The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
Amasias was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne, and his reign at Jerusalem lasted twenty-nine years; his mother’s name was Joadan, a woman of Jerusalem.
This Amasias obeyed the Lord’s will, but not with full obedience.
Once his power was firmly established, he put his father’s murderers to death,
but not their children; the Lord’s injunction, laid down by the terms of Moses’ law, was that a father must not die for his son’s guilt, or a son for his father’s; no guilt but his own should bring a man to death.✻
Then he mustered the whole of Juda, marshalling them by their clans, and appointing commanders and captains for the whole of Juda and Benjamin. When the count was taken of all that were above the age of twenty, he found himself in command of three hundred thousand fighting men, armed with spear and shield.
To these he added a force of a hundred thousand warriors from Israel, hired for a hundred talents of silver.
But now a messenger from God came and told him, My lord king, this force of Israelites must not march with thee; to Israel, to the whole kingdom of Ephraim, the Lord denies his aid.
Count as thou wilt on the strength of thy array, God will give thy enemies the mastery; he alone sends victory and defeat.
And when Amasias asked what was to become of the hundred talents he had spent on the mercenaries from Israel, the answer came, Worse losses yet the Lord can make good to thee.
Thereupon Amasias drew off the Israelite troops and bade them go home; go home they did, but full of indignation against Juda.
And he, with renewed confidence, led his own army out to the Valley of the Salt-pits, where they killed a thousand Edomites on the field;
ten thousand more they captured alive, and took them to a steep rock, from whose summit they threw them down headlong, so that all were dashed to pieces.
But meanwhile the army which Amasias had sent home, instead of taking them into battle with him, scattered here and there among the cities of Juda, all the way (from Samaria)✻ to Bethoron, killing three thousand of the inhabitants, and carrying away great store of plunder.
After this victory over the Edomites, Amasias brought home with him some of the idols men worshipped there in Seir; and these gods he made his own, worshipping them himself and burning incense before them.
And the Lord, much angered with him, sent a prophet to ask, What gods are these thou worshippest, that could not rescue their own people from thy onslaught?
He answered, What, wouldst thou be the king’s counsellor? Peace, or thy life shall pay for it! And the prophet said, as he turned to go, So much ill done, and no heed paid to my counsel! Certain it is the Lord has doomed thee to die.
And now Amasias, upon ill advice taken, sent a challenge to Joas, son of Joachaz, son of Jehu, king of Israel, Come, let us have a trial of strength!
And this message he had in answer: Said Lebanon thistle to Lebanon cedar, Let my son have thy daughter to wife. But down came wild beasts from Lebanon forest, and all the thistle got was, he was trampled underfoot.
At the thought of thy victory over Edom, thy heart is puffed up with pride. Keep thyself at home, do not invite disaster, to thy own and Juda’s ruin.
But Amasias would have his way; the Lord’s will was that he should fall into his enemy’s hands, to punish him for worshipping the gods of Edom.
So Joas, king of Israel, marched out, and they faced one another while Amasias, king of Juda, was still in his own territory, at Bethsames;
here the men of Juda were routed by the Israelites, and scattered to their homes in flight.
Thus Amasias, son of Joas, son of Joachaz, king of Juda, was captured by Joas king of Israel at Bethsames, and taken back to his own city of Jerusalem; where Joas made a breach in the wall four hundred cubits long, from the gate of Ephraim to the Corner gate,
carried off all the gold and silver and other ware that was to be found in the temple, in the treasury of Obededom, and in the royal treasury, took hostages besides, and so made his way back to Samaria.
Amasias, son of Joas, king of Juda, survived this Joas, son of Joachaz, king of Israel, but fifteen years.
What else Amasias did, first and last, is set down in the Record of the kings of Israel and Juda.
But ever since he forsook the Lord, fresh troubles befell him. A conspiracy was made against him in Jerusalem, and when he fled to Lachis they sent in pursuit of him and put him to death there;
afterwards his body was brought back to Jerusalem in a horse-litter, and there buried with his fathers in David’s Keep.✻
The Holy Bible