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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
1 Kings 15

 

 

Verse 1

1 Kings 15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.

Ver. 1. Reigned Abijam.] Called also Abijah. [2 Chronicles 12:16] Abijah signifieth, The Lord is my father: so his father called him, likely, with respect to that promise made to David; [2 Samuel 7:14] but because he walked not in the ways of David, therefore is Abijah called Abijam, which signifieth, My father is a sea. Indeed, Rehoboam was inconstant in good, wavering "like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed." [James 1:6]


Verse 2

1 Kings 15:2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name [was] Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

Ver. 2. His mother’s name was Maachah.] Called also Micalah; [2 Chronicles 13:2] we read likewise of a woman called Abijah. [2 Chronicles 29:1]

The daughter of Abishalom.] Or, Absalom, whose daughter or niece by his daughter Tamar this Maachah may seem to have been: her husband’s name was Uriel of Gibeah. [2 Chronicles 13:2]


Verse 3

1 Kings 15:3 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.

Ver. 3. And he walked in all the sins.] Though at first he seemed to be somewhat good, [2 Chronicles 13:12] yet soon after he showed himself in his colours.

Which he had done before him.] That is, In his sight, whereby he became an ill precedent to him.


Verse 4

1 Kings 15:4 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:

Ver. 4. Did the Lord his God give him a lamp.] That is, A royal glory in a successor.


Verse 5

1 Kings 15:5 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.

Ver. 5. And turned not aside from anything,] i.e., Of set purpose, against conseience, with any allowance and approbation. He had his other faults and failings, as his lies to Jonathan, [1 Samuel 20:6] to Ahimelech, [1 Samuel 21:2] to Achish, [1 Samuel 27:10] his unkindness to Mephibosheth, his polygamy, his fond sparing of his untoward sons, his numbering the people, &c. But as great virtues not sweetened with sincerity, are no ornament to men; so great infirmities not soured with hypocrisy, are no great deformities to them: those God acknowledgeth not; these he imputeth not.

Save only in the matter of Uriah.] There indeed he was false-hearted, and that kept him for a time from confessing it, and caused him to devise bad shifts to hide it; which doing one year, brought him many years of trouble.


Verse 6

1 Kings 15:6 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.

Ver. 6. And there was war.] See 1 Kings 14:30.


Verse 7

1 Kings 15:7 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.

Ver. 7. And there was war.] Sharp wars, [2 Chronicles 13:3] by a just hand of God upon both those kingdoms for their idolatry. And for like cause the dissensions between England and Scotland consumed more Christian blood, wrought more spoil and destruction, and continued longer than ever quarrel we read of did between any two people of the world.


Verse 8

1 Kings 15:8 And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead.

Ver. 8. And Asa his son reigned.] This was a good king. But it is wonder how he should be good, of the seed of Abijam, of the soil of Maachah, both wicked, both idolatrous. Thus we have seen, saith a reverend man, a fair flower spring out of dung, and a well-fruited tree rise out of a sour stock.


Verse 9

1 Kings 15:9 And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah.

Ver. 9. And in the twentieth year.] See on 1 Kings 14:31.


Verse 10

1 Kings 15:10 And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name [was] Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

Ver. 10. And forty and one years reigned he.] His father Abijam was soon cut off for his wickedness: Asa, that he might reform a state so far out of order, had a long reign granted him. Think the same of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Asa reigned in Judah, in the times of the reigns of eight kings in Israel.

And his mother’s name was Maachah.] That is, His grandmother’s, who was a most wicked woman, nec tamen Asa mores eius retinuit, saith Vatablus, yet Asa kept himself uncorrupted by her, which was no small commendation. Pliny (a) praiseth young Quadratus, quod in deliciis aviae degens viveret tamen severisime, for that he lived strictly under the government of a loose grandmother.


Verse 11

1 Kings 15:11 And Asa did [that which was] right in the eyes of the LORD, as [did] David his father.

Ver. 11. And Asa did that which was right.] Right, for the matter of his obedience; uprightly, for the manner.


Verse 12

1 Kings 15:12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

Ver. 12. And he took away the sodomites.] See 1 Kings 14:24. How far from this zeal of good Asa was Pope Sixtus Quartus, qui lupanar utriusque Veneris Romae condidit, et tribus mensibus anni calidioribus, Iunio, Iulio, et Augusto, toti familiae Cardinalis Sanctae Luciae masculam venerem permisit cum Apostilla, Fiat ut petitur. (a) The Papists themselves write (b) with detestation, that in Rome a Jewish maid might not be admitted into the stews of whoredom, unless she would be first baptized.

All the idols.] The dirty idols, the dunghill deities: (c) so called here, because of the stench wherewith they offend Almighty God.


Verse 13

1 Kings 15:13 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.

Ver. 13. From being queen.] Queen regent, or queen mother at least. Ne Domina esset, so the Tigurine; ne princeps esset in sacris Priapi, so the Vulgate; ne esset Augusta, so Junius; ne esset sacerdotissa prima, so others.

Because she had made an idol.] Heb., A horrible ugly thing, which some say was the picture of Priapus, others of Pan; others hold it to have been Idolum turpissimum a matre ad cultum Veneris institutum, a most filthy idol, set up in honour of Venus.

And Asa destroyed her idol.] Heb., Cut off, deheaded it, as the expression is in Hosea 10:2.


Verse 14

1 Kings 15:14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.

Ver. 14. But the high places were not removed,] sc., Such as were set up for the worship of God; for as for those that were set up in honour of idols, he removed them. But he should have done both, as did afterwards zealous Hezekiah and Josiah. It is with the saints as with Jonathan’s signal arrows - two fell short, and but one beyond the mark; so where one shooteth home to the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus, many fall short.

Nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect.] With one breath doth God report both these; such is his indulgency. He will not see weakness where he seeth truth. All Asa’s infirmities are covered with the mantle of sincerity. Contrarily in Jehu, the Holy Ghost, after a description of many excellent things done by him, doth at last as it were draw a cross line. [2 Kings 10:31]


Verse 15

1 Kings 15:15 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.

Ver. 15. And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated,] viz., After his great victory over Jeroboam, [2 Chronicles 13:15] though otherwise he were a wicked king.


Verse 16

1 Kings 15:16 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

Ver. 16. And there was war.] See on 1 Kings 14:30.


Verse 17

1 Kings 15:17 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.

Ver. 17. That he might not suffer any.] He sought to block him up, and so to keep his own people - who had a mind to the sincere service of God - from flying away to him.


Verse 18

1 Kings 15:18 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 Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

Ver. 18. Then Asa took all the silver.] This was plain sacrilege, since no necessity urged him thereunto.

And the treasures of the king’s house.] Which were much augmented doubtless by the great spoils of the Ethiopians and Lubims, lately beaten by him.

The son of Hezion.] Alias Rezon, of whom see 1 Kings 11:23.


Verse 19

1 Kings 15:19 [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.

Ver. 19. Come and break thy league.] Thus, through unbelief, he basely beggeth help of an idolater.


Verse 20

1 Kings 15:20 So Benhadad 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 Abelbethmaachah, and all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.

Ver. 20. So Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa.] Though against his oath. The Turks’ leagues, grounded upon the law of nations, be they with never so strong capitulations concluded, or solemnity of oath confirmed, have with them no longer force than standeth with their own profit. (a)


Verse 21

1 Kings 15:21 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard [thereof], that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah.

Ver. 21. And dwelt.] Seeking no further revenge against Asa.


Verse 22

1 Kings 15:22 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.

Ver. 22 And Mizpah.] Where also he had made a great pit or trench, for fear of Baasha. [Jeremiah 41:9]


Verse 23

1 Kings 15:23 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.

Ver. 23. He was diseased in his feet.] He that imprisoned the prophet is imprisoned in his bed; there being more pain in those fetters put by God upon Asa than in those put by Asa upon Hanani. This good man was the worse a while for whipping.


Verse 24

1 Kings 15:24 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.

Ver. 24. And Jehoshaphat.] Sic uno avulso non deficit alter Aureus.


Verse 25

1 Kings 15:25 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.

Ver. 25. And reigned over Israel two years.] Two years peaceably, and eight years in affliction, saith Vatablus; but the truth is, he reigned not two full years in all. [1 Kings 15:28]


Verse 26

1 Kings 15:26 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.

Ver. 26. And he did evil.] See on 1 Kings 14:23.


Verse 27

1 Kings 15:27 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.

Ver. 27. Which belonged to the Philistines.] Sed quo iure? They had gotten it; but the right of it was in Israel. [Joshua 21:23]


Verse 28

1 Kings 15:28 Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead.

Ver. 28. Did Baasha slay him.] Casting out his body to the dogs to be devoured, as Ahijah had forethreatened.


Verse 29

1 Kings 15:29 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:

Ver. 29. According to the saying of the Lord.] The fulfilling whereof Baasha aimed not at; but the wise God effected it. The devil and his imps do God’s will, though oft against their own will.


Verse 30

1 Kings 15:30 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.

Ver. 30. Because of the sins.] Sin is the mother of misery. Jeroboam by idolatry thought to have established his kingdom, but he ruined it.


Verse 31

1 Kings 15:31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

Ver. 31. Now the rest.] See 1 Kings 14:19.


Verse 32

1 Kings 15:32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

Ver. 32. And there was war.] See 1 Kings 15:16.


Verse 33

1 Kings 15:33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years.

Ver. 33. Over all Israel.] Who soon submitted to the usurper.


Verse 34

1 Kings 15:34 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

Ver. 34. And he did evil.] See on 1 Kings 14:23.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 15:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-15.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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