1 Kings 15

Abijam Reigns over Judah

1 1Now in the eighteenth * year of King Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah.
2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was 2Maacah the daughter of 3Abishalom.
3 He walked in all the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and 4his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, like the heart of his father David.
4 But for David's sake the LORD his God gave him a 5lamp in Jerusalem, to raise up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem;
5 6because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, 7except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.
6 8There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.
7 Now 9the 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? 10And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.

Asa Succeeds Abijam

8 11And Abijam slept with his fathers and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son became king in his place.
9 So in the twentieth year of Jeroboam the king of Israel, Asa began to reign as king of Judah.
10 He reigned forty-one * years in Jerusalem; and 12his mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
11 13Asa did what was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father.
12 14He also put away the male cult prostitutes from the land and 15removed all the idols which his fathers had made.
13 16He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother, because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah; and Asa cut down her horrid image and 17burned it at the brook Kidron.
14 18But the high places were not taken away; nevertheless 19the heart of Asa was wholly devoted to the LORD all his days.
15 20He brought into the house of the LORD the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things: silver and gold and utensils.
16 21Now there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
17 22Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and 23fortified Ramah 24in order to prevent * anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah.
18 Then 25Asa took all the silver and the gold which were left in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and the treasuries of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants. And 26King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Aram, who lived in 27Damascus, saying,
19 "Let there be a 28treaty between you and me, as between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you a present of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me."
20 So Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and conquered 29Ijon, 30Dan, 31Abel-beth-maacah and all 32Chinneroth, besides all the land of Naphtali.
21 When Baasha heard of it, 33he ceased fortifying Ramah and remained in 34Tirzah.
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 built. And King Asa built with them 35Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.

Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa

23 36Now the rest of all the acts of Asa and all his might and all that he did and the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles * of the Kings of Judah? But in the time of 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 37Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.

Nadab, then Baasha, Rules over Israel

25 Now 38Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.
26 He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and 39walked in the way of his father and 40in his sin which he made Israel sin.
27 Then 41Baasha the son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Baasha struck him down at 42Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, while 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 It came about as soon as he was king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam any persons alive, until he had destroyed them, 43according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite,
30 and because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and 44which he made Israel sin, because of his provocation with which he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger.
31 45Now 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?

War with Judah

32 46There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah became king over all Israel at Tirzah, and reigned twenty-four * years.
34 He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and 47walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel 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 47

  • 1. 2 Chronicles 13:1
  • 2. 2 Chronicles 13:2
  • 3. 2 Chronicles 11:21
  • 4. 1 Kings 11:4; Psalms 119:80
  • 5. 2 Samuel 21:17; 1 Kings 11:36; 2 Chronicles 21:7
  • 6. 1 Kings 9:4; 1 Kings 14:8; Luke 1:6
  • 7. 2 Sam 11:3f, 15-17; 2 Samuel 12:9, 10
  • 8. 1 Kings 14:30; 2 Chr 12:15-13:20
  • 9. 2 Chr 13:2, 21, 22
  • 10. 2 Chronicles 13:3-20
  • 11. 2 Chronicles 14:1
  • 12. 1 Kings 15:2
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 14:2
  • 14. Deuteronomy 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 22:46
  • 15. 1 Kings 11:7, 8; 1 Kings 14:23; 2 Chronicles 14:2-5
  • 16. 2 Chronicles 15:16-18
  • 17. Exodus 32:20
  • 18. 1 Kings 22:43; 2 Kings 12:3
  • 19. 1 Kings 8:61; 1 Kings 15:3
  • 20. 1 Kings 7:51
  • 21. 1 Kings 15:32
  • 22. 2 Chronicles 16:1-6
  • 23. Joshua 18:25; 1 Kings 15:21, 22
  • 24. 1 Kings 12:26-29
  • 25. 1 Kings 14:26; 1 Kings 15:15
  • 26. 2 Kings 12:17, 18; 2 Chronicles 16:2
  • 27. Genesis 14:15; 1 Kings 11:23, 24
  • 28. 2 Chronicles 16:7
  • 29. 2 Kings 15:29
  • 30. Judges 18:29; 1 Kings 12:29
  • 31. 2 Samuel 20:15; 2 Kings 15:29
  • 32. Joshua 11:2; Joshua 12:3
  • 33. 1 Kings 15:17
  • 34. 1 Kings 14:17; 1 Kings 16:15-18
  • 35. Joshua 18:24; Joshua 21:17
  • 36. 2 Chronicles 16:11-14
  • 37. 1 Kings 22:41-44; 2 Chronicles 17:1; Matthew 1:8
  • 38. 1 Kings 14:20
  • 39. 1 Kings 12:28-33; 1 Kings 13:33, 34
  • 40. 1 Kings 14:16; 1 Kings 15:30, 34
  • 41. 1 Kings 14:14
  • 42. Joshua 19:44; Joshua 21:23; 1 Kings 16:15
  • 43. 1 Kings 14:9-16
  • 44. 1 Kings 15:26
  • 45. 1 Kings 14:19
  • 46. 1 Kings 15:16
  • 47. 1 Kings 15:26

Footnotes 11

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