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Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Kings Chapter 15

icked 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.

 

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1 Kings 15

1 Kings 15

 1Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.

 2Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. and his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

 3And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.

 4Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem:

 5Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

 6And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.

 7Now the 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? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.

 8And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead.

 9And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah.

 10And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

 11And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.

 12And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

 13And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.

 14But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.

 15And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, and gold, and vessels.

 16And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

 17And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.

 18Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

 19There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

 20So Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of the hosts which he had against the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelbethmaachah, and all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.

 21And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah.

 22Then king Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah.

 23The 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? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.

 24And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead.

 25And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years.

 26And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

 27And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.

 28Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead.

 29And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite:

 30Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger.

 31Now 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?

 32And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

 33In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years.

 34And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.