2-Chronicles - 14:1-15

Good King Asa

      1 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet ten years. 2 Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of Yahweh his God: 3 for he took away the foreign altars, and the high places, and broke down the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, 4 and commanded Judah to seek Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah; for the land was quiet, and he had no war in those years, because Yahweh had given him rest. 7 For he said to Judah, "Let us build these cities, and make walls around them, with towers, gates, and bars. The land is yet before us, because we have sought Yahweh our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side." So they built and prospered. 8 Asa had an army that bore bucklers and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bore shields and drew bows, two hundred eighty thousand: all these were mighty men of valor. 9 There came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an army of a million troops, and three hundred chariots; and he came to Mareshah. 10 Then Asa went out to meet him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Asa cried to Yahweh his God, and said, "Yahweh, there is none besides you to help, between the mighty and him who has no strength. Help us, Yahweh our God; for we rely on you, and in your name are we come against this multitude. Yahweh, you are our God. Don't let man prevail against you." 12 So Yahweh struck the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar: and there fell of the Ethiopians so many that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before Yahweh, and before his army; and they carried away very much booty. 14 They struck all the cities around Gerar; for the fear of Yahweh came on them: and they despoiled all the cities; for there was much spoil in them. 15 They struck also the tents of livestock, and carried away sheep in abundance, and camels, and returned to Jerusalem.

Chapter In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of 2-Chronicles 14.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

Asa succeeds his father Abijah, reigns piously, and has peace for ten years, 2-Chronicles 14:1. He makes a great reformation in Judah, and builds cities of defense, 2-Chronicles 14:2-7. His military strength, 2-Chronicles 14:8. He is attacked by Zerah the Ethiopian, with an immense army; Asa cries to the Lord, attacks the Ethiopians, and gives them a total overthrow, 2-Chronicles 14:9-12. He takes several of their cities, their cattle, etc., and returns to Jerusalem, laden with spoils, 2-Chronicles 14:13-15.

This chapter relates the death of Abijah, and the succession of Asa in his stead, 2-Chronicles 14:1, gives a good character of the latter for his reformation in religion, and for the care he took for the safety and protection of his subjects, 2-Chronicles 14:2, and an account is given of a large army of Ethiopians that came against him, over whom he crying to the Lord, and trusting in him, by his help obtained a complete victory, 2-Chronicles 14:9.

Asa's piety, He strengthens his kingdom.

Asa's Reign - 2-Chronicles 14-16
In 1 Kings 15:9-24 it is merely recorded of Asa, that he reigned forty-one years, did that which was right as David did, removed from the land all the idols which his fathers had made, and, although the high places were not removed, was devoted to the Lord during his whole life, and laid up in the temple treasury all that had been consecrated by his father and himself. Then it is related that when Baasha marched against him, and began to fortify Ramah, he induced the Syrian king Benhadad, by sending to him the treasures of the temple and of his palace, to break faith with Baasha, and to make an inroad upon and smite the northern portion of the land; that Baasha was thereby compelled to abandon the building of Ramah, and to fall back to Tirzah, and that thereupon Asa caused the fortifications of Ramah to be pulled down, and the cities Geba and Benjamin and Mizpah to be fortified with the materials; and, finally, it is recorded that Asa in his old age became diseased in his feet, and died. The Chronicle also characterizes Asa as a pious king, who did that which was right, and removed the high places and sun-pillars in the land; but gives, as to other matters, a much more detailed account of his reign of forty-one years. It states that in the first years, as the land had rest, he built fortified cities in Judah, and had an army fit for war (2-Chronicles 14:1-7); that thereupon he marched against the Cushite Zerah, who was then advancing upon Judah with an innumerable host, prayed for help to the Lord, who then smote the Cushites, so that they fled; and that Asa pursued them to Gerar, and returned with great booty (2-Chronicles 14:8-14). Then we learn that the prophet Azariah, the son of Oded, came to meet him, who, pointing to the victory which the Lord had granted them, called upon the king and the people to remain stedfast in their fidelity to the Lord; that Asa thereupon took courage, extirpated all the still remaining idolatrous abominations from the land, and in the fifteenth year of his reign held with the people a great sacrificial feast in Jerusalem, renewed the covenant with the Lord, crushed out all the remains of former idolatry, although the high places were not destroyed, and also deposited in the temple treasury all that had been consecrated by his father and himself (2 Chron 15). Thereafter Baasha's inroad upon Judah and the alliance with Ben-hadad of Syria are narrated (2-Chronicles 16:1-6), as in the book of Kings; but it is also added that the prophet Hanani censured his seeking help from the king of Syria, and was thereupon put into the prison-house by Asa (2-Chronicles 16:7-10); and then we have an account of the end of his reign, in which several additions to the account in 1 Kings are communicated (2-Chronicles 16:11-14).

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