Amaziah of Judah
|King of Judah|
Amaziah from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum
|Reign||Over Judah (796-792 BC) Entire reign (796-767 BC)|
|Predecessor||Jehoash of Judah|
|Royal house||House of David|
|Father||Jehoash of Judah|
|Mother||Jehoaddan (Hebrew: יהועדין or יְהוֹעַדָּן; Latin: Joadan) of Jerusalem|
|Rulers of Judah|
Amaziah of Judah, Amasias (DRB), pronounced //, and Amatzyah (Hebrew: אֲמַצְיָהוּ, ʼĂmaṣyāhû ; meaning "the strength of the Lord," "strengthened by Jehovah," or "Yahweh is mighty"; Greek: αμασιας; Latin: Amasias) was a king of Judah, the son and successor of Joash. His mother was Jehoaddan (rendered "Joadan" in the Douay-Rheims and some other translations) (2 Kings 14:1-4) and his son was Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:1). He took the throne at the age of 25 (2 Chronicles 25:1). He reigned for 29 years (2 Kings 14:2) from 797/796 to 768/767 BC. Edwin R. Thiele's chronology has Uzziah becoming co-regent with his father in 792/791 BC, with his sole reign starting on the death of Amaziah.
As soon as his kingdom was established Amaziah slew the murderers of his father, but contrary to custom permitted their children to live. He was the first to employ a mercenary army of 100,000 Israelite soldiers, which he did in his attempt to reconquer Edom, which had rebelled during the reign of Jehoram, his great-grandfather. He was commanded by an unnamed prophet to send back the mercenaries, to whom he acquiesced (2 Chr. 25:7-10, 13), much to the annoyance of the mercenaries. His obedience to this command was followed by a decisive victory over the Edomites (2 Chr. 25:14-16).
Amaziah began to worship some of the idols he took from the Edomites. His victory over Edom inflated his pride, and he challenged to a combat Jehoash, grandson of Jehu, king of Israel. The latter's disdain and scorn for Amaziah are embodied in the stinging parable of the thistle and the cedar (2 Kings 14:9). In his resentment, Amaziah rushed into a disastrous battle at Beth-shemesh, and a humiliating defeat overtook his army and the land. The king was captured, 400 cubits of the wall of Jerusalem broken down, the city, Temple, and palace were looted, and hostages carried to Samaria.
His defeat was followed by a conspiracy that took his life. He, like his father, was the victim of assassins, apparently bent upon putting out of the way one who had brought upon the land such dire disasters. Amaziah was slain at Lachish, to which he had fled, and his body was brought to Jerusalem, where it was buried in the royal sepulchre (2 Kings 14:19, 20; 2 Chr. 25:27, 28).
The calendars for reckoning the years of kings in Judah and Israel were offset by six months, that of Judah starting in Tishri (in the fall) and that of Israel in Nisan (in the spring). Cross-synchronizations between the two kingdoms therefore often allow narrowing of the beginning and/or ending dates of a king to within a six-month range. For Amaziah, the Scriptural data allow the narrowing of his accession to some time between Nisan 1 of 796 BC and the day before Tishri 1 of the same BC year. For calculation purposes, this should be taken as the Judean year beginning in Tishri of 797/796 BC, or more simply 797 BC. His death occurred at some time between Nisan 1 and Tishri 1 of 767 BC, i.e. in 768/767 by Judean reckoning, or more simply 768 BC.
- "1 Chronicles 3:12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son". Mlbible.com. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- Edwin R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (3rd ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan/Kregel, 1983) 217.
- "Amaziah", Jewish Encyclopedia
Amaziah of Judah
Cadet branch of the Tribe of Judah
|King of Judah
797 BC – 768 BC