Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 14:8

Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, "Come, let us face each other."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ambassadors;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Jehoash;   Thompson Chain Reference - Amaziah;   Ambassadors;   Jehoahaz;   Jehoash or Joash;   Joash;   Nation, the;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Kings;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Amaziah;   Joash or Jehoash;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jehoash;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Amaziah;   Jehoash;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Fable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Face;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Amaziah ;   Jehoahaz ;   Joash ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Amaziah;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ambassador,;   Jeho'ash;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Amaziah;   War;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Israel, Kingdom of;   Jehoash;   Judah, Kingdom of;   Look;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Amaziah, King of Judah;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Come, let us look one another in the face - This was a real declaration of war; and the ground of it is most evident from this circumstance: that the one hundred thousand men of Israel that had been dismissed, though they had the stipulated money, taking the advantage of Amaziah's absence, fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and smote three thousand men, and took much spoil, 2 Chronicles 25:10-13. Amaziah no doubt remonstrated with Jehoash, but to no purpose; and therefore he declared war against him.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Amaziah‘s success against Edom had so elated him that he thought himself more than a match for his northern neighbor. The grounds of the quarrel between them were furnished by the conduct of the hired, but dismissed, Israelite soldiers (see the marginal reference).

Let us look one another in the face - i. e. “let us meet face to face in arms, and try each other‘s strength” 2 Kings 14:11-12.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-14.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Kings 14:8

Come, let us look one another in the face.

Looking in the face

Let us look one another in the face.” Such was the message of a king to a king. The whole transaction was hypocritical, and we cannot read of it without loathing. Separate the words from the original surroundings, however, and they contain most excellent advice. We may give them a practical and seasonable turn.

I. Look God in the face. Behold Him as He is. It is, alas, so easy to get wrong conceptions of the Most High, and much enmity to Him has its beginning thus. “They hated me without a cause.” If men knew God better, they would dread Him less and trust Him more. “Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord.” Concerning what? why, the very point of which we have been speaking: false notions of the Lord. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” You fancy Me to be harsh and hard: get rid of that thought; I delight in mercy. To look God in the face is no difficult matter now that Christ has come. He is “the image of the invisible God.” See the one, and you see the other. The tenderness which said to a desolate widow in Nain, “Don’t cry; I will raise your son”; the power which subdued the crested waves and-hushed the roaring winds by a single word; the holiness which took no taint from contact with publicans and sinners--reveal the attributes of Jehovah. Agnosticism erect again the ancient Athenian altar, and writes on it, “to the Unknown God.”; but Paul still cries, “Whom ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.”

II. Look yourself in the face. “If any be a hearer of the word, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.” by the light of Scripture we may see our own characters; and this self-scrutiny is eminently important. Socrates said: “We should not live a life which is not subject to examination.” for lack of this, some are astoundingly ignorant of their true condition. What they say to others might well be spoken of and by themselves, “I have not the pleasure of knowing you.” Nathan proved this in respect of David, and the very church which thought that it had need of nothing was pronounced by Christ “poor and miserable, and blind, and naked.” As it is in the literary, so it is in the moral world: authors are often bad judges of their own productions. John Foster wished that he could write like Johnson or Young, hut the fact is that he wrote better than either. Sir Walter Scott published the “Waverley Novels anonymously, lest they should injure his fame as a poet; but posterity thinks more of his stories than his verses. Something like this holds good of us: we may be ludicrously mistaken regarding ourselves. To avoid such blunders, let us use “the balances of the sanctuary.” We should employ the scales and weights which God has provided. Paul told the Corinthians that they were “not wise,” because they measured themselves by themselves, and compared themselves with themselves.

III. Look man in the face. A needless counsel, some may complain. Don’t we do it? Nothing is so common as the wish to see people’s faces. We all believe in the vis-a-vis position. The pen is not enough; we want the countenance also. If you hear of a great writer or preacher, you at once want to see him. When we visit friends we call it “going to see them” Nevertheless there is need of the advice: see men. We are much too isolated. English folk are what Matthew Arnold calls insular. If the various classes of society had more intercourse with each other, it would be better for us all round. Were the cultured and intellectual to mingle with Philistines rather oftener, the latter would get a little of their refinement. Communion between the rich and the poor would hardly fail in producing sympathy on the part of the one and confidence on the part of the other. Christians might learn a lesson here. They keep too much apart. Only lately it was asked at a metropolitan meeting of our denomination--Where now is the continuing in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship of which we read in the early Church? One other thought. How many misunderstandings in social life might be prevented or removed, if we looked each other in the face! You think that a friend is cooler in his manner than of yore, or he has done something which you interpret as hostile to you. Don’t brood over it. If you do, your suspicions and imagination will blow the spark into a flame which will consume your comfort. Visit him. Be candid. “Have it out,” as we say, and the probability is that a few minutes’ plain dealing on both sides will put the whole business right. (T. R. Stevenson.)

Challenge to combat couched in terms of peace

These are sweet words. What can they mean? Surely but one thing only. Giving them transliteration and broadest meaning, they will sound thus: We have been a long time estranged; let us burn down the barriers of separation: we have hidden ourselves from one another when we ought to have stood face to face, each beaming-with complacency upon the other; come, let us make an end of this alienation, and fraternally and trustfully look one another in the face. Was that the real meaning of the message? Not a whir! These beautiful words were the velvet which hid the sword. These terms of supposed approach and trustfulness are really a challenge. The right reading would be: “Come, let us fight; let us see which is the stronger man.” Here again we keep upon the same line as in the former instance--the line which points to the right use of language. There is a morality of words. Men arc not at liberty to put words into any shape they please; they must consider whether in putting words together they are building a pillar, plumbed by the Eternal Righteousness, and going, so far as they do go, straight up to heaven. But if this were the rule, society would be dissolved. Who can speak truth with his neighbour--except in some broad and general sense? Who can let his Yea be yea, and his Nay, nay? When the Saviour delivered that injunction we thought it was elementary; in reality it is ultimate; there is nothing beyond it. When Yea means yea, and Nay nay, the millennium has come: men will not tell lies, nor will they act them; they will not allow wrong impressions to be made upon the mind; there will be no grammatical torture, no mental reservation, no putting out of words in the sense of putting out a “feeler”; every heart transparent, every motive pure and generous, human speech a human religion, and the human religion sanctified and cleansed by the blood of Christ. But we live in lies; we tell them, we act them, we look them, we suggest them. When David is reported in English to say. “All men are liars,” he is misreported; the right reading is, “all men are a lie,”--a grander speech; not a stone thrown at individuals, but an impeachment made upon human nature. (J. Parker, D. D.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Kings 14:8". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-kings-14.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

AMAZIAH FOOLISHLY DEMANDED WAR WITH ISRAEL

"Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, Come let us look one another in the face. 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 trod down the thistle. Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thy heart hath lifted thee up: glory thereof, and abide at home; for why shouldest thou meddle to the hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?"

Our text in this narrative omits some of the important factors leading up to this declaration of war by Amaziah as revealed in 2 Chronicles 15 and in Josephus. When Amaziah was preparing to invade Edom, he paid a hundred talents in silver to hire some troops from the tribe of Ephraim. Upon the advice of a prophet he sent them back home, which dismissal they took as an insult; and during his campaign in Edom they raided cities in Judah. In the meantime, Amaziah's victory convinced him that he could reunite Israel under the Davidic dynasty; and Josephus tells us that, "Amaziah told the king of Israel that if he would not consent to such a restoration of united Israel, then he would have to fight for his dominion."[10]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-kings-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu king of Israel,.... The occasion of it was this, when Amaziah dismissed the hired soldiers of Israel they were displeased, and fell upon the cities of Judea from Samaria to Bethhoron, slew 3000 men, and took much spoil, 2 Chronicles 25:13, wherefore, when Amaziah returned from the slaughter of the Edomites, being elated with his victories, he sent the following message to the king of Israel, in order to revenge the injuries his soldiers had done; and perhaps retaining an old grudge for what Jehu, the grandfather of the king of Israel, had done to his ancestors, and it may be in hope of reducing the ten tribes to obedience to the house of David:

saying, come, let us look one another in the face; that is, in battle, as the Targum adds; it was a challenge to meet him in the field of battle, and fight with him, and try each other's courage, and see who was the best man.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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

(d) Let us fight hand to hand, and try it by battle, and not destroy one another's cities.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-14.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

2 Kings 14:8-16. Jehoash defeats him.

Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, 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 in 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.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-14.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Sent — This challenge he sent, from self-confidence, and a desire of advancing his glory. But he that is fond either of fighting or going to law, will probably be the first that repents it.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-14.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 14:8 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.

Ver. 8. Then Amaziah sent.] Being puffed up with his recent victory over the Edomites, he had a proud conceit that he should prosper in whatsoever he undertook; albeit he had now forsaken the Lord, and served the gods of those Edomites, whom he had erst subdued. By a like folly, the old Romans, after that they had subdued any nation, were wont to set up their gods to themselves, to win their favour.

Come, let us look one another in the face,] i.e., Let us fight it out in the open field. He had been wronged in his absence by those one hundred thousand mercenaries of Israel, whom he had dismissed at the command of the prophet, [2 Chronicles 25:10; 2 Chronicles 25:13] who had told him that God was not with the Israelites. He was apt enough also to believe that his own forces were invincible, and that victory was now pinned to his sleeve; but he was soon confuted.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-14.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Kings 14:8. Come, let us look one another in the face Josephus, in his account of this transaction, tells us, that Amaziah wrote an imperious letter to the king of Israel, commanding him and his people to pay the same allegiance to him, which they formerly paid to his ancestors David and Solomon; or, in case of their refusal, to expect a decision of the matter by the sword. Others think that he intended no war by this message, but only a trial of military skill and prowess, or a civil kind of interview between his men and those of Israel; for, had he proposed to act in a hostile manner, he would have assaulted them on a sudden, and not given them this warning to stand upon their defence. The words of the message are much of the same kind with what Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise and play before us, 2 Samuel 2:14. But how polite so-ever the expressions may be, in both cases they had in them the formality of a challenge, as both the king and general, who were not unacquainted with military language, certainly understood them. So that the truth of the matter seems to be this; Amaziah, being encouraged by his late victory, determined to be revenged for the slaughter of his ancestors by Jehu, chap. 9:, and for the late spoil which the Israelites had made in his country; and thereupon, resolving to have satisfaction, he sent them this open declaration of war, only conceived in mild terms.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-kings-14.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Let us fight personally, and with our armies. This challenge he sent, partly upon the late and great injuries done by the Israelites to his people, 2 Chronicles 25:10,13, and partly from self-confidence, and a desire of advancing his glory and empire by his arms.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.Let us look one another in the face — An idiomatic expression used in a hostile sense. Equivalent to, Let us see each other’s face by coming into close conflict on a field of battle. The Germans have a similar idiom, To view heads, and to view the whites in the eye.

In Chronicles we learn the occasion of this war of Amaziah against the kingdom of Israel. The Israelitish soldiers whom Amaziah hired and soon after dismissed were greatly offended at such treatment, and “fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Beth-heron, and smote three thousand of them, and took much spoil.” This was too great an injury for the king of Judah to pass by without notice, and his elation over his Edomite victory, and the native pride of his heart, urged him on.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-14.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 14:8. Let us look one another in the face — Let us try our valour and strength in battle. Being flushed with his late great victory over the Edomites, and incensed by the injury which the dismissed, disgusted Israelites had lately done to his country in their return, (2 Chronicles 25:13,) he sent this challenge to the king of Israel. Perhaps he had the vanity to think he could subdue his kingdom, and reunite it to Judah. Had he challenged him merely to a personal duel, the error had remained with himself: but each of them must bring all his forces into the field, and thousands of lives must be sacrificed on both sides to his capricious humour! Hereby he showed himself proud, presumptuous, and prodigal of blood. They that challenge are chargeable with that beginning of strife which is as the letting out of water. And they that are fond either of fighting or going to law, may perhaps have enough of it quickly, and will probably be the first that repent it.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Let us see one another. This was a challenge to fight. (Challoner) (Worthington) --- The interviews of ambitious kings are often baneful. (Haydock) --- Abner said in the same sense, "Let the young men rise and play," 2 Kings ii. 14; and Virgil, (Æneid xii.) Inter se coiisse viros & cernere ferro. Amasias had many reasons to be displeased with the king of Israel. He might justly redemand part of the money, (Calmet) as he had not employed the soldiers. (Haydock) --- They had also committed depredations in Juda. (Paralipomenon) Jehu had slain Ochozias, and many of his relations. (Calmet) --- Josephus also observes that he now required Israel to return to his obedience, and acknowledge the power of the lawful descendants of David. (Sanctius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

look one another, &c. Figure of speech Tapeinosis (App-6), meaning very much more (verses: 2 Kings 14:11-12).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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 (Hebrew #7200) paaniym (Hebrew #6440) (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.]

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

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) Then.—After the reduction of Edom. The more extended narrative which follows is plainly taken from a different source than that of the brief extract preceding it.

Come, let us look one another in the face.—A challenge to battle, the ground of which might be found in the outrages committed by the Israelite mercenaries on their homeward march. It appears likely, however, that Amaziah, intoxicated by his recent success, aimed at nothing less than the recovery of the Ten Tribes for the house of David. So Josephus (Antt. ix. 9, § 2), who gives what purport to be the letters which passed between the two kings on this occasion.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
A. M. 3178. B.C. 826. Amaziah
2 Chronicles 25:17-24
Come
11; 2 Samuel 2:14-17; Proverbs 13:10; 17:14; 18:6; 20:18; 25:8
Reciprocal: Judges 9:29 - Increase thine army;  Judges 9:38 - GeneralJudges 11:12 - What hast;  1 Samuel 14:12 - Come up to us;  1 Kings 20:18 - General2 Kings 13:9 - Joash;  2 Kings 13:12 - his might;  2 Kings 23:29 - he had seen him;  Proverbs 26:4 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 14:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-14.html.