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 Bethshemesh, which belongs to Judah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Looked one another in the face—i.e., encountered one another; joined battle.
Beth-shemesh.—The modern Ain-shems, north of which is a great plain now called Wâdy-es-Surâr, in which the encounter probably happened. Jehoash proposed to attack Jerusalem from the west, as Hazael also had intended (2Kings 12:17).2 Kings 14:11-12. Amaziah would not hear — Being blinded and hardened by God to his destruction, as a punishment of his abominable and ridiculous idolatry, 2 Chronicles 25:10. Therefore Jehoash went up — Namely, into the kingdom of Judah, carrying the war into his enemies’ country. At Beth-shemesh, which belongeth to Judah — Which is added to distinguish it from Beth-shemesh in Issachar, and another in Naphtali. And Judah was put to the worse — Their army being routed and dispersed. Josephus says that, when they were to engage, they were struck with such a terror that they did not strike a stroke, but every one made the best of his way home. Probably they were not satisfied as to the ground and manner of the quarrel, were discouraged by the king’s idolatry, and smitten by God with a spirit of fear.Joshua 19:21 note), about 15 miles from Jerusalem. Amaziah would not hear, because God blinded and hardened him to his destruction, for his abominable and ridiculous idolatry, 2 Chronicles 25:20.
Jehoash went up, to wit, into the kingdom of Judah, carrying the war into his enemy’s country.
Which belongeth to Judah; which is added to distinguish it from that Beth-shemesh in Issachar, and another in Naphtali, Joshua 19:22,38. 2 Chronicles 25:14.
therefore Jehoash king Israel went up; from Samaria to the land of Judah, which was higher ground:
and he and Amaziah looked one another in the face; in the field of battle:
at Bethshemesh, which belongeth to Judah; which is observed, not merely to distinguish it from another Bethshemesh in Naphtali, but to observe, that the king of Israel waited not for him to give him the challenge, but met his adversary in his own country, whither he carried the war, not suffering him to come into his.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 Bethshemesh, which belongeth to Judah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. But Amaziah would not hear] Bearing out the proverb ‘Quem Deus vult perdere prius dementat’.
Jehoash king of Israel went up] When the king of Israel saw that Amaziah would persist, he apparently made the first movement. For Beth-shemesh, where the engagement took place was in Amaziah’s territory, on the northern boundary of Judah. Jehoash therefore never allowed the army of Judah to enter the land of the Israelites.
Beth-shemesh] The name signifies ‘house of the sun’ and may contain some allusion to ancient idolatrous worship which prevailed there. (Cf. Jeremiah 43:13.) The place is mentioned before this time as that to which the ark was brought when it was sent home by the Philistines (1 Samuel 6:9; 1 Samuel 6:12). It was one of the cities allotted to the priests, and in 1 Kings 4:9 it is among the places selected for commissariat cities by Solomon. In the later history we find that the Philistines obtained possession of it (2 Chronicles 28:18).Verse 11. - But Amaziah would not hear. The message of Joash was not conciliatory, but provocative. On hearing it, Amaziah (as Josephus says, 'Ant. Jud.,' 9:9. § 3) was the more spurred on to make his expedition. Therefore Jehoash King of Israel went up. "Joash," as Bahr says, "did not wait for the attack of Amaziah, but anticipated his movements, and carried the war into the enemy's country." Defensive warfare often requires such an Offensive movement. And he and Amaziah King of Judah looked one another in the face - e.g., came to an engagement (setup. ver. 8) - at Beth-shemesh, which belongeth to Judah. Beth-shemesh was assigned to Judah by Joshua (Joshua 19:38), and lay on its western frontier line. Its position is marked by the modern Ain-Shems, which lies nearly due west of Jerusalem, on the road from Hebron to Jaffa. Ain-Shems itself is an Arab village, but "just to the west of it are the manifest traces of an ancient site" (Robinson, 'Researches,' vol. 3. p. 17). The position commands the approach from the Philistine plain; and we may suspect that Joash, avoiding the direct line of approach, led his troops to the attack through Philistia, as was so often done by the Syrians in their attacks on the Maccabees (see 1 Macc. 3:40 1 Macc. 13:12, 13 1 Macc. 15:40 1 Macc. 16:4-8, etc.). Deuteronomy 24:16, he did not slay their children also, as was commonly the custom in the East in ancient times, and may very frequently have been done in Israel as well. The Chethb ימוּת is correct, and the Keri ימת is an unnecessary alteration made after Deuteronomy.
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