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