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Amaziah was the King of Judah who challenged King Jehoash of Israel to war.
Jehoash warned him against the idea but he was bent on going to battle, he was eventually defeated and later assassinated by his own people.
Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, with the challenge: “Come, meet me face to face.” 2 KINGS 14:8
When King Amaziah of Judah challenged King Jehoash of Israel to battle, he definitely bit off more than he could chew. But it seems as if this followed the general character of Amaziah, who had a habit of
acting without fully thinking through the situation.
Amaziah had taken over the throne of Judah when his father was assassinated by his own officials (2 Kings 12:19–21). Amaziah appears to have started out strong, because the Bible describes him as doing “right in the eyes of the LORD” (2 Kings 14:1–3). But his commitment was not wholehearted, because he allowed the pagan shrines to remain in the land.
Perhaps in a rush to amass enough troops to fight Edom, Amaziah rashly hired mercenaries from Israel to add to the troops that came from Judah. When a prophet warned him not to use mercenaries from Israel to fight the battle, Amaziah simply dismissed them and headed off to war with Edom. In the meantime, the mercenaries, no doubt angry that they would not share in any spoils of victory, attacked several Judean
Amaziah defeated the Edomites, but he also brought back their gods and worshipped them. The battle victory must have gone to his head, too, because he soon challenged King Jehoash of Israel to battle. Despite Jehoash’s warnings, Amaziah would not back down, and Jehoash thoroughly defeated him, even destroying part of Jerusalem’s wall and
looting the temple (2 Kings 14:8–14).
In the end, Amaziah was assassinated by his own people from Jerusalem, just as his father had been (2 Kings 14:18–20).
Amaziah’s defeat at the hands of Jehoash should have come as no surprise. Jehoash proved himself to be an able military leader by defeating the Arameans in three separate battles to recover Israelite towns that they had taken (2 Kings 13:25).