2 Chronicles 25:11
And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir ten thousand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) And Amaziah strengthened himself.Shewed himself strong or courageous, took courage; as the prophet had bidden him do (2Chronicles 25:8). (Comp. 2Chronicles 15:8.)

And went to the valley of salt.—Comp. 2Kings 14:7 : “He it was who smote Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand; and he took Sela in the war, and called its name Joktheel, unto this day.” The valley of salt lay to the south-east of the Dead Sea (2Samuel 8:13; 1Chronicles 18:12).

2 Chronicles 25:11-12. Amaziah strengthened himself — With his own men only. And smote of the children of Seir ten thousand — Who, it appears, were left dead upon the field. How many were only wounded: and not killed, we are not told; but undoubtedly not a few. Other ten thousand did the children of Judah cast down from the rock — A most cruel execution, which can no way be justified, unless the children of Seir had been used to serve in that manner all they took captive of Judah.25:1-13 Amaziah was no enemy to religion, but cool and indifferent friend. Many do what is good, but not with a perfect heart. Rashness makes work for repentance. But Amaziah's obedience to the command of God was to his honour. A firm belief of God's all-sufficiency to bear us out in our duty, and to make up all the loss and damage was sustain in his service, will make his yoke very easy, and his burden very light. When we are called to part with any thing for God and our religion, it should satisfy us, that God is able to give us much more than this. Convinced sinners, who have not true faith, always object to self-denying obedience. They are like Amaziah; they say, But what shall we do for the hundred talents? What shall we do if by keeping the sabbath holy we lose so many good customers? What shall we do without this gain? What shall we do if we lose the friendship of the world? Many endeavour to quiet their consciences by the pretence that forbidden practices are necessary. The answer is, as here, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this. He makes up, even in this world, for all that is given up for his sake.The children of Seir - i. e. the Edomites (see the marginal reference "h"). 11. valley of salt—This ravine lies to the south of the Dead Sea. The arms of Amaziah, in reward for his obedience to the divine will, were crowned with victory—ten thousand of the Edomites were slain on the field, and as many taken prisoners, who were put to death by precipitation "from the top of the rock" [2Ch 25:12]. This rock might be situated in the neighborhood of the battlefield, but more probably it formed one of the high craggy cliffs of Selah (Petra), the capital of the Edomites, whither Amaziah marched directly from the Valley of Salt, and which he captured (2Ki 14:7). The savage cruelty dealt out to them was either in retaliation for similar barbarities inflicted on the Hebrews, or to strike terror into so rebellious a people for the future. The mode of execution, by dashing against stones (Ps 137:9), was common among many ancient nations. No text from Poole on this verse. And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people,.... To go to war with the Edomites; not discouraged by the dismission of the hired troops, but trusting in the promise and power of God, he went forth with boldness and intrepidity:

and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir, ten thousand; the Edomites; so called, not because they were the posterity of Seir, but because they dwelt in Seir, from whence they drove the descendants of Seir, and dwelt in their stead; see 2 Kings 14:7.

And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of {h} Seir ten thousand.

(h) For the Idumeans whom David had brought to subjection rebelled under Jehoram Jehoshaphat's son.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11, 12 (cp. 2 Kings 14:7). Victory over Edom

11. strengthened himself] R.V. took courage; cp. 2 Chronicles 1:1 (note).

the valley of salt] The scene of one of David’s victories (1 Chronicles 18:12; see note there).

children of Seir] The Edomites were so called because “Mount Seir” was part of their territory; Deuteronomy 2:5.Verse 11. - Strengthened himself. The hithp, conjugation of our already familiar verb חָזַק; it was not a healthy strengthening, and this may be considered denoted in the fact that the work was all his own, and that he wrought himself up. The valley of salt. Commonly supposed to be the plain south of the Salt Sea, but according to Stanley ('Sinai and Palestine,' Appendix. § 2. 5, pp. 482, 483), more probably a "ravine near Petra" (1 Chronicles 18:12; 2 Samuel 8:13). (For the association of Seir with Edom, see Genesis 36:17-20; 2 Chronicles 20:10.) The succeeding section, 2 Chronicles 25:5-16, enlarges upon Amaziah's preparations for war with Edom, which had revolted under Joram of Judah, 2 Kings 8:22; upon the victory over the Edomites in the Valley of Salt, and on the results of this war; - on all which we have in 2 Kings 14:7 only this short note: "he smote Edom in the valley of Salt 10,000 men, and took Selah in war, and called its name Joktheel unto this day." But the more exact statements of the Chronicle as to the preparations and the results of this war and victory are important for Amaziah's later war with Kings Joash of Israel, which is narrated in 2 Chronicles 25:17. of our chapter, because in them lie the causes of that war, so fatal to Amaziah; so that the history of Amaziah is essentially supplemented by those statements of the Chronicle which are not found in 2Kings.

2 Chronicles 25:5-7

The preparations for the war against Edom, and the victory over the Edomites in the Valley of Salt. - 2 Chronicles 25:5. Amaziah assembled Judah, i.e., the men in his kingdom capable of bearing arms, and set them up (ordered them) according to the princes of thousands and hundreds, of all Judah and Benjamin, and passed them in review, i.e., caused a census to be taken of the men liable to military service from twenty years old and upward. They found 300,000 warriors "bearing spear and target" (cf. 2 Chronicles 14:7); a relatively small number, not merely in comparison with the numbers under Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 17:14., which are manifestly too large, but also with the numberings made by other kings, e.g., Asa, 2 Chronicles 14:7. By Joram's unfortunate wars, 2 Chronicles 21:17, those of Ahaziah, and especially by the defeat which Joash sustained from the Syrians, 2 Chronicles 24:23, the number of men in Judah fit for war may have been very much reduced. Amaziah accordingly sought to strengthen his army against the Edomites, according to 2 Chronicles 25:6, by having an auxiliary corps of 100,000 men from Israel (of the ten tribes) for 100 talents of silver, i.e., he took them into his pay. But a prophet advised him not to take the Israelitish host with him, because Jahve was not with Israel, viz., on account of their defection from Jahve by the introduction of the calf-worship. To Israel there is added, (with) all the sons of Ephraim, to guard against any misunderstanding.

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