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Amaziah Rules in Judah

25 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Jehoaddin[a] from Jerusalem. Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not wholeheartedly.

When Amaziah was well established as king, he executed the officials who had assassinated his father. However, he did not kill the children of the assassins, for he obeyed the command of the Lord as written by Moses in the Book of the Law: “Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes.”[b]

Then Amaziah organized the army, assigning generals and captains[c] for all Judah and Benjamin. He took a census and found that he had an army of 300,000 select troops, twenty years old and older, all trained in the use of spear and shield. He also paid about 7,500 pounds[d] of silver to hire 100,000 experienced fighting men from Israel.

But a man of God came to him and said, “Your Majesty, do not hire troops from Israel, for the Lord is not with Israel. He will not help those people of Ephraim! If you let them go with your troops into battle, you will be defeated by the enemy no matter how well you fight. God will overthrow you, for he has the power to help you or to trip you up.”

Amaziah asked the man of God, “But what about all that silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?”

The man of God replied, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this!” 10 So Amaziah discharged the hired troops and sent them back to Ephraim. This made them very angry with Judah, and they returned home in a great rage.

11 Then Amaziah summoned his courage and led his army to the Valley of Salt, where they killed 10,000 Edomite troops from Seir. 12 They captured another 10,000 and took them to the top of a cliff and threw them off, dashing them to pieces on the rocks below.

13 Meanwhile, the hired troops that Amaziah had sent home raided several of the towns of Judah between Samaria and Beth-horon. They killed 3,000 people and carried off great quantities of plunder.

14 When King Amaziah returned from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought with him idols taken from the people of Seir. He set them up as his own gods, bowed down in front of them, and offered sacrifices to them! 15 This made the Lord very angry, and he sent a prophet to ask, “Why do you turn to gods who could not even save their own people from you?”

16 But the king interrupted him and said, “Since when have I made you the king’s counselor? Be quiet now before I have you killed!”

So the prophet stopped with this warning: “I know that God has determined to destroy you because you have done this and have refused to accept my counsel.”

17 After consulting with his advisers, King Amaziah of Judah sent this challenge to Israel’s king Jehoash,[e] the son of Jehoahaz and grandson of Jehu: “Come and meet me in battle!”[f]

18 But King Jehoash of Israel replied to King Amaziah of Judah with this story: “Out in the Lebanon mountains, a thistle sent a message to a mighty cedar tree: ‘Give your daughter in marriage to my son.’ But just then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and stepped on the thistle, crushing it!

19 “You are saying, ‘I have defeated Edom,’ and you are very proud of it. But my advice is to stay at home. Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and the people of Judah?”

20 But Amaziah refused to listen, for God was determined to destroy him for turning to the gods of Edom. 21 So King Jehoash of Israel mobilized his army against King Amaziah of Judah. The two armies drew up their battle lines at Beth-shemesh in Judah. 22 Judah was routed by the army of Israel, and its army scattered and fled for home. 23 King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah’s king, Amaziah son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. Then he brought him to Jerusalem, where he demolished 600 feet[g] of Jerusalem’s wall, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. 24 He carried off all the gold and silver and all the articles from the Temple of God that had been in the care of Obed-edom. He also seized the treasures of the royal palace, along with hostages, and then returned to Samaria.

25 King Amaziah of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Jehoash of Israel. 26 The rest of the events in Amaziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.

27 After Amaziah turned away from the Lord, there was a conspiracy against his life in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But his enemies sent assassins after him, and they killed him there. 28 They brought his body back on a horse, and he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David.[h]

Uzziah Rules in Judah

26 All the people of Judah had crowned Amaziah’s sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah, as king in place of his father. After his father’s death, Uzziah rebuilt the town of Elath[i] and restored it to Judah.

Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God.[j] And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.

Uzziah declared war on the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. Then he built new towns in the Ashdod area and in other parts of Philistia. God helped him in his wars against the Philistines, his battles with the Arabs of Gur,[k] and his wars with the Meunites. The Meunites[l] paid annual tribute to him, and his fame spread even to Egypt, for he had become very powerful.

Uzziah built fortified towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the angle in the wall. 10 He also constructed forts in the wilderness and dug many water cisterns, because he kept great herds of livestock in the foothills of Judah[m] and on the plains. He was also a man who loved the soil. He had many workers who cared for his farms and vineyards, both on the hillsides and in the fertile valleys.

11 Uzziah had an army of well-trained warriors, ready to march into battle, unit by unit. This army had been mustered and organized by Jeiel, the secretary of the army, and his assistant, Maaseiah. They were under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s officials. 12 These regiments of mighty warriors were commanded by 2,600 clan leaders. 13 The army consisted of 307,500 men, all elite troops. They were prepared to assist the king against any enemy.

14 Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and sling stones. 15 And he built structures on the walls of Jerusalem, designed by experts to protect those who shot arrows and hurled large stones[n] from the towers and the corners of the wall. His fame spread far and wide, for the Lord gave him marvelous help, and he became very powerful.

Uzziah’s Sin and Punishment

16 But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar. 17 Azariah the high priest went in after him with eighty other priests of the Lord, all brave men. 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is the work of the priests alone, the descendants of Aaron who are set apart for this work. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The Lord God will not honor you for this!”

19 Uzziah, who was holding an incense burner, became furious. But as he was standing there raging at the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s Temple, leprosy[o] suddenly broke out on his forehead. 20 When Azariah the high priest and all the other priests saw the leprosy, they rushed him out. And the king himself was eager to get out because the Lord had struck him. 21 So King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house, for he was excluded from the Temple of the Lord. His son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land.

22 The rest of the events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 23 When Uzziah died, he was buried with his ancestors; his grave was in a nearby burial field belonging to the kings, for the people said, “He had leprosy.” And his son Jotham became the next king.

Footnotes

  1. 25:1 As in parallel text at 2 Kgs 14:2; Hebrew reads Jehoaddan, a variant spelling of Jehoaddin.
  2. 25:4 Deut 24:16.
  3. 25:5 Hebrew commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds.
  4. 25:6 Hebrew 100 talents [3,400 kilograms].
  5. 25:17a Hebrew Joash, a variant spelling of Jehoash; also in 25:18, 21, 23, 25.
  6. 25:17b Hebrew Come, let us look one another in the face.
  7. 25:23 Hebrew 400 cubits [180 meters].
  8. 25:28 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and other ancient versions (see also 2 Kgs 14:20); most Hebrew manuscripts read the city of Judah.
  9. 26:2 As in Greek version (see also 2 Kgs 14:22; 16:6); Hebrew reads Eloth, a variant spelling of Elath.
  10. 26:5 As in Syriac and Greek versions; Hebrew reads who instructed him in divine visions.
  11. 26:7 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads Gur-baal.
  12. 26:8 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads Ammonites. Compare 26:7.
  13. 26:10 Hebrew the Shephelah.
  14. 26:15 Or to shoot arrows and hurl large stones.
  15. 26:19 Or a contagious skin disease. The Hebrew word used here and throughout this passage can describe various skin diseases.