Matthew Poole's Commentary
In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel reigned Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah.Amaziah’s good reign: his justice on the murderers of his father: his victory over Edom: warreth against Jehoash king of Israel; is overcome by him, and slain by his own people: Azariah succeedeth him, 2 Kings 14:1-22. Jehoash dieth; and Jeroboam his son is king over Israel; his acts and death: Zachariah his son succeedeth him, 2 Kings 14:23-29.
In the second year of Joash, i.e. after he began to reign alone; for he reigned two or three years with his father; of which See Poole "2 Kings 13:10".
He was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.Reigned twenty and nine years, to wit, fourteen years with Joash king of Israel, who reigned only sixteen years, 2 Kings 13:10; and fifteen years after the death of Joash, or with Jeroboam the son of Joash, as is affirmed here, 2 Kings 14:17 2 Chronicles 25:25.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did.Right in the sight of the Lord; that which was in some sort agreeable to God’s will.
Not like David his father; not sincerely, 2 Chronicles 25:2.
He did according to all things as Joash his father did, i.e. for a time served God aright, but afterwards fell to idolatry, 2 Chronicles 25:14, as Joash had done, 2 Kings 12:3.
Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places.Howbeit; though he did right, &c., for this particle is to be joined with those words, the rest being to be closed with a parenthesis.
And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which had slain the king his father.Whereby it is implied that his father’s murderers had powerful friends and abettors, and that their fact was in some sort approved by the generality of the people, to whom Joash had made himself hateful by his apostacy to idolatry, and by his ingratitude to the house of Jehoiada.
But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.The children of the murderer he slew not; wherein he showed some faith and courage, that he would obey this command of God, though it was very hazardous to himself, such persons being likely to seek revenge for their father’s death.
He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day.Of Edom, i.e. of the Edomites, or the children of Seir, as they are called, 2 Chronicles 25:11; either because they dwelt in Seir; see Genesis 36:8; or because these people were confederates. And he invaded these people because they were subjects to his kingdom, from which they had revolted in Joram’s days, 2 Kings 8:20.
The valley of salt; which was the land of Edom; of which see 2 Samuel 8:13 Psalm 60:1.
the rock; the chief city of that part of Arabia, called by other authors Petra, which signifies a rock, because it was built upon a rock, 2 Chronicles 25:12.
Joktheel, which signifies the obedience of God, i.e. given him by God as a reward of his obedience to God’s message by the prophet, 2 Chronicles 25:8,9.
Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.Let us fight personally, and with our armies. This challenge he sent, partly upon the late and great injuries done by the Israelites to his people, 2 Chronicles 25:10,13, and partly from self-confidence, and a desire of advancing his glory and empire by his arms.
And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.By the
thistle, a low and contemptible, yet troublesome shrub, he understands Amaziah; and by the cedar, himself, whom he intimates to be far stronger than he, and out of his reach,
Give thy daughter to my son to wife; let us make a match, i.e. let us fight; only he expresseth this bloody work in a civil manner, as Amaziah had done, 2 Kings 14:8, and as Abner did, 2 Samuel 2:14. Or, let thy kingdom and mine be united under one king, as formerly they were; and let us decide it by a pitched battle, whether thou or I shall be that king. Or, as some expound it, by affirming that it was great arrogancy and presumption for him to desire a friendly league or affinity with him, he leaves him to guess how intolerable it was that he should undertake to wage war against him.
Trod down the thistle; and with no less ease shall my soldiers tread down thee and thy forces.
Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory of this, and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?Glory of this; content thyself with that glory and success, and let not thine ambition betray thee to ruin.
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.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.
And Judah was put to the worse before Israel; and they fled every man to their tents.Being unsatisfied in the ground and manner of the quarrel, and discouraged by their king’s idolatry, and smitten by God with a spirit of fear.
And Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah, at Bethshemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate, four hundred cubits.Came to Jerusalem; commanding entrance in Amaziah’s name, and with his consent, which he durst not deny.
The gate of Ephraim; which led to Ephraim.
Four hundred cubits; which was done, partly in scorn and contempt, and partly that he might re-enter and retake it, if they should attempt to renew the war.
And he took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house, and hostages, and returned to Samaria.Hostages; to assure their peaceable carriage towards him.
Returned to Samaria: he did not keep Jerusalem, nor seek to gain the possession and dominion of that kingdom; partly because he thought he could not keep it, considering the difficulty he found in keeping his own from such potent and near enemies as the Syrians were, and the great affection which all Judah bare to David’s house; and partly because God so inclined his heart, that he might make good his promise to David and his family.
Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, and his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?No text from Poole on this verse.
And Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his stead.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?No text from Poole on this verse.
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.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.
And they brought him on horses: and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David.On horses, or, with horses, to wit, in a chariot.
And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.Which they did, either in opposition to the conspirators, or to show their affection to the house of David, and that their quarrel was only personal against Amaziah, whom they looked upon as thee author of all their late calamities. This Azariah is called Uziah, 2 Kings 15:30 2 Chronicles 26:1, both names signifying the same thing for substance; that God’s help, and this God’s strength.
He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.He built Elath, i.e. repaired and fortified it; for it was built before, Deu 2:8.
Restored it to Judah; from whom it had revolted with the rest of Edom, in which land this place was upon the Red Sea.
The king, i.e. his father Amaziah; who did not perfect his conquest of Edom, but left some work for his son.
In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.No text from Poole on this verse.
He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher.The entering of Hamath was the northern border of the kingdom of Israel, Numbers 13:21 34:8.
Unto the sea of the plain, i.e. unto the Dead Sea, which once was a goodly plain, Genesis 13:10, which was their southern border.
Jonah, or Jonas, one of the small prophets; though this prophecy of his be not recorded there; and therefore it is remembered here.
For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel.It was very bitter; whereby he was moved to pity and help them, though they were an unworthy people.
There was not any shut up, nor any left: See Poole "Deu 32:36"; See Poole "1 Kings 14:10"; See Poole "1 Kings 21:21".
And the LORD said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.The Lord said not, i.e. not yet; he had not yet declared this, as afterwards he did by the succeeding prophets, though not in those words. See Hosea 1:5,6,9.
Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?Damascus and Hamath were cities of Syria, but were taken from the Syrians by David and Solomon, 2 Samuel 8:6 2 Chronicles 8:3, and probably by them incorporated with and added to the possessions of their own tribe, to which from that time they belonged; but afterwards they were retaken by the Syrians, and were now recovered by this Jeroboam.
And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah his son reigned in his stead.No text from Poole on this verse.