The reign of Amaziah king of Judah started out on the right foot. Amaziah intended to do the LORD’s will when he attacked the devil worshippers identified as “the children of Seir” (2 Chronicles 25:11). Unfortunately, Amaziah was attracted to the goat demons. “Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them” (2 Chronicles 25:14).
It could be that Amaziah’s demon worship caused him to become mentally unstable. His declaration of war on Joash king of Israel was foolish to say the least. When Joash received Amaziah’s invitation to battle, he responded with this parable. “And Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle” (2 Chronicles 25:18).
Joash’s comparison of Amaziah’s strength to his own as a thorn to that of a ceder tree illustrates the absurdity of Amaziah’s challenge. Joash’s army had defeated Syria three times (2 Kings 13:25) and his conquests included the restoration of Israel’s coastline, as well as, the northern territory of Damascus (2 Kings 14;25, 28). Amaziah’s only victory was killing 20,000 of the children of Seir (2 Chronicles 25:11-12).
In spite if Joash’s warning to mind his own business, Amaziah went up against Joash’s army. The explanation given for his decision is recorded in 2 Chronicles 25:20.
“But Amaziah would not hear for it came of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought after the gods of Edom.”
Judah’s army was defeated by Israel and hostages were taken back to Samaria, where it is likely they remained until Joash’s death. It states in 2 Chronicles 25::25 that Amaziah lived fifteen years after the death of Joash. Amaziah’s reign overlapped with his son Uzziah’s from 792-767 B.C., so it is possible that Uzziah reigned while his father was being held captive in Samaria. After Amaziah turned away from following the LORD, his authority was taken away and he may have lived as a fugitive the entire 25 years of his son’s coregency (2 Chronicles 25:27).”