|* I Kings 15
In I Kings 14 and the two previous Chapters, we read first of Jeroboam picking up where Solomon left off, and his continuance of leading the House of Israel into sin. The reason he did this was several-fold, i.e. he enjoyed the worship of false gods and idols which Solomon instituted when he brought in his foreign wives; and, Jeroboam was afraid that if he allowed the people to go to the Temple in Jerusalem to worship Father in the manner He deserves to be worshipped; either, the people would remember the times before Father split the Nation into two separate Houses and desire to stay in Jerusalem; or, once there, Rehoboam would not allow the people to return to Jeroboam and the House of Israel. So, Jeroboam built two altars, each with a golden calf, one was in Beth-el and the other in Dan, he then told the people of Israel that they had to serve, and worship--not Father YHVH, but--the golden calves there. Father was angry with Jeroboam over this, and He therefore sent a prophet--Ahiah--to tell Jeroboam of His anger, Father also brought about--or at least allowed--a sickness on Jeroboam's eldest son Abijah. Fearing for his son's life, Jeroboam told his wife to dress as a commoner, and go to Shiloh seek the counsel of Ahiah. Father--knower of the hearts of His Children--knew what Jeroboam and his wife were up to, and told Ahiah who it was who would be visiting him, and for what reason, He also told him what he was to say in response to Jeroboam and his wife's questioning, i.e. that because of their trying to deceive Father, their child Abiah would die as soon as her footfalls stepped back onto the ground in Shechem. Father's Word as always, came to pass exactly as He foretold it. Father also told Ahiah that He was in the process of raising up Baasha to be the next king of Israel, and that Jeroboam would soon be returning Home to be with Father. Sure enough, again, Father's Word came to pass, and as we read in verses v14:19-20 Jeroboam died, and his son Nadab--second king over the House of Israel--took over the kingdom; though, as we'll be reading here shortly in this Chapter, he won't rule for very long as Baasha will succeed him.
We next read in the closing verses of I Kings 14 concerning the remaining years of Solomon's son Rehoboam life and rule over the House of Judah. As we read, he did good in his following, honoring, serving and worshipping Father during the first three years of his rule; however, he then turned, and like both his father and Jeroboam of the House of Israel, he too led Israel--not just Judah; but all Israel--to serve false gods and idols. Because of this, Father took away His blessings from Rehoboam, just as He had from Solomon and Jeroboam. Brethren, I Pray that you understood that, and took it away from the Chapter as, like them, we too, if we serve false gods and idols, Father will take His Blessings away from us too. This is why I continue--time and time again--harping on not celebrating man-made holidays, man-made traditions, false doctrines and denominational dogmas. It is absolutely critical and imperative that you stick with the Word of Father, not listening to any man! As we read concerning Jeroboam, he went so far even as to create his own feast day, in the eighth month, which is very reminiscent of Christians today celebrating the ishtar celebration in the spring. Father told us in Exodus 12 which day we are to Celebrate His Passover--the fourteenth day of the First month: Abib, and that never changed, or changes--and He never changed and said that once He was crucified we were to then change and celebrate His resurrection. It is His death on the cross which covers our sins; not, His resurrection, and, He didn't change the day on which we were to celebrate His Feast either. Follow Father, not man! Otherwise, you could see your Blessings disappear much the way Solomon, Jeroboam and Rehoboam had. By the close of the Chapter, Rehoboam also returned Home to Father, and his son Abijah--Second king over the House of Judah--took over the kingdom.
In I Kings 15 we'll see the Chapter switch back and forth discussing the events between the two Houses, between Nadab and Abijah. We'll be somewhat taking our time while going through the Chapter as, it'll kind of get confusing because it sort of gets close to becoming out of chronological order as far as who was king and when they ruled. As we work our way through the Chapter, I'll be careful to point this out, so as to keep us all straight.
With that introduction being said, let's go to Father and ask Him for His Blessings on our Study of His Word: Father, we come to you right now and ask You, oh LORD to open our ear and eyes, open our hearts and minds and prepare us to receive Your Truth. We Pray for Your understanding of Your Word, we seek Your knowledge of Your Word and most importantly we Pray for and desire Your Wisdom from Your Word, in Jesus' Precious name, thank You Father, Amen.
14:21-15:24 Judah. (Division.)
15:1-8 ABIJAM (Introversion.)
I Kings 15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah. -> We begin the Chapter a little out of chronological order as, as we're reading here, Jeroboam is still--alive and still--on the throne over the House of Israel, the ten northern tribes--and will be as per I Kings 14:20, for about another 4 years;--and now that Rehoboam has died and returned Home to Father, his son Abijam--don't let this throw you, because Abijam is just another way of saying Abijah, just like Bill is another way to say William, or Dick another way to say Richard--is ruler over the House of Judah. This then sets and dates the year: it is 863 B.C., and as we see, we are discussing the House of Judah here.
Jeroboam=The first king of the divided kingdom of Israel, was the son of an Ephraimite of the name of Nebat. He was raised by Solomon to the rank of superintendent over the taxes and labors exacted from the tribe of Ephraim I Kings 11:28. He made the most of his position, and at last was perceived by Solomon to be aiming at the monarchy. He was leaving Jerusalem, when he was met by Ahijah the prophet, who gave him the assurance that, on condition of obedience to his laws, God would establish for him a kingdom and dynasty equal to that of David I Kings 11:29-40. The attempts of Solomon to cut short Jeroboam's designs occasioned his flight into Egypt. There he remained until Solomon's death. After a year's longer stay in Egypt, during which Jeroboam married Ano, the elder sister of the Egyptian queen Tahpenes, he returned to Shechem, where took place the conference with Rehoboam [REHOBOAM], and the final revolt which ended in the elevation of Jeroboam to the throne of the northern kingdom. Now occurred the fatal error of his policy. Fearing that the yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem would undo all the work which he effected, he took the bold step of rending the religious unity of the nation, which was as yet unimpaired, asunder. He caused two golden figures of Mnevis, the sacred calf, to be made and set up at the two extremities of his kingdom, one at Dan and the other at Bethel. It was while dedicating the altar at Bethel that a prophet from Judah suddenly appeared, who denounced the altar, and foretold its desecration by Josiah, and violent overthrow. The king, stretching out his hand to arrest the prophet, felt it withered and paralyzed, and only at the prophet's prayer saw it restored, and acknowledged his divine mission. Jeroboam was at constant war with the house of Judah, but the only act distinctly recorded is a battle with Abijah, son of Rehoboam, in which he was defeated. The calamity was severely felt; he never recovered the blow, and soon after died, in the 22d year of his reign II Chronicles 13:20, and was buried in his ancestral sepulchre I Kings 14:20..
Nebat=The father of Jeroboam I Kings 11:26, 12:2,15 etc., is described as an Ephrathite or Ephraimite of Zereda..
Abijam=Son and successor of Rehoboam on the throne of Judah I Kings 4:21; II Chronicles 12:16. He is called ABIJAH in Chronicles, ABIJAM in Kings. He reigned three years. He endeavored to recover the kingdom of the Ten Tribes, and made war on Jeroboam. He was successful in battle, and took several of the cities of Israel. We are told that he walked in all the sins of Rehoboam I Kings 14:23-24..
I Kings 15:2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom. -> Abiah only reigned for 3 years: 863-860 B.C., though they were not three complete years as, he died in the twentieth year of Jeroboam's reign, and if you remember, Jeroboam reigned for 22 years. If you'll recall, Abijah was not Rehoboam's eldest son; and therefore, should not have been Rehoboam's successor. Rehoboam made him such after giving his elder sons--Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham--positions as Heads of State over some of the territories in Judah, wives, and wealth in order for them to not raise a stink when he did indeed place Abijah on the throne over them - see II Chronicles 11:21-23, and also II Chronicles 12:5.
Abijah’s mother Maachah who is also called, or named Michaiah in II Chronicles 13:2 was the daughter of Tamar and Uriel of Gibeah—David’s son Absalom’s daughter and her husband,—thus making her—Maachah—David’s great granddaughter, see II Chronicles 11:21 for a somewhat further clarification of her lineage of and to David. She is called Maachah (oppression) whenever she is mentioned concerning her idolatry as in II Chronicles 15:16, and Michaiah (who is like YHVH) whenever she is mentioned as queen mother.
Maachah=The daughter, or more probably granddaughter, of Absalom named after his mother; the third and favorite wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijah I Kings 15:2,22; II Chronicles 11:20-22. The mother of Abijah is elsewhere called "Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah" II Chronicles 13:2. During the reign of her grandson Asa she occupied at the court of Judah the high position of "king's mother," Compare I Kings 15:13, but when he came of age she was removed because of her idolatrous habits II Chronicles 15:15..
Abishalom=Father or grandfather of Maachah, who was the wife of Rehoboam and mother of Abijah I Kings 15:2,10. He is called Absalom in II chronicles 11:20,21. This person must be David's son..
15:3 Sins. Committed.
I Kings 15:3 And 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. -> Abiah--like his father Rehoboam, and his grandfather Solomon before him,--continued to anger Father YHVH, by keeping on with the idolatry of serving and worshipping of false gods and idols, and also by his continuance of leading the Nation to do the same. you would almost think that Father would be about ready to split the House of Judah, much the same way He split the House of Israel after Solomon; however, Father is going to keep this Nation together for two reasons: (1) because of how David honored, loved, served, and worshipped Him; and, (2) because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though Jesus, will not come through this king line, this kingship is the protector of Nathan's lineage, through which Jesus would come.
God=Here is ELOHIM, Father in His role of Creator of all things.
15:4 Divine forbearance.
I Kings 15:4 Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: -> Lamp=We read about this “lamp;” or, “light” back in I Kings 11:36, so, let’s go back and re-review it: I Kings 11:36 And unto his son (Rehoboam) will I give one tribe, that David My servant may have a light alway before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen Me to put My name there. -> That David My servant may have a light alway before Me=This points back to both II Samuel 21, and Genesis 15; so, let's now go and review both of those: II Samuel 21:17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, “Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.” -> After Abishai saved his uncle's life by stepping between he—David—and the giant and slaying the giant, all the other warriors then came together to tell David that, this was his last battle, he can no longer join in, he must now stay behind and allow his Army to take care of business. Quench not the light of Israel=This is a beautiful saying of David, as, it will be through his loins that The Light of the World: The Messiah, Jesus Christ will be born. As we'll see, this also refers back to Genesis 15:17 when Abram was being told by Father what would become of his offspring, of which he had none yet: Genesis 15:17 And it came to pass, that when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. -> A burning lamp=Though spoken and prophesied by Father over 500 years earlier David Had become “The Light,” symbolic of Israel’s Deliverance. Genesis 15:17 points directly to II Samuel 21:17, I Kings 11:36, here in I Kings 15:4; and also in Isaiah 62:1: Isaiah 62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.. We can also look to the New Testament in John 8:12: John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. -> He that followeth me...shall have the light of life=This is The Divine Purpose, that we all have eternal life with our Father; sadly, however, we know that this isn't going to happen as, if none else, the 7,000 fallen angels go into the Lake of Fire on the first day of the Millennium and satan also on the last day of the Millennium during the Great White Throne satan will and all those who follow him will also be cast into the Lake of Fire. What a sad thing for Father to know that He'll have to destroy some of His Children, He'll have to live with that memory forever; but, we who have eternal life with Him, will not have to have that memory forever.
15:5 Divine forbearance.
I Kings 15:5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that He commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. -> Because David did that which was right=We see in this just how much Father truly loved David. Time and again, Father reminds us that, David wasn’t perfect, he sinned in his adultery with Bath-sheba, and the murder of her husband; however, though he sinned those sins, he never turned from loving, honoring serving and worshipping Father, therefore, Father loved him so much so that, He was going to keep the House of Judah as one Nation, one of David’s descendants as ruler of that Nation; and, even bring Himself in the flesh through the seedline of David.
On the other hand, the murder of Uriah was in a sense, a hard thing to do for David as, he sent that brave warrior right into the heart of the battle, in order to have him killed, so that he could then marry his wife Bath-sheba. Yes, David paid a heavy price for those sins, as it was his sin of adultery with Bath-sheba, and then the murder of her husband Uriah which brought the rape, incest, murder and all other sorts of sinful acts which Father allowed to happen in David’s own family. And yes, David was truly sorry after he saw the sin he had committed; but, again, though he repented and asked Father for forgiveness, like Father always does, He still brought about the correction we all must pay for having committed our sin, David included. For David, his punishment even came to the point of having one of his own sons: Absalom, the grandfather of Abijah, try and hunt him down in order to kill him. Other than this one majorly sinful act, David followed Father's ways, and tried to do right in the eyes of YHVH all his life, and even though he sinned this sin, he still never served or worshipped false gods or idols.
Uriah=One of the thirty commanders of the thirty bands into which the Israelite army of David was divided I Chronicles 11:41 and II Samuel 23:39. Like others of David's officers he was a foreigner--a Hittite. His name, however and his manner of speech II Samuel 11:11 indicate that he had adopted the Jewish religion. He married Bath-sheba a woman of extraordinary beauty, the daughter of Eliam--possibly the same as the son of Ahithophel, and one of his brother officers II Samuel 23:34, and hence, perhaps, Uriah's first acquaintance with Bath-sheba. It may be inferred from Nathan's parable II Samuel 12:3, that he was passionately devoted to his wife, and that their union was celebrated in Jerusalem as one of peculiar tenderness. In the first war with Ammon, B.C. 1035, he followed Joab to the siege, and with him remained encamped in the open field II Samuel 12:11. He returned to Jerusalem, at an order from the king on the pretext of asking news of the war--really in the hope that his return to his wife might cover the shame of his own crime. The king met with an unexpected obstacle in the austere, soldier-like spirit which guided all Uriah's conduct, and which gives us a high notion of the character and discipline of David's officers. On the morning of the third day David sent him back to the camp with a letter containing the command to Joab to cause his destruction in the battle. The device of Joab was to observe the part of the wall of Rabbath-ammon where the greatest force of the besieged was congregated, and thither, as a kind of forlorn hope to send Uriah. A sally took place. Uriah and the officers with him advanced as far as the gate of the city, and were there shot down by the archers on the wall. Just as Joab had forewarned the messenger, the king broke into a furious passion on hearing of the loss. The messenger, as instructed by Joab, calmly continued, and ended the story with the words, "Thy servant also Uriah the Hittite, is dead." In a moment David's anger is appeased. It is one of the touching parts of the story that Uriah falls unconscious of his wife's dishonor..
Hittite=The Hittites are descended from Heth. Noah begat Shem, Ham and Japeth, after the flood, Noah planted a vineyard, drank the wine and got drunk, Ham saw the nakedness of his father (Noah) (to uncover your father’s nakedness means to have intercourse with his wife, either your mother or step-mother Leviticus 18) – Ham had intercourse with his mother, and from this union came Canaan, Canaan’s son was Heth. The Hittites though originally Adamic, were living in Canaan – The Promised Land and were mating with the fallen angels. When Joshua and the Israelites moved into the Promised Land, these same Hittites, came to Joshua and the Elders of Israel claiming (read that deceiving; or, lying) saying that they came from far away and wanted to worship YHVH. This was part of satan’s plan to infiltrate Israel and it worked..
15:6 Sins. Punished.
I Kings 15:6 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life. -> We're still discussing the House of Judah; therefore, Rehoboam is mentioned first, and, as I pointed out in my commentary while reading I Kings 14:30, Rehoboam was mentioned first there, most likely because he was the aggressor in all this war between the two Nations of Israel.
I Kings 15:7 Now the rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. -> The answer to the question of "are they not written?" is that, yes they are written and you can read of them in II Chronicles 13:1-14:1. II Chronicles 13 does indeed give an in-depth and detailed chronicle of the war between Abijah and Jeroboam; so, let's turn there and read of this accounting of the war: I Chronicles 13:1-34.
What is not very well stated, or more strongly pointed out, is the fact of the constant flow of people of the ten northern tribes leaving Jeroboam and the House of Israel, in order to return to Jerusalem and the House of Judah. When Jeroboam set those two altars with the golden calves in them for the people to worship because of his fear that if they went back to Jerusalem to worship Father YHVH, they might not return; well, in reality, his fears were realized and materialized due to his setting up of these altars. A lot of the people wanted nothing to do with his worshipping of false gods and idols, so they fled, which just furthered the cause of the conflict between the two nations.
I Kings 15:8 And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa (physician; or, cure) his son reigned in his stead. -> Abijah won the wars between the two nations; however, Jeroboam outlived him by three years. Rehoboam's son is now dead and returned Home to Father and his son Asa will be the third man king over the House of Judah.
Asa=Son of Abijah and third king of Judah. (His long reign of 41 years was peaceful in its earlier portion, and he undertook the reformation of all abuses, especially of idolatry. He burnt the symbol of his grandmother Maachah's religion and deposed her from the dignity of "king's mother,") and renewed the great altar which the idolatrous priests apparently had desecrated II Chronicles 15:8. Besides this he fortified cities on his frontiers, and raised an army, amounting, according to II Chronicles 14:8 to 580,000 men, a number probably exaggerated by an error of the copyist. During Asa's reign, Zerah, at the head of an enormous host II Chronicles 14:9, attacked Mareshah. There he was utterly defeated, and driven back with immense loss to Gerar. The peace which followed this victory was broken by the attempt of Baasha of Israel to fortify Ramah. To stop this Asa purchased the help of Benhadad I. king of Damascus, by a large payment of treasure, forced Baasha to abandon his purpose, and destroyed the works which he had begun at Ramah. In his old age Asa suffered from gout, He died, greatly loved and honored, in the 41st year of his reign..
15:9-24 ASA. (Introversion.)
I Kings 15:9 And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah. -> With two years left until Jeroboam also dies and returns Home to Father,--remember, we read in I Kings 14:20 that his son Nadab was actually on the throne during his last two years because of his illness--Abijah's son Asa has taken the reins over the House of Judah. We'll quickly discover that unlike his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him, Asa will be a righteous king who will completely remove all the false gods and idols from out of Judah which will immensely please Father, and because of his action in doing so, the land will have peace for ten years.
I Kings 15:10 And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom. -> Pay attention here brethren as though the verbiage here is identical that in verse v15:2 above, Maachah is not Asa's mother, she was his grandmother, Asa's mother--Annas--passed away and returned Home to Father at a young age, when Asa was himself just a boy. So, what we'll see in Maachah, is that, she had taken the role of queen mother; however, as we're about to find out, because of her idolatrous practices, Asa is going to destroy her idols and depose of her as queen mother.
15:11-15 Events. Religious.
I Kings 15:11 And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. -> Finally, after close to 60 years and three generations of idol worshippers, Judah is at long last going to have a man seeking to please Father. Solomon, his son Rehoboam, and grandson Abijah all chased after other false god's and idols, and brought in heathenistic rituals; but, now comes Asa seeking after Father’s own heart. Asa is more like his great-great grandfather David, he wants to be pleasing to Father. We’ll discover as we make our way through the Books of the Kings that quite often we’ll see where a father and grandfather are very wicked, and then, along comes a son who is just the opposite. Sometimes it is just the opposite and the father is a man of Father YHVH, and the son turns out to be wicked.
I Kings 15:12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. -> We need Asa here in our country today as, our usurper in charge keeps assisting and supporting the sodomites. Let's review what I commented concerning the sodomites from I Kings 14:24: Sodomites=Sodomite in the Strong's Concordance is Hebrew word number: H6945 - קדשׁ, - qâdêsh, pronounced - kaw-dashe', and means: From H6942; a (quasi) sacred person, that is, (technically) a (male) devotee (by prostitution) to licentious idolatry: - sodomite, unclean.; so, in other words, a sodomite was a male--and women too--who was a prostitute and sold themselves--to both other men and with women too--to be used sexually in a worship service, during the worship in the groves as they were worshipping the asherah.
Today, all over the world the sodomites are coming out of their closets in droves, and the whole world is celebrating them, as if their sexual perversion and deviancy is a good thing. Father calls all sodomy "an abomination" to Him, and if you think that you can call yourself a Christian and remain in that filthy practice, or allow and accept that nasty practice in your kurch; then, you are no better than Jeroboam or Rehoboam. It has even been said by one of the “major” denominations that “god is not the authority on homosexuality,” not a denomination I’d want to be associated with! Father showed us in His Word what He thinks of homosexuality and sodomites when He cleansed the two nations—Sodom and Gomorrah—of sodomy in Genesis 18 and 19. He cleansed them with fire and brimstone to the point of turning the entire land to salt. Now this same filth which Father tried to do away with, Jeroboam and Rehoboam are both allowing back into their lands. The word for "sodomites" as used here is the Hebrew word for "prostitutes," both male and female, male with male and female with female, and the act is just as filthy today as it was back then.
So, what we see here is, that Asa like me, is fed up with this acceptance of this filthy practice; only, he is in position to do something about it, and he does. He kicks all the immoral, lewd, and obscene sodomites out of Judah, he took away the altars of all the false gods, removed all the high places which were in Judah—he couldn’t do anything about the one which were in Israel—he and broke down their images, and then cut down the asherah groves where they practiced their orgies. Quite a feat, YAY Asa! And, he's still not yet finished.
I Kings 15:13 And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron (turbid). -> Brethren, I don't want to get graphic, nor do I want to put obscene pictures in your mind; however, think on this verse for a moment and what was taking place that Asa put a stop to. His grandmother was going to the groves to participate in the asherah orgies, can you imagine?!!!
Let's check out this "idol in a grove" as it is very significant. Of course the word "grove" in the Strong's Concordance is Hebrew word number H842 - אשׁירה אשׁרה, - 'ăshêrâh, or 'ăshêyrâh, pronounced - ash-ay-raw', ash-ay-raw', and means: From H833; happy; asherah (or Astarte) a Phoenician goddess; also an image of the same: - grove. Compare H6253., OK, so, let’s do just that, let’s compare this with H6253: H6253 - עשׁתּרת, - ‛ashtôreth, pronounced - ash-to'-reth, and means: Probably for H6251; Ashtoreth, the Phoenician goddess of love (and increase): - Ashtoreth.. Dr. Bullinger has an excellent study concerning "The asherah," in the back of his Companion Bible, in the Appendices, it's Appendix 42. But, we see that Maachah had her own monstrous graven image which she worshipped, and that her own grandson came in and broke it down, and then burnt it in the Valley of Kidron, and then removed her from her position as queen mother.
Brook Kidron=The brook, a torrent or valley, not a "brook," or, as in the margin of Revised Version, "ravine;" Gr. winter torrent. It was close to Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives. it is now commonly known as the "valley of Jehoshaphat." The channel of the valley of Jehoshaphat is nothing more than the dry bed of a wintry torrent, bearing marks of being occasionally swept over by a large volume of water. It was crossed by David in his flight II Samuel 15:23, compare II Samuel 15:30. And by our Lord on his way to Gethsemane John 18:1, compare Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39. The distinguishing peculiarity of the Kidron valley --mentioned in the Old Testament-- is the impurity which appears to have been ascribed to it. In the time of Josiah it was the common cemetery of the city II Kings 23:6, compare with Jeremiah 26:23..
I Kings 15:14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days. -> These high places were the ones in the territories of the House of Israel, not the ones in the territories of the House of Judah. Asa was able to and did destroy and remove the high places in and around Jerusalem. We know this because we read of it in II Chronicles 14: II Chronicles 14:3 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: -> Asa's grandmother--the queen mother--was looking to the east for her rituals, along with all the rest of the Baal worshippers, stood when they bowed to their little altars of satan. Asa, took every one of their forms of idols, and threw them into the Valley at Kidron, and burned them all. When you go all the way to the top to remove evil from your kingdom, you are also going to get those who want to hang on to their sins, for they have come to love their rituals.
Speaking of rituals, I now want to bring in a couple more verses from II Chronicles 15 which also tell us what Asa did which was righteous: II Chronicles 15:3 Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. -> Check out this "without a teaching priest" as,--and I like what Dr. Bullinger has to say about it in his companion notes to this verse in his Companion Bible "Teaching was the great priestly function. But, as generally with priests, teaching was neglected for ritual.". Brethren, that should remind you first off, of what not to do or put up with in your church house, and secondly, sadly, it exactly what is taking place in the kurch houses today. Just this week I was speaking with someone who told that this past Sunday they were studying on "the reformation." In other words, instead of learning what transpired in the Old or New Testaments, instead of learning about "The Commandments, The Judgments, The Laws, The Ordinances, or The Statutes" of Father, they instead were learning of the ritual of when Martin Luther and others "reformed the church and corrected abuses." Don't get me wrong as, Martin did some great things, i.e. it was because of him that Father's Word got into the hands of commoners; but, that is teaching history over the Word of the LORD, it is no different than what Azariah the prophet was telling Asa here in II Chronicles 15. Study and Learn Father's Word on Father's time, and learn rituals and history at other times. How did Asa respond? Skip with me down to verse II Chronicles 15:8: II Chronicles 15:8 And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD. -> Oops, there was a reformation wasn't there? Many, many years before Martin Luther's. Did the kurch of the person I was speaking with teach anything concerning Asa's reformation? I don't think so. Again, don't get me wrong, Martin Luther did many wonderful things for Father, he was a tool that Father used, like many other tools Father uses to bring forth His Plan, Will, and Word; but, during Father's time teachers are to teach the things of Father, what is already Written, not some new thing.
What did Jesus in the New Testament teach us about rituals and traditions? Turn with me to Matthew 15: Matthew 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, -> Uh ho, here come the boys from downtown, and as always, they’re looking for trouble. You have to come to the understanding brethren of who the chief priest, the elders, the scribes, the pharisees and the sadducees were. The present—Jesus’ time, not ours—chief priest—Caiaphas—is not of the Tribe of Levi, he is appointed by the Romans, the elders and the rest of the bunch are collectively known as “the Jews.” They are neither "of the House of Judah" nor, "of the Tribe of Judah," they are identified and called such because (1) they were all part of the sopherim\sanhedrin: These—are stated by Talmudic writings, and—“have the unanimous voice of Tradition,” and are said to have formed “The Great Synagogue.” It consisted at first of 102 members, but was afterward reduced to seventy. It represented the five divisions of the Nation: (a) The Chiefs of the Priests; (b) The Chief Levites; (c) The Chiefs of the people; (d) The Representatives of the cities; (e) The Doctors of the Law. Its word was (by solemn oath): (1) Not to intermarry with the heathen; (2) To keep the sabbath; (3) To keep the sabbatical year; (4) To pay annually 1/3 of a shekel to the Temple; (5) To supply wood for the Altar; (6) To pay the priestly dues; and (7) To collect the Canonical Scriptures. The “Great Synagogue” lasted 110 years: from Nehemiah to Simeon the Just, when, having completed its work, it became known as the Sanhedrim of the New Testament, the “Supreme Counsel” of the Jewish Nation; which rejected the Kingdom, and crucified the King (The Messiah). By the people and their duties assigned here, you can see--or at least should be able to see--that this Great Synagogue which reduced itself to the Sanhedrin was made up by many of the scribes. I'm not saying that every one of them were corrupted, as Joseph of Arimathaea was part of this counsel, however I do believe most were corrupted. So, who were and what did the sanhedrin do? From "jewishvirtuallibrary.org": "The ancient Jewish court system was called the Sanhedrin. The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme religious body in the Land of Israel during the time of the Holy Temple. There were also smaller religious Sanhedrins in every town in the Land of Israel, as well as a civil political-democratic Sanhedrin. These Sanhedrins existed until the abolishment of the rabbinic patriarchate in about 425 A.D. The earliest record of a Sanhedrin is by Josephus who wrote of a political Sanhedrin convened by the Romans in 57 B.C. Hellenistic sources generally depict the Sanhedrin as a political and judicial council headed by the country’s ruler. Tannaitic sources describe the Great Sanhedrin as a religious assembly of 71 sages who met in the Chamber of Hewn Stones in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Great Sanhedrin met daily during the daytime, and did not meet on the Sabbath, festivals or festival eves. It was the final authority on Jewish law and any scholar who went against its decisions was put to death as a zaken mamre (rebellious elder). The Sanhedrin was led by a president called the nasi (lit. "prince") and a vice president called the av bet din (lit. "father of the court"). The other 69 sages sat in a semicircle facing the leaders. It is unclear whether the leaders included the high priest. The Sanhedrin judged accused lawbreakers, but could not initiate arrests. It required a minimum of two witnesses to convict a suspect. There were no attorneys. Instead, the accusing witness stated the offense in the presence of the accused and the accused could call witnesses on his own behalf. The court questioned the accused, the accusers and the defense witnesses. The Great Sanhedrin dealt with religious and ritualistic Temple matters, criminal matters appertaining to the secular court, proceedings in connection with the discovery of a corpse, trials of adulterous wives, tithes, preparation of Torah Scrolls for the king and the Temple, drawing up the calendar and the solving of difficulties relating to ritual law. In about 30 A.D., the Great Sanhedrin lost its authority to inflict capital punishment. After the Temple was destroyed, so was the Great Sanhedrin. A Sanhedrin in Yavneh took over many of its functions, under the authority of Rabban Gamliel. The rabbis in the Sanhedrin served as judges and attracted students who came to learn their oral traditions and scriptural interpretations. From Yavneh, the Sanhedrin moved to different cities in the Galilee, eventually ending up in Tiberias. Local Sanhedrins consisted of different numbers of sages, depending on the nature of the offenses it dealt with. For example, only a Sanhedrin of 71 could judge a whole tribe, a false prophet or the high priest. There were Sanhedrins of 23 for capital cases and of three scholars to deal with civil or lesser criminal cases.". Again, because of Father's Word and the countering of them by Jesus and then their crucifying Him, it should be easy for the reader to see just who made up this “great counsel” of the Sanhedrin. (2) they want the rest of the world to think they are of Judah; and (3) they are known as such because of living in the borders of the territories of the House of Judah, i.e. the land allotted to the Tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin. So, what do they say to Jesus? [15:2] “Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.” -> They told Jesus that His disciples committed a major infraction against sanhedrin ritual and traditions, and questioned Him why they would do such a thing? This washing of the hands was a ceremonial custom and practice whereby, they sprinkled water about themselves to make themselves look “oh so holy.” Notice, they were not asking why His disciples transgressed against the traditions of Father YHVH. No, they didn’t question Him on that because, their tradition were more important to them than Father or His Word. Jesus replies: [15:3] But He answered and said unto them, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? -> Here Jesus is telling them that, ELOHIM YHVH is Creator of all and Ruler over all the earth, and they are placing their rituals and traditions above the things of Father. He continues: [15:4] For God commanded, saying, ‘Honour thy father and mother:’ and, ‘He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.’ -> This is the sixth Commandment and can be found in Exodus 20:20. In all things while in the flesh we should honor our parents as, it was they who Father chose to bring each of us into this Flesh Age, and by honoring them, we then honor Father for His selection. [15:5] But ye say, ‘Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, ‘It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;’ -> Here, Jesus is pointing out to the chief priest, and the kurch hierarchy that what they teach is contrary to the Law of Father, for their saying to not support a parent in order to pay tithes as "it is a gift," what they are really saying is to set aside, or sacrifice for God. So what Jesus is pointing out, is that these elders have set up tradition, wherein if the children give all their money to the elders [God], then that releases them of the obligation of caring for their parents in their old age. These were crooked priests, who say, that for the right price, they will declare something "corban," which means "of God." They would declare the item or money a gift, and allow the giver to use it for their own personal use. Sort of like how a certain kurch used to sell indulgences, just slightly different. [15:6] And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free.’ Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. -> The kurch hierarchy of the day said doing this would set the people free from their sins; however, in reality the consequence of this evasion certainly does not absolve one of their sins, it does just the opposite and will bring about the death of the soul. How and why? Let's listen to Jesus as He explains: [15:7] Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, -> These kenites how as far removed Father's Word in favor for their tradition that they have completely corrupted Him and His Word, therefor, Jesus corrects them and points out their err, and now quotes the Prophet Isaiah: Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord* said, "Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men: Taught by the precept of men=In other words, a commandment of "men" rather than of Father. This is what they do in their "denominational" kurch houses, they teach their rituals and traditions by rote rather than sticking to the Word of Father. *=This is one of the 134 places in Father's Word where these same sopherim say that they changed YHVH to Adoni. In other words, they changed substituted Father in His role of Covenant relation to His Creation, to Father in His role of the Lord in His relation to the earth; and as carrying out His purposes of blessing in the earth. With this limitation it is almost equivalent to Jehovah. Indeed, it was from an early date so used, by associating the vowel points of the word Jehovah with Adon, thus converting Adon into Adonai. Dr. Bullinger in his Companion Bible has an entire Appendix 32, dedicated to bring forth these 134 places where the sopherim indeed changed Father's role. [15:8] ‘This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. -> Jesus is telling them that these they—the kenites—speak so religiously of Father with their mouths, and lips; however, their minds, are so far removed from what Father’s Word actually says, that the People no longer can find salvation in Father. Think about, and look at some of the denominational kurch houses and teachings of today: they still love their long flowing robes which make them “look” holy; they make people confess before men, instead of communing with and confessing their sins to and before Father; they teach fly-away—rapture—doctrines; prosperity doctrines wherein the “preacher” gets rich and lives in luxurious houses and drives Mercedes Benz cars while the people struggle to make ends meet. Though the people today have access to Father's Word, they haven't been taught how to properly translate it for themselves in order to come to Father's interpretation; but, man's, therefore, they might as well be back before Martin Luther's time and not have a copy for themselves. [15:9] But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’” -> And in doing so, this points directly right back to verse Matthew 15:6 "...Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.". This holds true to today, their teachings of their doctrines make Father's Word of none effect!
I Kings 15:15 And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, and gold, and vessels. -> Remember from I Kings 14:23-28 that because of Rehoboam's building of the high places and groves on every high hill--read that, the Mount of Olives--and under every green--living, Father Himself declares that He is a green fir tree--tree, and brought in the sodomites and the abominations of all the nations all around Jerusalem that Father sent Shishak king of Egypt to besiege Jerusalem and take away all the treasures of the Temple, and in their place he made brass, or copper shields and such? Well, Asa is restoring the Temple and Jerusalem to its rightful glory.
We switch gears beginning in the next verse, and begin focusing on the wars between the two nations.
15:16-22 Events. Military.
15:16-22 EVENTS. MILITARY. (Introversion.)
15:16 War with Baasha. Begun.
I Kings 15:16 And there was war between Asa and Baasha (to stink, offensiveness; or, wicked) king of Israel all their days. -> These wars weren't really all-out wars; but, were more on the scale of feuds, border clashes, and\or skirmishes.
Baasha, as we'll read in verse v15:27 below, came into power when he murdered Jeroboam's son Nadab. He was the son of Ahijah, and was descended from the Tribe of Issachar, Baasha's father Ahijah is not the same as the prophet Ahijah who was the Shilonite. Baasha will be more concerned with fighting against Jeroboam's sons than against Asa, though he will eventually come against Asa.
Baasha=The third sovereign of the separate kingdom of Israel, and the founder of its second dynasty. He was son of Ahijah of the tribe of Issachar and conspired against King Nadab I Kings 15:27, and killed him with his whole family. He appears to have been of humble origin I Kings 16:2. It was probably in the 13th year of his reign that he made war on Asa, and began to fortify Ramah. He was defeated by the unexpected alliance of Asa with Ben-hadad I. of Damascus. Baasha died in the 24th year of his reign, and was buried in Tirzah Song of Solomon 6:4, which he had made his capital I Kings 16:6; II Chronicles 16:1-6..
15:17 Baasha’s building of Ramah. Begun.
I Kings 15:17 And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah (a hill), that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. -> We read in II Chronicles 16:1 that during the 36th year of Asa's reign over the House of Judah, Baasha came up against Judah to fight against it, he knew he would first have to stop people from entering and\or leaving, so he fortified Ramah in order to do this.
Ramah was approximately five miles north of Jerusalem, it lie within the borders of the House of Judah, and more specifically, in the Tribe of Benjamin, in other words, it was about a two hour walk from Jerusalem. What we see in this is that, Baasha is dug-in only a short distance from Asa,--not a good thing if you're Asa as--this position affords him the opportunity to stop all those who were fleeing Israel and coming to Jerusalem.
Ramah=One of the cities of the allotment of Benjamin Joshua 18:25. Its site is at er-Ram , about five miles from Jerusalem, and near to Gibeah Judges 4:5; 19:13; I Samuel 22:6. Its people returned after the captivity Ezra 2:26; Nehemiah 7:30..
15:18 Ben-hadad. Subsidy to.
I Kings 15:18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Ben-hadad, the son of Tabrimon (pleasing to Rimmon; or, good is Rimmon), the son of Hezion (pronounced khez-yone') (vision), king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, -> What a sad and disappointing thing to read and hear of. Remember, we just read a few short verses ago how Asa was being pleasing to Father by removing all the evil, perverse and wicked things out of Judah, therefore all he had to do was to turn to Father and ask His help, and Father would have taken care of his enemies; however, he is so affrighted by Baasha that, instead of seeking Father, Asa turns and seeks the strength of man. How does he do this? By removing all the dedicated things within the Temple of Father YHVH and giving them to Ben-hadad the king of Syria in order to pay mercenaries as protection.
How sad indeed, especially considering that, we read in II Chronicles 16:8-9 that when the Ethiopians and the Lubims came up against him, Asa relied upon--in other words, put his rest in--Father. Father responded how? By delivered them into Asa's hand, "...For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.". Did you hear that? Father's eyes run to and fro throughout His entire earth in order to show Himself strong on behalf of them whose heart seeks and puts their trust in Him.Sadly, we here in this Country have fallen away from this in these past few years. Today, if a member of our ONCE GREAT Military even mentions the name of Father, the atheists go spastic and call for their removal from the Military or having them thrown in prison.
Ben-Hadad=The name of three kings of Damascus. BENHADAD I., King of Damascus, which in his time was supreme in Syria. He made an alliance with Asa, and conquered a great part of the north of Israel I Kings 15:18. BEN-HADAD II., son of the preceding, and also king of Damascus. Long wars with Israel characterized his reign. Some time after the death of Ahab, Benhadad renewed the war with Israel, attacked Samaria a second time, and pressed the siege so closely that there was a terrible famine in the city. But the Syrians broke up in the night in consequence of a sudden panic. Soon after Ben-hadad fell sick, and sent Hazael to consult Elisha as to the issue of his malady. On the day after Hazael's return Ben-hadad was murdered, probably by some of his own servants II Kings 8:7-15. Ben-hadad's death was about B.C. 890, and he must have reigned some 30 years. BEN-HADAD III., son of Hazael, and his successor on the throne of Syria. When he succeeded to the throne, Jehoash recovered the cities which Jehoahaz had lost to the Syrians, and beat him in Aphek II Kings 13:17,25..
Tabrimon=(Properly Tabrimmon, i.e. good is Rimmon , the Syrian god) the father of Ben-hadad I., king of Syria in the reign of Asa I Kings 15:18..
Hezion=A king of Aram (Syria), father of Tabrimon and grandfather of Ben-hadad I I Kings 15:18. He is probably identical with REZON , the contemporary of Solomon, in I Kings 11:23..
15:19 Former league appealed to.
I Kings 15:19 "There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me." -> Asa sent and told Ben-hadad that there was a covenant between the two men's fathers; therefore there should be just as strong a bond between their sons. Here, in order to shore this covenant up, I've taken the treasurer out of the House of my God and have sent it to you in order show you my faith in our covenant bond. Therefore, I now ask that you break your bond with Baasha and further strengthen ours.
This is a very telling verse brethren as, it shows exactly where the loyalties of the Syrians are, and it isn't in man, it's in money, for, they can be bought, they might not be cheap; but, they can at least be purchased for the right amount.
15:20 Ben-hadad. Help from.
I Kings 15:20 So Ben-hadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of the hosts which he had against the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon (pronounced: ee-yone') (ruin), and Dan, and Abel-beth-maachah, (; or, meadow of the house of oppression), and all Cinneroth (pronounced kin-ner-oth'), with all the land of Naphtali. -> Every one of these cities listed here in this verse were store cities--armories, military provisions, etc.,--which were within the border of the territories of the Tribe of Naphtali,--which was in the northern most portion of the Promised Land--and what happened was that, Benhadad took all the gold and silver which Asa had given him, and solidified the covenant between he and Asa by sending his army against the cities of Israel. Ben-hadad's troops ripped right through the heart of the land of the House of Israel, and did very much damage. Remember brethren, Syria was north to the Promised Land; therefore, what Baasha was up against was Asa to the south fighting against him, and now, Ben-hadad--who Baasha had once himself paid for protection and fighting forces--is coming down from the north against him. Not a good position for Baasha to be in. Asa more than got his money's worth from the Syrians. One side of the family paying a vast wealth to an outsider in order to rip off the other side of the family! A very expensive lesson, and Father is not pleased when it happens.
Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maachah, Cinneroth, and Naphtali=All these locations were in the neighborhood of Gennesaret found in the New testament, i.e. Matthew 14:34, Mark 6:53 and Luke 5:1.
Ijon=A town in the north of Palestine, belonging to the tribe of Naphtali. It was taken and plundered by the captains of Ben-hadad I Kings 15:20; II Chronicles 16:4, and a second time by Tiglath-pileser II Kings 16:29. It was situated a few miles northwest of the site of Dan, in a fertile and beautiful little plain called Merj' Ayun..
Dan=The well-known city, so familiar as the most northern landmark of Palestine, in the common expression "from Dan even to beersheba." The name of the place was originally LAISH or LESHEM Joshua 19:47. After the establishment of the Danites at Dan it became the acknowledged extremity of the country. It is now Tell el-Kadi , a mound, three miles from Banias, from the foot of which gushes out one of the largest fountains in the world, the main source of the Jordan..
Abel-Beth-Maachah=A town of some importance II Samuel 20:15, in the extreme north of Palestine, which fell an early prey to the invading kings of Syria I Kings 15:20, and Assyria II Kings 15:29..
Cinneroth=This was possibly the small enclosed district north of Tiberias, and by the side of the lake, afterwards known as "the plain of Gennesareth..
Naphtali=The mountainous district which formed the main part of the inheritance of Naphtali Joshua 20:7, answering to "Mount Ephraim" in the centre and "Mount Judah" in the south of Palestine..
15:21 Baasha’s building of Ramah. Left.
I Kings 15:21 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah. -> When Baasha heard what Asa and Ben-hadad were doing, he stopped the fortification of Ramah in order to return to Tirzah in order to shore up his defenses there. Up to this point, Shechem had been the Capital city of the House of Israel; however, under Baasha, now that he is returning there, will make it the new Capital of the ten northern tribes. It'll stay the Capital until Omri makes Samaria the Capital in the future.
As far as Asa's plan, it was working as, now that Baasha has left off from fortifying Ramah, he'll move in and start de-fortifying it, in other words, all the hard work that Baasha's men put into fortifying it was for naught.
Tirzah=An ancient Canaanite city, whose king is enumerated among those overthrown in the conquest of the country Joshua 12:24. It reappears as a royal city, the residence of Jeroboam and of his successors I Kings 14:17,18, and as the seat of the conspiracy of Menahem ben-Gaddi against the wretched Shallum II Kings 15:16. Its reputation for beauty throughout the country must have been widespread. It is in this sense that it is spoken of in the Song of Solomon. Eusebius mentions it in connection with Menahem, and identifies it with a "village of Samaritans in Batanea." Its site is Telluzah , a place in the mountains north of Nablus..
15:22 War with Baasha. Ended.
I Kings 15:22 Then king Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah. (a watch tower). -> Check out this word "exempted" in your Strong's Concordance brethren as it is Hebrew word number H5355 - נקיא נקי, - nâqı̂y, or nâqı̂y', pronounced - naw-kee', naw-kee', and means: From H5352; innocent: - blameless, clean, clear, exempted, free, guiltless, innocent, quit.. In other words, Asa told everybody that they were not free to do as they pleased, they were conscripted into his service in order to deconstruct the city Ramah which Baasha has started to fortify. Once they and removed all the materials, they then took it all to the suburbs of Benjamin in order to build his own fortification there, and also one in Mizpah.
Geba of Benjamin=A city of Benjamin, with "suburbs," allotted to the priests Joshua 21:17; I Chronicles 6:60. It is named amongst the first group of the Benjamite towns --apparently those lying near to and along the north boundary Joshua 18:24. Here the name is given as GABA . During the wars of the earlier part of the reign of Saul, Geba was held as a garrison by the Philistines I Samuel 13:3, but they were ejected by Jonathan. It is now the modern village of Jeba , which stands picturesquely on the top of its steep terraced hill, six miles north of Jerusalem, on the very edge of the great Wady Suweinit , looking northward to the opposite village of ancient Michmash, which also retains its old name of Mukhmas..
Mizpah=Mizpeh, in Joshua and Samuel; elsewhere Mizpah, a "city" of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem Joshua 18:26; I Kings 15:22; II Chronicles 16:6; Nehemiah 3:7. It was one of the places fortified by Asa against the incursions of the kings of northern Israel I Kings 15:22; II chronicles 16:6; Jeremiah 41:10, and after the destruction of Jerusalem it became the residence of the superintendent appointed by the king of Babylon Jeremiah 40:7, etc., and the scene of his murder and of the romantic incidents connected with the name of Ishmael the son of Nethaniah. It was one of the three holy cities which Samuel visited in turn as judge of the people I Samuel 7:6,16, the other two being Bethel and Gilgal. With the conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment there of the ark, the sanctity of Mizpah, or at least its reputation, seems to have declined. From Mizpah the city or the temple was visible. These conditions are satisfied by the position of Scopus, the broad ridge which forms the continuation of the Mount of Olives to the north and cast, from which the traveller gains, like Titus, his first view, and takes his last farewell, of the domes, walls and towers of the holy city..
I Kings 15:23 The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet. -> Yes, as a matter of fact, all of the righteous acts and the sinful deeds of Asa are written in II Chronicles 14:9-15:10. There isn’t anything hidden as to how Father dealt with him for his not trusting and putting his rest in Him. Father withheld nothing, like He does with all His Children, He rewarded Asa for his righteous acts, and He exacted payment and correction for his failure to put his rest in Father, and we can read of this in II Chronicles 16:9-12. The point that is given here, is that, the more Father gave to Asa and some of His other Children, sadly, the more careless they then become with what they have received through His blessings. Father had blessed Asa with a victory over an army which far outnumbered his and Father also gave him the spoils of war from the battle. Yet, in the end, Asa took that blessing and gave it all away, he not only tried to buy his way out of the same trouble that he was in before; but, he then shunned Father while at the same time turned on another of Father’s enemies in order to use hired guerrilla soldiers to obtain a victory. Remember, Israel and Judah are brothers which makes this was a family matter, and Asa and Jeroboam both sought outside help. Father though one of His Prophets, told Asa what would happen if he didn’t hear and obey Father. There should have been no doubt in Asa's mind as to what Father thought of him. Let’s now turn to II Chronicles 16 and read of it: II Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and from throughout the whole earth, to shew 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. -> Asa previously when fighting against the Ethiopians had put his trust in Father Who did indeed help him; however, now that he is fighting his own brother—so to speak—he completely forsakes and forgets about seeking Father. Brethren Father sees everything that happens, whether it be in His earth or in His heavens, He sees it, for that matter, He even sees what’s in our hearts. For many years Asa had been perfect toward Him, he torn down and destroyed all the images and idols, threw-out or killed all the sodomites, that even included his own grandmother, he even cleaned up the land for a time. However, Asa left some of those practices around which didn't teach Father's ways, and when he sent all the things of Father YHVH over to the heathen, giving it away, Father wasn’t too pleased with him and therefore He sent His prophet Hanani to tell him as much. [16:10] And 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. -> The “seer” is none other than Hanani, Father’s Prophet and how did Asa treat him? He put him in prison. This is almost as bad as thumbing your nose at Father as they had been doing with all their heathen worship practices. What is Father going to do concerning Asa’s disobedience? Skip with me down to verse v16:12: [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. -> Much like Father brought about the emerods upon the Philistines when they took His Ark back to their cities in I Samuel 5, here, Father struck Asa with a disease in his feet, this disease will in the long run,--like Jeroboam, will afflict him for the last two years of his life-- be fatal to him and he’ll die and return Home to Father because of it; but, before he does, did he seek Father or repent of his ways for not putting his trust in Father but, in man? Nope, as a matter of fact, as we just read here in this verse, he again put his trust in man over his trust in Father. Even when he became so sick that he could not walk, he still would not confide in Father, which is really ironic as, his name means, "physician" or "cure."
We're seeing a pattern here concerning the kings of the House of Judah: first we had Solomon who during the first years of his reign did well in seeking, honoring, serving and worshipping Father; however, during the latter years, he turned and started worshipping other false gods, then his son Rehoboam, did much the same as, during the first three years of his reign, he too completely honored, served and worshipped Father; but, in the years following that, he too turned to serve other false gods, then his son Abijah,--who only reigned 3 years--was evil in his not following Father, and now we just read that Asa, during the first few years of his reign, he did righteously; but, after that he too turned from Father.
I Kings 15:24 And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead. -> We don't know how old Asa was when he began to reign; therefore, we also don't know how old he was when he returned Home to Father. What we do know,--and can verify in verse v15:10 above--is that he reigned for 41 years, that he did righteous during the earlier years of his reign; however, during the latter portion of his reign, he stopped honoring, putting his trust in, and serving Father. Father was so angry with this decision of his that He brought about the foot disease which eventually caused Asa's demise. And, now, his son Jehoshaphat is taking over the House of Judah.
We switch gears beginning with the next verse, and turn our attention back to the House of Israel, and Jeroboam's lineage.
15:25-22:40 ISREAL. (Division.)
15:25-31 NADAB. (Introversion.)
I Kings 15:25 And Nadab (liberal) the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years. -> Nadab is the second king over the House of Israel, the ten northern tribes. He becomes king when his father Jeroboam falls ill, his reign coincides with and begins during the second year of king Asa; however, he reigns for only two years--while his father is still alive, but in bed sick--as, in the second year of his reign, while Judah's army is besieging the Philistine town of Gibbethon, a conspiracy will break out in his own army, and he'll be slain by one of his own captains, Baasha. Nadab reigned during the last two years of his father's life, and then he and his father both died during the same year.
Nadab=King Jeroboam's son, who succeeded to the throne of Israel B.C. 954, and reigned two years I Kings 15:25-31. At the siege of Gibbethon a conspiracy broke out in the midst of the army, and the king was slain by Baasha, a man of Issachar..
I Kings 15:26 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin. -> Unlike the kings of the House of Judah who at least start their reigns righteously, thus far; Nadab, son of Jeroboam, doesn't even begin, nor does he even feign to be a follower of Father. He takes over and immediately follows after his father Jeroboam, doing evil--over and over, from father to son, and on to the next generation, the continuation of this worshipping of the two golden calves continued--and causing the ten northern tribes to do evil; thus, his reign will be short lived.
15:27-29 Conspiracy of Baasha.
I Kings 15:27 And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon (a hilly spot; or, a hill), which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon. -> Nadab's unrighteous reign angers Father to the point that He almost immediately, sends Baasha, a captain in Nadab's own army, up against Nadab, who, during the siege on Gibbethon slays his king.
Gibbethon was a city which was originally assigned to the tribe of Dan but later given to the Kohathites as a Levite city of refuge where a person who unintentionally killed someone could flee in order that the revenger of blood not kill them. Centuries later, Gibbethon was in the hands of the Philistines, and it was while Israel’s King Nadab was attempting to wrest the city from them that the conspirator Baasha assassinated him. Gibbethon was under Philistine control some 24 years later when Omri, army chief of Israel, encamped against it. Acclaimed as king by the Israelite camp there, Omri broke off the siege of Gibbethon to attack the rival Israelite king Zimri. Gibbethon is also generally identified with Tell el-Melat (Tel Malot), about 5.5 miles north of the Philistine city of Ekron.
Gibbethon=A town allotted to the tribe of Dan Joshua 19:44, and afterwards given with its "suburbs" to the Kohathite Levites Joshua 21:33..
I Kings 15:28 Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead. -> Nadab had taken the reigns from his father Jeroboam during the first year of Asa's reign over the House of Judah, and as we just read, he only reigned for two years; thus, he died during Asa's third year as king of Judah.
Father sent Baasha to slay Nadab because of his evilness and his causing all Israel to continue to honor, serve, and worship at the altars with those golden calves his father had erected in Beth-el and Dan.
I Kings 15:29 And it came to pass, when he (Baasha) reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah (brother [that is, worshipper] of YAH; or, friend of YAH) the Shilonite (this is just saying that Ahijah was from Shiloh): -> This is recounting the telling of Ahijah to Jeroboam's wife when she disguised herself at Jeroboam's command, in order to find out what would become of their son Abijah. Ahijah not only told her that he would die immediately upon her setting foot back in Tirzah; but, that all Jeroboam's other sons would also not see the grave as, those who died in the city, the dogs would eat, and those who died in the country, the fowls of the air would eat. So, now, we're seeing this all come to pass as, Baasha is fulfilling Father's prophesy to Jeroboam's wife and Jeroboam.
Ahijah=A prophet of Shiloh I Kings 14:2, hence called the Shilonite here in I Kings 11:29, of whom we have two remarkable prophecies extant, the one in I Kings 11:30-39 addressed to Jeroboam, announcing the rending of the ten tribes from Solomon; the other in I Kings 14:6-16 in which he foretold the death of Abijah, the king's son, who was sick, and the destruction of Jeroboam's house on account of the images which he had set up I Kings 14:2,3..
Shilonite=That is, the native or resident of Shiloh; a title ascribed only to Ahijah I Kings 11:29; 12:15; 15:29; II Chronicles 9:29; 10:15..
I Kings 15:30 Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger. -> Brethren, don't allow this verse to throw you as, Father's Word is not contradicting itself, the child does not pay for the sins of their father. Father further explains this in the Book of Jeremiah, where He details it out for Jeremiah and us: Jeremiah 31:29 In those days they shall say no more, ‘The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.’ -> This was a Hebraism and a proverb of the day; but, let's let Father correct it. [31:30] But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. -> Here Father tells Jeremiah that every man dies for his own sins. So, with that being said, let's now correct to understand this verse v15:50 as, it isn't correct as it stands, it should actually state that all of Jeroboam's sons were continuing the evil he had started within the House of Israel, therefore, Father put a stop to it and his lineage in order to try and curb any further profaning of Him.
I Kings 15:31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? -> Yes, all the acts of Nadab surely are detailed in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel, and of course, when Father's word mentions this, It--Father's Word, hence the capital "I" in the word "It"--is referring to what we call the Books of Chronicles.
15:32-16:7 BAASHA. (Introversion.)
I Kings 15:32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. -> As previously mentioned, these were only border clashes, not all-out war, and why did they even have those? Because the family was divided, see, what happened was, instead of fighting against Father’s enemies, the heathen all around them, they fought amongst themselves. Any fighting within a family will destroy the family unit. This is nothing new, for friction is going on in many homes even today. It starts between a man and his wife, and it stretches from there into all parts of the family. Fighting goes on over things that just don't amount to a hill of beans. In the end, the lawyers get the wealth, and the husband and wife both are left out on the street. Who causes the majority of the fighting within the family? Our adversary, satan, he just loves to stir up trouble within the Christian home, and sadly, as the arguing begins, many don’t see it for who it is.
I Kings 15:33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years. -> Baasha reigned over the House of Israel beginning in Asa's third year, and he reigned for 24 years, thus, Asa reigned for another 14 years after Baasha returned Home to father. Don't allow this verse v15:33 and II Chronicles 16:1 confuse you brethren, as in reality they are aligned with each other, they just need a little work: when you follow all this out, Baasha died in the 26th year--we'll read that in I Kings 16:8--of Asa's reign over the House of Judah, which was the 36th year of the kingdom of the House of Judah, in other words, since Father split the nation into two separate nations. Therefore, this rendering here coincides with and concurs with all the other dates and lengths of reigns.
TWENTY-FOUR="Being a multiple of twelve, expresses in a higher form the same signification (as 22 does of 11). It is the number associated with the heavenly government and worship, of which the earthly form in Israel was only a copy. We are told that both Moses and David ordered all things connected with the Tabernacle and Temple worship by direct revelation from God, and as a copy of things in the heavens, Hebrews 8:5; I Chronicles 28:12,19. And the sevenfold phrase (in Exodus 40) "as the LORD commanded Moses" witnesses to the Divine ordering of all. It was so with the twenty-four courses of priests in the earthly Temple; these were formed on the "pattern of things in the heavens." Why is it necessary for us, when God tells us anything, to conclude that it means something else? Why, when, in Revelation 4, we read of the twenty-four heavenly elders, are we to assume they are anything but what we read, viz., the leaders of the heavenly worship? Why seek to make them redeemed men, or the symbolical representation of redeemed men? Why not leave them alone? It is by such additions as these to what is written that the people of God are divided up into so many schools and parties. Those who regard them as representing the redeemed have done so on the supposed authority of Revelation 5:9; but they have been misled by some scribe who, in copying Revelation 5:9, altered certain words either to make the passage conform to Revelation 1:5,6 (which is somewhat similar), or to support this very view. Thus it has been handed down that these twentyfour elders were redeemed, and are therefore glorified human beings. But it is now known that the ancient and true reading was very different. That reading is given in the Revised Version thus:—"And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for Thou wast slain and dist purchase unto God men* of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests: and they reign upon the earth."."
15:34 Evil-doing. Committed.
I Kings 15:34 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin. -> Baasha like Nadab before him never tore down Jeroboam’s altars and golden calves; therefore, what we see is that, over and over again, the same sins are being committed, and as such, because of the repetition, the next generation simply did not learn from the prior generation's mistakes. King after king, and time after time the same old sins are committed, and their eyes still haven't been opened to the fact that Father is a Jealous God. They could all have the most peaceful life in the world if they would only chose it; however, they just continued their infighting amongst themselves, and turning their backs on Father and His Ways and Word, never learning, never coming to the truth. It's the same with and for us today brethren, the cycle is still continuing to this day. Will you be the one to change and break the cycle?
This Bible Study was written by Scott Reis and is provided in order to be used as a private Bible Study Tool. Therefore, it may be copied in whole or in part and shared for private Bible Study; however, it may not be reproduced and published as an original work.