1 Kings 15

Abijam rules Judah

1 Abijam became king of Judah in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Nebat's son.
2 He ruled for three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Maacah, and she was Abishalom's daughter.
3 Abijam followed all the sinful ways of his father before him. He didn't follow the LORD his God with all his heart like his ancestor David.
4 Even so, on account of David, the LORD his God gave Abijam a lamp in Jerusalem by supporting his son who succeeded him and by preserving Jerusalem.
5 This was because David did the right thing in the LORD's eyes. David didn't deviate from anything the LORD commanded him throughout his life—except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
6 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam as long as Abijam lived.
7 The rest of Abijam's deeds and all that he did, aren't they written in the official records of Judah's kings? There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
8 Abijam lay down with his ancestors; he was buried in David's City. His son Asa succeeded him as king.

Asa rules Judah

9 In the twentieth year of Israel's King Jeroboam, Asa became king of Judah.
10 He ruled in Jerusalem for forty-one years. His grandmother's name was Maacah; she was Abishalom's daughter.
11 Asa did the right things in the LORD's eyes, just like his father David.
12 He removed the consecrated workers from the land, and he did away with all the worthless idols that his predecessors had made.
13 He even removed his grandmother Maacah from the position of queen mother because she had made an image of Asherah. Asa cut down her image and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
14 Though the shrines weren't eliminated, nevertheless Asa remained committed with all his heart to the LORD throughout his life.
15 He brought into the LORD's temple the silver and gold equipment that he and his father had dedicated.
16 There was war between Asa and Israel's King Baasha throughout their lifetimes.
17 Israel's King Baasha attacked Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent Judah's King Asa from moving into that area.
18 Asa took all the silver and gold that remained in the treasuries of the LORD's temple and the royal palace, and he gave them to his officials. Then King Asa sent them with the following message to Aram's King Ben-hadad, Tabrimmon's son and Hezion's grandson, who ruled from Damascus:
19 "Let's make a covenant similar to the one between our fathers. Since I have already sent you a gift of silver and gold, break your covenant with Israel's King Baasha so that he will leave me alone."
20 Ben-hadad agreed with King Asa and sent his army commanders against the cities of Israel, attacking Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, along with all the land of Naphtali.
21 As soon as Baasha learned this, he stopped building Ramah and stayed in Tirzah.
22 King Asa issued an order to every Judean without exception: all the people carried away the stone and timber that Baasha was using to build Ramah, and King Asa used it to build Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.
23 The rest of Asa's deeds, his strength, and all that he did, as well as the towns that he built, aren't they written in the official records of Judah's kings? When he was old, Asa developed a severe foot disease.
24 He died and was buried with his ancestors in David's City. His son Jehoshaphat succeeded him as king.

Nadab rules Israel

25 Jeroboam's son Nadab became king of Israel in the second year of Judah's King Asa. He ruled over Israel for two years.
26 He did evil in the LORD's eyes by walking in the way of his father Jeroboam and the sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.
27 Baasha, Ahijah's son from the house of Issachar, plotted against him and attacked him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. Nadab and all Israel were laying siege against Gibbethon.
28 Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Judah's King Asa and ruled in Nadab's place.
29 When he became king, Baasha attacked the entire house of Jeroboam. He didn't allow any living person to survive in Jeroboam's family; he wiped them out according to the LORD's word spoken by the LORD's servant Ahijah of Shiloh.
30 This happened because of Jeroboam's sins that he committed and that he caused Israel to commit, and because he angered the LORD, Israel's God.
31 The rest of Nadab's deeds and all that he did, aren't they written in the official records of Israel's kings?
32 There was war between Asa and Israel's King Baasha throughout their lifetimes.

Baasha rules Israel

33 In the third year of Judah's King Asa, Baasha, Ahijah's son, became king over all Israel. He ruled in Tirzah for twenty-four years.
34 He did evil in the LORD's eyes by walking in Jeroboam's ways and the sin he 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.

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Spelled Abijah in 2 Chron 12
  • [b]. Or mother; also in 15:13; cf 2 Chron 13:2
  • [c]. Traditionally cultic prostitutes
  • [d]. Heb adds his father.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 15

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