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AND in the six and thirtieth year of his kingdom, Baasa the king of Israel came up against Juda, and built a wall about Rama, that no one might safely go out or come in of the kingdom of Asa.

Ver. 1.  Six and thirtieth year of his kingdom.  That is, of the kingdom of Juda, taking the date of it from the beginning of the reign of Roboam.  Ch.

 

--- It was the 16th of Asa.  We read that Raasa died in the 26th year of Asa.  3 K. xvi. 8.  How then could he fight with him in the 36th?  T.

 

--- Rama was on an eminence, and commanded the pass below.  Baasa wished to cut off all communication with the kingdom of Juda, as he knew many of his subjects had emigrated for the sake of the true religion.  C. xv. 9.  C.

 

--- He had taken the city from the tribe of Benjamin.  T.



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2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the Lord, and of the king's treasures, and sent to Benadad king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying:


3 There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father, wherefore I have sent thee silver and gold, that thou mayst break thy league with Baasa king of Israel, and make him depart from me.

Ver. 3.  There is,  Heb. is indeterminate: "a league," &c.  Sept. "Make a league....behold I have sent thee gold and silver.  Come and drive away from me Baasa, king," &c.

 

--- That.  Prot. "go, break thy league."  H.

 

--- Asa induces the king of Damascus to act perfidiously.  C.

 

--- Otherwise it is not unlawful to make use of the arms of infidels, unless where God has forbidden it.  Grot. Jur. ii. 15. 9.  Masius in Jos. ix. 15.

 

--- David had recourse to Achis, and the Machabees to the Romans.  C.

 

--- Some kings are blamed for making leagues with the princes of Israel, because they had been warned to the contrary; and Asa was severely reprehended, as he had already received such assurances of the divine protection, (C. xiv. 12. and xv. 7.) that nothing but pusillanimity could have induced him (H.) to give away the sacred treasures, in order to obtain this aid of the Syrian king, v. 7.


4 And then Benadad heard this, he sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel: and they took Ahion, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the walled cities of Nephtali.

Ver. 4.  Nephthali.  This seem preferable to the Heb. reading, 3 K. xv. 20.  C.

 

--- Prot. "all the store-cities."  Sept. "all the environs."  H.

 

--- Arab. "all the arsenals of the cities of Nephthali."



Ahion

Ahion (1Ki 15:20, etc.), also Aion (2Ki 15:29): the name seems to be preserved in Merj 'Ayûn, between the valley of the Leontes and that of the upper Jordan. The site was possibly Tell-Dibbîn, or Khiam, a near-by place. --- Ahion, or Ain, remote in the north, whence Theglathphalasar took away captives, (4 K. xv. 29.) is perhaps the Enan of Ezec. xlviii. 1. Num. xxxiv. 9.

5 And when Baasa heard of it, he left off the building of Rama, and interrupted his work.


6 Then king Asa took all Juda, and they carried away from Rama the stones, and the timber that Baasa had prepared for the building: and he built with them Gabaa, and Maspha.


7 At that time Hanani the prophet came to Asa king of Juda, and said to him: Because thou hast had confidence in the king of Syria, and not in the Lord thy God, therefore hath the army of the king of Syria escaped out of thy hand.

Ver. 7.  Syria.  It seems more natural to read Israel.  C.

 

--- But we must remember that Benadad was an ally of Israel; and if he had not been bribed, he would have come to the assistance of Baasa, (H.) and thus both might have fallen a prey to Asa, as the much greater forces of Zara had done.  T.




8 Were not the Ethiopians, and the Libyans much more numerous in chariots, and horsemen, and an exceeding great multitude: yet because thou trustedst in the Lord, he delivered them into thy hand?

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9 For the eyes of the Lord behold all the earth, and give strength to those who with a perfect heart trust in him. Wherefore thou hast done foolishly, and for this cause from this time wars shall arise against thee.

Ver. 9.  Behold.  Prot. "run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him."  Sept. "to shew power in every heart full, or perfect, in his regard."  H.

 

--- Asa fell on this occasion through human frailty, but rose again by repentance.

 

--- Thee, as they were till the death of Baasa.  3 K. xv. 32.



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10 And Asa was angry with the seer, and commanded him to be put in prison: for he was greatly enraged because of this thing: and he put to death many of the people at that time.

Ver. 10.  Prison.  Lit. "in bonds," (nervum) made of leather thongs or nerves, (H.) or of iron, to confine either the neck or the feet.  Isidor. orig. 5. ult.

 

--- Heb. "the house of disturbance."  Sept. &c. "prison."  Some explain it (C.) of the stocks to enclose the neck.  Vatable.

 

--- Time, either because they expressed the same sentiments as the prophet, (C.) or because they disapproved of his imprisonment.  T.

 

--- Sept. "Asa made havoc among the people," &c.  H.


11 But the works of Asa the first and last are written in the book of the kings of Juda and Israel.


12 And Asa fell sick in the nine and thirtieth year of his reign, of a most violent pain in his feet, and yet in his illness he did not seek the Lord, but rather trusted in the skill of physicians.

Ver. 12.  Most, &c.  Heb. "till his disease got upwards," (C.) to the head (T.) and heart, (H.) when the gout generally proves fatal.  A. Lapide

 

--- Sept. "till he was very ill:" (H.) a just punishment for his having confined the prophet in fetters; but of a temporal nature, as he sinned through passion, and died penitent, his heart being perfect (C. xv. 17.) all or the most part of his days, particularly in the last.  W.

 

--- Rather.  Heb. and Sept. simply, "physicians."  H.

 

--- Yet it was not the having recourse to them, with some degree of confidence, that is here reprehended, but the placing too much trust in men, (C.) and too little in God, the sovereign arbiter of life and death.  H.


13 And he slept with his fathers: and he died in the one and fortieth year of his reign. 14 And they buried him in his own sepulchre, which he had made for himself in the city of David: and they laid him on his bed full of spices and odoriferous ointments, which were made by the art of the perfumers, and they burnt them over him with very great pomp.

Ver. 14.  Sepulchre.  Heb. "sepulchres," as there were many separate apartments in the same cavern.  C.

 

--- Asa had prepared one cell, as David and Solomon had done.  M.  T.

 

--- Odoriferous (mertriciis.)  Such as harlots delight in, (Prov. vii. 16,) to entice the sensual.  D.

 

--- Heb. zenim, may be derived from zana, fornicari.  It denotes a mixture of perfumes.  M.

 

--- But here the Vulg. read zunim.  D.

 

--- Heb. and Sept. "they laid him on a bed, and filled it with aromatical spices, and with various sorts of perfumers' ointments, and they made him a very great funeral, or (H.) burning."  Prot.

 

--- It is not clear whether the body was placed on a bed of state, and these perfumes were used to remove every disagreeable smell, or the body itself was rather consumed along with them, a practice which seems to have become more common since the days of Asa.  Jer. xxxiv. 5.  1 K. xxxi. 12.  Amos vi. 10.  Joram was deprived of this honour.  C. xxi. 19.  C.

 

--- Sanctius adduces many examples, to prove that the spices were burnt only near the body; (T.) and the Hebrews generally preferred to inter the corpse.  Corpora condere quam cremare è more Ægyptio.  Tacit. Hist. v.


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