1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jehoaddan, who was from Jerusalem. 2 He did what the Lord approved, but not with wholehearted devotion.
3 When he had secured control of the kingdom, he executed the servants who had assassinated his father. 4 However, he did not execute their sons. He obeyed the Lord's commandment as recorded in the law scroll of Moses, "Fathers must not be executed for what their sons do, and sons must not be executed for what their fathers do. A man must be executed only for his own sin."
5 Amaziah assembled the people of Judah and assigned them by families to the commanders of units of a thousand and the commanders of units of a hundred for all Judah and Benjamin. He counted those twenty years old and up and discovered there were 300,000 young men of fighting age equipped with spears and shields. 6 He hired 100,000 Israelite warriors for a hundred talents of silver.
7 But a prophet visited him and said: "O king, the Israelite troops must not go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel or any of the Ephraimites. 8 Even if you go and fight bravely in battle, God will defeat you before the enemy. God is capable of helping or defeating."
9 Amaziah asked the prophet: "But what should I do about the hundred talents of silver I paid the Israelite troops?" The prophet replied, "The Lord is capable of giving you more than that."
10 So Amaziah dismissed the troops that had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home. They were very angry at Judah and returned home incensed.
11 Amaziah boldly led his army to the Valley of Salt, where he defeated 10,000 Edomites. 12 The men of Judah captured 10,000 men alive. They took them to the top of a cliff and threw them over. All the captives fell to their death.
13 Now the troops Amaziah had dismissed and had not allowed to fight in the battle raided the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth Horon. They killed 3,000 people and carried off a large amount of plunder.
14 When Amaziah returned from defeating the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir and made them his personal gods. He bowed down before them and offered them sacrifices. 15 The Lord was angry at Amaziah and sent a prophet to him, who said, "Why are you following these gods that could not deliver their own people from your power?"
16 While he was speaking, Amaziah said to him, "Did we appoint you to be a royal counselor? Stop prophesying or else you will be killed!" So the prophet stopped, but added, "I know that the Lord has decided to destroy you, because you have done this thing and refused to listen to my advice."
17 After King Amaziah of Judah consulted with his advisers, he sent this message to the king of Israel, Joash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, "Come, face me on the battlefield."
18 King Joash of Israel sent this message back to King Amaziah of Judah, "A thorn bush in Lebanon sent this message to a cedar in Lebanon, 'Give your daughter to my son as a wife.' Then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and trampled down the thorn bush. 19 You defeated Edom and it has gone to your head. Gloat over your success, but stay in your palace. Why bring calamity on yourself? Why bring down yourself and Judah along with you?"
20 But Amaziah did not heed the warning, for God wanted to hand them over to Joash because they followed the gods of Edom. 21 So King Joash of Israel attacked. He and King Amaziah of Judah faced each other on the battlefield in Beth Shemesh of Judah. 22 Judah was defeated by Israel, and each man ran back home. 23 King Joash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, son of Joash son of Jehoahaz, in Beth Shemesh and brought him to Jerusalem. He broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate -- a distance of about six hundred feet. 24 He took away all the gold and silver, all the items found in God's temple that were in the care of Obed-Edom, the riches in the royal palace, and some hostages. Then he went back to Samaria.
25 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Joash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 26 The rest of the events of Amaziah's reign, from start to finish, are recorded in the Scroll of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
27 From the time Amaziah turned from following the Lord, conspirators plotted against him in Jerusalem, so he fled to Lachish. But they sent assassins after him and they killed him there. 28 His body was carried back by horses, and he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors in the City of David.