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[193] Now upon the victory which Amaziah had gotten, and the great acts he had done, he was puffed up, and began to overlook God, who had given him the victory, and proceeded to worship the gods he had brought out of the country of the Amalekites. So a prophet came to him, and said, that he wondered how he could esteem these to be gods, who had been of no advantage to their own people who paid them honors, nor had delivered them from his hands, but had overlooked the destruction of many of them, and had suffered themselves to be carried captive, for that they had been carried to Jerusalem in the same manner as any one might have taken some of the enemy alive, and led them thither. This reproof provoked the king to anger, and he commanded the prophet to hold his peace, and threatened to punish him if he meddled with his conduct. So he replied, that he should indeed hold his peace; but foretold withal, that God would not overlook his attempts for innovation. But Amaziah was not able to contain himself under that prosperity which God had given him, although he had affronted God thereupon; but in a vein of insolence he wrote to Joash, the king of Israel, and commanded that he and all his people should be obedient to him, as they had formerly been obedient to his progenitors, David and Solomon; and he let him know, that if he would not be so wise as to do what he commanded him, he must fight for his dominion. To which message Joash returned this answer in writing: "King Joash to king Amaziah. There was a vastly tall cypress tree in Mount Lebanon, as also a thistle; this thistle sent to the cypress tree to give the cypress tree's daughter in marriage to the thistle's son; but as the thistle was saying this, there came a wild beast, and trod down the thistle: and this may be a lesson to thee, not to be so ambitious, and to have a care, lest upon thy good success in the fight against the Amalekites thou growest so proud, as to bring dangers upon thyself and upon thy kingdom."

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