Having just assumed the throne in Chapter 13, Abijah is laid to rest at the start of chapter 14. It is longer, however, than the account of his reign in 1 Kings 15, which does at least note the war. His son, Asa, takes over; and the text tells us that the land had “rest” for ten years. One reason for that was undoubtedly because verse two says that he “did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” He took away the foreign altars, got rid of the Asherim, and commanded Judah to keep God’s commandments.
Asa built fortified cities and towers and walls, and also built up a strong army – 300, 000 might men of Judah and 280,000 from Benjamin. There was peace until Zerah the Ethiopian came up against him with a million men and 300 chariots. verse 9 says they came as far as Mareshah, which had been one of Rehoboam’s fortified cities. Asa went out to meet him and prayed to the Lord with both pleading and praise. So, verse 12 says, the Lord defeated Zerah and his forces. Asa and his men pursued those who fled, and none were left alive.
Asa and the men of Judah took much spoil, the text says, from both the Ethiopians and the cities they attacked near Gerar, before returning to Jerusalem.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.