Darby's Bible Synopsis
So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years.
The following commentary covers Chapters 13 through 16.
In his wars with Jeroboam, Abijah stands entirely upon this ground, and he is blessed.
Asa follows his steps; and, whether at peace, or while at war with the Ethiopians, Israel prospers in his reign. He takes away the strange gods; for we continually find them again. Energy is required to cast them out and prevent their return. Even the king's mother is deprived of her royal position, on account of her idolatry. Nevertheless "the high places were not taken away."
But, although Asa's faithfulness continued, his trust in God failed afterwards. Jealous of the Israelites resorting to Judah, Baasha builds a city to prevent it; and Asa, instead of looking to the Lord, allies himself with Syriaan alliance which produced the desired effect, but which stirred up Gentiles against Israel. And this was not all; alliance with the world prevents our overcoming the world. Had he not done this, the Syrians would have fallen into the hands of Asa; for "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him." Solemn and precious word! Wounded in his self-love, and irritated at having thus missed so good an opportunity, Asa puts the seer who gave this testimony in prison; and he oppresses the people. He is chastened of God, and alas! he does not seek God in the chastening. Nevertheless, except in this instance, Asa continued faithful and was honored.
And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:
For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:
And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.
Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.
And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest.
Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.
And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour.
And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah.
Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.
And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.
So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled.
And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil.
And they smote all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the LORD came upon them: and they spoiled all the cities; for there was exceeding much spoil in them.
They smote also the tents of cattle, and carried away sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem.