¶ And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:
2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.
Mentioned in the Bible only in this chapter.
Meet Asa The king was returning from victory over Zerah the Ethiopian 2ch1409ff.
While ye be with him Compare ja0408.
Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without
a teaching priest, and without law.
4 But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.
5 And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries.
.6 And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity.
| 3 -
Long season The Hebrew phrase has no verb. Perhaps this means it
is to be applied to past, present or future times of being without God.
3 - Teaching priest Teaching was their job. le1011, de1709ff, je1818.
4 - Turn unto the Lord See ps10644, ps10706.
6 - Nation destroyed of nation The Septuagint may be rendered "And nation shall make war against nation and city against city because God has confounded them with every affliction." See is1902.
|7 Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.||Asa had to make a stand that was likely not politically expedient.|
¶ And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet,
he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land
of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount
Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of
9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
|8 - Prophecy of Oded the prophet But we thought Azariah was the prophet v1. The Hebrew here does not allow the word "of." A version of the Septuagint and the Syriac manuscripts read "the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded spoke." Of course Azariah could have been impressed to reveal his prophecy and that of his father although this would be awkward. It really doesn't matter. There are lessons for us anyway.|
So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in
the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.
11 And they offered unto the LORD the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep.
12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;
13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
14 And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.
- Entered into a covenant The Lord had a covenant — a way of happiness
— for His people, ex2403ff.
This would have been a recommitment.
13 - Not seek ... put to death God had commanded the death penalty for several sins. Compare the day of atonement requirement of soul affliction le1629. Refusal called for the death penalty but not necessarily immediately le2329.
And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart,
and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the
LORD gave them rest round about.
.16 And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron.
|16 - Maachah A number of others had this name including a wife of David and a wife of Rehoboam. including 2sa0303. And it was the name of a city in Syria 1ch1609.|
But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the
heart of Asa was perfect all his days.
18 And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels.
- High places not taken away Some were 2ch1403,5.
We don't know why but it is common for work to be incomplete especially
when those doing it are not in favor of it. Or consider Clarke's idea:
"He had totally suppressed or destroyed the idolatry; but some of the places,
buildings, or altars, he permitted to remain."
17 - Out of Israel Probably only the southern kingdom is intended. "Out of Israel" does not appear in the parallel account 1ki1514. It would be hard for Asa to deal with the affairs of the northern kingdom. I expect that "Israel" here only means "God's people."
18 - Father had dedicated Probably part of what Abijah took in the victory over Jeroboam 2ch1316-19.
18 - He himself had dedicated "of the booty taken from the Ethiopians. Both of these were now deposited in the temple as votive offerings to Him whose right hand and holy arm had given them the victory." (JFB Commentary). Consider 2ch1413-15,
|19 And there was no more war unto the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa.|| 19
- No more war The word "more" is not in the Hebrew.
19 - Five and thirtieth year Apparently the 35th year of the southern kingdom 2ch1601.