Introduction to the story about the king of Babylon (Isa 14:3-14:4)

“When Yahweh has given you rest

From your pain,

From your turmoil,

From your hard service,

With which

You were made to serve,

You will take up this taunt

Against the king of Babylon.”

Many believe that this may have been a taunt by Isaiah against the dead King Sargon II, who died in 705 BCE after ruling from 722 BCE. Later it was used against King Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BCE). It assumes that the Israelites had returned from the Exile. They had some rest from their pain, turmoil, and hard service. Now they were able to taunt the king of Babylon.

The war of words between King Amaziah and King Joash (2 Kings 14:8-14:10)

“Then King Amaziah sent messengers to King Joash son of King Jehoahaz, son of King Jehu of Israel, saying. ‘Come! Let us look one another in the face.’ King Joash of Israel sent word to King Amaziah of Judah. ‘A thorn bush in Lebanon went to a cedar in Lebanon, saying. ‘Give your daughter to my son for a wife.’ But a wild animal of Lebanon passed by and trampled down the thorn bush. You have indeed defeated Edom. Your heart has lifted you up. Be content with your glory. Stay at home. Why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?’”

King Amaziah of Judah wanted to see who was better between him and King Joash of Israel. He wanted to have them look in the face at each other. However, King Joash said that would be like comparing a thorn bush to a Lebanon cedar tree. Wild animals would trample the thorn bust. He told King Amaziah to stay home and bask in the glory of his defeat of the Edomites. Do not provoke trouble for you and Judah. They were taunting each other.