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the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 15

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-34

The Reigns of Abijam and Asa, Nadab and Baasha

2. Abishalom] i.e. Absalom. In 2 Chronicles 13:2 his mother is called Micaiah, the daughter of Uriel, and if this is correct, Absalom was probably her grandfather, and her mother the Tamar mentioned in 2 Samuel 14:27.

4. A lamp] see on 1 Kings 11:36. The divine promise made to David prevented Abijam’s sins from being punished by the transfer of the throne to another line.

6. There was war.. life] a repetition of 1 Kings 14:30. 2 Chronicles 13:2 has ’between Abijah and Jeroboam.’

7. The rest of the acts] In 2 Chronicles 13:3. there is described a great battle between Judah and Israel. Before the engagement Abijah (Abijam) contrasted the worship of the calves and the expulsion of the Levitical priests by Jeroboam with the different practices followed by the kings of Judah. Jeroboam laid an ambush for the Judeæans, but the latter called upon the Lord, who delivered them, and Israel was not only defeated but lost several cities.

10. Maachah] If the Maachah of 1 Kings 15:2 is meant, mother must mean ’grandmother.’

13. From being queen] i.e. from being queen dowager: see on 1 Kings 2:19. An idol in a grove] better, ’an abominable image for Asherah.’ The term Asherah here seems to mean not an emblem but a goddess: cp. 1 Kings 18:19; 2 Kings 21:7. By the brook Kidron] better, ’in the torrent valley of the Kidron,’ i.e. the ravine E. of Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives (mod. Wâdy Sitti Maryam).

14. The high places were not removed] The same condition of things continued until the reign of Hezekiah: see 1 Kings 22:43; 2 Kings 12:3; 2 Kings 18:4

15. Brought in.. of the Lord] to replace the losses sustained in the invasion of Shishak (1 Kings 14:26).

17. Ramah] the modern er Râm, on the S. frontier of the kingdom, some 5 m. N. of Jerusalem, which it menaced.

18. Sent them to Ben-hadad] Asa’s appeal to Syria illustrates how far the Jewish kingdom had declined since Solomon’s time. Probably three kings of this name are mentioned in OT.: see 1 Kings 20:1; 2 Kings 13:24.

19. There is a league, etc.] Asa, as the descendant of David, to whom the Syrians had submitted (2 Samuel 8:6), urged that Syria’s connexion with the royal house of Judah was of longer standing than its connexion with the house of Baasha; but he ignored the revolt of Damascus in the reign of Solomon. Break thy league] As Israel cut Syria off from the sea, Benhadad would be the more willing to accept Asa’s overtures. In 2 Chronicles 16:7-10; Asa’s conduct is represented as being condemned by the seer Hanani.

20. Ijon, Dan, etc.] localities in the neighbourhood of Lake Merom and the Sea of Galilee. Cinneroth is the Gennesaret of the NT.

21. Left off.. Ramah] The invasion in the N. prevented further operations in the S.

Dwelt in Tirzah] LXX has ’returned to Tirzah,’ which suits the context better.

22. Geba.. Mizpah] fortresses N. of Jerusalem.

23. The rest of all the acts of Asa] see 2 Chronicles 14:9. The chief incidents added by Chronicles are the defeat of an invasion by the Ethiopian Zerah, the making of a national covenant with the Lord, the king’s punishment of the seer Hanani for censuring his alliance with Syria, and his oppression of his people.

27. Gibbethon] within the territory assigned to Dan (Joshua 19:44). The Philistines, who had been crushed by David, now that the Hebrew kingdoms were in conflict, once more began to move.

29. The saying of the Lord] see 1 Kings 14:7-11. The personal ambition of Baasha was the agency through which the Lord punished the house of Jeroboam for the sins of its founder. The decay of spiritual religion in N. Israel was accompanied by the weakening of moral restraints, and none of the dynasties that successively occupied the throne lasted longer than four generations.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 15". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/1-kings-15.html. 1909.
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