Asa’s Last Years
1In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s rule, Baasha king of Israel attacked Judah. He went to the town of Ramah and made it strong. He used it to keep people from going in or out of the country of Judah.
2Asa took silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Temple of the Lord. And he took silver and gold out of his own palace. Then he sent it with messengers to Ben-Hadad king of Aram. Ben-Hadad was living in Damascus. Asa’s message said: 3“Let’s make an agreement between you and me. Let’s make it like the agreement between your father and mine. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your agreement with Baasha king of Israel. Then he will take his army away from my country.”
4Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa. So Ben-Hadad sent the commanders of his armies to attack the towns of Israel. These commanders defeated the towns of Ijon, Dan and Abel Beth Maacah. They also defeated all the towns in Naphtali where treasures were stored. 5When Baasha heard about this, he stopped building Ramah. He left his work. 6Then King Asa called all the men of Judah together. They went to Ramah and took away the rocks and wood that Baasha had used. And they used the rocks and wood to build up Geba and Mizpah.
7At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah. Hanani said to him, “You depended on the king of Aram to help you. You did not depend on the Lord your God. So the king of Aram’s army escaped from you. 8The Cushites and Libyans had a large and powerful army. They had many chariots and horsemen. But you depended on the Lord to help you. So he let you defeat them. 9The Lord searches all the earth for people who have given themselves completely to him. He wants to make them strong. Asa, you did a foolish thing. From now on you will have wars.”
10Asa was angry with Hanani the seer because of what he had said. Asa was so angry that he put Hanani in prison. Asa was cruel with some of the people at that same time.
11The things Asa did as king, from the beginning to the end, are written down. They are in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12In the thirty-ninth year of his rule, Asa got a disease in his feet. His disease was very bad. But he did not ask for help from the Lord. He only asked for help from the doctors. 13Then Asa died in the forty-first year of his rule. 14The people buried Asa in the tomb he had made for himself in Jerusalem. They laid him on a bed. It was filled with spices and different kinds of mixed perfumes. And they made a large fire to honor Asa.