Puffed up from his victory over the Edomites, Amaziah challenged Israel to war and was soundly defeated by Jehoash and his army. “King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah’s king, Amaziah son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. Then he marched to Jerusalem, where he demolished 600 feet of Jerusalem’s wall, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. He carried off all the gold and silver and all the articles from the Temple of the Lord. He also seized the treasures from the royal palace, along with hostages, and then returned to Samaria” (II Kings 14:13-14, NLT).
The information Scripture gives us at this point is a bit murky. It would appear that Jehoash may have held onto Amaziah for a time, during which, even though Amaziah was officially the king, “the people of Judah had crowned Amaziah’s sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah, as king in place of his father, Amaziah” (II Kings 14:19-21). (Important: Uzziah is also known as Azariah.)
However the change in kingship came about, Amaziah was still living when Uzziah became king in his stead. Having either been released or having escaped from Jehoash, “There was a conspiracy against Amaziah’s life in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish” (II Kings 14:19a).
Amaziah’s choice of hideouts says a lot about the sort of man he was. Lachish was the first city in Judah to copy the idolatry of Israel. The prophet Micah delivered God’s warning to the city: “You people of Lachish. You were the first city in Judah to follow Israel in her rebellion, and you led Jerusalem into sin” (Micah 1:13b). Amaziah apparently sought out refuge among his own kind – for all the good that did him.
“His enemies sent assassins after him, and they killed him there. They brought his body back to Jerusalem on a horse, and he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David” (II Kings 14:19b-20).
The only other statement Scripture makes about Jehoash concerns his death: “When Jehoash died, he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. And his son Jeroboam II became the next king” (II Kings 14:16).
The Bible gives a very brief summary of Jeroboam II’s unimpressive career. However, he, like so many other evil men before him, were still used by God to fulfill some of what the Lord had promised:
“Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, began to rule over Israel in the fifteenth year of King Amaziah’s reign in Judah. Jeroboam reigned in Samaria forty-one years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit. Jeroboam II recovered the territories of Israel between Lebo-hamath and the Dead Sea, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised through Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher” (II Kings 14:23-25).
“In the fifteenth year of King Amaziah’s reign in Judah.” It seems that Amaziah is here referred to as king even though his son Uzziah is likely ruling in his stead at the will of the people of Judah. We also see here mention of the prophet “Jonah, son of Amittai,” the same one for whom the book of Jonah is named and the same prophet who was sent to the people of Nineveh.
“When Jeroboam II died, he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Then his son Zechariah became the next king” (II Kings 14:29).
But while Jeroboam II is still on the throne in Israel, we have Uzziah coming to power in Judah. Compared to his predecessors, Uzziah would be a good king for the people.
“We are not here to learn how to live in the dark but to walk in the light. We are not here to get along with evil but to overcome it with good.” (Vance Havner)
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates