1 Kings 15

Abijah King of Judah

1 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah[a] became king of Judah,
2 and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother’s name was Maakah daughter of Abishalom.[b]
3 He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been.
4 Nevertheless, for David’s sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong.
5 For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.
6 There was war between Abijah[c] and Jeroboam throughout Abijah’s lifetime.
7 As for the other events of Abijah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.
8 And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. And Asa his son succeeded him as king.

Asa King of Judah

9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah,
10 and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother’s name was Maakah daughter of Abishalom.
11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done.
12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his ancestors had made.
13 He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life.
15 He brought into the temple of the LORD the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.
16 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns.
17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
18 Asa then took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace. He entrusted it to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, the king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus.
19 “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”
20 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maakah and all Kinnereth in addition to Naphtali.
21 When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and withdrew to Tirzah.
22 Then King Asa issued an order to all Judah—no one was exempt—and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using there. With them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and also Mizpah.
23 As for all the other events of Asa’s reign, all his achievements, all he did and the cities he built, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? In his old age, however, his feet became diseased.
24 Then Asa rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king.

Nadab King of Israel

25 Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.
26 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit.
27 Baasha son of Ahijah from the tribe of Issachar plotted against him, and he struck him down at Gibbethon, a Philistine town, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging it.
28 Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and succeeded him as king.
29 As soon as he began to reign, he killed Jeroboam’s whole family. He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all, according to the word of the LORD given through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite.
30 This happened because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and had caused Israel to commit, and because he aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel.
31 As for the other events of Nadab’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
32 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns.
33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years.
34 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.

1 Kings 15 Commentary

Chapter 15

Wicked reign of Abijam, king of Judah. (1-8) Good reign of Asa, king of Judah. (9-24) The evil reigns of Nadab and Baasha in Israel. (25-34)

Verses 1-8 Abijam's heart was not perfect with the Lord his God; he wanted sincerity; he began well, but he fell off, and walked in all the sins of his father, following his bad example, though he had seen the bad consequences of it. David's family was continued as a lamp in Jerusalem, to maintain the true worship of God there, when the light of Divine truth was extinguished in all other places. The Lord has still taken care of his cause, while those who ought to have been serviceable thereto have lived and perished in their sins. The Son of David will still continue a light to his church, to establish it in truth and righteousness to the end of time. There are two kinds of fulfilling the law, one legal, the other by the gospel. Legal is, when men do all things required in the law, and that by themselves. None ever thus fulfilled the law but Christ, and Adam before his fall. The gospel manner of fulfilling the law is, to believe in Christ who fulfilled the law for us, and to endeavour in the whole man to obey God in all his precepts. And this is accepted of God, as to all those that are in Christ. Thus David and others are said to fulfil the law.

Verses 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.

Verses 25-34 During the single reign of Asa in Judah, the government of Israel was in six or seven different hands. Observe the ruin of the family of Jeroboam; no word of God shall fall to the ground. Divine threatenings are not designed merely to terrify. Ungodly men execute the just judgments of God upon each other. But in the midst of dreadful sins and this apparent confusion, the Lord carries on his own plan: when it is fully completed, the glorious justice, wisdom, truth, and mercy therein displayed, shall be admired and adored through all the ages of eternity.

Cross References 41

  • 1. ver 10,13; 2 Chronicles 11:20; 2 Chronicles 13:2
  • 2. S 1 Kings 8:61; 1 Kings 11:4; Psalms 119:80
  • 3. S 2 Samuel 21:17; 1 Kings 11:36; 2 Chronicles 21:7
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 5:32; S 1 Kings 9:4; 1 Kings 14:8
  • 5. 2 Samuel 11:2-27; 2 Samuel 12:9
  • 6. ver 16,32; S 1 Kings 12:21; 2 Chronicles 16:9; 1 Kings 14:30
  • 7. S ver 2
  • 8. 1 Kings 9:4
  • 9. 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 22:46
  • 10. 2 Chronicles 15:8
  • 11. S ver 2
  • 12. S 1 Kings 2:19
  • 13. S Exodus 34:13; Exodus 32:20
  • 14. 2 Chronicles 14:5; 2 Chronicles 17:6
  • 15. ver 3; S 1 Kings 8:61; 1 Kings 22:43
  • 16. S 2 Samuel 8:11; 1 Kings 7:51
  • 17. ver 32; S ver 6; S 1 Kings 12:21
  • 18. S Joshua 18:25; 1 Kings 12:27
  • 19. ver 15; S 1 Kings 14:26
  • 20. 2 Kings 12:18; 2 Kings 16:8; 2 Kings 18:14-16,15; Joel 3:5
  • 21. ver 18-20; 1 Kings 20:1; 2 Kings 6:24; 2 Kings 13:3; Jeremiah 49:27; 1 Kings 11:23-24
  • 22. S Exodus 23:32; S 1 Kings 5:12
  • 23. 1 Kings 20:34; Judges 18:29; 2 Samuel 20:14; 2 Kings 15:29
  • 24. S Joshua 18:25
  • 25. 1 Kings 16:15-17
  • 26. ver 17
  • 27. ver 9-24; Jeremiah 41:9
  • 28. S Joshua 18:24; Joshua 21:17; 2 Kings 23:8
  • 29. S Joshua 11:3
  • 30. Matthew 1:8
  • 31. S Deuteronomy 4:25
  • 32. S 1 Kings 12:30; 1 Kings 14:16
  • 33. 1 Kings 14:14
  • 34. S Joshua 19:44; Joshua 21:23
  • 35. S 1 Kings 13:34; 1 Kings 14:10,14
  • 36. S 1 Kings 12:30; 1 Kings 14:9,16
  • 37. 1 Kings 16:26; 2 Kings 3:3; 2 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 15:28; 2 Kings 21:16
  • 38. 1 Kings 11:41
  • 39. S ver 6; ver 16
  • 40. 1 Kings 14:17; 1 Kings 16:6,23; 2 Kings 15:14; Song of Songs 6:4
  • 41. ver 26; 1 Kings 12:28-29; 1 Kings 13:33; 1 Kings 14:16

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 2 Chron. 12:16); most Hebrew manuscripts "Abijam" ; also in verses 7 and 8
  • [b]. A variant of "Absalom" ; also in verse 10
  • [c]. Some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac "Abijam" (that is, Abijah); most Hebrew manuscripts "Rehoboam"

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we have a short history of the reign of Abijam, 1Ki 15:1-8 and of Asa, 1Ki 14:9-24, both kings of Judah; and of the reigns of Nadab the son of Jeroboam, and of Baasha, who destroyed his family, both kings of Israel, 1Ki 15:25-34.

1 Kings 15 Commentaries

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