2 Kings 14 Study Notes
14:1-2 The opener for Amaziah is ordinary, except that his length of rule, twenty-nine years, obscures the fact that for all but the first four years he was co-regent with his son Azariah.
14:3-4 The evaluation of Amaziah notes that the high places, again probably for illegal worship of the Lord rather than pagan gods, were not shut down.
14:7 The resurgence of Israelite power actually began with Jehoash and Amaziah. On Judah’s part, this involved a successful but brutal reconquest of Edom. The Salt Valley is not precisely identified, but it was probably in the Arabah, south of the Dead Sea. Sela was the 1,000-foot-high mountain fortress of Edom near Petra.
14:8 Although the reasons for Amaziah’s presumption were more complicated, 2 Kings hints that it came from pride and arrogance from his victory over Edom. The Chronicles account attributes Amaziah’s presumption to the rejection of God’s will and to idolatry (2Ch 25:14,20).
14:9 Some take Jehoash’s fable as indicating that Amaziah had become upset at Jehoash’s rejection of a request for a marriage alliance between Amaziah and Jehoash.
14:10-14 Jehoash did not want war with Amaziah, but Amaziah was insistent, and the results were disastrous for Judah. The two gates mentioned here indicated that Jehoash tore down the western half of the northern wall of Jerusalem and then plundered the city.
|Hebrew pronunciation||[geh vu RAH]|
|CSB translation||strength, might, power|
|Uses in 2 Kings||7|
|Uses in the OT||62|
|Focus passage||2 Kings 14:15,28|
Gevurah, related to gibbor (“strong”) and gever (“man”), describes the strength (Jdg 5:31), might (Jr 49:35), or power (Jb 41:12) of God, the sun, armies, horses, or prophets. Once it connotes victory (Ex 32:18) and strength for war (Is 36:5). As a collective it implies warriors (Is 3:25). The plural indicates mighty acts (Ps 71:16). Gevurah derives from gavar (25x), be strong (1Ch 5:2), great (Ps 103:11), or powerful (Jb 21:7). People prevail (Ex 17:11) or gain advantage (2Sm 11:23). Waters surged (Gn 7:18), blessings excel (Gn 49:26), and iniquities overwhelm (Ps 65:3). The intensive verb means strengthen (Zch 10:6); one exerts strength (Ec 10:10). The causative means have power (Ps 12:4) or make firm (Dn 9:27). The reflexive means arrogantly oppose (Jb 15:25).
14:15-16 This repetition of the formal ending of Jehoash’s reign seems to be a copyist’s error (13:12-13). On the other hand, some interpreters have suggested that the repetition of this data was purposeful and focused the reader’s attention on the north where Jehoash was restoring Israelite fortunes. Iain Provan suggests the repetition contrasts Jehoash’s peaceful end with Amaziah’s violent end.
14:19-21 A long co-regency is necessary to explain the numbers given (15:2). Therefore, the statement the people of Judah . . . made him [Azariah] king may have been a flashback reference to when the people forced this co-regency on Amaziah because of his political and military bungling (and idolatry as well, according to 2Ch 25:14). It is likely that Amaziah’s death, though some years later, also was a result of such dissatisfaction.
14:22 Azariah, also called Uzziah—Amaziah’s son—succeeded him as king of Judah. It is unusual to list an achievement of the new king in the closing formula of the old king. The reason may have been that Azariah was already executing much royal power during the co-regency and, although the deed was not finally completed until after Amaziah’s death, the achievement represented Azariah’s efforts during the co-regency.
14:23-29 A secular historian could be astounded that the Bible gives so little attention to one of the three or four greatest kings of the Hebrews. Some have concluded that the power and wealth of the two combined Hebrew kingdoms at the time of Jeroboam II approached the wealth and power of Solomon. The purpose of the text, however, was not to recognize secular greatness but greatness in terms of the royal covenants. Therefore, any secular achievements, which could not be related to God’s glory, were irrelevant and thus were not given substantial coverage.
14:23-24 The formulaic opener contains the usual data, including the stereotypical condemnation that Jeroboam (Jeroboam II) of Israel had not departed from the sin of Jeroboam I.
14:25 The Bible writer recognized the territorial expansionism of Jeroboam II, whose kingdom fell short of Solomon’s northern boundary at Tiphsah on the Euphrates River. Jeroboam II’s boundary reached only to Lebo-hamath. In the south, his territory reached to the Sea of the Arabah, clearly the Dead Sea since this body of water was under the slopes of Pisgah (Dt 3:17). Only here do we find that Jonah, the minor prophet, joined with Elisha in prophesying this restoration of Hebrew power.
14:26-27 Again, as with Jehoash (13:23), these deliverances were because of God’s mercy and grace rather than the righteousness of the king. God intervened to prevent his wayward people from being totally annihilated. The reason is arresting but simple: God had not decided to blot out the name of Israel under heaven.
14:28-29 The closing comments are typical formula, except for another statement about Jeroboam’s (Jeroboam II’s) effectiveness in foreign affairs.