1 Kings 15:21
And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelled in Tirzah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) Dwelt in Tirzah—that is, returned to his own capital: in the first instance, of course, retiring to meet the new enemy in the north, and then obliged to give up his attempt against Asa. From 1Kings 20:34, it seems as if, till the time of Ahab, Syria retained its conquests and a certain supremacy over Israel. Baasha may have had to buy peace by undertaking to leave unmolested Judah, which might be considered a tributary of Syria.

15:9-24 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. That is right indeed which is so in God's eyes. Asa's times were times of reformation. He removed that which was evil; there reformation begins, and a great deal he found to do. When Asa found idolatry in the court, he rooted it out thence. Reformation must begin at home. Asa honours and respects his mother; he loves her well, but he loves God better. Those that have power are happy when thus they have hearts to use it well. We must not only cease to do evil, but learn to do well; not only cast away the idols of our iniquity, but dedicate ourselves and our all to God's honour and glory. Asa was cordially devoted to the service of God, his sins not arising from presumption. But his league with Benhadad arose from unbelief. Even true believers find it hard, in times of urgent danger, to trust in the Lord with all their heart. Unbelief makes way for carnal policy, and thus for one sin after another. Unbelief has often led Christians to call in the help of the Lord's enemies in their contests with their brethren; and some who once shone brightly, have thus been covered with a dark cloud towards the end of their days.Ijon is probably marked by the ruins called "Tel-Dibbin," which are situated a few miles northwest of the site of Dan, in a fertile and beautiful little plain which bears the name of "Merj' Ayun" or "meadow of fountains." On Abel-beth-maachah, or Abel-maim ("Abel-on-the waters") and Dan, see the marginal references

For Cinneroth or Genesareth see Joshua 11:2.

18-20. 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 (2Ch 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 unscrupulous, 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 Ramah back within his own territories.

Ben-hadad—(See on [315]1Ki 11:14).

Now the royal city of Israel. See 1 Kings 14:17. There he abode to defend his own kingdoms, and durst not return to oppose Asa, lest the Syrian king should make a second and worse invasion. So Asa met with success in his ungodly course, as on the other side good men sometimes meet with disappointment in a good cause and course. So there is no judging of causes by events. And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof,.... What was doing in the northern part of his kingdom:

that he left off building of Ramah; which was the thing designed to be answered by this diversion:

and dwelt in Tirzah; in the tribe of Manasseh, nearer at hand, to observe and stop the motions of the Syrian king.

And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. he left off building of Ramah] Thus releasing Jerusalem from its blockade, as Asa desired. In Chronicles it is said ‘he let his work cease.’

Tirzah] A royal residence before this time. See on 1 Kings 14:17.Verse 21. - And it came to pasta, when Baaaha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah [He could not prosecute it when he had enemies on every side. He at once assumes the defensive], and dwelt in Tirzah. [Ch. 14:17. He retired to his capital It is not implied that he had entertained the idea of dwelling at Ramah.] He brought the sacred offerings of his father and his own sacred offerings into the house of Jehovah; probably the booty, in silver, gold, and vessels, which his father Abijam had gathered in the war with Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 13:16-17), and he himself on the conquest of the Cushites (2 Chronicles 14:12-13). The Keri וקדשׁי is a bad emendation of the correct reading in the Chethb קדשׁו, i.e., קדשׁו (קדשׁיו); for יהוה בּית is an accusative, and is to be connected with ויּבא.
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