Amaziah King of Judah (14:1-22)
8-14 Amaziah’s challenge to Jehoash was really a challenge to battle; certainly Jehoash understood it that way. Jehoash sent a message back to Amaziah comparing him to a thistle that would soon be trampled underfoot (verse 9). Even though Amaziah had had a great victory over Edom, let him not think he would succeed against Jehoash! (verse 10).
Amaziah would have done well to heed the proverb: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). But Amaziah wouldn’t back down. So Jehoash attacked, and Amaziah went out to face him. Amaziah was captured, and Jerusalem’s wall was broken and its treasures plundered (verses 13-14). According to 2 Chronicles 25:20, it was God who brought all this about because Amaziah had sought the gods of Edom.
15-20 It is not clear when Amaziah was released from captivity; he was probably allowed to return to Jerusalem after Jehoash’s death (verses 15-16). It is likely his son Azariah was already on the throne when Amaziah returned54 (verse 21). Certainly the people of Judah couldn’t have been pleased with Amaziah’s reckless war with Israel; eventually they conspired against him and killed him-just as his father had been killed by his own people (2 Kings 12:20-21). According to 2 Chronicles 25:27, the people conspired against Amaziah from the time he stopped following the Lord—that is, from the time he began to worship the gods of Edom.
21-22 Then—following the capture of Amaziah-the people of Judah made his son Azariah55 king (see 2 Kings 15:1-7). The writer notes here that Azariah rebuilt Elath, an important port city in southern Edom located on the Gulf of Aqaba, a northward extension of the Red Sea (see 1 Kings 9:26).
Jeroboam II King of Israel (14:23-29)
23-25 Jeroboam son of Jehoash was like most of Israel’s other kings; he did evil in the eyes of the LORD (verse 24). However, in one thing he stood out: he regained from the Arameans all of Israel’s lost territory, so that at the end of his reign his northern boundary at Lebo Hamath equaled the northern limit of Solomon’s kingdom (1 Kings 8:65). Jeroboam II thus completed the efforts his father Jehoash had begun (2 Kings 13:25). Jeroboam’s accomplishments were in accordance with God’s word spoken through the prophet Jonah, the writer of the book of Jonah (verse 25).
26-29 God enabled the Israelites to overcome the Arameans and regain their territory because He desired to show mercy to His people and to give them more time to repent of their evil ways. He was not yet ready to blot out the name of Israel, and so He used even the evil Jeroboam II to save the Israelites56 (verse 27).