Final Years of Asa’s Reign
1In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving King Asa’s territory in Judah.
2Asa responded by removing the silver and gold from the treasuries of the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace. He sent it to King Ben-hadad of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, along with this message:
3“Let there be a treaty#16:3 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads There is a treaty. between you and me like the one between your father and my father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will leave me alone.”
4Ben-hadad agreed to King Asa’s request and sent the commanders of his army to attack the towns of Israel. They conquered the towns of Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah,#16:4 As in parallel text at 1 Kgs 15:20; Hebrew reads Abel-maim, another name for Abel-beth-maacah. and all the store cities in Naphtali. 5As soon as Baasha of Israel heard what was happening, he abandoned his project of fortifying Ramah and stopped all work on it. 6Then King Asa called out all the men of Judah to carry away the building stones and timbers that Baasha had been using to fortify Ramah. Asa used these materials to fortify the towns of Geba and Mizpah.
7At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. 8Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians#16:8a Hebrew Cushites. and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and charioteers?#16:8b Or and horsemen? At that time you relied on the Lord, and he handed them over to you. 9The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.”
10Asa became so angry with Hanani for saying this that he threw him into prison and put him in stocks. At that time Asa also began to oppress some of his people.
Summary of Asa’s Reign
11The rest of the events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Yet even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the Lord’s help but turned only to his physicians. 13So he died in the forty-first year of his reign. 14He was buried in the tomb he had carved out for himself in the City of David. He was laid on a bed perfumed with sweet spices and fragrant ointments, and the people built a huge funeral fire in his honor.