2 Chronicles 14:2
And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
REIGN OF ASA (2 Chronicles 14-16.)

(a) EFFORTS TO ROOT OUT ILLEGITIMATE WORSHIPS, AND TO STRENGTHEN THE SYSTEM OF NATIONAL DEFENCES (2Chronicles 14:2-7; comp. 1Kings 15:9-15).

(2) That which was good and right.—Literally, The good and the right, an expression defined in 2Chronicles 14:3-4. It is used of Hezekiah, 2Chronicles 31:20. See 1Kings 15:11, “And Asa did the right in the eyes of the Lord, like David his father.”

For (and) . . . the altars of the strange gods.—Literally, altars of the alien. Vulg., “altaria peregrini cultus.” Comp. the expression, gods of the alien (Gen. xxxv, 2, 4). (Comp. 1Kings 15:12 b, and he took away all the idols that his fathers had made; a summary statement, which is here expanded into details.) But both here and in 2Chronicles 12:1-2, the chronicler has omitted to mention the qedēshîm (Authorised Version, “Sodomites”) (1Kings 15:12 a)

And the high places.—i.e., those dedicated to foreign religions. It is clear from 2Chronicles 15:17, as well as 1Kings 15:14, that high places dedicated to the worship of Jehovah were not done away with by Asa.

Brake down the images.Brake in pieces (or shattered) the pillars. They were dedicated to Baal, and symbolised the solar rays, being, no doubt, a species of obelisk. (See Genesis 28:18; Exodus 34:13; Judges 3:7.)

The “high places, images, and groves” of this verse are all mentioned in 1Kings 14:23.

2 Chronicles

ASA’S REFORMATION, AND CONSEQUENT PEACE AND VICTORY

2 Chronicles 14:2 - 2 Chronicles 14:8
.

Asa was Rehoboam’s grandson, and came to the throne when a young man. The two preceding reigns had favoured idolatry, but the young king had a will of his own, and inaugurated a religious revolution, with which and its happy results this passage deals.

I. It first recounts the thorough clearance of idolatrous emblems and images which Asa made. ‘Strange altars,’-that is, those dedicated to other gods; ‘high places,’-that is, where illegal sacrifice to Jehovah was offered; ‘pillars,’-that is, stone columns; and ‘Asherim,’-that is, trees or wooden poles, survivals of ancient stone- or tree-worship; ‘sun-images,’-that is, probably, pillars consecrated to Baal as sun-god, were all swept away. The enumeration vividly suggests the incongruous rabble of gods which had taken the place of the one Lord. How vainly we try to make up for His absence from our hearts by a multitude of finite delights and helpers! Their multiplicity proves the insufficiency of each and of all.

1 Kings 15:13 adds a detail which brings out still more clearly Asa’s reforming zeal; for it tells us that he had to fight against the influence of his mother, who had been prominent in supporting disgusting and immoral forms of worship, and who retained some authority, of which her son was strong enough to take the extreme step of depriving her. Remembering the Eastern reverence for a mother, we can estimate the effort which that required, and the resolution which it implied. But 1 Kings differs from our narrative in stating that the ‘high places’ were not taken away-the explanation of the variation probably being that the one account tells what Asa attempted and commanded, and the other records the imperfect way in which his orders were carried out. They would be obeyed in Jerusalem and its neighbourhood, but in many a secluded corner the old rites would be observed.

It is vain to force religious revolutions. Laws which are not supported by the national conscience will only be obeyed where disobedience will involve penalties. If men’s hearts cleave to Baal, they will not be turned into Jehovah-worshippers by a king’s commands. Asa could command Judah to ‘seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to do the law,’ but he could not make them do it.

II. The chronicler brings out strongly the truth which runs through his whole book,-namely, the connection between honouring Jehovah and national prosperity. He did not import that thought into his narrative, but he insisted on it as moulding the history of Judah. Modern critics charge him with writing with a bias, but he learned the ‘bias’ from God’s own declarations, and had it confirmed by observation, reflection, and experience. The whole history of Israel and Judah was one long illustration of the truth which he is constantly repeating. No doubt, the divine dealings with Israel brought obedience and well-being into closer connection than exists now; but in deepest truth the sure defence of our national prosperity is the same as theirs, and it is still the case that ‘righteousness exalteth a nation.’ ‘The kingdom was quiet,’ says the chronicler, ‘and he had no war in those years; because the Lord had given him rest.’ 1 Kings makes more of the standing enmity with the northern kingdom, and records scarcely anything of Asa’s reign except the war which, as it says, was between him and Baasha of Israel ‘all their days.’ But, according to 2 Chronicles 16:1, Baasha did not proceed to war till Asa’s thirty-sixth year, and the halcyon time of peace evidently followed immediately on the religious reformation at its very beginning.

Asa’s experience embodies a truth which is substantially fulfilled in nations and in individuals; for obedience brings rest, often outward tranquillity, always inward calm. Note the heightened earnestness expressed in the repetition of the expression ‘We have sought the Lord’ in 2 Chronicles 14:7, and the grand assurance of His favour as the source of well-being in the clause which follows, ‘and He hath given us rest on every side.’ That is always so, and will be so with us. If we seek Him with our whole hearts, keeping Him ever before us amid the distractions of life, taking Him as our aim and desire, and ever stretching out the tendrils of our hearts to feel after Him and clasp Him, all around and within will be tranquil, and even in warfare we shall preserve unbroken peace.

Asa teaches us, too, the right use of tranquillity. He clearly and gratefully recognised God’s hand in it, and traced it not to his own warlike skill or his people’s prowess, but to Him. And he used the time of repose to strengthen his defences, and exercise his soldiers against possible assaults. We do not yet dwell in the land of peace, where it is safe to be without bolts and bars, but have ever to be on the watch for sudden attacks. Rest from war should give leisure for building not only fortresses, but temples, as was the case with Solomon. The time comes when, as in many an ancient fortified city of Europe, the ramparts may be levelled, and flowers bloom where sentries walked; but to-day we have to be on perpetual guard, and look to our fortifications, if we would not be overcome.

2 Chronicles 14:2. Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord — Happy they that walk by this rule; that do not only that which is right in their own eyes, or in the eyes of the world, but which is so in God’s eyes. Asa saw that God’s eye was always upon him, and therefore he kept his eye always upon God, studied to approve himself to him, and endeavoured in all things to please him.

14:1-15 Asa's piety, He strengthens his kingdom. - Asa aimed at pleasing God, and studied to approve himself to him. Happy those that walk by this rule, not to do that which is right in their own eyes, or in the eye of the world, but which is so in God's sight. We find by experience that it is good to seek the Lord; it gives us rest; while we pursue the world, we meet with nothing but vexation. Asa consulted with his people how to make a good use of the peace they enjoyed; and concluded with them that they must not be idle, nor secure. A formidable army of Ethiopians invaded Asa's kingdom. This evil came upon them, that their faith in God might be tried. Asa's prayer is short, but it is the real language of faith and expectation from God. When we go forth in God's name, we cannot but prosper, and all things work together for the good of those whom he favours.Asa his son reigned - If Rehoboam was (1 Kings 12:8 note) not more than 21 years old at his accession, Asa, when he mounted the throne, must have been a mere boy, not more than 10 or 11 years of age.

The land was quiet ten years - The great blow struck by Abijah 2 Chronicles 13:15-19, his alliance with Syria 1 Kings 15:19, and the rapid succession of sovereigns in Israel during the earlier part of Asa's reign 1 Kings 15:25-33, would naturally prevent disturbance on the part of the northern kingdom. The tender age of Asa himself would be a bar to warlike enterprises on the part of Judah.

2. Asa did that which was good and right—(compare 1Ki 15:14). Still his character and life were not free from faults (2Ch 16:7, 10, 12). Of this and the next verse, See Poole "1 Kings 15:11" See Poole "1 Kings 15:12"

And Asa did that which was good and right,.... See 1 Kings 15:11. And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 2. - That which was good and right. Our Authorized Version does not omit to mark the first three words with italic type, the simple and emphatic original being, the good and the straight. 2 Chronicles 14:2Asa's efforts for the abolition of idolatry and the establishment of the kingdom. - 2 Chronicles 14:1-4. The good and right in God's eyes which Asa did is further defined in 2 Chronicles 14:2-4. He abolished all the objects of the idolatrous worship. The "altars of the strangers" are altars consecrated to foreign gods; from them the בּמות, high places, are distinguished-these latter being illegal places of sacrifice connected with the worship of Jahve (see on 1 Kings 15:14). The מצּבוה are the statues or monumental columns consecrated to Baal, and אשׁרים the wooden idols, tree-trunks, or trees, which were consecrated to Astarte (see on 1 Kings 14:23 and Deuteronomy 16:21). Asa at the same time commanded the people to worship Jahve, the God of the fathers, and to follow the law.
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