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Two Chronicles Sixteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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2 Chronicles 16:1 In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.

Baasha king of Israel. 2 Chronicles 16:1-6 is nearly the same as 1 Kings 15:17-22, indicating that both had used the records in the now-lost “book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah (1 Kings 15:23).

came up against Judah. There is an apparent problem with dates here. Baasha is said to have begun his reign in Israel in the third year of Asa's reign in Judah and then to have his reign ended in the twenty-sixth year of Asa (1 Kings 15:28; 16:8). Yet this verse says that Baasha came up against Judah in the thirty-sixth year of Asa, seemingly nine years after his own death. Other than a possible copyist error here, it has been suggested that the intent of the statement was “the thirty-sixth year of the divided kingdom, now under Asa.”

Ramah. Ramah was only about five miles from Jerusalem, so a military outpost there from Israel could pose a serious threat to the capital. In order to minimize this threat, Asa felt he should bribe the king of Syria to attack Israel, and Ben-hadad did exactly that. Note 2 Chronicles 16:4.

2 Chronicles 16:2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king's house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

2 Chronicles 16:3 There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

2 Chronicles 16:4 And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.

2 Chronicles 16:5 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease.

2 Chronicles 16:6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.

Geba and Mizpah. These cities were near enough to Ramah to make it imprudent for Baasha to try again to fortify Ramah.

2 Chronicles 16:7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.

Hanani the seer. Hanani was the father of Jehu, the prophet who later would prophesy in the days of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 19:2).

2 Chronicles 16:8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

throughout the whole earth. Even though God had chosen Israel as His elect nation, He has always been concerned about all His creation. Even though other nations as a whole have forgotten Him, worshiping various nature gods, there are evidently individuals in such nations whose hearts desire to know Him, and to these God will somehow reveal Himself. “In every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him” (Acts 10:35).

2 Chronicles 16:10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.

2 Chronicles 16:11 And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

2 Chronicles 16:12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.

2 Chronicles 16:13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.

2 Chronicles 16:14 And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art: and they made a very great burning for him.

great burning. Asa was buried, not cremated. The “burning” was probably a burning of spices in honor of Asa's earlier godly accomplishments.