Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, June 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 14

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-29

Chapter 14

Now we're coming again to Amaziah who became the king in Israel at the death of his father, who was assassinated at the end of chapter twelve.

Now in the second year that Joash the son of Jehoahaz was the king of Israel Amaziah whose father's name was also Joash the king of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, he reigned for twenty-nine years. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not as much as David his father: he did according to all of the things as Joash his father did ( 2 Kings 14:1-3 ).

Now notice "not as much as David his father." David wasn't his father directly but was a great great great great great great great great grandfather. But in the Bible they don't always signify the great great great greats. I only point this out here because there are certain people who fancy that the Bible has errors in it. And when you get to the book of Daniel, a book that the critics especially like to attack because it's such a totally damaging book for those that don't believe that God was able to speak to men, for the prophecies of Daniel are so accurate and so intricate that the only way the Bible critics could do anything to destroy Daniel was to say that Daniel didn't write it. It was written by some fellow some three hundred, two hundred, three hundred years later, who put Daniel's name to it. A very devout young man who wrote this fanciful story after the history happened, and he was really just recording history, but then he put Daniel's name on it to look like Daniel have written it. But it was actually, they say, written after the fact.

Well, the fellow was very clever, because he deceived Jesus in the thing. Because Jesus refers to the prophecy of Daniel. "And when you see the desolation, the abomination of desolation that was spoken by Daniel the prophet" ( Matthew 24:15 ). So these Bible critics are actually putting themselves up as smarter than Jesus. But I'm not surprised. That's why I have said I have very little respect for these supposed theological seminaries and brilliant men who have done their best to take away from the work of God in the Scriptures.

But in one of the things that they find fault with in Daniel is that it talks about Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar. When in reality Belshazzar was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. And so the Bible critics say, "You see, it calls Belshazzar the son of Nebuchadnezzar and he wasn't really." Nabopolassar was the son, and of course, now he was the grandson. And so the fact it refers to him as the son of Nebuchadnezzar, they try to use that.

But here the Bible refers to him as the son of David. And because it, the Bible doesn't have the term, the Hebrew didn't have the term grandson or great grandson, it was just the son and as far as my descendants go down the line, they refer back to me as the father. So the Bible is true and these brilliant men are liars.

The Bible says, "Let God be true, and every man a liar" ( Romans 3:4 ). So I'm only quoting the scripture. Worldly wisdom is so worthless when it comes to the Word of God. I would rather listen to a Spirit-filled man who didn't know Greek from hen scratches expound the truth of God's Word than I would some Ph.D. who knew all the original languages, but wasn't born again. For I would learn much more true spiritual truth from the uneducated man than I would the professor. "For the natural mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit; neither can it know them, for they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual understands all things, though he is not understood" ( 1 Corinthians 2:14 , 1 Corinthians 2:15 ). So I care not for the doctorates of man. Honored or earned, they mean nothing to me. I care for the work of the Spirit and the understanding of the Spirit in opening up the Scriptures to our hearts and to our minds.

So in the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz, Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign. But he did not come up to the spiritual, though he did good, not as good as his father David.

However he still did not remove the high places of worship: and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on those high places. Now it came to pass, as soon as he had confirmed the kingdom ( 2 Kings 14:4-5 ),

His father, you remember, was assassinated by his servants. He then, in turn, executed the servants who had assassinated his father. And then he went down against the Edomites, and there by the Dead Sea in the valley of salt, he killed ten thousand of the Edomites and he took the rock city of Petra. Now he is feeling pretty strong, pretty powerful.

So Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz who was the son of Jehu, who was the king over Israel, and he said, Come, let's face off with each other. And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah and he said, [Look,] the thistle that was in Lebanon said to the cedar, Give to me your daughter for my son as his wife: and there passed by a wild beast and trampled down the thistle. Now you have indeed smitten the Edomites, why don't you just sit at home and be happy and glory in the victory you have, for why should you meddle to your own hurt? However, Amaziah would not hear of it. Therefore Jehoash the king of Israel came against him, they met in battle at Bethshemesh, which belongs to Judah ( 2 Kings 14:8-11 ).

So this is not the Bethshemesh up near mount Gilboa.

And Judah was put to the worse before Israel; and they fled every man to their tents. And Jehoash the king of Israel took Amaziah the king of Judah, at Bethshemesh, and they came to Jerusalem, and he broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits ( 2 Kings 14:12-13 ).

Or about six hundred feet of the wall.

He took all of the gold and the silver, and all of the vessels that were found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house, and the hostages, and he returned to Samaria. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, [again we are told they are written in the chronicles of the kings of Israel] ( 2 Kings 14:14-15 ).

This meddling to your own hurt, it's something that people quite often do. There are things that you have no business meddling with. You can only get hurt if you do. There are places that as a Christian you have no business meddling around. And if you do, you're only going to get hurt. It is a very reasonable question, "Why should you meddle to your own hurt?" Don't meddle around with anything that can bring you into a snare, into a trap.

I wrote a paper in a philosophy class one time on the Christian ethic for our philosophy teacher. We were studying Orange Coast College in a philosophy class, and they wanted us to do a paper on the ethics. And so, I chose to do one on Christian ethics. And I took the same as of Paul the apostle in Corinthians, seeking to show that the Christian ethic is the broadest ethic of any philosophy. Broader than any philosophical ethic. For Paul in his Corinthian epistle said, "All things are lawful for me." Now you can't get a broader ethic than that. I can do anything. And I pointed out how that so many people look to Christianity as a very binding, restricting kind of a thing, but in reality, the true Christian ethic is so broad. "All things are lawful for me but," Paul said, "all things are not expedient" ( 1 Corinthians 6:12 ). Now the idea of expediency, you see, as a Christian "I'm pressing towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God" ( Philippians 3:14 ). I'm in a race. I'm in a race to win. I'm pressing towards my goal. Now there are things that can impede my progress towards my goal. But I'm so interested in achieving my goal; I'm not going to get involved with things that could impede my progress. So it may be lawful for me. It wouldn't send me to hell. It wouldn't destroy me for doing it, but it would hinder me in my progress towards my goal. So though I could do it, I don't do it, because I don't want to be impeded in my pressing towards the mark. He repeated, "All things are lawful for me, but not everything builds up" ( 1 Corinthians 10:23 ). Now as a child of God, I want actually to have Christ built up in me. And there are things that tear down the image of Christ. Now though they are lawful, though I could lawfully do it, they wouldn't send me to hell; yet they would take me away from Him. It would be tearing down. And thus, I don't do them because I don't want anything to tear me down. I'm only desiring to be built up in Christ Jesus.

And then he finally concludes, "All things are lawful for me," same broad Christian ethic, but he said, "I will not be brought under the power of any" ( 1 Corinthians 6:12 ). Now you see, as a Christian I know what real freedom is. Very few people really know true freedom. But as a Christian I know true freedom. Those in the world, they talk about free love and free so on and so forth, they don't really know what freedom is. They are so bound by their own lusts and all and by the things that they're in. They are so bound they don't know what freedom is. They've been brought under the power of the things they're doing. Having really tasted of freedom, knowing what freedom is, I love freedom so much that I'm not going to sacrifice freedom by meddling around with something that could bring me under its power.

So if by doing it I could be brought under its influence, I could be brought under its power, I'm not going to do it because I love my freedom too much. If I were brought under its power, then I don't have this glorious free ethic that says, "All things are lawful for me." You know, it is really a blessing to see things and say, "Well, I could be doing that. I don't want to. Or I don't need to. I don't have to have that. I don't have to do that." Sure I could do it, but I don't have to. I don't need to. I'm very complete and satisfied and happy with my present relationship with Jesus Christ, and I'm not reaching out and grabbing for higher standards or higher things. Just very content in Christ Jesus. And it's neat to have that kind of freedom to have the capacity, but not be pushed by some ambition or desire or, you know, drive within, I've-got-to-have-it kind of a thing.

Oh, what freedom that is. Waffling, sure. Send me to hell, no. But it might impede my progress towards heaven. I don't want that. It might bring me under its power; I don't want that. I'm too free and I love my freedom. Incidentally, I got an A on the paper. Blew the teacher's mind. She didn't even know anything about Christian philosophy at all and just absolutely blew her mind. She made notations all over that paper. She was really surprised and awed by it. In fact, she, I had quite a talk with her.

Meddling to your own hurt. Now the result of the meddling, the king came and tore down the wall, the defenses were destroyed.

The result of our meddling, of course, is once you do it, your defenses are destroyed. It's so much easier to do it the second time. And even easier the third, and the fourth, the fifth, until it's just a course and a manner of life. First time it was so hard. You resist it a lot, but you meddle, you got burned. Not only that, the treasures were taken away. And you lose something valuable whenever you meddle to your own hurt. Even as the treasures of purity, innocence, health, clear mind are so often lost because people have meddled to their own hurt.

The death of Amaziah's recorded in verse seventeen. We'll read about him again when we get to the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. And Azariah became the king in his place. He was only sixteen years old when he took over from his father. Actually Amaziah was assassinated even as was his own father. And his son, sixteen years old, became king, and he didn't do much but build Elath and he died.

Now in the fifteenth year of Amaziah ( 2 Kings 14:23 )

So we've already had his son succeed him, but now we go back and pick up one more part of the story.

Jeroboam the son of Joash began to reign in Samaria ( 2 Kings 14:23 ),

Now this is the time when Amos and Hosea were both prophesying, so you should, as you develop in your biblical studies, you should start to fit the prophet back into here now, because you'll understand their prophecy so much better when you realize the period of history. This is now getting to the end of the northern kingdom of Israel. We're coming down into the last century for that kingdom in the spiritual decline, and God is now beginning to raise up more prophets. And if you'll read the prophecies of Amos and Hosea, you'll understand them much better when you can in your mind fit them into this period of spiritual declension in the northern kingdom of Israel. And also mention of Jonah, the prophet here in verse twenty-five. So these three men were sent of God to the northern kingdom at this particular time to prophesy unto them.

Now this Jeroboam is Jeroboam the second, Jeroboam was the very first king over Israel, and now another king named after him.

and he reigned for forty-one years. But he did evil in the sight of the LORD. And the LORD saw the afflictions of Israel, it was very bitter: no one to help them ( 2 Kings 14:23-26 ).

They were isolated.

And the LORD said that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash. The rest of the acts of Jeroboam are in the book of chronicles of the kings of Israel ( 2 Kings 14:27-28 ).

Which we do not have.

Now the reign of Azariah, who is also known as Uzziah. Now when you think of Uzziah, and we're back now Azariah was the son of Amaziah and he didn't do much. But his son Azariah began to reign. The other name was Uzziah, and we think now of the prophet Isaiah. And so the prophecies of Isaiah. Isaiah was the prophet who actually began his real career and the prophecies at the death of Uzziah. Uzziah reigned for fifty-two years, and you remember there in the sixth chapter of Isaiah, "In the year the king Uzziah died I saw the Lord, high and lifted up, sitting upon the throne, his train filled the temple" ( Isaiah 6:1 ). So we're beginning, when we get to Uzziah, we'll come in to the time at the end of Uzziah's career, we're coming into the time of Isaiah. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-kings-14.html. 2014.
Ads FreeProfile