2Ki 14: "A last opportunity for the nation presented itself,
as in Israel and Judah there reigned three able sovereigns in Amaziah, Uzziah,
and Jeroboam II. The weakness of surrounding nations was their opportunity. A
vigorous struggle broke out to raise the nations from the depression into which
it had fallen. Syria and Edom were reduced. The borders were extended, the
struggle partly successful. But it was frustrated by calamities beyond human
power. The kings conquered their enemies, but not themselves, and thus failed in
the struggle for complete independence. Those whose pride makes them too eager
to fight may get enough of it in quick order. Many would have honour and wealth
enough, if they but know when they had enough. But the prosperity of Israel
under Jeroboam was a delusion and a snare. Two prophets raised their voices in
warning and rebuke. Hosea and Amos, sounded forth their stern, harsh language,
revealing the true state of the ecclesia. Hosea was a citizen of the north, for
he speaks of the land (Hos 1:2) and 'our king' (Hos 7:5). The rough shepherd
Amos was from Judah. He beheld with indignation the soft luxury and abandoned
life in the northern kingdom. He gives a frightful picture of an apostate,
licentious and decadent Israel. It was the 'last days' of the Davidic monarchy,
and little time remained before the divine judgment came upon both northern and
southern elements of the nation" (GEM).
THE HIGH PLACES, HOWEVER, WERE NOT REMOVED: Specific
mention is made, several times, of the high places not being taken away: by Asa
(1Ki 15:14); Jehoshaphat (1Ki 22:43); Jehoash (2Ki 12:3); Amaziah (2Ki 14:4);
Azariah/Uzziah (2Ki 15:4); and Jotham (2Ki 15:35) -- demonstrating the
importance of this action in God's sight. These kings did not make a full return
to God. The high places (which had been used for idol worship) might have been
out of use for the time being, but it seems they were not totally destroyed
until the time of Hezekiah (2Ki 18:4; 2Ch 32:12); and even then their
prohibition did not last beyond his reign (2Ch 33:3).
Do we have other shrines at which we worship? We must be sure
that we remove the "high places" from our lives completely, even if they are
currently "out of use".
THE VALLEY OF SALT: The southern Dead Sea area, site of
overthrown cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
SELA: Petra: a city of immense strength and a wonder of
the ancient world. From here, trade routes ran to Egypt, Palestine, and
Background: Amaziah had borrowed a mercenary army from Joash
of Israel. The prophet intervened, and they were sent back. They were angry, and
pillaged cities of Judah: 2Ch 25.
MEET ME FACE TO FACE: A declaration of war (v
Vv 9,10: Figurative language: 'You were recently asking for my
help, and now you are challenging me?!' Thistle = king of Judah; cedar = king of
GIVE YOUR DAUGHTER TO MY SON: That is, 'Give me an
THEN A WILD BEAST IN LEBANON CAME ALONG AND TRAMPLED THE
THISTLE UNDERFOOT: The pillaging of Judah's cities by the mercenary army
(see 2Ki 14:8n).
Amaziah planned to fight the 10 tribes, win, and thus unify
all Israel (Josephus).
Reason: Amaziah had begun to practice idolatry with Edom's
"gods" (2Ch 25:14,20).
JEROBOAM HIS SON: Jeroboam II.
UNDER HEAVEN: A phrase suggesting the universality of
Yahweh's judgement: Gen 6:17; Exo 17:14; Deu 7:24; 9:14; 25:19; 29:20; 2Ki
14:27. The two NT references (Acts 4:12; Col 1:23) expand the theme to show that
the Father is indeed concerned with salvation for all mankind.
HOW HE RECOVERED FOR ISRAEL BOTH DAMASCUS AND HAMATH:
Prob Jeroboam just recovered portions of territory previously taken from Israel
by Damascus and Hamath.