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2 Chronicles 25

Amaziah’s Reign

25:1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. 1  His mother was Jehoaddan, who was from Jerusalem. 25:2 He did what the Lord approved, 2  but not with wholehearted devotion. 3 

25:3 When he had secured control of the kingdom, 4  he executed the servants who had assassinated his father. 5  25:4 However, he did not execute their sons. He obeyed the Lord’s commandment as recorded in the law scroll of Moses, 6  “Fathers must not be executed for what their sons do, 7  and sons must not be executed for what their fathers do. 8  A man must be executed only for his own sin.” 9 

25:5 Amaziah assembled the people of Judah 10  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 11  equipped with spears and shields. 12  25:6 He hired 100,000 Israelite warriors for a hundred talents 13  of silver.

25:7 But a prophet 14  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. 15  25:8 Even if you go and fight bravely in battle, God will defeat you 16  before the enemy. God is capable of helping or defeating.” 17  25:9 Amaziah asked the prophet: 18  “But what should I do about the hundred talents of silver I paid the Israelite troops?” The prophet 19  replied, “The Lord is capable of giving you more than that.” 25:10 So Amaziah dismissed the troops that had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home. 20  They were very angry at Judah and returned home incensed. 25:11 Amaziah boldly led his army to the Valley of Salt, 21  where he defeated 22  10,000 Edomites. 23  25:12 The men 24  of Judah captured 10,000 men alive. They took them to the top of a cliff and threw them over. 25  All the captives 26  fell to their death. 27  25:13 Now the troops Amaziah had dismissed and had not allowed to fight in the battle 28  raided 29  the cities of Judah from Samaria 30  to Beth Horon. They killed 31  3,000 people and carried off a large amount of plunder.

25:14 When Amaziah returned from defeating the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people 32  of Seir and made them his personal gods. 33  He bowed down before them and offered them sacrifices. 25:15 The Lord was angry at Amaziah and sent a prophet to him, who said, “Why are you following 34  these gods 35  that could not deliver their own people from your power?” 36  25:16 While he was speaking, Amaziah 37  said to him, “Did we appoint you to be a royal counselor? Stop prophesying or else you will be killed!” 38  So the prophet stopped, but added, “I know that the Lord has decided 39  to destroy you, because you have done this thing and refused to listen to my advice.”

25:17 After King Amaziah of Judah consulted with his advisers, 40  he sent this message to the king of Israel, Joash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, “Come, face me on the battlefield.” 41  25:18 King 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. 42  25:19 You defeated Edom 43  and it has gone to your head. 44  Gloat over your success, 45  but stay in your palace. Why bring calamity on yourself? Why bring down yourself and Judah along with you?” 46 

25:20 But Amaziah did not heed the warning, 47  for God wanted to hand them over to Joash because they followed the gods of Edom. 48  25:21 So King Joash of Israel attacked. He and King Amaziah of Judah faced each other on the battlefield 49  in Beth Shemesh of Judah. 25:22 Judah was defeated by Israel, and each man ran back home. 50  25:23 King 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. 51  25:24 He 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.

25:25 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Joash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 25:26 The rest of the events of Amaziah’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded in the Scroll of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 52  25:27 From the time Amaziah turned from following the Lord, conspirators plotted against him in Jerusalem, 53  so he fled to Lachish. But they sent assassins after him 54  and they killed him there. 25:28 His body was carried back by horses, 55  and he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors 56  in the City of David. 57 

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1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn Heb “he did what was proper in the eyes of the Lord.”

3 tn Heb “a complete heart.”

4 tn Heb “when the kingdom was secure upon him.”

5 tn Heb “he killed his servants, the ones who had struck down the king, his father.”

6 tn Heb “as it is written in the scroll of the law of Moses which the Lord commanded, saying.”

7 tn Heb “on account of sons.”

8 tn Heb “on account of fathers.”

9 sn This law is recorded in Deut 24:16.

10 tn 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.

11 tn Heb “young men going out to war.”

12 tn Heb “holding a spear and a shield.”

13 tn 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).

14 tn Heb “man of God.”

15 tn Heb “Israel, all the sons of Ephraim.”

16 tn Heb “cause you to stumble.”

17 tn Heb “to cause to stumble.”

18 tn Heb “said to the man of God.”

19 tn Heb “man of God.”

20 tn Heb “and Amaziah separated them, the troops who came to him from Ephraim, to go to their place.”

21 tn Heb “and Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people and went to the Valley of Salt.”

22 tn Or “struck down.”

23 tn Heb “sons of Seir.”

24 tn Heb “sons.”

25 tn Heb “and threw them from the top of the cliff.”

26 tn Heb “all of them.”

27 tn Heb “smashed in pieces.”

28 tn Heb “had sent back from going with him to the battle.”

29 tn Heb “stripped.”

30 map For location see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

31 tn Heb “struck down.”

32 tn Heb “sons.”

33 tn Heb “caused them to stand for him as gods.”

34 tn Heb “seeking,” perhaps in the sense of “consulting [an oracle from].”

35 tn Heb “the gods of the people.”

36 tn Heb “hand.”

37 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Amaziah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

38 tn Heb “Stop yourself! Why should they strike you down?”

39 tn 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.”

40 tn The words “with his advisers” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

41 tn 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.

42 sn 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).

43 tn Heb “you say [to yourself], ‘look, you have defeated Edom.’”

44 tn Heb “and your heart is lifted up.”

45 tn Heb “to glorify.”

46 tn Heb “Why get involved in calamity and fall, you and Judah with you?”

47 tn Heb “did not listen.”

48 tn Heb “because it was from God in order to give them into the hand because they sought the gods of Edom.”

49 tn Heb “looked at each other [in the] face.” See the note on the expression “Come on, face me on the battlefield” in v. 17.

50 tn Heb “and Judah was struck down before Israel and they fled, each to his tent.”

51 tn Heb “400 cubits.” Assuming a cubit of 18 inches (45 cm), the distance would have been about 600 feet (180 m).

52 tn 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.”

53 tn Heb “and they conspired against him [with] a conspiracy in Jerusalem.”

54 tn Heb “and they sent after him to Lachish.”

55 tn Heb “and they carried him on horses.”

56 tn Heb “fathers.”

57 tc The Hebrew text has “Judah,” but some medieval mss read “David,” as does the parallel passage in 2 Kgs 14:20.

sn 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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