1 Kings 15 – “Abijam and Asa Rule in Judah; Nadab and Baasha Rule in Israel”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The kingdoms of Judah and Israel continue to battle each other. In Judah, the wicked Abijam is replaced by the righteous Asa. In Israel, Nadab is killed by Baasha who wipes out the house of Jeroboam.

II. Photo
Asa walks away with Baasha’s stones: “Then King Asa mustered all Judah, with no exemptions; and they carried away the stones and timber with which Baasha had fortified Ramah.” (v. 22a)

III. Important Verses
3-5: [Abijam] continued in all the sins that his father before him had committed; he was not wholehearted with the LORD his God, like his father David. Yet, for the sake of David, the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, by raising up his descendant after him and by preserving Jerusalem. For David had done what was pleasing to the LORD and never turned throughout his life from all that He had commanded him, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
11-15: Asa did what was pleasing to the LORD, as his father David had done. He expelled the male prostitutes from the land, and he removed all the idols that his ancestors had made. He also deposed his mother Maacah from the rank of queen mother, because she had made an abominable thing for [the goddess] Asherah. Asa cut down her abominable thing and burnt it in the Wadi Kidron.  The shrines, indeed, were not abolished; however, Asa was wholehearted with the LORD his God all his life. He brought into the House of the LORD all the consecrated things of his father and his own consecrated things — silver, gold, and utensils.
17-22: King Baasha of Israel advanced against Judah, and he fortified Ramah to prevent anyone belonging to King Asa from going out or coming in. So Asa took all the silver and gold that remained in the treasuries of the House of the LORD as well as the treasuries of the royal palace, and he entrusted them to his officials. King Asa sent them to King Ben-hadad son of Tabrimmon son of Hezion of Aram, who resided in Damascus, with this message: “There is a pact between you and me, and between your father and my father. I herewith send you a gift of silver and gold: Go and break your pact with King Baasha of Israel, so that he may withdraw from me.” Ben-hadad responded to King Asa’s request; he sent his army commanders against the towns of Israel and captured Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, as well as all the land of Naphtali. When Baasha heard about it, he stopped fortifying Ramah and remained in Tirzah. Then King Asa mustered all Judah, with no exemptions; and they carried away the stones and timber with which Baasha had fortified Ramah. With these King Asa fortified Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah.
27-30: Then Baasha son of Ahijah, of the House of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon of the Philistines, while Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon. Baasha killed him in the third year of King Asa of Judah and became king in his stead. As soon as he became king, he struck down all the House of Jeroboam; he did not spare a single soul belonging to Jeroboam until he destroyed it — in accordance with the word that the LORD had spoken through His servant, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite — because of the sins which Jeroboam committed and which he caused Israel to commit, thereby vexing the LORD, the God of Israel.

IV. Outline

1-8. Abijam, king of Judah
    1-2. Introductory statement
    3. Continued sin
    4-5. The merit of David
    6. War with Jeroboam
    7-8. Summary statement
9-24. Asa, king of Judah
    9-10. Introductory statement
    11-15. Asa’s piety
    16-22. Asa and Ben-Hadad conquer Ramah from Baasha
    23-24. Summary statement; foot ailment
25-31. Nadab, king of Israel
    25. Introductory statement
    26. Nadab’s sins
    27-30. Baasha annihilates Nadab and the house of Jeroboam
    31. Summary statement
32-34. Baasha, king of Israel
    32. War with Asa
    33. Introductory statement
    34. Baasha’s sins

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
De Vries, Simon John. “1 Kings” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 12 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1985).
Longe, Burke O. “1 Kings with an Introduction to Historical Literature” Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 9 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1984).
Photo taken from http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/15/xinsrc_492100615083137512631.jpg