(am uh zi' ah) Personal name meaning, “Yahweh is mighty.” 1. A Simeonite (1 Chronicles 4:34). 2. A Levite and a descendant of Merari (1 Chronicles 6:45). 3. A priest at Bethel who sent Amos the prophet home, saying he did not have the right to prophesy against King Jeroboam II of Israel (789-746 B.C.) in the king's place of worship (Amos 7:10-17).
4. Ninth king of Judah, the son of Joash and father of Uzziah (797-767 B.C.). He was 25 years old when he ascended the throne. He speedily avenged the murder of his father, who had been killed by court servants. Amaziah was uncommonly merciful in his avenging, as he only murdered the guilty servants, not the servants' children (2 Kings 14:5-6).
Among Amaziah's accomplishments, he conscripted an army for Judah, composed of all men age 20 and above. He also hired mercenaries from Israel, but declined to use them at the advice of a “man of God” (1 Chronicles 25:7). Amaziah led his army to Seir, where he easily defeated the Edomites, making them again subject to Judah. Yet, he took Edomite idols back to Jerusalem and worshiped them. He then refused to listen to the rebuke and the forecast of doom brought by God's prophet (2 Chronicles 25:11-16).
Encouraged by his victory in Edom, Amaziah challenged Joash; king of Israel; to battle. Though Joash tried to avoid a conflict, Amaziah persisted and was defeated at the hands of Israel. The Temple and royal palace were plundered, the wall of Jerusalem was pierced, and Amaziah was taken prisoner. Amaziah survived Joash by fifteen years. Because of a conspiracy against him he fled to Lachish but was murdered there. See: Judah, Kings of; Joash; Uzziah; Jehoaddin (his mother).
Ronald E. Bishop