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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 14

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verses 1-2

In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel reigned Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 3

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did.

He did that which was right ... yet not like David his father. The beginning of his reign was excellent, for he acted the part of a constitutional king, according to the law of God, yet not with perfect sincerity of heart (cf. 2 Chronicles 25:2); for, as in the case of his father, Joash, the early promise was belied by the devious course he personally followed in later life (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 20:14), as well as by the public irregularities he tolerated in the kingdom.

Verse 4

Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 5

And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which had slain the king his father.

As soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand. This is regarded as implying that Judah had become a tributary dependency of Assyria, and that each prince, at his accession, required to be formally confirmed in his kingdom by his Assyrian suzerain. It was an act of justice, no less than of filial piety, to avenge the murder of his father; but it is evident that the two assassins must have possessed considerable weight and influence, as the king was obliged to retain them in his service, and durst not, for fear of their friends and supporters, institute proceedings against them until his power had been fully consolidated.

Verse 6

But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

But the children of the murderers he slew not. This moderation, inspired by the Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 24:16), displays the good character of this prince, for the course thus pursued toward the families of the regicides was directly contrary to the prevailing customs of antiquity according to which all connected with the criminals were doomed to unsparing destruction.

Verse 7

He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day.

He slew of Edom in the valley of Salt ten thousand. In the reign of Joram the Edomites had revolted (see the notes at 2 Kings 8:20). But Amasiah, determined to reduce them to their former subjection, formed a hostile expedition against them,, in which he routed their army, and made himself master of their capital. "The valley of Salt" is that part of the Ghor which composes the salt and sandy plain to the south of the Dead Sea.

Selah, [ ha-Cela` (H5554), the rock] - generally thought to be Petra.

Joktheel - i:e., given or conquered by God. (See the history of this conquest more fully detailed, 2 Chronicles 25:6-16.)

Verse 8

Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.

Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash ... king of Israel. This bold and haughty challenge, which was most probably stimulated by a desire of satisfaction for the outrages perpetrated by the discharged auxiliaries of Israel (2 Chronicles 25:13) on the towns that lay on their way home, as well as by revenge for the massacre of his ancestors by Jehu (2 Kings 9:1-37), sprang, there is little doubt, from pride and self-confidence, inspired by his victory over the Edomites.

Let us look one another in the face [ nitraa'eh (H7200) paaniym (H6440) (Hithpael)] - i:e., in a hostile sense. Gesenius interprets it, 'fighting hand to hand, in close combat,' of course with these respective armies (cf. 2 Kings 14:11; 2 Chronicles 25:17-21). [Septuagint, ofthoomen prosoopois, let us be seen in face.]

Verse 9

And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.

Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah. People in the East very often express their sentiments in a parabolic form, especially when they intend to convey unwelcome truths, or a contemptuous sneer. This was the design of the admonitory fable related by Joash in his reply. The thistle, a low shrub, might be chosen to represent Amaziah, a petty prince; the cedar, the powerful sovereign of Israel; and the wild beast that trode down the thistle, the overwhelming army with which Israel could desolate Judah. But, perhaps, without making so minute as application, the parable may be explained generally, as describing, in a striking manner the effects of pride and ambition, towering far beyond their natural sphere, and sure to fall with a sudden and ruinous crash. The moral of the fable is contained in 2 Kings 14:10.

Verse 10

Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory of this, and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 11

But Amaziah would not hear. Therefore Jehoash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth-she'mesh, which belongeth to Judah.

But Amaziah would not hear. The sarcastic tenor of this reply incited the king of Judah the more; for, being in a state of judicial blindness and infatuation (2 Chronicles 25:20), he was immovably determined on war. The superior energy of Joash, however, surprised him ere he had completed his military preparations. Pouring a numerous army into the territory of Judah, he encountered Amaziah in a pitched battle, routed his army, took himself prisoner, and having marched to Jerusalem, not only demolished part of the city walls, but plundered the treasures of the palace and temple, and, taking hostages to prevent any further molestation from Judah, terminated the war. Without leaving a garrison in Jerusalem, he returned to his capital with all convenient speed, his presence and whole forces being required to repel the troublesome incursions of the Syrians.

Verses 12-18

And Judah was put to the worse before Israel; and they fled every man to their tents.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 19

Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there.

They made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem. Amaziah's apostasy (2 Chronicles 25:27) was followed by a general mal-administration, especially the disastrous issue of the war with Israel-the ruinous condition of Jerusalem, the plunder of the temple, and the loss of their children, who were taken as hostages-lost him the respect and attachment, not of the grandees only, but of his subjects generally, who were in a state of rebellion. The king fled in terror to Lachish, frontier-town of the Philistines where however, he was traced and murdered. His friends had his corpse brought, without any pomp or ceremony, in a chariot to Jerusalem, where he was interred among his royal ancestors.

Verse 20

And they brought him on horses: and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 21

And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.

All the people of Judah took Azariah - or Uzziah (2 Kings 15:30; 2 Chronicles 26:1). The popular opposition had been personally directed against Amaziah, as the author of their calamities, but it was not extended to his family or heir.

Verse 22

He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.

He built Elath - fortified that seaport. It had revolted with the rest of Edom, but was now recovered by Uzziah, his father, who did not complete the conquest of Edom, having left him that work to do.

Verse 23

In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years.

Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel. He had been previously associated with his father for several years in the government.

And reigned forty and one years. Ewald, Thenius, and others, maintain that an error in the Hebrew numeral letters has occurred here-the duration of Jeroboam's reign having been originally stated at 52 or 53 instead of 41 years. But such a supposition is exceedingly improbable, as it implies the mistake to be considered as not limited to one, but to have extended to several letters (see the notes at 2 Kings 15:8).

Verse 24

And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord - by adhering to the favourite religious policy of the Israelite government.

Verse 25

He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gath-hepher.

He restored the coast of Israel ... Recovering the territory lost by the successful border incursions of Hazael (see the notes at 2 Kings 10:32), he re-established the ancient boundaries of the ten tribes. This result had been predicted by Jonah, of whom the only account transmitted to us is contained in this passage, and in the book called by his name. The prophecies by which he animated the patriotism of Jerobeam II in his long and severe struggles against the kings of Syria have not been recorded; for, although there was an unbroken series of prophets in Israel, none of them committed their predictions to writing; and Hosea, who lived after Jonah, in the latter end of the reign of this Jeroboam, was the first whose prophecies, receiving a permanent form, were afterward admitted into the sacred canon. As to Jonah's supposed parentage, see the notes at 1 Kings 17:17-23. His father's name was Amittai [ 'Amitay (H573), true] - a name given him, according to Jewish tradition, in reference to his mother's saying (2 Kings 14:24), "Now I know that the word of the Lord in thy month is truth;" hence, they say, Jonah was called the son Amittai - i:e., the son of truth. Amittai is supposed to have been a prophet himself. If this Jewish tradition have any foundation, the family must have removed from Zarephath, or, at all events, Jonah himself, to Gath-hepher, a town of Zebulun, in lower Galilee.

Verse 26

For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel.

For the Lord saw the affiction of Israel, that it was very bitter [ `aaniy (H6040) Yisraa'eel (H3478) moreh (H4784) mª'od (H3966)] - that the affliction of Israel was very perverse; i:e., stubborn, or incurable. [The Septuagint has: tapeinoosin Israeel pikran sfodra, the affliction of Israel very bitter; apparently reading maaraah (H4784) (adjective), instead of the word in the present Hebrew text, moreh (H4784) (verb).]

For there was not any shut up, nor any left. This phrase, the import of which is quite plain, has been variously explained. Some consider 'none shut up,' as meaning, there were none secure in their strong cities, or hiding-places (Judges 7:2; 1 Samuel 14:11), whence there might be some hope of their coming out. And 'none left,' as referring to the poor and contemptible people who were neglected, and allowed to continue as a remnant by the conquerors of a vanquished country, (see the notes at 2 Kings 25:12). Grotius understands by "shut up," captives; Gesenius interprets the phrase [ `aatsuwr (H6113) ... `aazuwb (H5800)], the shut up, and the let go free - i:e., the bond and the free-all, everyone, in the districts desolated by Hazael, were cut off, and the people destroyed (see the phrase used 2 Kings 9:8; Deuteronomy 32:36; 1 Kings 14:10; 1 Kings 21:21; other explanations are given. [Gesenius, `aazaab (H5800)].

Verse 27

And the LORD said not 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 Lord said not that he would blot out the name of Israel. Since the purposes of the divine covenant forbade as yet the overthrow of the kingdom of the ten tribes (see the notes at 2 Kings 13:23), God was pleased to show a token of mercy to Israel.

He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash. He was the last king by whom Yahweh sent deliverance to Israel; and He granted to this king a remarkable measure of national prosperity, enabling him to extend the borders of his kingdom even to the Euphrates and the Dead Sea (Sea of the Plain [ha-'Araabaah], the Arabah). The reign of this king, which was distinguished by so extraordinary a flow of prosperity, increased the religious apostasy, and by consequence the moral degeneracy of Israel. Under him, the corruption of manners became extreme, and laid the foundation for those public calamities which befell the kingdom soon after his demise, and quickly accomplished the destruction of the nation. In fact, as Hengstenberg well observes, 'the prosperity only confirmed the people still more in their security. Instead of being led to repentance by the unmerited mercy of God, they considered this prosperity as a reward of their apostasy, as the seal by which Yahweh-Baal confirmed the rectitude of their ways. The false prophets, too, did what was in their power to strengthen them in their delusion, while the true prophets preached to deaf ears' ('Christology,' 1:, p. 172). Hengstenberg refers in this last sentence to the emphatic warnings addressed to Jeroboam by Hosea and Amos. Although his whole reign was marked by signal successes, notwithstanding that apostasy, which was usually punished by war and loss of national independence, the wrath of God was denounced against Israel, as well as the future destruction of the house of Jeroboam by the two named prophets, whose writings sufficiently attest the faithful execution of their mission.

Verse 28

Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

The rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might ... This is the usual formula, intimating that the chief incidents of his reign were chronicled in the national annals. But particular mention is made of "his might" [ gªbuwraatow (H1369), personal prowess, valiant deeds].

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-kings-14.html. 1871-8.
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