(Am·a·ziʹah) [Yah(u) is mighty].
2. King of Judah who, in 858 B.C.E., came to the throne at twenty-five and ruled for twenty-nine years from the assassination of his father Jehoash until his own death in 829. His mother was Jehoaddin (Jehoaddan), his wife Jecoliah. (2 Ki. 14:1, 2; 15:2; 2 Chron. 25:1; 26:3) With the kingdom firm in his hand, he executed those that had murdered his father, but heeded the law of Moses not to punish their sons. (2 Ki. 14:5, 6; Deut. 24:16) His reign was marked by some enthusiasm for true worship, but not with a “complete heart” and not without serious shortcomings that brought disaster both to himself and the nation of Judah. The record of his rule deals primarily with two military campaigns.—2 Chron. 25:2.
Amaziah was first successful against Edom or Seir using a force of 300,000 from Judah and Benjamin. He had also hired 100,000 mercenaries from Israel, but upon the advice of a man of God he paid them off and sent them home. Jehovah gave Amaziah a smashing victory in the Valley of Salt, allowing him to kill off 20,000 of the enemy, and capture Sela (Petra), which he renamed Joktheel. However, Amaziah brought the gods of Seir and began worshiping them, causing Jehovah’s anger to blaze against him: “Why have you searched for the people’s gods that did not deliver their own people out of your hand?” Amaziah only compounded the injury by silencing Jehovah’s prophet.—2 Ki. 14:7; 2 Chron. 25:5-16.
Amaziah’s second campaign was tragic from start to finish. The 100,000 from Israel who were dismissed raided towns of Judah on their return north. Perhaps it was this that provoked Amaziah foolishly to challenge Jehoash of the strong northern kingdom: “Do come. Let us look each other in the face.” Jehoash’s response: How foolish for a thorny weed to confront a massive cedar only to be trampled by a wild beast! Amaziah refused to listen; apparently being puffed up with his recent victory, but actually because Jehovah had doomed Amaziah to defeat due to his idolatry. The battle was joined at Beth-shemesh; Judah fled; Amaziah was captured; a breach of about 583 feet (178 meters) was made in Jerusalem’s wall; and a great amount of temple treasures and hostages were carried back to Samaria.—2 Ki. 14:8-14; 2 Chron. 25:13, 17-24.
From the time that Amaziah turned away from Jehovah’s worship a conspiracy was formed against him that finally forced Amaziah to flee to Lachish. There the conspirators put him to death. Amaziah was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old son Azariah (Uzziah).—2 Ki. 14:17-21; 2 Chron. 25:25-28.
3. A priest of the calf worship at Bethel who complained to Jeroboam II that the prophet Amos was a seditionist. He personally tried to frighten Amos into going back to Judah. The prophet, however, stood his ground, telling Amaziah that his wife would become a prostitute, his children would fall by the sword, and Amaziah himself would die on unclean ground.—Amos 7:10-17.
4. Father of Joshah; of the tribe of Simeon. Joshah was one of the chieftains numbered among those clearing the valley near Gedor, of Hamitic and Meunim settlers in the days of Hezekiah.—1 Chron. 4:24, 34, 38-41.