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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
1 Kings 15

 

 

Verse 1

Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.

Abijam. His name was at first Abijah (2 Chronicles 12:16), 'Jah,' the name of God, according to an ancient fashion, being conjoined with it. But afterward, when he was found 'walking in all the sins of his father,' that honourable addition was withdrawn, and his name in sacred history changed into Abijam (Lightfoot).


Verse 2

Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

Three years reigned he - (cf. 1 Kings 15:1 with 1 Kings 15:9.) Parts of years are counted in Scripture as whole years. The reign began in Jeroboam's 18th year, continued until the 19th year, and ended in the course of the 20th year.

His mother's name was Maachah - or Michaiah (2 Chronicles 13:2), probably altered from the one to the other on her becoming queen, as was very common under a change of circumstances. She is called the daughter of Abishalom, or Absalom (2 Chronicles 11:21), or Uriel (2 Chronicles 13:2). Hence, it has been thought probable that Tamar, the daughter of Absalom (2 Samuel 14:27; 2 Samuel 18:18), had been married to Uriel, and that Maachah was their daughter.


Verse 3

And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.

Heart was not perfect with the Lord , [ shaaleem (Hebrew #8003)] - at peace, in harmony with.

As the heart of David - (cf. 1 Kings 11:4; 1 Kings 14:22). He was not positively bad at first, because it appears (1 Kings 15:15) that he had done something to restore the pillaged treasures of the temple. This phrase contains a comparative reference to David's heart. His doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord (1 Kings 15:5) is frequently used in speaking of the kings of Judah, and means only that they did or did not do that which, in the general course and tendency of their government, was acceptable to God. It furnishes no evidence as to the lawfulness or piety of one specific act.


Verse 4

Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem:

For David's sake did the Lord ... give him a lamp. "A lamp" in one's house is an Oriental phrase for continuance of family name and prosperity. Abijam was not rejected, only in consequence of the divine promise to David (see the notes at 1 Kings 11:13-36).


Verse 5

Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. This clause is not in the Septuagint. Admitting its genuineness, it must not be interpreted too strictly; because David committed other breaches of the law, which were severely punished, (2 Samuel 24:1-25.) But his outrage against Uriah is mentioned as his greatest sin.


Verse 6

And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.

And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life. Several manuscripts have, 'between Abijam and Jeroboam.' This seems to be the correct reading in this connection.


Verse 7-8

Now the rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 9

And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah.

In the twentieth year of Jeroboam ... reigned Asa over Judah. This appears at variance with the statement in 1 Kings 15:1-2, that Abijam became king of Judah in the eighteenth year of Jeroboam, and that he reigned three years in Jerusalem. But Abijam's reign may not have begun in the 18th year of Jeroboam; and if his death took place in the 20th yar, the duration of his reign would, according to the Hebrew mode of computation, be three years.


Verse 10

And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

His mother's name was Maachah. She was properly his grandmother; and she is here called "the king's mother," from the post of dignity which, at the beginning of his reign, she possessed.


Verse 11

And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.

Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord. As a constitutional monarch, he acted like the pious David, labouring to abolish the traces and polluting practices of idolatry, and in pursuance of his impartial conduct, he did not spare delinquents even of the highest rank.


Verse 12

And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

And he took away the sodomites out of the land [ haq


Verse 13

And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.

Also Maachah his mother ... her he removed from being queen (cf. 2 Chronicles 15:16 with 2 Kings 10:13; 2 Kings 24:12) [ mig


Verse 14

But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 15

And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, and gold, and vessels.

He brought in the things which his father had dedicated. Probably the spoils which Abijam had taken from the vanquished army of Jeroboam (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 13:16).

And the things which himself had dedicated - after his own victory over the Cushites (2 (Chr. ).


Verse 16

And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. Asa enjoyed a ten years' peace after Jeroboam's defeat by Abijam, and this interval was wisely and energetically spent in making internal reforms, as well as increasing the means of national defense (2 Chronicles 14:1-7). In the 15th year of his reign, however, the king of Israel commenced hostilities against him, and invaded his kingdom.


Verse 17

And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.

Built Ramah - i:e., fortified it (cf. 1 Kings 17:22); erected a strong fortress at Ramah (of Benjamin er-Ram), which was near Gibeah, toward Beth-el (Beitin), on the east of the Nabulus road (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 315-317; 'Handbook of Syria,' pp. 326, 346), and only six Roman miles from Jerusalem. Afraid lest his subjects might quit his kingdom, and return to the worship of their fathers, he wished to cut off all contact between the two nations. Ramah stood on an eminence, overhanging a narrow ravine which separated Israel from Judah, and therefore he took up a hostile position in that place.


Verse 18

Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Ben-ha'dad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the ... house of the Lord. Asa's religious character is now seen to decline. He trusted not in the Lord (2 Chronicles 16:7). In this emergency Asa solicited the powerful aid of the king of Damascene-Syria; and to bribe him to break off his alliance with Baasha, he transmitted to him the treasure lying in the temple and palace. The Syrian mercenaries were gained. Instances are to be found, both in the ancient and modern history of the East, of the violation of treaties equally sudden and uuscrupulous, through the presentation of some tempting bribe. Ben-hadad poured an army into the northern provinces of Israel, and having captured some cities in Galilee, on the borders of Syria, compelled Baasha to withdraw from Bamah back within his own territories.

Ben-hadad - (see the notes at 1 Kings 11:24.)


Verse 19

There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 20

So Ben-ha'dad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of the hosts which he had against the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-beth-ma'achah, and all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.

Ijon. Dr. Robinson, who was the first to identify the site of this place, describes it thus ('Biblical Researches,'

iii., p. 346) - 'West of Wady et-Teim, between it and the Litany, lies the fine region of Merj 'Ayun, separated from the Teim by a range of hills. It is an oval, or almost circular basin, about an hour in diameter-a beautiful, fertile, well-watered plain, surrounded by hills, which in some parts are high but mostly arable. On the north they retain this character quite to the brow of the descent toward the Litany. Toward the south, Merj 'Ayun communicates with the plain of the Huleh by a narrow entrance, through which flows a stream. Merj 'Ayun forms a district within the government of Belad Besharah-a large province occupying the mountains between the Huleh and the plain of Tyre, and having for its capital the castle of Tibrun.'

Dan - (see the notes at Joshua 19:47; Judges 18:29.)

Abel-beth-maachah (see the notes at 2 Samuel 20:14-19) - called, Abel-maim, 2 Chronicles 16:4, and by Josephus Abel-beth-maachah (see the notes at 2 Samuel 20:14-19) - called, Abel-maim, 2 Chronicles 16:4, and by Josephus ('Antiquities,' b. 8:, ch. 12:, sec. 4), Abellare.

All Cinneroth - elsewhere Chinneroth, a northern district of Palestine, which probably took its name from its contiguity to the lake. It lay north of Tiberias, and was known in later times as 'the plain of Gennesareth,' or, as designated by Josephus, 'the country of Genneasr.'

With all the land of Naphtli. ...


Verse 21

And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 22

Then king Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah.

Then king Asa made a proclamation. The fortifications which Baasaha had erected at Ramah were demolished, and with the materials were built other defenses, where Asa thought they were needed; at Geba (now Jeba), and Mizpah (now Neby Samwil), about two hours' traveling north of Jerusalem.


Verse 23

The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.

Diseased in his feet - (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 16:10-12, where an additional proof is given of his religious degeneracy.)


Verse 24

And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 25

And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years.

Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign. No record is given of him, except his close adherence to the bad policy of his father.


Verse 26

And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 27

And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.

Baasha smote him at Gibbethon. This town, within the tribe of Dan, was given to the Levites (Joshua 19:44). It lay on the Philistine borders, and having been seized by that people, Nadab laid siege to recover it.


Verse 28

Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 29

And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite:

When he reigned ... he smote all the house of Jeroboam. It was according to a barbarous practice, too common in the East, for a usurper to extirpate all rival candidates for the throne; but it was an accomplishment of Ahijah's prophecy concerning Jeroboam (1 Kings 14:10-11).


Verse 30-31

Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 32

And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. This repetition of what was stated, 1 Kings 15:16, must have originated in the error of a transcriber. It is not found in the Septuagint version.

 


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 15:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-15.html. 1871-8.

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Thursday, May 28th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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