Evil king Abijah. Good king Asa. Evil king Nadab. Evil king Baasha.
VERSE 1. Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah.
Abijam. His father is the evil Rehoboam.
VERSE 2. He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
Maacah. She is a daughter of Absalom.
the daughter of. This does not necessarily mean a descendant in the very next generation. It often means a descendant two or more generations removed.
Abishalom. This is a variant spelling of Absalom.
VERSE 3. He walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him; and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.
all the sins. Abijam repeats all the sins of evil Rehoboam, including his idolatry.
his heart was not perfect with the LORD. Abijah was a believer in the LORD God. But Abijah never got right with God.
Abijah is like many churchgoers today. They believe doctrines and they go to church. Maybe they said some prayer of conversion.
But they do not let Jesus Christ be the center of their lives.
VERSE 4. Nevertheless for David’s sake, the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem;
A lamp. This is an imaginative way to describe a successor who will dispel all kinds of darkness.
The dynasty of David is a lamp. But evil king Abijam is not.
VERSE 7. The rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
VERSE 8. Abijam slept with his fathers, and they buried him in David’s city; and Asa his son reigned in his place.
slept with his fathers. This is a euphemism for “died.”
reign over Judah. There were 19 kings of Judah. Of those, only eight were good.
VERSE 10. He reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
He reigned forty-one years. His reign was from 911 to 870 BC.
Asa did that which was right in the LORD’s eyes. Asa’s heart was with the LORD as long as he lived.
This is so unusual for a king. Asa is a rare individual indeed. The text says he did right.
Such a thing is said of only four kings of Judah:
1 Kings 15:11. Asa did that which was right in the LORD’s eyes, as David his father did.
2 Kings 18:3. [Hezekiah] did that which was right in the LORD’s eyes, according to all that David his father had done.
2 Chron. 17:3. The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and didn’t seek the Baals,
2 Kings 22:2. [Josiah] did that which was right in the LORD’s eyes, and walked in all the way of David his father, and didn’t turn away to the right hand or to the left.
VERSE 12. He put away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.
sodomites. The Hebrew word is קָדֵשׁ (“qadesh”). It means temple prostitute.
In this verse, it means “male shrine prostitutes” (NIV translation). It does not mean “homosexuals.”
In this verse, Molech is the real evil. He is the Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice. And these shrine prostitutes are his agents.
VERSE 13. He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah. Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron.
removed Maacah his mother. Asa deposed his grandmother Maacah from the official position of queen mother.
she had made an abominable image for an Asherah. Asa deposed his grandmother because of her repulsive Asherah pole.
burned it at the brook Kidron. Asa burned his grandmother’s Ashera pole in the Kidron Valley, east of Jerusalem.
VERSE 14. But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect with the LORD all his days.
the heart of Asa was perfect with the LORD. This probably means that king Asa did not tolerate idolatry, and that he only worshiped the One God.
VERSE 15. He brought into the LORD’s house the things that his father had dedicated, and the things that he himself had dedicated: silver, gold, and utensils.
Baasha king of Israel. He reigned from 909 to 886 BC.
VERSE 17. Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not allow anyone to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
VERSE 18. Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that was left in the treasures of the LORD’s house, and the treasures of the king’s house, and delivered it into the hand of his servants. Then King Asa sent them to Ben Hadad, the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, who lived at Damascus, saying,
VERSE 19. “Let there be a treaty between me and you, like that between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent to you a present of silver and gold. Go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.”
VERSE 20. Ben Hadad listened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel, and struck Ijon, and Dan, and Abel Beth Maacah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.
VERSE 21. When Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah, and lived in Tirzah.
VERSE 22. Then king Asa made a proclamation to all Judah. No one was exempted. They carried away the stones of Ramah, and its timber, with which Baasha had built; and king Asa used it to build Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah.
VERSE 23. Now the rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? But in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.
he was diseased in his feet. Toward the end of his life, Asa’s feet his became diseased.
VERSE 24. Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in his father David’s city; and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.
VERSE 25. Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah; and he reigned over Israel two years.
Nadab the son of Jeroboam. Nadab is the second ruler of the Jeroboam dynasty.
he reigned over Israel two years. Nadab reigned from 910 to 909 BC.
VERSE 26. He did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin with which he made Israel to sin.
VERSE 27. Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha struck him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel were besieging Gibbethon.
Baasha struck him at Gibbethon. Evil Nadab is assassinated by his own staff. A similar thing happened to three other evil kings:
1 Kings 15:27. Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against [king Nadab]; and Baasha struck him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel were besieging Gibbethon.
1 Kings 16:10. and Zimri went in and struck [king Elah] and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place.
2 Kings 15:10. Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against [king Zechariah], and struck him before the people and killed him, and reigned in his place.
2 Kings 21:23. The servants of [king] Amon conspired against him, and put the king to death in his own house.
In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »
Baasha killed him and reigned in his place. Baasha terminates the house of Jeroboam.
VERSE 29. As soon as he was king, he struck all the house of Jeroboam. He didn’t leave to Jeroboam any who breathed, until he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite;
he struck all the house of Jeroboam. Baasha exterminates the entire house of Jeroboam.
VERSE 30. for the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and with which he made Israel to sin, because of his provocation with which he provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger.
VERSE 31. Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
VERSE 32. There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
VERSE 33. In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel in Tirzah for twenty-four years.
VERSE 34. He did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin with which he made Israel to sin.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.