Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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4 KINGS - Chapter 14

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4 Kings xiv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Second, from his being associated in the empire. It was the first of his reigning alone.

Ver. 3. David. Yet not with a perfect heart, 2 Paralipomenon xxv. 2. --- Father. He imitated his early piety, as well as his miserable end. (Calmet)

Ver. 4. But, &c. All that Amasias did, at first, was right, (ver. 3.) but this only. See 3 Kings xxii. 24. (Haydock) --- Joas had also left such high places, chap. xii. 3.

Ver. 6. Sin. This is the rule for human tribunals, to which God is not restrained. (Salien) (Ezechiel xviii. 20.) (Menochius) --- The action of Amasias is commended as something unusual (Calmet) among princes, who are but too apt to exceed the bounds of moderation (Haydock) to revenge their murdered parents. (Calmet)

Ver. 7. Edom, who had rebelled under Joram, chap. viii. 20. The particulars of this war are given, 2 Paralipomenon xxv. 5. Josephus ([Antiquities?] ix. 9.) says, Amasias designed also to attack Amalec and Gebal in the same country. --- Pits. Called the woody vale, Genesis xiv. 8., (Menochius) south-west of the Dead Sea, (Adrichomius) or rather to the south of Palmyra, towards Bosra, 3 Kings ix. 18. --- Rock. Petra, the capital of the country, formerly called Rekem Arke, or Hagor. Most of the houses are hewn out of the rock. Hebrew Selá signifies "a rock;" and many think that this was some other place, whence the Idumeans were hurled down, after the victory. Amasias gave it the name of Jectehel, "obedience of God," in memory of his having obtained this success, in consequence of his having obeyed the prophet, and sent away 100,000, for whom he had paid 100 talents to the king of Israel.

Ver. 8. Let us see one another. This was a challenge to fight. (Challoner) (Worthington) --- The interviews of ambitious kings are often baneful. (Haydock) --- Abner said in the same sense, "Let the young men rise and play," 2 Kings ii. 14; and Virgil, (Æneid xii.) Inter se coiisse viros & cernere ferro. Amasias had many reasons to be displeased with the king of Israel. He might justly redemand part of the money, (Calmet) as he had not employed the soldiers. (Haydock) --- They had also committed depredations in Juda. (Paralipomenon) Jehu had slain Ochozias, and many of his relations. (Calmet) --- Josephus also observes that he now required Israel to return to his obedience, and acknowledge the power of the lawful descendants of David. (Sanctius)

Ver. 9. Thistle. Hebrew choach, something prickly; (Haydock) "a thorn." Syriac and Arabic, "a plum-tree." Nothing could be more cutting (Calmet) than this answer of Joas, to shew the king of Juda how much he despised his power. (Haydock) --- The ancients were much pleased with such ingenious similes. See Judges ix. 7.

Ver. 10. Home, to boast of thy victory, (Haydock) but do not offer to molest others. (Calmet) --- God permitted that Amasias should pay no attention to this advice, nor to the prophet who reproached him for adoring the idols which he had brought from Edom, 2 Paralipomenon xxv. 14.

Ver. 11. Saw, or fought, ver. 8., and chap. xxiii. 29. Bethsames was in the tribe of Dan, (Calmet) but belonging to the king of Juda.

Ver. 13. Cubits. Josephus says 300, and that he led Amasias in triumph through the ruins, (Antiquities ix. 10.) on the west side, (Calmet) or on the north. (Villalpand) (Menochius)

Ver. 14. Hostages, as he left Amasias, on condition he should pay tribute, (Menochius) and took "the children of the nobles" (Chaldean) to secure his fidelity. (Haydock)

Ver. 15. Valour. Hence it appears that Juda made a stout resistance, though Josephus would insinuate the contrary.

Ver. 19. Lachis, in the tribe of Dan. Some say that the king resided there twelve years, in a kind of exile. (Malvenda) --- But the conspiracy only took place in the last year of his reign. (Usher, the year of the world 3194.) --- Some powerful men rose up against him, and the people were displeased with his conduct. (Menochius) --- But the majority did not approve of his death, so that they granted him the funeral honours, and appointed his son to succeed. (Calmet)

Ver. 21. Azarias. Hebrew Hazarya. Sometimes printed more correctly Azieu, at others Azrien, (Haydock) by the blundering of transcribers, who have confounded the name of the king Ozihu (Azieu or Ozias) with that of the priest Ozrichu. (Azrien.) Carpzovius maintains that Azarias and Usias are two names of the same person. (Crit. p. 789.) But if he should find Carpzovius, Carpzorvius, and Carpzoviu, in the same book, would he not think them the same name erroneously printed? Kennicott, (Dis. i. p. 478.) who observes that the Syriac and Arabic versions have here, as in the sequel, Uzia, and St. Matthew (i. 8.) calls the king Ozias, conformably to 2 Paralipomenon xxvi. 1., &c. The manuscripts also vary. (Kennicott)

Ver. 22. Built, or rebuilt Elath; which gives its name to the eastern branch of the Red Sea. David had possession of all Idumea. Amasias had reconquered a great part, and his son pushed his conquests still further.

Ver. 25. Wilderness, or the Dead Sea, to which place the dominion of Israel originally extended, under Jeroboam I. (Calmet) --- Opher, in the tribe of Zabulon. (Challoner) --- Protestants, "which was of Gath-hepher." (Haydock) --- We have not all the works of the prophets, nor did they write all their predictions. (Calmet) --- Here we learn at what time Jonas lived. (Menochius)

Ver. 26. In prison is not expressed in the original, (Calmet) which has, "not any shut up, nor last." Neither those who had strong castles, nor the poorest people, were exempt from suffering. (Haydock) --- None durst appear, 3 Kings xiv. 10. (Menochius)

Ver. 27. Israel, like Amalec, 1 Kings xv. 3. (Menochius)

Ver. 28. To Juda, or "of Juda;" Judæ; (Haydock) as those strong cities had been conquered by David. The Syriac and Arabic omit this word entirely, and suppose, with many others, that Jeroboam kept possession of these cities. (Calmet) (Tirinus) --- In Israel, or "to Israel," over which he reigned. (Haydock)

Ver. 29. Slept, dying a natural death; though the idolatrous priests of Bethel falsely asserted, that Amos had foretold he should fall by the sword, Amos vii. 11.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Amasias reigneth in Juda: he overcometh the Edomites, but is overcome by Joas, king of Israel. Jeroboam, the second, reigneth in Israel.

1 In the second year* of Joas, son of Joachaz, king of Israel, reigned Amasias, son of Joas, king of Juda.

2 *He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign; and nine and twenty years he reigned in Jerusalem; the name of his mother was Joadan, of Jerusalem.

3 And he did that which was right before the Lord, but yet not like David, his father. He did according to all things that Joas, his father, did,

4 But this only, that he took not away the high places; for yet the people sacrificed, and burnt incense in the high places:

5 And when he had possession of the kingdom, he put his servants to death that had slain the king, his father.

6 But the children of the murderers he did not put to death, according to that which is written in the Book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying: *The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: but every man shall die for his own sin.

7 He slew of Edom, *in the valley of the Salt-pits, ten thousand men, and took the rock by war, and called the name thereof Jectehel, unto this day.

8 Then Amasias sent messengers to Joas, son of Joachaz, son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying: Come let us see one another.

9 And Joas, king of Israel, sent again to Amasias, king of Juda, saying: A thistle of Libanus sent to a cedar-tree, which is in Libanus, saying: Give thy daughter to my son to wife. And the beasts of the forest, that are in Libanus, passed, and trod down the thistle.

10 Thou hast beaten and prevailed over Edom, and thy heart hath lifted thee up; be content with this glory, and sit at home; why provokest thou evil, that thou shouldst fall, and Juda with thee?

11 But Amasias did not rest satisfied. So Joas, king of Israel, went up; and he and Amasias, king of Juda, saw one another in Bethsames, a town in Juda.

12 And Juda was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to their dwellings.

13 But Joas, king of Israel, took Amasias, king of Juda, the son of Joas, the son of Ochozias, in Bethsames, and brought him into Jerusalem; and he broke down the wall of Jerusalem, from the gate of Ephraim to the gate of the corner, four hundred cubits.

14 And he took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of the Lord, and in the king's treasures, and hostages, and returned to Samaria.

15 But the rest of the acts of Joas, which he did, and his valour, wherewith he fought against Amasias, king of Juda, are they not written in the Book of the words of the days of the kings of Israel?

16 And Joas slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria, with the kings of Israel: and Jeroboam, his son, reigned in his stead.

17 And Amasias, the son of Joas, king of Juda, lived after the death of Joas, son of Joachaz, king of Israel, fifteen years.

18 And the rest of the acts of Amasias, are they not written in the Book of the words of the days of the kings of Juda?

19 Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachis. *And they sent after him to Lachis, and killed him there.

20 And they brought him away upon horses, and he was buried in Jerusalem with his fathers, in the city of David.

21 *And all the people of Juda took Azarias, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father, Amasias.

22 He built Elath, and restored it to Juda, after that the king slept with his fathers.

23 In the fifteenth year of Amasias, *son of Joas, king of Juda, reigned Jeroboam, the son of Joas, king of Israel, in Samaria, one and forty years:

24 And he did that which was evil before the Lord. He departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nabat, who made Israel to sin.

25 He restored the borders of *Israel from the entrance of Emath, unto the sea of the wilderness, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant, **Jonas, the son of Amathi, the prophet, who was of Geth, which is in Opher.

26 For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was exceedingly bitter, and that they were consumed even to them that were shut up in prison, and the lowest persons, and that there was no one to help Israel.

27 And the Lord did not say that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven; but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam, the son of Joas.

28 But the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his valour, wherewith he fought, and how he restored Damascus and Emath to Juda, in Israel, are they not written in the Book of the words of the days of the kings of Israel?

29 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, the kings of Israel; and Zacharias, his son, reigned in his stead.



1: Year of the World 3165.

2: 2 Paralipomenon xxv. 1.

6: Deuteronomy xxiv. 16.; Ezechiel xviii. 20.

7: Year of the World 3177, Year before Christ 827.

19: Year of the World 3194, Year before Christ 810.

21: 2 Paralipomenon xxvi. 1.

23: Year of the World 3179, Year before Christ 825.

25: Numbers xiii. 22. --- ** Jonas i. 1.