1. Son of Joash; on his accession to the Jewish throne punished his father's murderers, but not their children (Deuteronomy 24:16); a merciful trait of character, which it is implied other kings had not. He had reigned jointly with his father at least one year before Joash's death; for 2 Kings 13:10 compared with 2 Kings 14:1 proves he reigned in the 39th year of Jonah of Judah; 2 Chronicles 24:1 shows that Joash of Judah reigned 40 years; therefore Amaziah must have been reigning one year before Joash's death, The reason comes out in that incidental way which precludes the idea of forgery, and confirms the truth of the history. In 2 Chronicles 24:23; 2 Chronicles 24:25 we read: "the host of Syria came up against him (Joash) ... to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes; ... and when they were departed (for they left him in great diseases) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed."
The "great diseases" under which Joash labored, at the time of the Syrian invasion, were no doubt the cause of Amaziah his son being admitted to a share in the government. Blunt well observes how circuitously we arrive at the conclusion, not by the book of Kings alone nor Chronicles alone; either might be read alone without suspicion of such a latent congruity. He slew of Edom in the Valley of Salt (S. of the Dead Sea, the scene of David's general's victory: 2 Samuel 8:13; Psalm 60 title; 1 Kings 11:15-16; 1 Chronicles 18:12) 1 Chronicles 18:10; 1 Chronicles 18:000, and his forces threw 10,000 captives from the rocks, and he took Selah or Petra their capital, which he named Jokteel (the reward of God) after a Jewish city (Joshua 15:38). Then he showed that, whereas he partly did "right in the sight of the Lord," it was "not like David his father, with a perfect heart" (2 Chronicles 25:2; 2 Kings 14:3).
"He brought the gods of Seir to be his gods and bowed down himself before them and burned incense unto them." The Lord's prophet reproved him: "Why hast thou sought after the gods which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?" "Art thou made of the king's counsel? forbear; why shouldest thou be smitten?" was the king's reply; for God had determined to destroy him, and therefore gave him up to judicial hardening (Romans 1:28). Already he had provoked Israel by sending back 100,000 Israelite soldiers whom he had hired for 100 talents of silver, but whom, as being estranged from God (1 Corinthians 15:33), God forbade him to take with him (compare 2 Chronicles 19:2; 2 Chronicles 20:37); God assuring him that He could give him much more than the 100 talents which he thereby forfeited. The Israelites in returning fell upon the cities of Judah from Samaria to Bethheron.
The God who gave him the Edomite capital in compensation for his loss of money could have given amends for the Israelite depredations, if he had not lost His favor. Refusing advice from God's prophet (Proverbs 12:1), Amaziah "took advice" of bad counselors, and, irritated at the Israelite depredations, Amaziah challenged Joash, who by the parable of "the thistle (or rather thorn bush) and cedar" warned him not to overrate his strength through pride in his Edomite victories, as though the thorn bush were to think itself a match for the cedar, and to meddle to his own hurt. Routed at Bethshemesh, he was taken by Joash to Jerusalem, the wall of which Joash broke down from the gate of Ephraim to the grainer gate 400 cubits, facing Israel's frontier, besides taking the vessels of God's house, with Obed Edom, and the king's treasures and hostages.
Jerusalem, according to Josephus, yielded so quickly, as Joash threatened otherwise to slay Amaziah. Amaziah survived Joash 15 years, and then was slain by conspirators at Lachish, whither he had fled. He reigned from 837 B.C to 809.
2. Priest of the golden calf at Bethel, under Jeroboam II. Fearing that his craft whereby he had his wealth was in danger, he informed the king: "Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words, for thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword and Israel ... be led away captive." Also he said unto Amos; "O thou seer ... get thee away into Judah and there eat bread (he judges of Amos by his own mercenary motives). But prophesy not again any more in Bethel, for it is the king's chapel and ... court."
Therefore the Lord doomed his wife to harlotry, his sons and daughters to the sword, and himself to "die in a polluted land" (Amos 7:10-17). So far from seeking prophecy as a breadmaking business, Amos replies he gave up his own mode of livelihood to obey the Lord's call at all costs. Political expediency in all ages is made the pretext for dishonoring God and persecuting His servants (John 11:48-50; Acts 17:6-7; Acts 19:25-27; Acts 24:5). Probably Amaziah met his doom in Pul's invasion; God is not anxious to vindicate His word, "the majesty of Scripture does not lower itself to linger on baser persons" (Pusey): the criminal's sentence implies its execution, whether recorded or not.
3. 1 Chronicles 4:34.
4. 1 Chronicles 6:45.