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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Amaziah, 1

Amazi´ah (whom Jehovah, strengthens, i.e. God-strengthened), son of Joash, and eighth king of Judah. He was 25 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned 29 years—from B.C. 838 to B.C. 809. He commenced his sovereignty by punishing the murderers of his father; and it is mentioned that he respected the law of Moses, by not including the children in the doom of their parents, which seems to show that a contrary practice had previously existed. In the twelfth year of his reign Amaziah attempted to re-impose upon the Edomites the yoke of Judah, which they had cast off in the time of Jehoram. The strength of Edom is evinced by the fact that Amaziah considered the unaided strength of his own kingdom unequal to this undertaking, and therefore hired an auxiliary force of 100,000 men from the king of Israel for 100,000 talents of silver. This is the first example of a mercenary army that occurs in the history of the Jews. It did not, however, render any other service than that of giving Amaziah an opportunity of manifesting that he knew his true place in the Hebrew constitution, as the viceroy and vassal of the king Jehovah [KING]. A prophet commanded him, in the name of the Lord, to send back the auxiliaries, on the ground that the state of alienation from God in which the kingdom of Israel lay, rendered such assistance not only useless but dangerous. The king obeyed this seemingly hard command, and sent the men home, although by doing so he lost not only their services and the 100,000 talents, which had been already paid, but incurred the resentment of the Israelites, who were naturally exasperated at the indignity shown to them.

But the obedience of Amaziah was rewarded by a great victory over the Edomites, ten thousand of whom were slain in battle, and ten thousand more were savagely destroyed by being hurled down from the high cliffs of their native mountains. But the Edomites afterwards were avenged; for among the goods which fell to the conqueror were some of their idols, which, although impotent to deliver their own worshippers, Amaziah betook himself to worship. This proved his ruin. Puffed up by his late victories, he thought also of reducing the ten tribes under his dominion. In this attempt he was defeated by king Joash of Israel, who carried him a prisoner to Jerusalem. Joash broke down great part of the city wall, plundered the city, and even laid his hands upon the sacred things of the temple. He, however, left Amaziah on the throne, but not without taking hostages for his good behavior. The disasters which Amaziah's infatuation had brought upon Judah probably occasioned the conspiracy in which he lost his life. On receiving intelligence of this conspiracy he hastened to throw himself into the fortress of Lachish; but he was pursued and slain by the conspirators, who brought back his body 'upon horses' to Jerusalem for interment in the royal sepulchre (2 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 25).

Amaziah, 2

Amaziah, the priest of the golden calves at Bethel, in the time of Jeroboam II. He complained to the king of Amos's prophecies of coming evil, and urged the prophet himself to withdraw into the kingdom of Judah and prophesy there (Amos 7:10-17).





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Amaziah'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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