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25 Amaziah, son of Joash and Jehoaddan of Jerusalem, was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem.

Like his father Joash, Amaziah’s reign begins well but ends in intrigue and assassination.

He followed the Eternal, but was not completely devoted to Him for his entire life.

As soon as he took power in the Southern Kingdom, Amaziah solidified his throne by executing his opponents, the servants who had assassinated his father Joash. But Amaziah followed Moses’ law, which the Eternal had commanded, and had mercy on their children: “Everyone is responsible for his own sins. Therefore, parents will not be killed for their children’s actions and children will not be killed for their parents’ actions.”[a]

Then Amaziah prepared for battle by gathering the Judahites and appointing commanders from each family in Judah and Benjamin. He took a census of the men 20 years old and older, and there were 300,000 ready to fight with spears and shields. To enlarge his army, Amaziah also hired 100,000 heroic men from the Northern Kingdom for 7,500 pounds of silver. But Amaziah was warned against hiring mercenaries from the Northern Kingdom by a man who followed after the True God.

Prophet of God: O king, do not let the army of Israel fight with you. The Eternal does not support the Northern Kingdom, these Ephraimites. But if you do take the mercenaries with you, prepare yourself well for the battle. The True God will support your enemy rather than supporting you because God has the power to both build you up and tear you down.

Amaziah: But I have already paid 7,500 pounds of silver to the Northern Kingdom’s troops. What should be done?

Follower of God: Don’t worry about the money. It is nothing compared to what the Eternal has to give you.

10 So Amaziah dismissed the Northern Kingdom’s mercenaries as the man had advised him to do, and they returned home. The mercenaries were furious at Judah because they would lose their portion of the spoils of victory, 13 so they raided the cities in Judah (from Samaria in the north to Beth-horon in the south), killing 3,000 and taking spoils.[b]

11 But Amaziah was rewarded for obeying God’s message. He strengthened himself and led only Judahite soldiers into battle at the valley of Salt. There they killed 10,000 Edomites from the city of Seir and 12 captured 10,000. The Judahites then threw the prisoners from the top of a cliff, crushing them on the rocks below.

14 Unfortunately, Amaziah did not remain faithful to God and His messages. When he returned from fighting the Edomites, he brought the gods of Seir back to Jerusalem where they worshiped them—bowing down and burning incense—as he had worshiped God.

15 Furious with Amaziah, the Eternal sent a message to the king through a prophet.

Prophet: What are you thinking? Why would you choose to follow gods that cannot save their own people from your armies after I gave you victory?

Amaziah (interrupting): 16 When did you become my advisor? Stop prophesying, or your life will be taken from you.

Prophet: I may not be one of your court advisors, but you should still listen to my counsel. If you do not, the True God will destroy you because you have worshiped other gods and ignored my warning.

17 Then Amaziah, king of Judah, listened to his royal counselors’ advice and decided to address the Northern Kingdom’s invasion of Judah. He sent a message to Joash (son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu), the king of the Northern Kingdom asking for a face-to-face meeting.

Joash’s Response: 18 The thornbush in Lebanon sent a message to the cedar in Lebanon: “Give your daughter to my son in marriage.” But a wild beast in Lebanon trampled the thornbush.

19 You defeated the Edomites, and now you have become haughty. For your own good, stay where you belong. Do not provoke me to destroy both you and your people, Judah.

20 But Amaziah would not listen to Joash’s warning because the True God had allowed him to become stubborn. God intended to give Joash a victory over the Southern Kingdom because they worshiped the Edomite gods. 21 Then Joash, king of the Northern Kingdom, traveled south to the interior of the Southern Kingdom to face Amaziah, king of the Southern Kingdom, at Beth-shemesh. 22 As predicted, the Northern Kingdom defeated the Southern Kingdom, and the Judahites fled to their homes. 23 Joash captured Amaziah, son of Joash who was the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth-shemesh and took him to Jerusalem where the Northern forces tore down 600 feet of the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate. 24 Joash took all the gold, silver, and utensils from the True God’s temple from the service of Obed-edom. He then returned to Samaria with the temple treasures, palace treasures, and hostages.

25 Amaziah (son of Joash, king of the Southern Kingdom) lived 15 years longer than Joash (son of Jehoahaz, king of the Northern Kingdom). 26 All the events of Amaziah’s reign are included in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel, from his ascension to his assassination. 27 From the moment Amaziah stopped following the Eternal to follow the Edomite gods, the people of Jerusalem plotted against him. He fled to Lachish, where the people followed and killed him. 28 They brought his body back to Judah on horseback, where they buried him. But Amaziah was not honored in his burial. He was not laid with the former kings, but with just his ancestors in the capital city of Judah, Jerusalem.


  1. 25:4 Deuteronomy 24:16
  2. 25:13 Verse 13 has been moved before verse 11 for the continuity of the passage.

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