2 Kings 14

The Reign of Amaziah

Cult Implements

And he instituted a feast for the Israelites and went up to the altar to burn incense (2 Kings 14:4).

This display includes a small altar made of five stones that was recovered from the 8th century BC high place at Tel Dan. The long-handled shovels were found next to it. Numerous long-handled shovels of this sort have been discovered in cultic settings from ancient Israel and the surrounding regions. They were probably used to collect live coals from a fire, which were then brought within the temple to have incense added, producing a fragrant smoke. This display was photographed at the Skirball Museum in Jerusalem.

The Valley of Salt

He killed ten thousand men of Edom in the Valley of Salt (2 Kings 14:7).

The “Valley of Salt” is apparently a reference to the continuation of the Rift Valley (Arabah) from the southern shores of the Dead Sea. The battle between Amaziah of Judah and Edom occurred in this flat plain near where Jehoram fought the Edomites about fifty years earlier (2 Kgs 8:20). Unlike Jehoram, Amaziah was successful in defeating Edom. This view from Numeira looks southward along the southeastern corner of the Dead Sea. Edom is on the left and the hills of Judah are on the right. The “Valley of Salt” is the flat area that formed the border between these two kingdoms.


And he took Sela by war and called it Joktheel (2 Kings 14:7).

This campaign by Amaziah against the Edomites not only resulted in the slaughter of 10,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt, but also the capture of an additional 10,000 who were thrown to their deaths, possibly from Sela (1 Chr 25:11-12).This photo of Sela from below illustrates the idealness of the site for that kind of mass execution.


Then Jehoash and Amaziah met each other at Beth-shemesh, which belongs to Judah (2 Kings 14:11).

Beth-shemesh is located on the western slope of the Judean hill country, about 12 miles (19 km) south of the Israel/Judah border. It seems likely that Jehoash and his troops would have travelled south along the coastal highway in order to approach Beth-shemesh from the west. This ground-level view from the top of Beth-shemesh illustrates the view the defending army of Judah would have had down the Sorek Valley as the army of Israel approached. Note the presence of a thistle in the right foreground, the plant to which Jehoash had compared Amaziah earlier in the chapter.

Palace at Lachish

They conspired against him in Jerusalem, so he fled to Lachish (2 Kings 14:19).

Lachish was the second-strongest city of Judah (after Jerusalem), and it had a large palace and military facilities. At the end of the Judean monarchy, the governor’s residence measured half an acre (0.2 ha) in size. The largest Iron Age structure known in Israel, the palace sits on the summit of the tell and was built in three discernible phases. None of the superstructure of the palace at Lachish has survived, although a beautifully built, monumental staircase can be taken as an indication of what must have been a magnificent structure.

Purchase the Collection:

2 Kings (Photo Companion to the Bible)

FREE Shipping plus Immediate Download