In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and started to fortify Ramah in order to cut off all traffic in and out of Judah.
So Asa took silver and gold from the treasuries of the Temple and the palace and sent it to Damascus, to King Benhadad of Syria, with this message:
"Let us be allies, as our fathers were. This silver and gold is a present for you. Now break your alliance with King Baasha of Israel so that he will have to pull his troops out of my territory."
Benhadad agreed to Asa's proposal and sent his commanding officers and their armies to attack the cities of Israel. They captured Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah, and all the cities of Naphtali where supplies were stored.
When King Baasha heard what was happening, he stopped fortifying Ramah and abandoned the work.
Then King Asa gathered men from throughout Judah and had them carry off the stones and timbers that Baasha had been using at Ramah, and they used them to fortify the cities of Geba and Mizpah.
At that time the prophet Hanani went to King Asa and said, "Because you relied on the king of Syria instead of relying on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Israel a has escaped from you.
Didn't the Ethiopians b and the Libyans have large armies with many chariots and cavalry troops? But because you relied on the Lord, he gave you victory over them.
The Lord keeps close watch over the whole world, to give strength to those whose hearts are loyal to him. You have acted foolishly, and so from now on you will always be at war."
This made Asa so angry with the prophet that he had him put in chains. It was at this same time that Asa began treating some of the people cruelly.
All the events of Asa's reign from beginning to end are recorded in [The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel.]
In the thirty-ninth year that Asa was king, he was crippled by a severe foot disease; but even then he did not turn to the Lord for help, but to doctors.
Two years later he died
and was buried in the rock tomb which he had carved out for himself in David's City. They used spices and perfumed oils to prepare his body for burial, and they built a huge bonfire to mourn his death.