Chapter 16 says that in the 36th year of Asa’s reign in Judah, Baasha (the king of Israel) went up against him and began building Ramah. Ramah was strategically located about 5 miles north of Jerusalem along the main road. Baasha’s goal in doing this was to prevent travel in and out of Jerusalem. So Asa took silver and gold from the treasury of the house of the Lord and took it to the king of Syria, Ben-hadad. He reminded him of the covenant that had been between their fathers, which extended to them; and he asked him to break his covenant with Israel.
Ben-hadad complied and sent his armies to conquer cities in Israel. When Baasha heard what was going on, he dropped work on Ramah and went to salvage the rest of the country against the Syrians. When they left, Asa and his forces disassembled all that had been built in Ramah. He took all of the stones and timber from the city and he built Geba and Mizpah. Mizpah was very close to Ramah, but now it was under Asa’s control.
Hanani the seer came to Asa and rebuked him for going to the Syrians. He reminded him that because he had previously trusted in the Lord, God had given the Ethiopians and the Lybians into his hands. Because of his foolishness in not trusting the Lord, he told him, he would always have wars. Asa became angry and put the seer into prison in stocks.
Things went downhill for Asa from there, and he eventually got some disease in his feet. Gangrene? We are not told, but he died in the 41st year of his reign.
(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.