Rehoboam, Abijaah, & Asa

1 Kings 14:21-15:24 MSG
(counting...)

21-24Rehoboam son of Solomon was king in Judah. He was forty-one years old when he took the throne and was king for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city God selected from all the tribes of Israel for the worship of his Name. Rehoboam's mother was Naamah, an Ammonite. Judah was openly wicked before God, making him very angry. They set new records in sin, surpassing anything their ancestors had done. They built Asherah [a private party]-and-religion shrines and set up sacred stones all over the place—on hills, under trees, wherever you looked. Worse, they had male sacred prostitutes, polluting the country outrageously—all the stuff that God had gotten rid of when he brought Israel into the land.

25-28In the fifth year of King Rehoboam's rule, Shishak king of Egypt made war against Jerusalem. He plundered The Temple of God and the royal palace of their treasures, cleaned them out—even the gold shields that Solomon had made. King Rehoboam replaced them with bronze shields and outfitted the royal palace guards with them. Whenever the king went to God's Temple, the guards carried the shields but always returned them to the guardroom.

29-31The rest of Rehoboam's life, what he said and did, is all written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam the whole time. Rehoboam died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His mother was Naamah, an Ammonite. His son Abijah ruled after him.

Abijah of Judah

1-6In the eighteenth year of the rule of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah took over the throne of Judah. He ruled in Jerusalem three years. His mother was Maacah daughter of Absalom. He continued to sin just like his father before him. He was not truehearted to God as his great-grandfather David had been. But despite that, out of respect for David, his God graciously gave him a lamp, a son to follow him and keep Jerusalem secure. For David had lived an exemplary life before God all his days, not going off on his own in willful defiance of God's clear directions (except for that time with Uriah the Hittite). But war continued between Abijah and Jeroboam the whole time.

7-8The rest of Abijah's life, everything he did, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. But the war with Jeroboam was the dominant theme. Abijah died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Asa was king after him.

Asa of Judah

9-10In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began his rule over Judah. He ruled for forty-one years in Jerusalem. His grandmother's name was Maacah.

11-15Asa conducted himself well before God, reviving the ways of his ancestor David. He cleaned house: He got rid of the sacred prostitutes and threw out all the idols his predecessors had made. Asa spared nothing and no one; he went so far as to remove Queen Maacah from her position because she had built a shockingly obscene memorial to the whore goddess Asherah. Asa tore it down and burned it up in the Kidron Valley. Unfortunately, he didn't get rid of the local [a private party]-and-religion shrines. But he was well-intentioned—his heart was in the right place, in tune with God. All the gold and silver vessels and artifacts that he and his father had consecrated for holy use he installed in The Temple.

16-17But through much of his reign there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel. Baasha king of Israel started it by building a fort at Ramah and closing the border between Israel and Judah so no one could enter or leave Judah.

18-19Asa took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of The Temple of God and the royal palace, gave it to his servants, and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, with this message: "Let's make a treaty like the one between our fathers. I'm showing my good faith with this gift of silver and gold. Break your deal with Baasha king of Israel so he'll quit fighting against me."

20-21Ben-Hadad went along with King Asa and sent out his troops against the towns of Israel. He attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah, and the entire region of Kinnereth, including Naphtali. When Baasha got the report he quit fortifying Ramah and pulled back to Tirzah.

22Then King Asa issued orders to everyone in Judah—no exemptions—to haul away the logs and stones Baasha had used in the fortification of Ramah and use them to fortify Geba in Benjamin and Mizpah.

23-24A full account of Asa's life, all the great things he did and the fortifications he constructed, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. In his old age he developed severe gout. Then Asa died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Jehoshaphat became king after him.


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