1 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) All his might.—This phrase, not used of Rehoboam or Abijah, is significant, indicating the increased power of Judah under Asa.

The cities which he built.—Fortification of cities (see 2Chronicles 11:5-10; 2Chronicles 14:6) was naturally the traditional policy of the kingdom of Judah—small in extent, menaced by more powerful neighbours, but having an exceedingly strong country and central position.

Diseased in his feet.—In the Chronicles it is added significantly, “in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians” (2Chronicles 16:7-12); and from the same records it appears that in his last days Asa ventured to defy the prophetic authority by the imprisonment of Hanani the seer. Prosperity, it is implied, had somewhat deteriorated his character, though he still continued faithful to the worship of God. Certainly, Jehoshaphat on his accession still found much to do for the religious condition of his people.

1 Kings 15:23. Nevertheless he was diseased in his feet — Notwithstanding the great things which he had done, and the glory and prosperity which he had enjoyed, he felt the effects of human infirmity, and of his own sins. He probably had the gout, which made him less active than he had been before this disease seized him. 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.The rest of all the acts of Asa - A few of these are preserved in 2 Chronicles 15:9-15; 2 Chronicles 16:7-12. From the whole narrative of Chronicles we gather that the character of Asa deteriorated as he grew old, and that, while he maintained the worship of Yahweh consistently from first to last, he failed to maintain the personal faith and piety which had been so conspicuous in his early youth.

The cities which he built - Asa, during the earlier part of his reign, before any serious attack had been made upon him, had the prudence to "build fenced cities in Judah," with "walls and towers, gates and bars," so strengthening himself against a possible evil day 2 Chronicles 14:6-7.

In the time of his old age - See the marginal reference. If it has been rightly supposed that Rehoboam was a young man of 21 or 22 at his accession 1 Kings 12:8, Asa's age at this time must have been less than 50. It may seem strange to speak of "old age" in such a case; but Solomon was regarded as "old" at about 50 (1 Kings 11:4 note).

23. in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet—(See on [316]2Ch 16:12, where an additional proof is given of his religious degeneracy.) Nevertheless; notwithstanding the great things which he had done, and the glory and prosperity which he enjoyed, he felt the effects of human infirmity, and of his own sins; of which see 2 Chronicles 16:12,13. 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?.... Some of which are to be met with in the canonical book of that name, 2 Chronicles 14:1, and others in the annals of the kings, out of which the Scripture account was taken:

nevertheless, in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet; seized with the gout, as the Jews say (a), and which was two years before his death, see 2 Chronicles 16:12.

(a) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 48. 2. So Clemens of Alexandria, Stromat. l. 1. p. 326.

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 {h} feet.

(h) He had gout and put his trust physicians rather than in the Lord, 2Ch 16:12.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. The rest of all the acts of Asa] There is a conjunction at the opening of the verse in the original. Hence R.V. Now the rest &c.

The reign of Asa is dealt with more fully in the book of Chronicles. Beside what is told in Kings, we learn there that he built fenced cities in Judah, because the land had rest and no war. His army is described as consisting of 300,000 men of Judah and 280,000 of Benjamin. He defeated Zerah the Ethiopian, who came against him in battle, and with the help of God drove him back as far as Gerar. A prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded encouraged the king to put down idolatry with a strong hand, and he bound his people by a solemn oath to cleave unto the Lord, and those who would not do so he put to death. Asa, we are told, was rebuked by Hanani the prophet after the withdrawal of Baasha, because he had relied on the help of the king of Syria, and he was told that from henceforth he should have wars. In anger Asa imprisoned the unwelcome prophet, and oppressed some of his people at the same time. The long reign of this king was manifestly an active time, both in the religious and political life of Judah.

the cities which he built] No doubt these are ‘the fenced cities’ spoken of in 2 Chronicles 14:6, as built during the days of peace.

Nevertheless] R.V. But. The A.V. would make it seem as though the successes described in the early part of the verse ought to have been enough to prevent the disease here mentioned.

diseased in his feet] In 2 Chronicles 16:12 it is added ‘until his disease was exceeding great’, and then as another token of his weakened trust in God the chronicler continues ‘yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians.’Verse 23. - And the rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might [see 2 Chronicles 14, 15.], and all that he did, and the cities which he built [during the peace in the earlier part of his reign (2 Chronicles 14:5, 6)], are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless [Heb. only. There was one exception to his otherwise happy and prosperous reign] in the time of his old age [see notes on 1 Kings 1:1; 11:4. "Old age" means here, as them, the end of life. Asa cannot well have been more than fifty. It was in the 39th year of his reign (2 Chronicles 16:12) that this disease attacked him] he was diseased in his feet. [It is generally supposed that this disease was the gout. In the Chronicles (l.c.) he is reproached for seeking "not to the Lord but to the physicians." We must remember what the art of medicine at that day was like (see Kitto, "Daily Bib. Illus.," 4:195 sqq.), and that the Jews regarded sickness and healing as alike the immediate acts of God. The state of hostility between Judah and Israel continued during the reign of Asa; and Baasha the king of Israel advanced, etc. These statements are completed and elucidated by the Chronicles. After the great victory obtained by Abijam over Jeroboam, the kingdom of Judah enjoyed rest for ten years (2 Chronicles 14:1). Asa employed this time in exterminating idolatry, fortifying different cities, and equipping his army (2 Chronicles 14:1-7). Then the Cushite Zerah invaded the land of Judah with an innumerable army (in the eleventh year of Asa), but was totally defeated by the help of the Lord (2 Chronicles 14:8-14); whereupon Asa, encouraged by the prophet Azariah, the son of Oded, proceeded with fresh zeal to the extermination of such traces of idolatry as still remained in the kingdom, then renewed the altar of burnt-offering in front of the temple-hall, and in the fifteenth year of his reign held, with the whole nation, a great festival of thanksgiving and rejoicing to the Lord at Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 15:1-15). The next year, the sixteenth of his reign and the thirty-sixth from the division of the kingdom (2 Chronicles 16:1), Baasha commenced hostilities, by advancing against Judah, taking possession of Ramah, the present er Rm (see at Joshua 18:25), which was only two hours and a quarter from Jerusalem, and fortifying it. The occupation of Ramah is not expressly mentioned indeed, but it is implied in יהוּדה על ויּעל על יה, which affirms the hostile invasion of Judah. For Ramah, from its very situation in the heart of the tribe of Benjamin and the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem, can neither have been a border city nor have belonged to the kingdom of Israel. The intention of Baasha, therefore, in fortifying Ramah cannot have been merely to restrain his own subjects from passing over into the kingdom of Judah, but was evidently to cut off from the kingdom of Judah all free communication with the north. וגו תּת לבלתּי, "that they might not give one going out or one coming in to Asa;" i.e., to cut off from the others all connection with Asa, and at the same time to cut off from those with Asa all connection with this side. The main road from Jerusalem to the north passed by Ramah, so that by shutting up this road the line of communication of the kingdom of Judah was of necessity greatly disturbed. Moreover, the fortification of Ramah by Baasha presupposes the reconquest of the cities which Abijam had taken from the kingdom of Israel (2 Chronicles 13:19), and which, according to 2 Chronicles 13:19, were still in the possession of Asa.
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