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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

2 Chronicles 16

Verses 2-14

C. Asa 14:2-16:14

Chronicles gives much more attention to Asa than Kings does. That is because Asa’s experiences illustrated the points the Chronicler wanted to drive home to his readers.

We have already seen in Rehoboam’s history that obedience brought blessing from God, but disobedience brought discipline (chs. 11-12). The Chronicler used this retributive motif frequently. We see it clearly here in Asa’s history. [Note: Raymond B. Dillard, "The Reign of Asa (2 Chronicles 14-16): An Example of the Chronicler’s Theological Method," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 23 (September 1980):213-18.] In chapters 14-15 we see Asa obeying and blessed. In chapter 16 he was disobedient, and God disciplined him.

Verses 1-14

3. Asa’s failure ch. 16

Three parts also mark this record of the later period of Asa’s reign: his war with Baasha (2 Chronicles 16:1-6), Hanani’s sermon (2 Chronicles 16:7-10), and the conclusion of his reign (2 Chronicles 16:11-14).

Asa’s heart was right in that he consistently loved God. Nevertheless, like David, his obedience lapsed. He trusted in a foreign alliance and later in physicians more than in Yahweh. This resulted in defeat and death.

"Asa, then, has done a complete volte-face from his earlier faithfulness. It is as if we meet two altogether different Asas. He appeared first in the strength of God-reliance, now in the weakness of self-reliance." [Note: McConville, p. 174.]

Rather than confessing his guilt, Asa became angry and oppressed his own kingdom. It may have looked for a while as if Asa was the Son of David who would perfectly trust and obey God. Unfortunately he did not remain faithful.

"Just as the Chronicler inserted Azariah’s sermon in 2 Chronicles 15:2-7 to interpret to his readers the positive period of Asa’s reign, so here he draws out the lessons to be learned from his falling away." [Note: Williamson, 1 and 2 . . ., p. 274.]

"There are some occasions in the Bible when a person’s handling of some small matter is taken as an indication of his capacity to handle a large one (e.g. Matthew 25:21; Matthew 25:23; Jeremiah 12:5). Asa, however, having passed the sternest of tests first (by withstanding Zerah), fails a comparatively trivial one." [Note: McConville, p. 175.]

2 Chronicles 16:9 is especially noteworthy (cf. Zechariah 4:10). No problem can arise for God’s people of which He is not aware and out of which He cannot deliver them if they commit themselves to Him fully (cf. Romans 8:28). 2 Chronicles 16:10 records the first persecution of a prophet, but many others followed (cf. 1 Kings 22:27; Mark 6:17-18).

Asa was one of Judah’s best kings, but he failed as did all the rest.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 16". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/2-chronicles-16.html. 2012.