2 Chronicles 15:17
But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.
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(17) But the high places were not taken away.—See on 2Chronicles 14:3; 2Chronicles 14:5. An explanation of the discrepancy has been suggested there; but a better one perhaps may be thus stated. The former passage relates what the good king had resolved and attempted to effect; the present records his want of success, owing to the obstinate attachment of his people to their old sanctuaries.

A similar explanation applies to the apparent contradiction of 2Chronicles 17:6 by 2Chronicles 20:33.

Out of Israel.—Not in Kings. The southern kingdom is meant.

The heart of Asa was perfect.—Kings adds, with Jehovah. The meaning is, that though he failed to get rid of the high places, Asa himself was always faithful to the lawful worship of the Temple. (Comp. 1Chronicles 28:9.)

15:1-19 The people make a solemn covenant with God. - The work of complete reformation appeared so difficult, that Asa had not courage to attempt it, till assured of Divine assistance and acceptance. He and his people offered sacrifices to God; thanksgiving for the favours they had received, and supplication for further favours. Prayers and praises are now our spiritual sacrifices. The people, of their own will, covenanted to seek the Lord, each for himself, with earnestness. What is religion but seeking God, inquiring after him, applying to him upon all occasions? We make nothing of our religion, if we do not make heart-work of it; God will have all the heart, or none. Our devotedness to God our Saviour, should be avowed and shown in the most solemn and public manner. What is done in hypocrisy is a mere drudgery.Comparing this verse with marginal references, it would seem that in 2 Chronicles 14:3, 2 Chronicles 14:5 the intention and endeavors of the monarch are in the writer's mind, while here he is speaking of the practice of the people. However earnestly the most pious monarchs sought to root out the high-place worship, they failed of complete success. Compare a similar discrepancy, to be similarly explained, in the history of Jehoshaphat 2 Chronicles 17:6; 2 Chronicles 20:33.

The heart of Asa was perfect all his days - Not that Asa was sinless (see 2 Chronicles 16:2-10, 2 Chronicles 16:12); but that he was free from the sin of idolatry, and continued faithful to Yahweh all his life.

10-14. the third month—when was held the feast of pentecost. On this occasion, it was celebrated at Jerusalem by an extraordinary sacrifice of seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep, the spoil of the Ethiopians being offered. The assembled worshippers entered with great and holy enthusiasm into a national covenant "to seek the Lord their God … with all their heart and with all their soul;" and, at the same time, to execute with rigor the laws which made idolatry punishable with death (2Ch 15:13; De 17:2-5; Heb 10:28). The people testified unbounded satisfaction with this important religious movement, and its moral influence was seen in the promotion of piety, order, and tranquillity throughout the land. No text from Poole on this verse. And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king,.... Or rather his grandmother, 1 Kings 15:10,

he removed her from being queen; the Septuagint version is, "that she should not minister to Astarte"; which was the goddess of the Zidonians; of this and the two next verses; see Gill on 1 Kings 15:13, 1 Kings 15:14, 1 Kings 15:15.

But the high places were not {k} taken away out of {l} Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was {m} perfect all his days.

(k) Which was partly because of lack of zeal on his part, partly through the negligence of his officers and partly by the superstition of the people that all were not taken away.

(l) Because God was called the God of Israel, by reason of his promise to Jacob, therefore Israel is sometimes taken for Judah, because Judah was his chief people.

(m) In respect to his predecessors.

17. the high places] Heb. bâmôth. These were not necessarily places of idolatrous worship, but they were sanctuaries not authorised fey the Law; Deuteronomy 12:1-7.

Israel] Cp. note on 2 Chronicles 11:3.

perfect] i.e. “whole, undivided in its allegiance.”Verse 17. - The high places were not taken away out of Israel. It is possible, but scarcely tenable, that, by Israel, the northern kingdom may be here intended. But for the apparent discrepancy with those places which say that Asa did take away "the high places" (2 Chronicles 14:3, 5), see notes under them, and §7. 1, pp. 16, 17, of 'Introduction to 1 Chronicles.' "The high places" were hills on which sacrifices were illegitimately offered instead of at the chosen place - at Jerusalem. The heart of Asa was perfect all his days. The words, "with Jehovah," following after the word "perfect" in the parallel (1 Kings 15:17), makes the already plain plainer. The exact meaning is that Asa was consistently free from idolatry to the end. At this festival, which was held on the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa's reign, they offered of the booty, i.e., of the cattle captured in the war against the Cushites (2 Chronicles 14:14), 700 oxen and 7000 sheep. הביאוּ מן־השּׁלל defines the ויּזבּחוּ more closely: they sacrificed, viz., from the booty they offered. From this it seems to follow that the sacrificial festival was held soon after the return from the war against the Cushites. The attack of the Cushite Zerah upon Judah can only have occurred in the eleventh year of Asa, according to 2 Chronicles 14:1; but it is not stated how long the war lasted, nor when Asa returned to Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 14:14) after conquering the enemy and plundering the towns of the south land. But Asa may quite well have remained longer in the south after the Cushites had been driven back, in order again firmly to establish his rule there; and on his return to Jerusalem, in consequence of the exhortation of the prophet Azariah, may have straightway determined to hold a sacrificial festival at which the whole people should renew the covenant with the Lord, and have set apart and reserved a portion of the captured cattle for this purpose.
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