2 Chronicles 25:13
But the soldiers of the army which Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah, from Samaria even to Bethhoron, and smote three thousand of them, and took much spoil.
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(13) But the soldiers of the army.—Literally, Now the sons of the troop whom Amaziah had caused to return from marching with him to the war, they fell upon, &c.

Fell upon.—The verb used in 1Chronicles 14:9; 1Chronicles 14:13 : “Spread themselves.” Here it means attacked with a view to plunder (Job 1:17).

From Samaria even unto Beth-horon.—“Samaria” is probably corrupt. Otherwise we must suppose that the mercenaries first returned home, and then, by order of king Joash, started afresh from Samaria, and invaded the northern districts of the kingdom of Judah. For “Beth-horon,” see Note on 1Chronicles 7:24.

And smote . . . of them.Of their inhabitants.

2 Chronicles 25:13. The army which Amaziah sent back, fell upon the cities of Judah — Thus God chastised those cities of Judah for their idolatries, which were found most in the parts next to Israel. The men of Israel had corrupted them, and now are a plague to them. And thus Amaziah also was punished for having entered into an alliance with idolaters, though at the prophet’s reproof he broke it off: and perhaps, likewise, this calamity befell his subjects, because he had used his victory over the Edomites with so much cruelty.25:1-13 Amaziah was no enemy to religion, but cool and indifferent friend. Many do what is good, but not with a perfect heart. Rashness makes work for repentance. But Amaziah's obedience to the command of God was to his honour. A firm belief of God's all-sufficiency to bear us out in our duty, and to make up all the loss and damage was sustain in his service, will make his yoke very easy, and his burden very light. When we are called to part with any thing for God and our religion, it should satisfy us, that God is able to give us much more than this. Convinced sinners, who have not true faith, always object to self-denying obedience. They are like Amaziah; they say, But what shall we do for the hundred talents? What shall we do if by keeping the sabbath holy we lose so many good customers? What shall we do without this gain? What shall we do if we lose the friendship of the world? Many endeavour to quiet their consciences by the pretence that forbidden practices are necessary. The answer is, as here, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this. He makes up, even in this world, for all that is given up for his sake.To revenge the insult 2 Chronicles 25:10, the troops of Joash proceeded southward and ravaged all the Jewish towns and villages between the Israelite frontier and Bethboron. This invasion probably took place while Amaziah was still in Edom. 11. valley of salt—This ravine lies to the south of the Dead Sea. The arms of Amaziah, in reward for his obedience to the divine will, were crowned with victory—ten thousand of the Edomites were slain on the field, and as many taken prisoners, who were put to death by precipitation "from the top of the rock" [2Ch 25:12]. This rock might be situated in the neighborhood of the battlefield, but more probably it formed one of the high craggy cliffs of Selah (Petra), the capital of the Edomites, whither Amaziah marched directly from the Valley of Salt, and which he captured (2Ki 14:7). The savage cruelty dealt out to them was either in retaliation for similar barbarities inflicted on the Hebrews, or to strike terror into so rebellious a people for the future. The mode of execution, by dashing against stones (Ps 137:9), was common among many ancient nations. Unto Beth-horon, to wit, Beth-horon the lower, which was in the tribe of Benjamin; and from thence to Samaria; either,

1. To the city of Samaria; for the kings of Judah had taken divers places within the kingdom of Israel. Or,

2. To the kingdom of Samaria; Beth-horon and all other places between that city and their own kingdom.

Smote, i.e. killed, as that word is generally understood.

Three thousand of them; not three thousand cities, but three thousand persons dwelling in them, who possibly opposed them in taking the spoil, which was the thing they sought. But the soldiers of the army which Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, The 100,000 men hired out of Israel, whom he dismissed before he went against Edom:

fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Bethhoron; which, though it formerly belonged to Ephraim, had been taken by the men of Judah; they did not fall on these as they returned home, for then it would have been said from Bethhoron to Samaria: but after they had returned home, they meditated this piece of revenge for the ill treatment of them, as they reckoned it:

and smote three thousand of them; of the inhabitants of the cities, who rose up and opposed them:

and took much spoil; out of them, and went their way with it.

But the soldiers of the {k} army which Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Bethhoron, and smote three thousand of them, and took much spoil.

(k) That is, the 100,000 of Israel.

13 (no parallel in Kings). Outrages of the Ephraimite Mercenaries

13. the soldiers of the army] Heb., the sons of the troop.

the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Beth-horon] This phrase is strange, for we expect the two names given to be names of cities belonging to the Southern Kingdom. Perhaps we should read for Samaria either Zemaraim (2 Chronicles 13:4; Joshua 18:22) or Ephrain (Ephron; 2 Chronicles 13:19; cp. Joshua 15:9). Both Zemaraim and Ephrain were border cities.Verse 13. - The soldiers... sent back... fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon. There is probably something to read between the lines here, to wit, that the soldiers returned to their master add king (Joash of Israel), and were by him remitted to this work. The mention of Samaria before Beth-horon (see map) indicates it, and the words "sent back" may be held to imply, at least, that they first went back - that the disappointment of spoil was the chief part of their aggravations, so that now the rather they got their much spoil, and note made thereof, and that - since not so much the instructive and so far forth more excusable revenge on the part of the disappointed soldiers, but the deliberate plan and order of their king had brought about this devastation of Amaziah's domains, in this fact we have the key of what we read in our vers. 17, 18, etc., and of the very cool manner in which Amaziah challenged Joash. The cities of Judah attacked were apparently those that once had belonged to Ephraim. Smote three thousand of them; i.e. of the people of them. The succeeding section, 2 Chronicles 25:5-16, enlarges upon Amaziah's preparations for war with Edom, which had revolted under Joram of Judah, 2 Kings 8:22; upon the victory over the Edomites in the Valley of Salt, and on the results of this war; - on all which we have in 2 Kings 14:7 only this short note: "he smote Edom in the valley of Salt 10,000 men, and took Selah in war, and called its name Joktheel unto this day." But the more exact statements of the Chronicle as to the preparations and the results of this war and victory are important for Amaziah's later war with Kings Joash of Israel, which is narrated in 2 Chronicles 25:17. of our chapter, because in them lie the causes of that war, so fatal to Amaziah; so that the history of Amaziah is essentially supplemented by those statements of the Chronicle which are not found in 2Kings.

2 Chronicles 25:5-7

The preparations for the war against Edom, and the victory over the Edomites in the Valley of Salt. - 2 Chronicles 25:5. Amaziah assembled Judah, i.e., the men in his kingdom capable of bearing arms, and set them up (ordered them) according to the princes of thousands and hundreds, of all Judah and Benjamin, and passed them in review, i.e., caused a census to be taken of the men liable to military service from twenty years old and upward. They found 300,000 warriors "bearing spear and target" (cf. 2 Chronicles 14:7); a relatively small number, not merely in comparison with the numbers under Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 17:14., which are manifestly too large, but also with the numberings made by other kings, e.g., Asa, 2 Chronicles 14:7. By Joram's unfortunate wars, 2 Chronicles 21:17, those of Ahaziah, and especially by the defeat which Joash sustained from the Syrians, 2 Chronicles 24:23, the number of men in Judah fit for war may have been very much reduced. Amaziah accordingly sought to strengthen his army against the Edomites, according to 2 Chronicles 25:6, by having an auxiliary corps of 100,000 men from Israel (of the ten tribes) for 100 talents of silver, i.e., he took them into his pay. But a prophet advised him not to take the Israelitish host with him, because Jahve was not with Israel, viz., on account of their defection from Jahve by the introduction of the calf-worship. To Israel there is added, (with) all the sons of Ephraim, to guard against any misunderstanding.

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