1 Kings 15

Listen to 1 Kings 15

Abijam Reigns in Judah

1 1Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah.
2 He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
3 And he walked in all the sins that his father did before him, and 2his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.
4 Nevertheless, for David's sake the LORD his God gave him 3a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem,
5 because 4David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, 5except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
6 6Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.
7 7The rest of the acts of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 8And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
8 9And Abijam slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place.

Asa Reigns In Judah

9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah,
10 and he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
11 10And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done.
12 He put away the 11male cult prostitutes out of the land and removed 12all the idols that his fathers had made.
13 13He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and 14burned it at the brook Kidron.
14 15But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless, 16the heart of Asa was wholly true to the LORD all his days.
15 And 17he brought into the house of the LORD the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels.
16 18And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
17 19Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and 20built Ramah, 21that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold 22that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house and gave them into the hands of his servants. 23And King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, 24who lived in Damascus, saying,
19 "Let there be 25a covenant[a] between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you a present of silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me."
20 And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel and conquered 26Ijon, 27Dan, 28Abel-beth-maacah, and all 29Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.
21 And when Baasha heard of it, 30he stopped building Ramah, and he lived in 31Tirzah.
22 Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah, none was exempt, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them King Asa built 32Geba of Benjamin and 33Mizpah.
23 34Now the rest of all the acts of Asa, all his might, and all that he did, and the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in his old age he was diseased in his feet.
24 And Asa slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and 35Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.

Nadab Reigns in Israel

25 36Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.
26 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD 37and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin 38which he made Israel to sin.
27 39Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him. And Baasha struck him down at 40Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, for Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon.
28 So Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah and reigned in his place.
29 And as soon as he was king, he killed all the house of Jeroboam. He left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it, 41according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite.
30 It was for the sins of Jeroboam that he sinned and 42that he made Israel to sin, and because of the anger to which he provoked the LORD, the God of Israel.
31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
32 43And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

Baasha Reigns in Israel

33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years.
34 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD 44and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.

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 44

  • 1. 2 Chronicles 13:1, 2
  • 2. 1 Kings 11:4; [ver. 14; 1 Kings 8:61]
  • 3. See 1 Kings 11:36
  • 4. 1 Kings 9:4; 1 Kings 14:8
  • 5. 2 Samuel 11:4, 15; 2 Samuel 12:9
  • 6. 1 Kings 14:30
  • 7. [2 Chronicles 13:22]
  • 8. See 2 Chronicles 13:2-20
  • 9. 2 Chronicles 14:1
  • 10. 2 Chronicles 14:2
  • 11. See 1 Kings 14:24
  • 12. [2 Chronicles 15:8]
  • 13. For ver. 13-15, see 2 Chronicles 15:16-18
  • 14. [Exodus 32:20]
  • 15. 1 Kings 22:43; [2 Kings 12:3; 2 Kings 14:4]
  • 16. [ver. 3]
  • 17. [1 Kings 7:51]
  • 18. ver. 32
  • 19. For ver. 17-22, see 2 Chronicles 16:1-6
  • 20. ver. 21, 22
  • 21. [1 Kings 12:27]
  • 22. 1 Kings 14:26
  • 23. [2 Kings 12:18]
  • 24. 1 Kings 11:24
  • 25. [2 Chronicles 16:7]
  • 26. 2 Kings 15:29
  • 27. Judges 18:29
  • 28. 2 Samuel 20:14; 2 Kings 15:29
  • 29. See Joshua 11:2
  • 30. ver. 17
  • 31. 1 Kings 14:17; 1 Kings 16:6, 9
  • 32. Joshua 21:17
  • 33. Joshua 18:26
  • 34. For ver. 23, 24, see 2 Chronicles 16:11-14
  • 35. 2 Chronicles 17:1; [Matthew 1:8]
  • 36. 1 Kings 14:20
  • 37. [ver. 34]
  • 38. ver. 30; 1 Kings 12:30; 1 Kings 14:16
  • 39. 1 Kings 14:14
  • 40. 1 Kings 16:15; Joshua 19:44; Joshua 21:23
  • 41. 1 Kings 14:10, 14
  • 42. [See ver. 26 above]
  • 43. ver. 16
  • 44. [ver. 26]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or treaty; twice in this verse

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.