1 Kings 15

The Book of 1 Kings
Chapter 15

Chapter Overview:

The reigns of Abijam and Asa over Judah, ver. 1 - 24.
Of Nadab and Baasha over Israel, ver. 25 - 34.
15:1Abijam reigned - So his reign began with Jeroboam's eighteenth year, continued his whole nineteenth year, and ended within his twentiethyear, in which also Asa's reign began. And thus one and the same yearmay be attributed to two several persons.
15:2Three years - That is, part of three years. Abishalom - Or, of Absalom, as he is called 2 Chronicles 11:21 . And because he is herementioned as a known person, without any addition of his kindred orquality, some conceive that this was Absalom's daughter, called properlyTamar, 14:27 , and from her royal grandmother, 3:3 ,Maacah.
15:4A lamp - A son and successor to perpetuate his name and memory, which otherwise had gone into obscurity. Jerusalem - That he mightmaintain that city, and temple, and worship, as a witness for God, in theworld, against the Israelites and heathen world.
15:5Save only - This and the like phrases are not to be understood as exclusive of every sinful action, hut only of an habitual and continuedapostasy from God, as the very phrase of turning aside from God, or fromhis commands, doth constantly imply. And thus it is most true.For David's other sins were either sudden and transient acts, soonrepented of and blotted out, as in the cases of Nabal and Achish;or, mistakes of his judgment, which was not fully convinced of thesinfulness of such actions: whereas that which concerned Uriah's wifewas a designed and studied sin, long continued in, defended with asuccession of other sins, presumptuous, and scandalous to his government,and to the true religion.
15:6War between, &c. - Upon Jeroboam's invading him with a great army: acting then in his own defence, he totally routed Jeroboam, sothat he was quiet the rest of his reign.
15:10Mother's - That is, his grandmother's, as appears from ver. 2 ,who is called his mother, as David is called Abijam's father,ver. 3 . And his grand - mother's name may be here mentioned, rather thanhis mother's, because his mother was either an obscure person, or was dead,or unwilling to take care of the education of her son, and so he waseducated by the grand - mother, who, though she poisoned his father Abijamwith her idolatrous principles, ver. 12 , yet could not infectAsa, nor withhold him from prosecuting his good purposes of reformingreligion.
15:11Right - As to the government of his kingdom, and the reformation, and establishment of God's worship. That is right indeed which is so inGod's eyes. Those are approved whom he commendeth.
15:12Sodomites - All whom he could find out; but some escaped his observation, as appears from chap. 22:46 .Idols, &c. - And if his father had made them, he had the more need toremove them, that he might cut off the entail of the curse.
15:13He removed - He took from her either the name and authority of queen regent, which she, having been Rehoboam's wife, and Abijam'smother, took to herself during Asa's minority; or, the dignity of thequeen mother, and those guards, or instruments of power, which she hadenjoyed and misemployed. An Idol - Heb. a terror, or horror, thatis, an horrible idol; which it may be so called, because it was of a moreterrible shape than ordinary, and not to be seen without horror.Kidron - That when it was burnt to powder, it might be thrown into thewater, and be unfit for any use.
15:14High places - 2 Chronicles 14:3 .He took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high placeswhere they were worshipped: but as for those high places where the trueGod was worshipped he did not take them away; partly, because he thoughtthere was no great evil in them, which had been used by David andSolomon, and other good men; partly, because he thought the removalof them might do more hurt than their continuance, by occasioning thetotal neglect of God's worship by many of the people, who either couldnot, or, through want of faith and zeal, would not go up to Jerusalemto worship, now especially, when the Israelites, formerly their friends,were become their enemies, and watched all opportunities to invade ormolest them. Was perfect - That is, he sincerely and constantly adheredto the worship of God. Though he could not hinder the people from usingthe high places, yet he entirely devoted himself to the worship of Godin the manner and place prescribed by him.
15:15His father - Abijam, when he was in distress, and going to fight with Jeroboam, 2 Chronicles 13:1 - 3, though afterwards he did notperform his vows, nor bring in what he had devoted; probably he wasprevented by death.
15:17Built - That is, repaired and fortified.
15:18Were left - What either Shishak had left, or Abijam, or Asa, or others, both of Israel or Judah had dedicated; whichprobably was not inconsiderable, because Asa had got great spoils fromZerah, 2 Chronicles 14:9 - 15, and he and his numerous and prosperouspeople, did at this time express a great zeal for the house and worship ofGod. Sent them - Wherein he committed three great faults, amongst manyothers, first, he alienated things consecrated to God, without necessity.Secondly, he did this out of distrust of that God whose power and goodnesshe had lately experienced. Thirdly, he did this for an ill intent, to hirehim to the breach of his league and covenant with Baasha, ver. 19 ,and to take away part of that land which by right, and the special gift ofGod, belonged to the Israelites.
15:21Tirzah - Now the royal city of Israel. There he abode to defend his own kingdoms, and durst not return to oppose Asa, lest theSyrian king should make a second invasion. So Asa met with successin this ungodly course as good men sometimes meet with disappointment ina good cause and course. So there is no judging of causes by events.
15:22None, &c. - All sorts of persons were obliged to come, except those who were disabled by age, or infirmity, or absence, or by the publicservice of the king and kingdom in other places. Built - Repaired andstrengthened them, for they were built before.
15:23Nevertheless - Notwithstanding the great things which he had done, and the glory and prosperity which he enjoyed, he felt the effectsof human infirmity, and of his own sins.
15:25Two years - Not compleat, as appears from ver. 28 ,33.
15:26In his sin - In the worship of the calves which his father had made.
15:28Even, &c. - It was threatened, chap. 14:15 , that Israel should be as a reed shaken in the water. And so theywere, when, during the single reign of Asa, their government was inseven or eight different hands. Jeroboam was upon the throne at thebeginning of his reign, and Ahab at the end of it: between whom wereNadab, Baashah, Elah, Zimri, Tibni, and Omri, undermining anddestroying one another. This they got by deserting the house both of Godand of David.
15:29Any - Any of the males of that family. According, &c. - So God overruled Baasha's ambition and cruelty, to fulfil his own prediction.
15:30Because - So that same wicked policy which he used to establish the kingdom in his family, proved his and their ruin: which is veryfrequently the event of ungodly counsels.