2 He did what was pleasing to Hashem, but not with a whole heart.
va-YA-as ha-ya-SHAR b’-ay-NAY a-do-NAI RAK LO b’-lay-VAV sha-LAYM
ב וַיַּעַשׂ הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה רַק לֹא בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם׃
25:2 But not with a whole heart
Why is Amatzya hesitant in his service of Hashem? Perhaps he had learned idolatry as a child in his father’s house. However, he notices that his father, like idolatrous kings before him, was struck down and reaches the conclusion that the worship of the one true God is the safest and most pragmatic course of action. However, when Amatzya obeys Hashem’s command and sends away his northern mercenaries, they sack his cities in disgust (verse 13). As such, he wonders if his original conclusion was wrong, and perhaps idolatry is the best course after all. We learn from here that it is not enough to serve God out of a desire for advancement. Worship of Hashem must be performed “with a whole heart.”1 comment
3 Once he had the kingdom firmly under control, he executed the courtiers who had assassinated his father the king.
ג וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר חָזְקָה הַמַּמְלָכָה עָלָיו וַיַּהֲרֹג אֶת־עֲבָדָיו הַמַּכִּים אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ אָבִיו׃
4 But he did not put their children to death for [he acted] in accordance with what is written in the Teaching, in the Book of Moshe, where Hashem commanded, “Parents shall not die for children, nor shall children die for parents, but every person shall die only for his own crime.”
ד וְאֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם לֹא הֵמִית כִּי כַכָּתוּב בַּתּוֹרָה בְּסֵפֶר מֹשֶׁה אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר לֹא־יָמוּתוּ אָבוֹת עַל־בָּנִים וּבָנִים לֹא־יָמוּתוּ עַל־אָבוֹת כִּי אִישׁ בְּחֶטְאוֹ יָמוּתוּ׃
5 Amatzya assembled the men of Yehuda, and he put all the men of Yehuda and Binyamin under officers of thousands and officers of hundreds, by clans. He mustered them from the age of twenty upward, and found them to be 300,000 picked men fit for service, able to bear spear and shield.
6 He hired 100,000 warriors from Yisrael for 100 kikarim of silver.
ו וַיִּשְׂכֹּר מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל מֵאָה אֶלֶף גִּבּוֹר חָיִל בְּמֵאָה כִכַּר־כָּסֶף׃
8 But go by yourself and do it; take courage for battle, [else] Hashem will make you fall before the enemy. For in Hashem there is power to help one or make one fall!”
ח כִּי אִם־בֹּא אַתָּה עֲשֵׂה חֲזַק לַמִּלְחָמָה יַכְשִׁילְךָ הָאֱלֹהִים לִפְנֵי אוֹיֵב כִּי יֶשׁ־כֹּחַ בֵּאלֹהִים לַעְזוֹר וּלְהַכְשִׁיל׃
9 Amatzya said to the man of Hashem, “And what am I to do about the 100 kikarim I gave for the Israelite force?” The man of Hashem replied, “Hashem has the means to give you much more than that.”
י וַיַּבְדִּילֵם אֲמַצְיָהוּ לְהַגְּדוּד אֲשֶׁר־בָּא אֵלָיו מֵאֶפְרַיִם לָלֶכֶת לִמְקוֹמָם וַיִּחַר אַפָּם מְאֹד בִּיהוּדָה וַיָּשׁוּבוּ לִמְקוֹמָם בָּחֳרִי־אָף׃
יא וַאֲמַצְיָהוּ הִתְחַזַּק וַיִּנְהַג אֶת־עַמּוֹ וַיֵּלֶךְ גֵּיא הַמֶּלַח וַיַּךְ אֶת־בְּנֵי־שֵׂעִיר עֲשֶׂרֶת אֲלָפִים׃
13 The men of the force that Amatzya had sent back so they would not go with him into battle made forays against the towns of Yehuda from Shomron to Beth-horon. They slew 3,000 of them, and took much booty.
14 After Amatzya returned from defeating the Edomites, he had the gods of the men of Seir brought, and installed them as his gods; he prostrated himself before them, and to them he made sacrifice.
יד וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי בוֹא אֲמַצְיָהוּ מֵהַכּוֹת אֶת־אֲדוֹמִים וַיָּבֵא אֶת־אֱלֹהֵי בְּנֵי שֵׂעִיר וַיַּעֲמִידֵם לוֹ לֵאלֹהִים וְלִפְנֵיהֶם יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה וְלָהֶם יְקַטֵּר׃
15 Hashem was enraged at Amatzya, and sent a Navi to him who said to him, “Why are you worshiping the gods of a people who could not save their people from you?”
טו וַיִּחַר־אַף יְהֹוָה בַּאֲמַצְיָהוּ וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו נָבִיא וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ לָמָּה דָרַשְׁתָּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵי הָעָם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־הִצִּילוּ אֶת־עַמָּם מִיָּדֶךָ׃
16 As he spoke to him, [Amatzya] said to him, “Have we appointed you a counselor to the king? Stop, else you will be killed!” The Navi stopped, saying, “I see Hashem has counseled that you be destroyed, since you act this way and disregard my counsel.”
טז וַיְהִי בְּדַבְּרוֹ אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַלְיוֹעֵץ לַמֶּלֶךְ נְתַנּוּךָ חֲדַל־לְךָ לָמָּה יַכּוּךָ וַיֶּחְדַּל הַנָּבִיא וַיֹּאמֶר יָדַעְתִּי כִּי־יָעַץ אֱלֹהִים לְהַשְׁחִיתֶךָ כִּי־עָשִׂיתָ זֹּאת וְלֹא שָׁמַעְתָּ לַעֲצָתִי׃
18 King Yoash of Yisrael sent back this message to King Amatzya of Yehuda, “The thistle in Lebanon sent this message to the cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ But a wild beast in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle.
19 You boast that you have defeated the Edomites and you are ambitious to get more glory. Now stay at home, lest, provoking disaster you fall, dragging Yehuda down with you.”
20 But Amatzya paid no heed—it was Hashem‘s doing, in order to deliver them up because they worshiped the gods of Edom.
כ וְלֹא־שָׁמַע אֲמַצְיָהוּ כִּי מֵהָאֱלֹהִים הִיא לְמַעַן תִּתָּם בְּיָד כִּי דָרְשׁוּ אֵת אֱלֹהֵי אֱדוֹם׃
23 King Yoash of Yisrael captured Amatzya son of Yoash son of Yehoachaz, king of Yehuda, in Beit Shemesh. He brought him to Yerushalayim and made a breach of 400 amot in the wall of Yerushalayim, from the Efraim Gate to the Corner Gate.
24 Then, with all the gold and silver and all the utensils that were to be found in the House of Hashem in the custody of Oved Edom, and with the treasuries of the royal palace, and with the hostages, he returned to Shomron.
כד וְכָל־הַזָּהָב וְהַכֶּסֶף וְאֵת כָּל־הַכֵּלִים הַנִּמְצְאִים בְּבֵית־הָאֱלֹהִים עִם־עֹבֵד אֱדוֹם וְאֶת־אֹצְרוֹת בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֵת בְּנֵי הַתַּעֲרֻבוֹת וַיָּשָׁב שֹׁמְרוֹן׃
27 From the time that Amatzya turned from following Hashem, a conspiracy was formed against him in Yerushalayim, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent men after him to Lachish and they put him to death there.
כז וּמֵעֵת אֲשֶׁר־סָר אֲמַצְיָהוּ מֵאַחֲרֵי יְהֹוָה וַיִּקְשְׁרוּ עָלָיו קֶשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלַ ִם וַיָּנָס לָכִישָׁה וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ אַחֲרָיו לָכִישָׁה וַיְמִיתֻהוּ שָׁם׃