Amazi'ah (Hebrew Amatsyah', אֲמִציָה, strengthened by Jehovah, 2Ki 12:21; 2Ki 13:12; 2Ki 14:8; 2Ki 15:1; 1Ch 4:34; 1Ch 6:45; Am 7:10,12,14; elsewhere in the prolonged form Amatsya'hu, אֲמִציָהוּ; Sept. Α᾿μασίας, but Μαεσσίας in 1Ch 6:45), the name of four men.
1. A Levite, son of Hilkiah and father of Hashabiah, of the ancestry of Ethan the Merarite (1Ch 6:45), B.C. considerably ante 1014.
2. The son and successor of Joash (by Jehoaddan, a female of Jerusalem), and the ninth king on the separate throne of Judah; he was twenty-five years old at his accession, and reigned twenty-nine years, B.C. 837-808 (2Ki 14:1-2; 2Ch 25:1). His reign was marked, in general, by piety as well as energy, but was not without its faults (2Ki 14:3-4; 2Ch 25:2). He commenced his sovereignty by punishing the murderers of his father; and it is mentioned that he respected the law of Moses by not including the children in the doom of their parents, which seems to show that a contrary practice had previously existed (2Ki 14:5-7; 2Ch 25:3-5). The principal event of Amaziah's reign was his attempt to reimpose upon the Edomites the yoke of Judah, which they had cast off in the time of Jehoram (2Ki 8:20; comp.
1Ki 22:48). The strength of Edom is evinced by the fact that Amaziah considered the unaided power of his own kingdom, although stated to have consisted of 300,000 troops, unequal to this: undertaking, and therefore hired an auxiliary force of 100,000 men from the king of Israel for 100 talents of silver (2Ch 25:5-6). This is the first example of a mercenary army that occurs in the history of the Jews. It did not, however, render any other service than that of giving Amaziah an opportunity of manifesting that he knew his true place in the Hebrew Constitution, as the viceroy and vassal of the King JEHOVAH. A prophet commanded him, in the name of the Lord, to send back the auxiliaries. on the ground that the state of alienation from God in which the kingdom of Israel lay rendered such assistance not only useless, but dangerous. The king obeyed this seemingly hard command, and sent the men home, although by doing so he not only lost their services, but the 100 talents, which had been already paid, and incurred the resentment of the Israelites, who were naturally exasperated at the indignity shown to them (2Ch 25:7-10,13). This exasperation they indicated by plundering the towns and destroying the people on their homeward march (Kitto's Daily Bible Illustr. in loc.). The obedience of Amaziah was rewarded by a great victory over the Edomites (2Ch 25:14-16), ten thousand of whom were slain in battle, and ten thousand more savagely destroyed by being hurled down from the high cliffs of their native mountains (2Ch 25:11-12). He even took the city of Petra (q.v.) by assault, and changed its name from Selah to Joktheel (2Ki 14:7). But the Edomites afterward were avenged; for among the goods which fell to the conqueror were some of their idols, which, although impotent to deliver their own worshippers, Amaziah betook himself to worship (Withof, De A masia deos Edom. secum abducente, Ling. 1768). This proved his ruin (2Ch 25:14-16). Puffed up by his late victories, he thought also of reducing the ten tribes under his dominion, and sent a challenge to the rival kingdom to meet him in a pitched battle. After a scornful reply, he was defeated by King Joash of Israel, who carried him a prisoner to Jerusalem, which, according to Josephus (Ant. 9, 9, 3), opened its gates to the conqueror under a threat that otherwise he would put Amaziah to death — a statement evidently made conjecturally to explain the fact that the city was taken apparently without resistance (2Ki 14:13). Joash broke down a great part of the city wall on the side toward the Israelitish frontier, plundered the city, and even laid his hands upon the sacred things of the temple. He, however, left Amaziah on the throne, but not without taking hostages for his good behavior (2Ki 14:8-14; 2Ch 25:17-24), B.C. cir. 824. The disasters which Amaziah's infatuation had brought upon Judah probably occasioned the conspiracy in which he lost his life, although a space of fifteen years intervened (2Ki 14:17). On receiving intelligence of this conspiracy he hastened to throw himself into the fortress of Lachish; but he was pursued and slain by the conspirators, who brought back his body "upon horses" to Jerusalem for interment in the royal sepulcher (2Ki 14:19-20; 2Ch 25:27-28). His name, for some reason, is omitted in our Savior's genealogy (Mt 1:8; comp. 1Ch 3:12). SEE JUDAH, KINGDOM OF.
3. The priest of the golden calves at Bethel, who, in the time of Jeroboam II, complained to the king of Amos's prophecies of coming evil, and urged the prophet himself to withdraw into the kingdom of Judah and prophesy there; for which he was threatened with severe family degradation in the approaching captivity of the northern kingdom (Am 7:10-17), B.C. cir. 790.
4. The father of Joshah, which latter was one of the Simeonite chiefs who expelled the Amalekites from the valley of Gedor in the time of Hezekiah (1Ch 4:34). B.C. cir. 712.