1 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.
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1 Kings 15:19. There is a league between me and thee — In the latter end of Solomon’s reign, the Syrians were enemies to him, 1 Kings 11:24-25 : but when he was dead, and the kingdom was divided, both Judah and Israel made peace with the Syrians; having enough to do to settle themselves in their own dominions. Behold, I have sent thee a present, come, break thy league with Baasha — It is strange that Asa’s conscience would suffer him, or that he, a professor of the true religion, was not ashamed to be guilty of such a wicked piece of policy as to tempt with money even a heathen to break his word, or league rather, which, no doubt, he had sworn to observe. This certainly was not the way to recommend the worship and service of Jehovah to the heathen nations around.

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.Rather, "Let there be a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father." 18-20. Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the … house of the Lord—Asa's religious character is now seen to decline. He trusted not in the Lord (2Ch 16:7). In this emergency Asa solicited the powerful aid of the king of Damascene-Syria; and to bribe him to break off his alliance with Baasha, he transmitted to him the treasure lying in the temple and palace. The Syrian mercenaries were gained. Instances are to be found, both in the ancient and modern history of the East, of the violation of treaties equally sudden and unscrupulous, through the presentation of some tempting bribe. Ben-hadad poured an army into the northern provinces of Israel, and having captured some cities in Galilee, on the borders of Syria, compelled Baasha to withdraw from Ramah back within his own territories.

Ben-hadad—(See on [315]1Ki 11:14).

There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father; whereby it appears, that albeit he was an adversary to Israel all Solomon’s days, 1 Kings 11:25, yet after the division of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah he was in league with both of them; either because his designs lay upon the enlargement of his empire other ways; or rather, because he thought it his wisdom and interest to leave them to themselves, to undo one another by their intestine wars, and so to prepare the way to his conquest of both; whereas his invading of either of them might have made up the breach, and forced them to unite against their common enemy. And therefore as soon as he was free from this fear, and one of them needed and earnestly desired his help against the other, he gladly embraced the opportunity.

That he may depart from me; that being called to defend himself, he may be forced to depart from my territories.

There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father,.... For though Hezion, if he is the same with Rezon, was an adversary to Israel in the days of Solomon, 1 Kings 11:25, yet it seems his son was not, but was a confederate with the kings of Israel and Judah:

behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; taken out of the treasury of the temple and his own treasury:

come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me; it was sinful in him to take the money out of the temple, to which it was dedicated; it was more so to make use of it to bribe an Heathen to break his covenant and alliance with another, in order to serve him; in which he betrayed great distrust of the Lord, and of his power to help him; which was the more aggravated, when he had had such a wonderful appearance of God for him against the Ethiopians, see 2 Chronicles 16:7.

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 {g} depart from me.

(g) And vex me no longer.

19. There is a league] There is, as the italics of A. V. shew, no verb expressed in the original. The LXX. supplies the imperative διάθου = make. This the R.V. represents on the margin by ‘Let there be.’ But the concluding words of the clause seem to point to the indicative as the more suitable insertion. What Asa desires to claim is a sort of hereditary alliance, which he would best do by treating the friendship as existing and of long standing. As there was no war between Asa and Ben-hadad, the one might very naturally write to the other in brotherly language, according to the custom of monarchs.

come [R.V. go] and break thy league with Baasha] The R.V. more strictly represents the Hebrew by omitting the italic ‘and,’ and brings the verse into agreement with 2 Chronicles 16:3 where the same words stand in the original. As Israel lay nearer to Damascus than did Judah, any places won from the northern kingdom would be easily included in the Syrian kingdom. Hence beside the costly presents, Benhadad might see other gain in forming an alliance with Asa against Israel.

that he may depart from me] As he would naturally do to repel an invasion on the northern frontier.

Verse 19. - There is a league [Rawlinson would render, "Let there be a league... as there was," but the A.V. is equally good. Asa claims that a league does exist, and, in fact, has never been broken] between me and thee, and between my father and thy father [Syria would seem to have been the first of the possessions of Solomon to regain its independence (1 Kings 11:24). Its friendship would naturally be sought by Judah, as a counterpoise, perhaps, to the alliance between Israel and Egypt (Ewald)]: behold, I have sent unto thee a present [elsewhere a bribe. Psalm 15:5; Psalm 26:10; 1 Samuel 8:3] of silver and gold; come and break [Heb. come, break now, עַל cohortative] thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me. [Heb. go up from upon me.] 1 Kings 15:19In order to avert the danger with which his kingdom was threatened, Asa endeavoured to induce the Syrian king, Benhadad of Damascus, to break the treaty which he had concluded with Baasha and to become his ally, by sending him such treasures as were left in the temple and palace.

(Note: Asa had sought help from the Lord and obtained it, when the powerful army of the Cushites invaded the land; but when an invasion of the Israelites took place, he sought help from the Syrians. This alteration in his conduct may probably be explained in part from the fact, that notwithstanding the victory, his army had been considerably weakened by the battle which he fought with the Cushites (2 Chronicles 14:9), although this by no means justified his want of confidence in the power of the Lord, and still less his harsh and unjust treatment of the prophet Hanani, whom he caused to be put in the house of the stocks on account of his condemnation of the confidence which he placed in the Syrians instead of Jehovah (2 Chronicles 16:7-10).)

הגּותרים may be explained from the face that the temple and palace treasures had been plundered by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:26); and therefore what Asa had replaced in the temple treasury (1 Kings 15:15), and had collected together for his palace, was only a remnant in comparison with the former state of these treasures. The name בּן־הדד, i.e., son of Hadad, the sun-god (according to Macrobius, i. 23; cf., Movers, Phniz. i. p. 196), was borne by three kings of Damascus: the one here named, his son in the time of Ahab (1 Kings 20:1, 1 Kings 20:34), and the son of Hazael (2 Kings 13:24). The first was a son of Tabrimmon and grandson of Hezyon. According to 1 Kings 15:19, his father Tabrimmon (good is Rimmon; see at 2 Kings 5:18) had also been king, and was the contemporary of Abijam. But that his grandfather Hezyon was also king, and the same person as the Rezon mentioned in 1 Kings 11:23, cannot be shown to be even probable, since there is no ground for the assumption that Hezyon also bore the name Rezon, and is called by the latter name here and by the former in 1 Kings 11:23.

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