24He took away all the gold and silver, all the items found in God’s temple that were in the care of Obed-Edom, the riches in the royal palace, and some hostages. Then he went back to Samaria.

25 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Joash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 26The rest of the events of Amaziah’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded in the Scroll of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
Heb “As for the rest of the events of Amaziah, the former and the latter, are they not – behold, they are written on the scroll of the kings of Judah and Israel.”
27From the time Amaziah turned from following the Lord, conspirators plotted against him in Jerusalem,
Heb “and they conspired against him [with] a conspiracy in Jerusalem.”
so he fled to Lachish. But they sent assassins after him
Heb “and they sent after him to Lachish.”
and they killed him there.
28His body was carried back by horses,
Heb “and they carried him on horses.”
and he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors
Heb “fathers.”
in the City of David.
The Hebrew text has “Judah,” but some medieval mss read “David,” as does the parallel passage in 2 Kgs 14:20.
The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

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