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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
2 Kings 14

 

 

Verses 1-29


Reigns of Amaziah of Judah and Jeroboam of Israel

1. In the second year of Joash.. king of Israel] Joash of Judah reigned 40 years, and as his thirty-seventh year corresponded to the first year of Joash of Israel (2 Kings 13:10) the accession of his son Amaziah could not coincide with the Israelite king's second year; so that there is some slight error of calculation.

3. Not like David] He was not perfectly faithful to the Lord, for late in his reign he worshipped the gods of Edom (2 Chronicles 25:14).

6. The children.. he slew not] see Deuteronomy 24:16, and cp. Ezekiel 18:2-4. The contrast between Amaziah's conduct and the practice recorded in 2 Samuel 21:6; 2 Kings 9:26 shows that by this time a clearer conception had been acquired of the rights of individuals, which prevented the guilt of the parent from being held to extend to all his family.

7. Edom] see further in 2 Chronicles 25:5-16. The valley of salt] immediately S. of the Dead Sea. Selah] the later Petra, E. of the Arabah. Joktheel] said to mean 'subdued by God.' Unto this day] i.e. unto the time of the writer whose materials are here used by the historian. The date is probably early, for the Edomites practically recovered their independence in Ahaz' reign (2 Kings 16:6), and would naturally restore their capital's former name.

8. Let us.. face] i.e. meet face to face in battle. If Judah at this time was a vassal of the northern kingdom (see on 1 Kings 22:2), Amaziah's motive in courting a quarrel with his neighbour was probably a desire to free Judah from this position of subservience. His recent success over Edom doubtless encouraged him; but he miscalculated the respective resources of himself and his opponent.

9. The thistle] The thistle represents Amaziah and the cedar Jehoash, whilst the lion symbolises the ruin that humbled the arrogance of the former; but the fable does not quite suit the circumstances, as Amaziah was seeking, not a friendly alliance, but a quarrel. For the use of fables cp. Judges 9:8-15.

11. Bethshemesh] In the Lowland (Shephelah) of Judah, 15 m. W. of Jerusalem.

13. From the gate.. gate] The wall that was dismantled was on the N. side of the city, which was thus left defenceless to attacks from that direction, in case it gave further provocation.

19. Lachish] on the Philistine border, but within the territory of Judah (Joshua 15:39). It is usually identified with the modern Tell el Hesy.

21. Took Azariah] called in 2 Kings 15:13 (see note) and elsewhere Uzziah. The fact that though Amaziah was dethroned and put to death, his son was nevertheless made king in his room witnesses to the affection that continued to be felt for the dynasty of David.

The Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser mentions among the kings from whom he received tribute a certain Azriyahu of Jaudi, who has been thought by some scholars to represent Azariah of Judah, but the identity of the two names is now questioned.

22. Elath] see on 1 Kings 9:26, and for its eventual loss see 2 Kings 16:6. Its restoration to Judah implies the subjugation of Edom.

23. Jeroboam.. forty and one years] This is inconsistent with the figures given in 2 Kings 14:2 and 2 Kings 15:8, for Jeroboam's reign covered 15 years of Amaziah's and 37 of Azariah's, making 52 in all.

25. Restored the coast] i.e. extended the territory of Israel to its original boundaries when at the height of its prosperity: see on 2 Kings 14:28. The entering of Hamath] i.e. the gorge between Lebanon and Hermon. The sea of the plain] RV 'the sea of the Arabah': i.e. the Dead Sea, the Arabah being the long depression extending from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf of Akaba. Jeroboam's conquests probably included Moab, and to his reign the invasion of that country described in Isaiah 15:1 to Isaiah 16:12 may be most plausibly assigned. His success was facilitated by the inactivity of Assyria at the time. Jonah] The same prophet who is the subject of the book of that name.

Gath-hepher] in Zebulun, a little to the N. of Nazareth.

Jonah was not the only prophet who was active in Israel during this reign, for both Hosea and Amos were his contemporaries. Of these Hosea belonged by birth to the northern kingdom, but Amos was a native of Judah. From the writings of Amos it was plain that though the prosperity of the kingdom had greatly increased during the reign of Jeroboam, its moral condition was sadly in need of reform. Social oppression (Amos 2:6-8; Amos 5:11), commercial dishonesty (2 Kings 8:5-6), and judicial corruption (2 Kings 5:7) were rife in the land, and in consequence the prophet declared that the nation would be punished by captivity in a foreign land (2 Kings 5:27; 2 Kings 6:7; 2 Kings 7:9, 2 Kings 7:17). Amaziah the priest of Bethel denounced him to Jeroboam, and bade him flee back into Judah, counsel which the prophet requited by predicting that Amaziah would share the captivity of his countrymen and his family be destroyed by the sword.

26. Any shut up] see on 1 Kings 14:10.

28. Damascus and Hamath] Both these places had been included within the possessions of Solomon (1 Kings 4:21), but the former was lost to him by the success of Rezon related in 1 Kings 11:23-25. The re-conquest of the places here named could not have been long maintained, for Amos speaks of Damascus, the nearer of the two, as an independent state (Amos 1:3).

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/2-kings-14.html. 1909.

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Monday, December 16th, 2019
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