|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:9-24 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. That is right indeed which is so in God's eyes. Asa's times were times of reformation. He removed that which was evil; there reformation begins, and a great deal he found to do. When Asa found idolatry in the court, he rooted it out thence. Reformation must begin at home. Asa honours and respects his mother; he loves her well, but he loves God better. Those that have power are happy when thus they have hearts to use it well. We must not only cease to do evil, but learn to do well; not only cast away the idols of our iniquity, but dedicate ourselves and our all to God's honour and glory. Asa was cordially devoted to the service of God, his sins not arising from presumption. But his league with Benhadad arose from unbelief. Even true believers find it hard, in times of urgent danger, to trust in the Lord with all their heart. Unbelief makes way for carnal policy, and thus for one sin after another. Unbelief has often led Christians to call in the help of the Lord's enemies in their contests with their brethren; and some who once shone brightly, have thus been covered with a dark cloud towards the end of their days.
Verse 16. - And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days [This statement must be compared with 2 Chronicles 14:1, 6, from which we gather that during the first ten years of Asa's reign there cannot have been war, properly so called, between them. Indeed, it would seem from 2 Chronicles 15:19; 2 Chronicles 16:1, that it was not until the 36th year of Asa's reign that it first broke out. But these numbers have clearly not escaped corruption (see note there), as at the date last mentioned Baasha must have been dead (cf. ver. 33 below). It is probable that war is to be taken here, as elsewhere (1 Kings 14:30), in the sense of hostility, and in any case we have here another instance of the hyperbolical habit of the Eastern mind.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days: That is as long as they lived together; for Baasha died many years before Asa, and this must be reckoned from the time the war began between them. Baasha did not begin his reign until the third year of Asa, 1 Kings 15:25 and in the first ten years of Asa's reign the land was quiet and free from war, 2 Chronicles 14:1 of which there must be seven in the reign of Baasha, who is here made mention of out of course, for Nadab reigned before him, 1 Kings 15:25, the reason of which Abarbinel thinks is, that the historian, having given an account of the good deeds of Asa, relates his failings before he proceeds to the other part of his history.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16, 17. there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days—Asa enjoyed a ten years' peace after Jeroboam's defeat by Abijam, and this interval was wisely and energetically spent in making internal reforms, as well as increasing the means of national defense (2Ch 14:1-7). In the fifteenth year of his reign, however, the king of Israel commenced hostilities against him, and, invading his kingdom, erected a strong fortress at Ramah, which was near Gibeah, and only six Roman miles from Jerusalem. Afraid lest his subjects might quit his kingdom and return to the worship of their fathers, he wished to cut off all intercourse between the two nations. Ramah stood on an eminence overhanging a narrow ravine which separated Israel from Judah, and therefore he took up a hostile position in that place.
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