The Reign Of Asa In Judah

1 Kings 15:9-24

9 So in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began to reign as king over Judah. 10 He reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His [great-grand]mother was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom (Absalom).

11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did his father (forefather) David. 12 He expelled the male cult prostitutes (sodomites) from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers [Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijam] had made. 13 He also deposed his [great-grand]mother Maacah from being queen mother, because she had made a horrid (obscene, vulgar) image for [the goddess] Asherah. Asa cut down her horrid image, and burned it by the Brook Kidron. 14 But the high places [of idol worship] were not removed. Nevertheless, Asa’s heart was entirely devoted to the Lord all his days. 15 He brought the things which his father had dedicated and the things which he had dedicated into the house of the Lord—silver, gold, and utensils and accessories.

16 Now there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. 17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah [north of Jerusalem], in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and gold left in the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the treasuries of the palace of the king and handed them over to his servants. And King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Aram (Syria), who lived in Damascus, saying, 19 “Let there be a treaty between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you a gift of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.”

20 So Ben-hadad listened to king Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth [the region of the Sea of Galilee], along with all the land of Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard about it, he stopped fortifying Ramah and stayed in Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah—none was exempt—and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had built [the fortifications]. And King Asa built with them [border fortresses at] Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.

23 Now as for the rest of all the acts of Asa, all his might, everything that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But during the time of his old age he had a foot disease. 24 Asa slept with his fathers [in death] and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David. Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.

2 Chronicles 14:1-15

1 So Abijah slept with his fathers [in death], and they buried him in the City of David; and Asa his son became king in his place. The land was at peace for ten years during his days.

2 Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and high places and tore down the [pagan] pillars (obelisks, memorial stones), and cut to pieces the Asherim [the symbols of the goddess Asherah]. 4 And he commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers [to inquire of and for Him and seek Him as a vital necessity], and to observe the law [given to Moses] and the commandment. 5 Asa also removed the [idolatrous] high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. The kingdom was at rest and undisturbed under his reign.

6 He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was at rest, and there was no one at war with him in those years, because the Lord had given him rest. 7 So he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls, towers, gates and bars [to secure the doors]. The land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him [longing for Him with all our heart] and He has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered.

8 Now Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah, who carried large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, who carried shields and drew bows, all courageous men. 9 Now Zerah the Ethiopian (Cushite) came out against Judah with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came as far as Mareshah. 10 Then Asa went out against him, and they drew up in battle formation in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.

11 Asa called out to the Lord his God, saying, “O Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and the weak; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in and rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.”

12 So the Lord struck the Ethiopians [with defeat] before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that none of them were found alive; for they were destroyed before the Lord and His army. And they carried away a very large amount of spoil. 14 They attacked and destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them. They plundered all the cities, for there was a large amount of spoil in them. 15 They also struck down the people [living] in tents who had livestock, and took captive large numbers of sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.