2 Kings 14:19
Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) Now . . . but.And . . . and.

They made a conspiracy.—The fact that no individual conspirators are mentioned appears to indicate that Amazialı’s death was the result of a general disaffection; and this inference is strengthened by the other details of the record. Thenius supppses that he had incensed the army in particular by some special act. Probably his foolish and ill-fated enterprise against Israel had something to do with it.

Lachish.—Now Um Lâkis. Of old it was a strong fortress. (Comp. 2Chronicles 11:9; 2Kings 18:14; 2Kings 19:8.) Amaziah’s flight thither seems to indicate either a popular rising in Jerusalem, or a military revolt.

They sent after him to Lachish.—This, too, may point to a military outbreak.

2 Kings 14:19-20. They made a conspiracy against him — That is, the people, and princes, and chief men among them did this; possibly those whose sons he had delivered up as hostages to Jehoash. It is likely this conspiracy was formed with the connivance, if not approbation, of the people, because the design was carried on openly, steadily, and irresistibly, as the following words show. “What provoked the people of Jerusalem, more than any other part of the nation, against their king, was the seeing their city spoiled of its best ornaments, exposed to reproach on account of the great breach made in their wall, and several of their children carried away as hostages for their good behaviour; all which they imputed to their king’s mal- administrations,” and hence they entered into this conspiracy against him. And he fled to Lachish — A strong city in Judah, toward the country of the Philistines. How long he continued concealed or sheltered there we are not told. Some commentators have conjectured, “that he lived in a state of exile in that city for twelve years, not bearing to continue in Jerusalem after the defeat which Jehoash had given him. But our learned Usher has placed this conspiracy in the last year of Amaziah’s reign; and Capellus supposes that it was set on foot by the great men of Jerusalem, on the specious pretence of being guardians to the young prince, and taking better care of him than his father was likely to do.” — Dodd. They — His rebellious subjects; sent after him to Lachish — Sent, some think, secret murderers, but, more probably, bands of soldiers, for this rebellion was carried on with a strong hand and open force. And they brought him on horses — Or, with horses, namely, in a chariot; and he was buried at Jerusalem — For the rage of the rebels was not extended beyond his death, nor did they deny him a burial with his ancestors.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.These two verses (repeated from 2 Kings 13:12-13) are out of place here, where they interrupt the history of Amaziah's reign. 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. They, i.e. the people, or the princes and chief men among them, possibly those whose sons he had delivered up as hostages to Jehoash, with the connivance, if not approbation, of the people; as appears, because the design was carried on openly, and steadily, and irresistibly, as the following words show.

Lachish; a strong city in Judah, towards the Philistines; of which see Joshua 10:31 15:39 2 Kings 19:8.

They sent after him; either secret murderers; or rather, bands of soldiers; for this rebellion was carried on by strong hand and open force. Compare 2 Kings 12:20 15:10,15. 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.)

Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to {h} Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there.

(h) Which Rehoboam built in Judah for a fortress, 2Ch 11:9.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. Now [R.V. And] they made a conspiracy] This was evidently the work of his own subjects. The Chronicler’s statement is that the conspiracy was commenced ‘after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the Lord’. But this we see was immediately after the conquest of the Edomites, when the king ‘brought the gods of the children of Seir’ into the land. There must then have been a feeling of hostility to Amaziah among the right-minded of his own people, even before the battle of Beth-shemesh. We cannot tell whether the conspiracy came to a head in a short time, or only gained strength when the forces of Judah had been so thoroughly overcome by the northern army. But everything points to a desire on the part of the people of Judah to put down Amaziah on the first possible opportunity.

and he fled to Lachish] Lachish was considerably south of Jerusalem, and Amaziah probably thought that from it he could more easily escape to Edom, or elsewhere, out of harm’s way. The place must have been of the nature of a fortress. For when the Israelites entered Canaan it had a king of its own, who joined in the league for the chastisement of the Gibeonites. The king is described as belonging to the Amorites who dwell in the mountains, so that it must have been in a hilly country (Joshua 10:6). We may note also that this city was made one of his fortresses by Rehoboam after the revolt of the ten tribes (2 Chronicles 11:9). Hence Amaziah after he escaped thither may have remained in security and held this place against the conspirators for a considerable time, living indeed, but hardly to be said to be reigning.

they sent after him] But we may conclude that his pursuers were not allowed to seize him without some resistance, which may have lasted a considerable time.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. Jehoash took king Amaziah prisoner, and then came to Jerusalem, and had four hundred cubits of the wall broken down at the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, and then returned to Samaria with the treasures of the palace and temple, and with hostages. the Chethb ויבאו is to be pointed ויּאו, the vowel ו being placed after א, as in several other cases (see Ewald, 18, b.). There is no ground for altering יביאהוּ after the Chronicles (Thenius), although the reading in the Chronicles elucidates the thought. For if Jehoash took Amaziah prisoner at Beth-shemesh and then came to Jerusalem, he no doubt brought his prisoner with him, for Amaziah remained king and reigned for fifteen years after the death of Jehoash (2 Kings 14:17). The Ephraim gate, which is generally supposed to be the same as the gate of Benjamin (Jeremiah 37:13; Jeremiah 38:7; Zechariah 14:10; compare Nehemiah 8:16; Nehemiah 12:39), stood in the middle of the north wall of Jerusalem, through which the road to Benjamin and Ephraim ran; and the corner gate was at the north-western corner of the same wall, as we may see from Jeremiah 31:38 and Zechariah 14:10. If, then, Jehoash had four hundred cubits of the wall thrown down at the gate Ephraim to the corner gate, the distance between the two gates was not more than four hundred cubits, which applies to the northern wall of Zion, but not to the second wall, which defended the lower city towards the north, and must have been longer, and which, according to 2 Chronicles 32:5, was probably built for the first time by Hezekiah (vid., Krafft, Topographie v. Jerus. pp. 117ff.). Jehoash destroyed this portion of the Zion wall, that the city might be left defenceless, as Jerusalem could be most easily taken on the level northern side.

(Note: Thenius takes a different view. According to the description which Josephus gives of this event (Ant. ix. 9, 3), he assumes that Jehoash had the four hundred cubits of the city wall thrown down, that he might get a magnificent gate (?) for himself and the invading army; and he endeavours to support this assumption by stating that the space between the Ephraim gate and the corner gate was much more than four hundred cubits. But this assertion is based upon an assumption which cannot be sustained, namely, that the second wall built by Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:5) was already in existence in the time of Amaziah, and that the gates mentioned were in this wall. The subjective view of the matter in Josephus has no more worth than that of a simple conjecture.)

- The treasures of the temple and palace, which Jehoash took away, cannot, according to 2 Kings 12:19, have been very considerable. התּערבות בּני, sons of the citizenships, i.e., hostages (obsides, Vulg.). He took hostages in return for the release of Amaziah, as pledges that he would keep the peace.

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