|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:15-22 Amaziah survived his conqueror fifteen years. He was slain by his own subjects. Azariah, or Uzziah, seems to have been very young when his father was slain. Though the years of his reign are reckoned from that event, he was not fully made king till eleven years afterwards.
Verse 19. - Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem. The author of Chronicles connects this conspiracy with the idolatry of which Amaziah was guilty (2 Chronicles 25:27); but, though his subjects may have been offended by his religions changes, and have become alienated from him in consequence, the actual conspiracy can scarcely have been prompted by an act which was fifteen, or at any rate thirteen, years old. It is more likely to have sprung out of dissatisfaction with Amaziah's military inaction from and after his defeat by Joash. While Jeroboam H. was carrying all before him in the north, recovering his border, pushing it as far as Hamath, and even exercising a suzerainty over Damascus (vers. 25, 28), Amaziah remained passive, cowed by his one defeat, and took no advantage of the state of weakness to which he had reduced Edom, but sat with folded hands, doing nothing. The conspirators who removed Amaziah, and placed his son Azariah, or Uzziah, upon the throne, may be credited with the wish and intention to bring the period of inaction to an end, and to effect in the south what Jeroboam was effecting in the north. It is true that Azariah was but sixteen years of age (ver. 21; comp. 2 Chronicles 26:1), but he may have given indications of his ambition and capacity. Sixteen, moreover, is the time of manhood in the East, and the conspirators had probably waited until Azariah was sixteen in order that his competency to reign should not be disputed. As soon as he was on the throne he initiated the warlike policy which they desired (see ver. 22). And he fled to Lachish. Lachish, one of the south-western Judaean towns (Joshua 15:39), was at all times a fortress of importance. It resisted Joshua (Joshua 10:3, 31), and was taken by storm. It was fortified by Jeroboam against the Egyptians (2 Chronicles 11:9). It was besieged and taken by Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:14; Layard, 'Nineveh and Babylon,' pp. 149-152). The position is marked by the modern Um-Lakis, on "a low round swell or knoll," between Gaza and Beit-Jibrin, about thirteen miles from Gaza and nearly thirty-five from Jerusalem. But they sent after him to Lackish, and slew him there. So the author of Chronicles (2 Chronicles 25:27) and Josephus ('Ant. Jud.,' 9:9. § 3); but details are wanting.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem,.... Against Amaziah; the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the principal men of it; perhaps those whose sons the king of Israel had carried away as hostages, which they imputed to the ill conduct of Amaziah, as well as the breaking of the wall of Jerusalem, and the pillaging of the temple, and the king's palace:
and he fled to Lachish; a fortified city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:39 but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there; in a private manner, as Josephus (g) relates.
(g) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 9. c. 9. sect. 3.)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19, 20. they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem—Amaziah's apostasy (2Ch 25:27) was followed by a general maladministration, 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 [2Ki 14:13, 14], lost him the respect and attachment not of the grandees only, but of his subjects generally, who were in rebellion. The king fled in terror to Lachish, a 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.
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