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Amaziah of Judah

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Amaziah of Judah
Reign over Judah 769-781
Died c.970 BC
Place of death Lachish[1]
Predecessor Jehoash of Judah
Successor Uzziah
Consort Jecoliah
Royal House House of David
Father Jehoash of Judah
Mother Jehoaddan (Hebrew: יהועדין‎ or יְהוֹעַדָּן; Latin: Joadan) of Jerusalem

Amaziah of Judah, Amasias (DRB), and Amatzia (Hebrew: אֲמַצְיָה, Modern {{{2}}} Tiberian {{{3}}}, meaning "the strength of the Lord," "strengthened by Jehovah," or "Yahweh is mighty"; Greek: Αμεσσιας; Latin: Amasias) was the king of Judah, the son and successor of Joash. His mother was Jehoaddan (renedered "Joadan" in the Douay-Rheims and some other translations) (2 Kings 14:1-4). He took the throne at the age of 25 (2 Chronicles 25:1). He reigned for 29 years (2 Kings 14:2) from 797/796 to 768/767 BC.[2]


Amaziah began his reign by punishing the murderers of his father (2 Kings 14:5; 2 Chronicles 25:3). He was the first to employ a mercenary army of 100,000 Israelite soldiers, which he did in his attempt to bring the Edomites again under the yoke of Judah (2 Chr. 25:5, 6). He was commanded by an unnamed prophet to send back the mercenaries, to whom he acquiesced (2 Chr. 25:7-10, 13), much to the annoyance of the mercenaries. His obedience to this command was followed by a decisive victory over the Edomites (2 Chr. 25:14-16).

War against Israel

Amaziah began to worship some of the idols he took from the Edomites, which the author of Chronicles believes led to his ruin and his defeat by Jehoash, king of Israel whom he had challenged to battle. Joash took him as a prisoner[3]. His defeat was followed by a conspiracy that took his life (2 Kings 14:8-14, 19). He was slain at Lachish, to which he had fled, and his body was brought upon horses to Jerusalem, where it was buried in the royal sepulchre (2 Kings 14:19, 20; 2 Chr. 25:27, 28).

Chronological notes

The calendars for reckoning the years of kings in Judah and Israel were offset by six months, that of Judah starting in Tishri (in the fall) and that of Israel in Nisan (in the spring). Cross-synchronizations between the two kingdoms therefore often allow narrowing of the beginning and/or ending dates of a king to within a six-month range. For Amaziah, the Scriptural data allow the narrowing of his accession to some time between Nisan 1 of 796 BC and the day before Tishri 1 of the same BC year. For calculation purposes, this should be taken as the Judean year beginning in Tishri of 797/796 BC, or more simply 797 BC. His death occurred at some time between Nisan 1 and Tishri 1 of 767 BC, i.e. in 768/767 by Judean reckoning, or more simply 768 BC.

Geographical note

Amatzia, Israel is named after him.


  1. 2 Kings 14:19
  2. Edwin R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (3rd ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan/Kregel, 1983) 217.
  3. 2 Kings 14:13

This entry incorporates text from the public domain Easton's Bible Dictionary, originally published in 1897.

Amaziah of Judah
Cadet branch of the Tribe of Judah
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Judah
797 BC – 768 BC
Succeeded by
Kings of Judah


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