Bible Reading / Book By Book: 1 Kings to Psalms
Day 50 / 2 Chronicles 25 - 26
Like Joash, Amaziah is a mixture of good and bad. He listens to God when he is told not to rely on mercenaries, but fails to listen when God instructs him not to rely on idols. The king of Israel identifies his problem as one of pride. After defeating one enemy, he believes he is more powerful than he actually is. Uzziah is also described as having a pride problem, but his takes a different form. Uzziah is the king of Judah, but he decides to also take on the role of priest. Kings came from the tribe of Judah, like David, and priests came from the tribe of Levi, like Aaron. As such, a king could never be a priest, and a priest could never be a king. This separation is similar to the US where the branches of government are kept separate so there is a balance of power. Jesus becomes the exception to the rule. He is from the tribe of Judah and therefore qualified to be king, but is also a priest (Hebrews 7:14 & 15).
Romans 12:3 says, “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Amaziah and Uzziah fall into a trap that can be a problem for anyone. True success comes from depending on God more, not through our accomplishments.
2 Chronicles 25 (NASB)
Amaziah Succeeds Joash in Judah
Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. 2 He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart. 3 Now it came about as soon as the kingdom was firmly in his grasp, that he killed his servants who had slain his father the king. 4 However, he did not put their children to death, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, which the Lordcommanded, saying, “Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor sons be put to death for fathers, but each shall be put to death for his own sin.”
Amaziah Defeats Edomites
5 Moreover, Amaziah assembled Judah and appointed them according to their fathers’ households under commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds throughout Judah and Benjamin; and he took a census of those from twenty years old and upward and found them to be 300,000 choice men, able to go to war and handle spear and shield. 6 He hired also 100,000 valiant warriors out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver. 7 But a man of God came to him saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel nor with any of the sons of Ephraim. 8 But if you do go, do it, be strong for the battle; yet God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to bring down.” 9 Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?” And the man of God answered, “The Lord has much more to give you than this.” 10 Then Amaziah dismissed them, the troops which came to him from Ephraim, to go home; so their anger burned against Judah and they returned home in fierce anger.
11 Now Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people forth, and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 of the sons of Seir. 12 The sons of Judah also captured 10,000 alive and brought them to the top of the cliff and threw them down from the top of the cliff, so that they were all dashed to pieces. 13 But the troops whom Amaziah sent back from going with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 of them and plundered much spoil.
Amaziah Rebuked for Idolatry
14 Now after Amaziah came from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought the gods of the sons of Seir, set them up as his gods, bowed down before them and burned incense to them. 15 Then the anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of the people who have not delivered their own people from your hand?” 16 As he was talking with him, [h]the king said to him, “Have we appointed you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” Then the prophet stopped and said, “I know that God has planned to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”
Amaziah Defeated by Joash of Israel
17 Then Amaziah king of Judah took counsel and sent to Joash the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, the king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us face each other.” 18 Joash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, “The thorn bush which was in Lebanon sent to the cedar which was in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ But there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon and trampled the thorn bush. 19 You said, ‘Behold, you have defeated Edom.’ And your heart has become proud in boasting. Now stay at home; for why should you provoke trouble so that you, even you, would fall and Judah with you?”
20 But Amaziah would not listen, for it was from God, that He might deliver them into the hand of Joash because they had sought the gods of Edom. 21 So Joash king of Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah faced each other at Beth-shemesh, which belonged to Judah. 22 Judah was defeated by Israel, and they fled each to his tent. 23 Then Joash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth-shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem and tore down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate, 400 cubits. 24 He took all the gold and silver and all the utensils which were found in the house of God with Obed-edom, and the treasures of the king’s house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
25 And Amaziah, the son of Joash king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Joash, son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, from first to last, behold, are they not written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel? 27 From the time that Amaziah turned away from following the Lord they conspired against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there. 28 Then they brought him on horses and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.
2 Chronicles 26 (NASB)
Uzziah Succeeds Amaziah in Judah
And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah. 2 He built Eloth and restored it to Judah after the king slept with his fathers. 3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jechiliah of Jerusalem. 4 He did right in the sight of the Lord according to all that his father Amaziah had done. 5 He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him.
Uzziah Succeeds in War
6 Now he went out and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the area of Ashdod and among the Philistines. 7 God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur-baal, and the Meunites. 8 The Ammonites also gave tribute to Uzziah, and his fame extended to the border of Egypt, for he became very strong. 9 Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate and at the Valley Gate and at the corner buttress and fortified them. 10 He built towers in the wilderness and hewed many cisterns, for he had much livestock, both in the lowland and in the plain. He also had plowmen and vinedressers in the hill country and the fertile fields, for he loved the soil.11 Moreover, Uzziah had an army ready for battle, which entered combat by divisions according to the number of their muster, prepared by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the official, under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s officers. 12 The total number of the heads of the households, of valiant warriors, was 2,600. 13 Under their direction was an elite army of 307,500, who could wage war with great power, to help the king against the enemy. 14 Moreover, Uzziah prepared for all the army shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows and sling stones. 15 In Jerusalem he made engines of war invented by skillful men to be on the towers and on the corners for the purpose of shooting arrows and great stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he wasstrong.
Pride Is Uzziah’s Undoing
16 But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 Then Azariah the priest entered after him and with him eighty priests of the Lord, valiant men. 18 They opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful and will have no honor from the Lord God.”19 But Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, beside the altar of incense. 20 Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous on his forehead; and they hurried him out of there, and he himself also hastened to get out because the Lord had smitten him. 21 King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death; and he lived in a separate house, being a leper, for he was cut off from the house of the Lord. And Jotham his son was over the king’s house judging the people of the land.
22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first to last, the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, has written. 23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the grave which belonged to the kings, for they said, “He is a leper.” And Jotham his son became king in his place.