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2 Chronicles 25


(LXX versing)
Amaziah Succeeds Joash in Judah Amaziah Reigns in Judah Amaziah Acts Wrongfully and Suffers Punishment Kiing Amaziah of Judah Accession of Amaziah
25:1-4 25:1-2 25:1-4 25:1-4 25:1-4
Amaziah Defeats Edomites The War Against Edom War Against Edom His Victorious Campaign Against Edom
25:5-10 25:5-10 25:5-10 25:5-8 25:5-10
25:11-13 25:11-12 25:11-13 25:11-12 25:11-13
Amaziah Rebuked for Idolatry 25:13 25:13
25:14-16 25:14-16 25:14-16 25:14-15 25:14-16
Amaziah Defeated by Joash of Israel Israel Defeats Judah War Against Israel His Disastrous Campaign Against Israel
25:17-19 25:17-24 25:17-19 25:17-19 25:17-19
25:20-24 25:20-24 25:20-24 25:20-24
Death of Amaziah His Death
25:25-28 25:25-28 25:25-28 25:25-28 25:25

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


1Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. 2He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart. 3Now it came about as soon as the kingdom was firmly in his grasp, that he killed his servants who had slain his father the king. 4However, he did not put their children to death, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, which the Lord commanded, saying, "Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor sons be put to death for fathers, but each shall be put to death for his own sin."


2 Chronicles 25:1 is a typical introduction to a king's reign.

  1. age at ascension
  2. length of reign
  3. mother's name

"twenty-five years old. . .reigned twenty-nine years" For a good brief discussion, see Martin Selman, Tyndale OT Commentaries, 2 Chronicles, p. 489.

"The date of Amaziah's reign is a seemingly intractable problem, and his twenty-nine years (v. 1) has been reduced to varying lengths such as thirteen, sixteen, or nineteen years.1 One solution regards Amaziah as sole ruler for only five years before being taken hostage by Jehoash of Israel (vv. 23-24), with his son Uzziah being co-regent for the remaining twenty-four years. This rather surprising conclusion has found support in the unique comment that Amaziah lived for fifteen years after Jehoash's death (v. 25) and in the participation of the people at Uzziah's accession, perhaps indicating some kind of crisis (26:1; cf. 22:1).2 If this is correct, the two wars belong to Amaziah's first five years, though the whole reign has been dated between 801-773 (Begrich) and796-767 (Thiele)."

The IVP Bible Background Commentary p. 446, mentions that Amaziah was a contemporary

  1. in Israel, of
    1. Joash
    2. Jeroboam II
  2. in Assyria, of
    1. Adad-Nirari III
    2. Shalmaneser IV
    3. Ashur-Dan III


25:2 This is "good news; bad news." Amaziah did right in the sight of the Lord. See full note at 2 Chr. 24:2. However, like his predecessors, he started well (i.e., listened to God's messengers, cf. vv. 5-10) but later did not (i.e., vv. 14-16,20; 2 Kgs. 14:4 mentions the high places).

David, the ideal king, had a "whole heart" but not all his descendants did.

  1. Solomon ‒ 1 Kgs. 11:4
  2. Abijam ‒ 1 Kgs. 15:3

David admonishes Solomon about this in 1 Chr. 28:8-9 and prays for him in 1 Chr. 29:19. Attitude is crucial!

25:4 This shows a knowledge of Deuteronomy (i.e., Deut. 24:16) before Josiah found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. The Chronicler's writing shows he knew many OT books (see Introduction to 2 Chronicles, III., G.).

The parallel shows this same allusion (cf. 2 Kgs. 14:6) and, like the Chronicler, simply quoted him. Kings is written earlier but still after the

  1. conquest of Jerusalem and the temple by Nebuchadnezzar
  2. the murder of Gedaliah the Babylonian appointed governor of Judah

Just a theological note, this verse focuses on the spiritual responsibility of each individual (cf. Jer. 31:29,30; Ezekiel 18), but later in this chapter, several cities of Judah and 3,000 people are killed (2 Chr. 25:13) because of the sin of Amaziah. It is hard to balance these concepts (i.e., Deut. 5:9 vs. 7:9)!

5Moreover, Amaziah assembled Judah and appointed them according to their fathers' households under commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds throughout Judah and Benjamin; and he took a census of those from twenty years old and upward and found them to be 300,000 choice men, able to go to war and handle spear and shield. 6He hired also 100,000 valiant warriors out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver. 7But a man of God came to him saying, "O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel nor with any of the sons of Ephraim. 8But if you do go, do it, be strong for the battle; yet God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to bring down." 9Amaziah said to the man of God, "But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?" And the man of God answered, "The Lord has much more to give you than this." 10Then Amaziah dismissed them, the troops which came to him from Ephraim, to go home; so their anger burned against Judah and they returned home in fierce anger.

25:5 This is a census for military purposes of war (i.e., 2 Chr. 14:8; 17:14-18; 26:11-13) against Edom.

Josephus, Antiq. 9.1.1., says the battle was against three nations, "Amalekites, Edomites, and Gebalites." The inclusion of "Amalekites" might be a way to explain/excuse the slaughter of 2 Chr. 25:12. All Amalekites were to be killed.


"300,000" As always in Kings and Chronicles, one wonders about the meaning of "thousand."


"spear and shield" It was the king's responsibility to produce, store, and distribute arms in this period. Often lists of weaponry are mentioned.

  1. 2 Chr. 25:5; 11:12
    1. shields (i.e., large shield, BDB 857 III, KB 1037)
    2. spears or lance (BDB 942)
  2. 2 Chr. 14:8
    1. large shields (BDB 857 III)
    2. spears or lances (BDB 942)
    3. shields (BDB 171)
    4. bows (BDB 905)
  3. 2 Chr. 23:5
    1. spears (BDB 333)
    2. large shields (BDB 171)
    3. bows (BDB 1020, KB 1522)
  4. 2 Chr. 26:14
    1. shields (BDB 171, KB 545)
    2. spears (BDB 942)
    3. helmets (BDB 464)
    4. body armor (BDB 1056)
    5. bows (BDB 905)
    6. sling stones (BDB 6 construct BDB 887)
  5. Neh. 4:13
    1. swords (BDB 352)
    2. spears (BDB 942)
    3. bows (BDB 905)

See Roland deVaux, Ancient Israel, "Armaments," pp. 241-246.

25:6 Amaziah hired mercenaries from Ephraim (2 Chr. 25:10).

"talents of silver" Apparently (i.e., from their actions in 2 Chr. 25:13) these Ephraimitic mercenaries were promised part of the spoils of the defeated army.


25:7 Amaziah is confronted with a prophetic message which he obeyed (2 Chr. 25:7-10). This obedience brings victory. The king's idolatry will bring defeat. Both are from YHWH, not human forces!

The post-exilic Chronicler (probably Ezra) is nervous of all foreign alliances. He chooses aspects of history to emphasize his theological concern.

25:8 There is an introductory series of three Qal IMPERATIVES.

  1. if you go ‒ BDB 97, KB 112
  2. act ‒ BDB 793, KB 889
  3. be strong ‒ BDB 304, KB 302

This is a warning (v. 8, "do not let the army of Israel go with you," IMPERFECT used in a JUSSIVE sense, same as #1). It is also a promise of YHWH's presence, power, and assured victory (cf. 2 Chr. 14:11; 20:6) if they are obedient.

11Now Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people forth, and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 of the sons of Seir. 12The sons of Judah also captured 10,000 alive and brought them to the top of the cliff and threw them down from the top of the cliff, so that they were all dashed to pieces. 13But the troops whom Amaziah sent back from going with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 of them and plundered much spoil.

25:11-13 These are shocking verses of death and brutality. Ancient warfare was honorable (esp. against Edom, cf. 1 Kgs. 11:15).

25:11 "the Valley of Salt" This same location is mentioned in 2 Sam. 8:13; 1 Chr. 18:12. Its location is uncertain.

  1. east of Beersheba (wadi el-Ceba)
  2. south of the Dead Sea (wadi el-Milch)

25:13 "the troops" This refers to the mercenaries from Ephraim (2 Chr. 25:6). The phrase "the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth-horon" is unusual. Beth-horon is about fifteen miles NW of Jerusalem but "Samaria" is the capital of Israel, much farther north; both are in Israel, not Judah.

This does explain v. 10 but the geography is uncertain. There is no "Samaria" near the border of Judah and Ephraim. Perhaps this verse means they left from Samaria and traveled to Beth-horon, where they destroyed and plundered villages while Amaziah was battling Edom.

14Now after Amaziah came from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought the gods of the sons of Seir, set them up as his gods, bowed down before them and burned incense to them. 15Then the anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, "Why have you sought the gods of the people who have not delivered their own people from your hand?" 16As he was talking with him, the king said to him, "Have we appointed you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?" Then the prophet stopped and said, "I know that God has planned to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel."

25:14 This is so shocking! How could a king who just responded positively to a prophet be led so quickly into idolatry with the obviously impotent gods of Edom (cf. 15b)?

Notice what Amaziah did.

  1. collected the idols of Edom
  2. brought them to Jerusalem
  3. bowed down to them
  4. burned incense to them

1 Chronicles 25:15 is a powerfully logical statement! Why, Why, Why?

25:15 After the Davidic covenant of 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17 (i.e., 1 Kgs. 8:25), several ways of forgiveness or restoration of fellowship with YHWH are mentioned.

  1. the possibility of repentance (i.e., 1 Kgs. 8:29-53)
  2. there is a prophetic warning (in this chapter alone there are two unnamed prophets and even a revelation from an idolatrous king)

25:16 The king's rebellion is clearly revealed in this verse. His mind and heart were set on a course of idolatry! But there will be consequences, as there always are!

17Then Amaziah king of Judah took counsel and sent to Joash the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, the king of Israel, saying, "Come, let us face each other." 18Joash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, "The thorn bush which was in Lebanon sent to the cedar which was in Lebanon, saying, 'Give your daughter to my son in marriage.' But there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon and trampled the thorn bush. 19You said, 'Behold, you have defeated Edom.' And your heart has become proud in boasting. Now stay at home; for why should you provoke trouble so that you, even you, would fall and Judah with you?"

25:17 "took counsel" What counsel?

  1. he had rejected prophetic counsel, v. 16
  2. was this from
    1. his political leaders
    2. his military leaders
    3. his new gods and their priests

The counsel probably encouraged Amaziah to attack Israel because of what the Ephraimitic mercenaries did in v. 13.

25:18-19 Agricultural analogies or fables were common in the ANE (i.e., Samson). Judah thought she was a tree but she was a bush!

What is surprising is Israel's humility and patience. YHWH was speaking through Israel's pagan king, warning the Davidic seed. YHWH tries to sway human volition but He allows its choices and consequences. Life is not a pre-written script. Foreknowledge must not be confused with determinism.

Apparently there was friendship between Judah and Israel.

  1. ability to hire mercenaries, 2 Chr. 25:6
  2. marriage proposal (i.e., even if rejected), 2 Chr. 25:18
  3. the king of Israel's attempt not to go to war, 2 Chr. 25:17-19

25:18 "the wild beast" This may be the 100,000 soldiers who were furious (cf. 2 Chr. 25:10).

25:19 King Amaziah was overconfident because of his defeat of a smaller Edomite army (i.e., 20,000 casualties), but Israel was a much larger army.

20But Amaziah would not listen, for it was from God, that He might deliver them into the hand of Joash because they had sought the gods of Edom. 21So Joash king of Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah faced each other at Beth-shemesh, which belonged to Judah. 22Judah was defeated by Israel, and they fled each to his tent. 23Then Joash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth-shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem and tore down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate, 400 cubits. 24He took all the gold and silver and all the utensils which were found in the house of God with Obed-edom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.

25:20 This is another theological comment by the Chronicler. YHWH is behind all history. Amaziah's idolatry will have consequences, not only for him but for Judah.

25:21 "Beth-shemesh" This (BDB 112) meant "house of the sun," which denoted astral worship in Judah at some point.

25:23 Jerusalem's wall was the major means of her protection. Here, its destruction showed that YHWH's protection had departed!

There are several items that show YHWH's judgment.

  1. a large portion (i.e., 600 feet) of the city's wall that faced north was destroyed
  2. the treasure and utensils of the temple were taken to Damascus
  3. members of the special temple Levites were taken (hostages, literally, "sons of pledges," cf. 2 Kgs. 14:14)
  4. the treasures of the king's palace were taken
  5. some time later his own servants conspired against him and slew him (same thing happened to Amaziah's father in 2 Chr. 24:25-26)


25And Amaziah, the son of Joash king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Joash, son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel. 26Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, from first to last, behold, are they not written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel? 27From the time that Amaziah turned away from following the Lord they conspired against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there. 28Then they brought him on horses and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.

25:26 "the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel" This book did not survive. In other places this book is mentioned as

  1. the Book of the Kings of Judah
  2. the Book of the Kings of Israel

but here, they are combined into one book. These records must be compilations of royal scribes through the history of Israel and Judah. Therefore, they were finally combined sometime during the post-exilic period.

25:27 This is the second Judean king who was assassinated.

25:28 This implies that he was buried in the royal tombs. His reign, like so many of his predecessors' reigns, was a mixture of faith and faithlessness!

"the city of Judah" Usually it says, "the city of David" (see LXX, Peshitta, Vulgate, cf. 2 Kgs. 14:20), which, in this context, is Jerusalem, not Bethlehem.


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. Why is 2 Chr. 25:1 a chronological problem?
  2. What does "yet not with a whole heart" mean? (2 Chr. 25:2)
  3. Did Amaziah know Deuteronomy?
  4. What are the two problems with an Ephramitic mercenary force?
  5. Why were the mercenaries mad? What did they do? What did this cause?
  6. Why is 2 Chr. 25:14 so shocking?
  7. What two possible reasons are there for war with Israel?
  8. Explain how the extra 15 year life of Amaziah is problematic. Was Uzziah co-regent during this time?

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