New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 16 Oct. 22 
Asa Falls Away from God
In the thirty sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not allow anyone to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of Yahweh and of the king’s house, and sent to Ben Hadad king of Syria, who lived at Damascus saying, 3Let there be a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold. Go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me. 4Ben Hadad listened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they struck Ijon, and Dan, and Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 5It happened, when Baasha heard of it, that he left off building Ramah, and let his work cease. 6Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and its timber, with which Baasha had built; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah. 7At that time Hanani the seer of visions came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on Yahweh your God, therefore is the army of the king of Syria escaped out of your hand. 8Weren’t the Ethiopians and the Lubim a huge army, with exceeding many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on Yahweh, He delivered them into your hand. 9For the eyes of Yahweh run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him. Herein you have done foolishly; for from henceforth you shall have wars. 10Then Asa was angry with the seer of visions, and put him in the prison; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. 11Behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa was diseased in his feet. His disease was exceeding great; yet in his disease he didn’t turn to Yahweh, but to the physicians. 13Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the forty-first year of his reign. 14They buried him in his own tombs, which he had dug out for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer’s art; and they made a very great burning for him.


16:2 By giving the wealth of the temple to Ben Hadad, Asa was acting as if it was his personal wealth, to spend as he wished. But those things had been given or dedicated to God; if you give somebody something, it’s theirs and no longer yours. Although God was invisible to Asa, it’s as if He was sitting there in that temple with His silver and gold- which had been given to Him in thanks for what He had done for His people. And then Asa walks up to God and takes that silver and gold right from His presence and gives it to a pagan idolater whom he considers a better defence against enemies than God. The more we sense the presence of God, the more we perceive His total ownership. What we dedicate to God is His, it’s not for us ‘play God’ by then taking it back and acting as if it’s ours. And we are asked to dedicate our whole lives to God.
16:3 Let there be a covenant- Asa’s covenant or treaty with Yahweh in 15:12,13 demanded total dedication to Him; he should therefore have trusted in Yahweh rather than now making another covenant with a pagan king. Covenant relationship with God is all demanding, as Asa had said at the time; we can’t be in covenant with more than one God.
16:8 God gave Asa a test of faith when He sent a huge army against him earlier; and Asa passed the test. But like any good teacher, God repeats the circumstances in our lives; and sometimes like Asa we may do well in one test, but fail when it is repeated. God gave Asa more such wars (:9)- not simply as a punishment, but so he would learn the lesson of trusting in God and not men against our enemies.
16:9 These “eyes of Yahweh” refer to the Angels. If we ask how, mechanically, as it were, God sees and knows all things, the answer is perhaps ‘Through His Angels’. Their activity is amazing; because their work is invisible to us, we may get the impression at times that God is somehow silent and inactive. But the colossal network of Angelic work on earth is constantly humming with activity- for our sakes (Heb. 1:14).
16:10 Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time- In our deepest conscience, we know when we sin; even if we don’t consciously recognize every sin. We also realize that sin must be punished. When we sin but don’t confess that sin, or if we refuse to accept the punishment for sin, we have a tendency to subconsciously transfer that sin onto others and punish them for it. This is why religious people can be capable of the greatest hypocrisies and inconsistencies, punishing others for the very sins which they commit, or falsely accusing others of committing the sins they commit and then eagerly punishing them for them. Asa’s bad conscience at this time is reflected in how he treated others.