Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
What should I learn from this chapter?
- The consequences of not seeking God’s Wisdom first
- The consequences of breaking a covenant
Asa’s Treaty with Syria
II Chronicles 16:1 In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
Baasha King of Israel vs Asa King of Judah
Asa was a “good” king until he relied on Ben-Hadad instead of God.
II Chronicles 16:2 Then Asa brought silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord (temple) and of the king’s house (palace), and sent to Ben-Hadad king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying,
II Chronicles 16:3 “Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. See, I have sent you silver and gold; come, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.”
II Chronicles 16:4 So Ben-Hadad heeded King Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel. They attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali.
Ben-Hadad broke his covenant with Baasha King of Israel to make a covenant with Asa King of Judah for gold and silver.
II Chronicles 16:5 Now it happened, when Baasha heard it, that he stopped building Ramah and ceased his work.
II Chronicles 16:6 Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones and timber of Ramah, which Baasha had used for building; and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.
Hanani’s Message to Asa
II Chronicles 16:7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.
II Chronicles 16:8 Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand.
II Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
Asa encouraged Ben-Hadad to break a treaty, a covenant. In God’s eyes to break a covenant is a covenant with death.
II Chronicles 16:10 Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time.
- Personal application: Don’t kill, abuse, or imprison the messenger. It doesn’t change anything.
Illness and Death of Asa
II Chronicles 16:11 Note that the acts of Asa, first and last, are indeed written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
II Chronicles 16:12 And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.
- Should we not seek God in our state of dis-ease in order to get our great physician’s wisdom?
II Chronicles 16:13 So Asa rested (Died and joined his ancestors) with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign.
II Chronicles 16:14 They buried him in his own tomb, which he had made (Lit. dug) for himself in the City of David; and they laid him in the bed which was filled with spices and various ingredients prepared in a mixture of ointments.
- Jesus also was buried as a King.