Wesley's Notes on the Bible
In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
16:1 Of the reign - Or, of the kingdom of Asa, that is, of the kingdom of Judah, which was now Asa's kingdom; or from the time of the division of the two kingdoms. Rehoboam reigned seventeen years, Abijah three years, Asa had now reigned fifteen years, all which put together, make up the thirty five years mentioned chap.15:19, and in the next year Baasha wars against him; and the ground of the war was the defection of many of his subjects to Asa, chap.15:9.
Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king's house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,
There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.
And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.
And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease.
Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.
And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
16:7 Escaped - And so reserved to be a scourge to thy kingdom and posterity: whereas if he had joined with Baasha against thee, thou shouldst have overthrown them both, and prevented all that mischief which that monarch will do to thy family.
Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.
16:8 Lubims - Either, the Lybians in Africa; or another people, possibly descended from them, but now seated in some part of Arabia.
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
16:9 Done foolishly - It is a foolish thing to lean on a broken reed, when we have the rock of ages to rely upon. Perfect - Upright and sincere, as thine is not. He was sincere in the general course of his life, but some particulars, whereof this is one, his heart did not perfectly cleave to God.
Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.
And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
16:12 Sought not - He did not humble himself before God, but put his confidence in the skill and faithfulness of his physicians. His making use of physicians was his duty, but his trusting in them, and expecting that from them, which was to be had from God only, was his sin and folly. The help of every creature must be used, with an eye to the creator, and in dependence on him, who makes every creature that to us which it is, without whom the most skilful and faithful are physicians of no value.
And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.
And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art: and they made a very great burning for him.
16:14 Burning - Of precious spices; thereby testifying their respect to him notwithstanding his miscarriages.