King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

2 Chronicles > Old Testament > Home

2 Chronicles 16

Asa seeks the aid of the Syrians, His death.

2 Chronicles 16 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Asa seeks the aid of the Syrians, His death

1 In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.

2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king’s house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

3 There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

4 And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.

5 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease.

6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.

7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.

8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.

9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.

11 And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.

13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.

14 And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Six and thirtieth year of his kingdom. That is, of the kingdom of Juda, taking the date of it from the beginning of the reign of Roboam. Ch. — It was the 16th of Asa. We read that Raasa died in the 26th year of Asa. 3 K. xvi. 8. How then could he fight with him in the 36th? T. — Rama was on an eminence, and commanded the pass below. Baasa wished to cut off all communication with the kingdom of Juda, as he knew many of his subjects had emigrated for the sake of the true religion. C. xv. 9. C. — He had taken the city from the tribe of Benjamin. T.

Ver. 3. There is, Heb. is indeterminate: “a league,” &c. Sept. “Make a league….behold I have sent thee gold and silver. Come and drive away from me Baasa, king,” &c. — That. Prot. “go, break thy league.” H. — Asa induces the king of Damascus to act perfidiously. C. — Otherwise it is not unlawful to make use of the arms of infidels, unless where God has forbidden it. Grot. Jur. ii. 15. 9. Masius in Jos. ix. 15. — David had recourse to Achis, and the Machabees to the Romans. C. — Some kings are blamed for making leagues with the princes of Israel, because they had been warned to the contrary; and Asa was severely reprehended, as he had already received such assurances of the divine protection, (C. xiv. 12. and xv. 7.) that nothing but pusillanimity could have induced him (H.) to give away the sacred treasures, in order to obtain this aid of the Syrian king, v. 7.

Ver. 4. Nephthali. This seem preferable to the Heb. reading, 3 K. xv. 20. C. — Prot. “all the store-cities.” Sept. “all the environs.” H. — Arab. “all the arsenals of the cities of Nephthali.”

Ver. 7. Syria. It seems more natural to read Israel. C. — But we must remember that Benadad was an ally of Israel; and if he had not been bribed, he would have come to the assistance of Baasa, (H.) and thus both might have fallen a prey to Asa, as the much greater forces of Zara had done. T.

Ver. 9. Behold. Prot. “run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him.” Sept. “to shew power in every heart full, or perfect, in his regard.” H. — Asa fell on this occasion through human frailty, but rose again by repentance. — Thee, as they were till the death of Baasa. 3 K. xv. 32.

Ver. 10. Prison. Lit. “in bonds,” (nervum) made of leather thongs or nerves, (H.) or of iron, to confine either the neck or the feet. Isidor. orig. 5. ult. — Heb. “the house of disturbance.” Sept. &c. “prison.” Some explain it (C.) of the stocks to enclose the neck. Vatable. — Time, either because they expressed the same sentiments as the prophet, (C.) or because they disapproved of his imprisonment. T. — Sept. “Asa made havoc among the people,” &c. H.

Ver. 12. Most, &c. Heb. “till his disease got upwards,” (C.) to the head (T.) and heart, (H.) when the gout generally proves fatal. A. Lapide — Sept. “till he was very ill:” (H.) a just punishment for his having confined the prophet in fetters; but of a temporal nature, as he sinned through passion, and died penitent, his heart being perfect (C. xv. 17.) all or the most part of his days, particularly in the last. W. — Rather. Heb. and Sept. simply, “physicians.” H. — Yet it was not the having recourse to them, with some degree of confidence, that is here reprehended, but the placing too much trust in men, (C.) and too little in God, the sovereign arbiter of life and death. H.

Ver. 14. Sepulchre. Heb. “sepulchres,” as there were many separate apartments in the same cavern. C. — Asa had prepared one cell, as David and Solomon had done. M. T. — Odoriferous (mertriciis.) Such as harlots delight in, (Prov. vii. 16,) to entice the sensual. D. — Heb. zenim, may be derived from zana, fornicari. It denotes a mixture of perfumes. M. — But here the Vulg. read zunim. D. — Heb. and Sept. “they laid him on a bed, and filled it with aromatical spices, and with various sorts of perfumers’ ointments, and they made him a very great funeral, or (H.) burning.” Prot. — It is not clear whether the body was placed on a bed of state, and these perfumes were used to remove every disagreeable smell, or the body itself was rather consumed along with them, a practice which seems to have become more common since the days of Asa. Jer. xxxiv. 5. 1 K. xxxi. 12. Amos vi. 10. Joram was deprived of this honour. C. xxi. 19. C. — Sanctius adduces many examples, to prove that the spices were burnt only near the body; (T.) and the Hebrews generally preferred to inter the corpse. Corpora condere quam cremare è more Ægyptio. Tacit. Hist. v.