Study Notes

2Kings 14:1-29


In chapter 12, we saw that the kings of Israel and Judah were both names Yo-AWSH. Yo-AWSH, the king of Judah, had been hidden in the temple from his grandmother, the wicked queen, until he was seven years old. Then he was revealed and the throne became his. He was discipled by Yeh-ho-yaw-DAW the high priest (who had raised him), and served the Lord. As an adult, he organized a program by which the temple was repaired.

Unfortunately, Yo-AWSH did not continue to have a heart for the things of God. After the death of Yeh-ho-yaw-DAW, he fell into idolatry. He even went so far as to kill Yeh-ho-yah-DAW's son Zechariah, who was a prophet speaking for God.

This would prove to be his undoing, since this outraged two of the king's servants so badly that they killed him.

Now, as we begin chapter 14, we see that Yo-ASH's son Am-ats-YAW becomes king after his father's murder.

14:1-4 Right, But Not Like David

Am-ats-YAW was the son of King Yo-AWSH and his wife Yeh-ho-ad-DEEN. He was a good man, who did right before the Lord. However, we see that he did not measure up to the standard that King David had set. Like several of his forefathers, his heart was not completely sold out to the Lord, so he didn't forbid the people from sacrificing on the high places.

Remember that God commanded in His Law,

Deut. 12:13-14 "Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every {cultic} place you see, but in the place which the LORD chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.

Once the Lord had anointed the temple, they were not to sacrifice anywhere else. They had been allowed to do it previously, but now it was forbidden. Now they had come into a fuller knowledge and understanding of the Word.

We as God's children go through the same growth process. The longer you walk with the Lord, the more He expects you to walk in His ways. Like babies growing into children, and children into young adults, we should be following the same progression in our Christian lives.

The writer of Hebrews stated,

Hebr. 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity...

When you hear something in a message that's new to you, when you read something in a passage you'd never thought of before, you're responsible to incorporate that truth into your life. Jesus said,

Luke 12:48 "...from everyone who has been given much shall much be required..."

The people were not judged during the days of Samuel for sacrificing on the high places, but now that the temple has been built and is known, it is sin for them to continue.

14:5-6 For His Own Sin

One of the things that Am-ats-YAW did was to put his father's murderers to death. Although they had felt justified in killing the king for having the high priest's son killed, they had committed a crime against the nation, against the man, and against God.

But even though Am-ats-YAW killed his father's assassins, he did not put their sons to death. You see, it was commonplace for the sons of men to be killed in vengeance as well. In most of those ancient cultures, it was an accepted practice, since the boys would only grow up to take their revenge by killing you. One of the ancient Greek poets wrote, "one who puts to death the father and allows the son to live is a fool."

But Am-ats-YAW knew what the book of Moses said,

Deut. 24:16 "Fathers shall not be put to death for {their} sons, nor shall sons be put to death for {their} fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.

This king went against the grain and thinking of his modern society and followed the Word of God. So too, we should live in this manner. When society says, "It's okay, go for it." We should first see if it is forbidden in the Word. When society says, "This behavior is normal," we should stop to see what God has said about it.

Psalm 119 begins,

Ps. 119:1-3 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all {their} heart. They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways.

The Word of God should be our measurement of standards.

14:7 Military Victory And Moral Failure

King Am-ats-YAW was victorious in battle against the Edomites. Remember that back in chapter eight we saw that they had rebelled during the reign of Yo-RAWM.

He seems to be doing well, even renaming the city of Sela "Yok-theh-ALE," which means, "the blessedness of God." This is the place we know of today as Petra.

Unfortunately, he picked up some unneeded baggage after this victory. 2Chronicles tells us,

2Chr. 25:14 Now it came about after Amaziah came from slaughtering the Edomites that he brought the gods of the sons of Seir, set them up as his gods, bowed down before them, and burned incense to them.

This was the beginning of the end for Am-ats-YAW. The Lord wanted him to repent, but the king would not. A prophet was sent to him, saying,

2Chr. 25:15 ..."Why have you sought the gods of the people who have not delivered their own people from your hand?"

But the king interrupted the prophet and said,

2Chr. 25:16 ..."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."

So Am-ats-YAW's military victory turned into a moral failure. We ourselves can be under the illusion that life is good because things are coming together. You get a raise, close the deal, work out the difficulty, and think that you're on the right track. We must all remember to constantly take spiritual inventory - am I in a good place spiritually? Is my heart and life right before God?

14:8 Overconfidence From Victory

Am-ats-YAW had just had a big victory, and was falling away from the Lord. He felt like he couldn't lose, and wasn't praying about anything. So he looked to the north, to the kingdom of Israel, and picked a fight with King Yeh-ho-AWSH, the son of the last king, Yeh-ho-aw-KHAWZ.

Why did he do this? 2Chronicles tells us that he'd hired 100,000 men from Israel to help in his war with the Edomites. But a prophet had told him to send those guys home. When they left, they left in "fierce anger" (2Chron. 25:10). As a result, they raided cities in Judah on their way back (2Chron. 25:13).

14:9-10 Jehoash's Response

Yeh-ho-AWSH didn't want to go to war. Not because he didn't think he could win - he was confident of that - but that it was unnecessary. He recognized immediately that Am-ats-YAW had been made prideful and overconfident by his victory over the Edomites. Starting a war would devastate the southern kingdom of Judah.

And so he sent the king a message in parable. He compared Am-ats-YAW to a thorn bush and himself to a cedar. The thorn bush thought that it and the cedar were equals, but was then trampled and destroyed.

14:11-12 Defeat

Am-ats-YAW refused to heed the warning and went to war. The two armies fought at Bayth SHEH-mesh, the place that the ark of the covenant had been returned to the Jews after the Philistines captured it (1Samuel 6). But the men of Judah were soundly defeated.

14:13-14 Jehoash Against Jerusalem

Yeh-ho-AWSH not only won the battle, but captured Am-ats-YAW, tore down 200 yards' length of Jerusalem's defensive wall, looted the treasures of the temple, and carried away hostages.

14:15-16 The Death Of Jehoash

Yeh-ho-AWSH was victorious in his battle against the nation of Judah, but he still died. The fact is that everybody - no matter how rich or poor, successful or unsuccessful, powerful or weak - dies. The Bible says,

Hebr. 9:27 is appointed for men to die once and after this {comes} judgment

In the world's eyes, Yeh-ho-AWSH was powerful, but when he appeared before the judgment seat of God, he couldn't even stand. Those people that we envy because of their success, their fame, or their money, will one day die. Then where will they be?

1Tim. 6:7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.

They will stand before God with no influence, no success, and penniless. And the only thing that will matter is whether or not their name is written in the Lamb's book of life.

14:17-20 The Death Of Amaziah

Although Am-ats-YAW had been captured by Ye-ho-AWSH, he either escaped or was released. He lived for another 15 years, but the inhabitants of Jerusalem had been conspiring against him (2Chron. 25:27). They finally had their chance, chased him to Law-KEESH, and killed him.

14:21-22 Azariah Becomes King Over Judah

The sixteen-year-old son of Am-ats-YAW, Az-ar-YAW, was made king in his place. He was much like his father: a heart for God, but didn't finish well.

Among his successes was that he built Ay-LOTH, where Solomon's fleet of ships had harbored (1Kings 9:26), but had subsequently been taken over by the Edomites (2Kings 8:22).

We will see more of his life in chapter 15.

14:23-24 Jeroboam Becomes King Over Israel

The rest of the chapter switches northward to the kingdom of Israel. We see that Jeroboam the second arises to power and is evil, just as Jeroboam the first had been 130 years before.

14:25-29 Spoken Through Jonah

Although this king had no heart for God, we see that the Lord used him to bring blessings. He recovered several cities in battle, and restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Kham-AWTH as far as the Sea of the Arabah.

This was prophecied at the time by Jonah, the son of Am-it-TAH-ee of Gath-hah-KHAY-fer. One thing that is easy to forget as we go through these historical books is that many of the prophets, whose books appear further towards the back of the Old Testament, were living during this era.

Jonah, Amos, and Hosea all lived during the reign of Jeroboam II. Down south in Judah, Isaiah lived during the reign of Azariah, who we will be reading about in chapter 15.

I believe that once we finish with the book of 2Kings, we will study some of these prophetic books, while the studies of the kings are still fresh in our minds.

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