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2 Chronicles Chapter Sixteen


2 Chronicles 16 Outline of Contents

Asa’s Treaty with Syria (v.1~6)

Hanani’s Message to Asa (v.7~10)

Illness and Death of Asa (v.11~14)

New King James Version (NKJV)



Baasha coming up against Judah, and building Ramah, Asa made a league with the king of Syria, and hired him to make a diversion in his favour, and cause Baasha to leave off building, which succeeded, 2 Chronicles 16:1, for which he was reproved by a prophet of the Lord, with whom he was so angry for it as to put him in prison, and oppress others, 2 Chronicles 16:7, and the chapter is closed with an account of his disease and conduct under it, and of his death and burial, 2 Chronicles 16:11.


2 Chronicles 16:1  In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.

   YLT  1In the thirty and sixth year of the reign of Asa, come up hath Baasha king of Israel, against Judah, and buildeth Ramah, so as not to permit any going out and coming in to Asa king of Judah.

Verses 1-6

In the thirty and sixth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah,.... How this is to be reconciled with the reign of Baasha, which was but twenty four years, and was begun in the third of Asa, and therefore must have been dead nearly ten years before this year of Asa's reign; see Gill on 1 Kings 15:17 where, and in the following verses, are the same things related as here, to the end of the sixth verse; the explanation of which the reader is referred to.


2 Chronicles 16:2  2 Then Asa brought silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent to Ben-Hadad king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying,

   YLT  2And Asa bringeth out silver and gold from the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and of the house of the king, and sendeth unto Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who is dwelling in Damascus, saying,


2 Chronicles 16:3  3 Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. See, I have sent you silver and gold; come, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.”

   YLT  3`A covenant [is] between me and thee, and between my father and thy father, lo, I have sent to thee silver and gold; go, break thy covenant with Baasha king of Israel, and he doth go up from off me.'


2 Chronicles 16:4  4 So Ben-Hadad heeded King Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel. They attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali.

   YLT  4And Ben-Hadad hearkeneth unto king Asa, and sendeth the heads of the forces that he hath unto cities of Israel, and they smite Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-Maim, and all the stores, cities of Naphtali.


2 Chronicles 16:5  5 Now it happened, when Baasha heard it, that he stopped building Ramah and ceased his work.

   YLT  5And it cometh to pass, at Baasha's hearing, that he ceaseth from building Ramah, and letteth his work rest;


2 Chronicles 16:6  6 Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones and timber of Ramah, which Baasha had used for building; and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.

   YLT  6and Asa the king hath taken all Judah, and they bear away the stones of Ramah, and its wood, that Baasha hath built, and he buildeth with them Geba and Mizpah.


2 Chronicles 16:7  7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.

   YLT  7And at that time hath Hanani the seer come in unto Asa king of Judah, and saith unto him, `Because of thy leaning on the king of Aram, and thou hast not leaned on Jehovah thy God, therefore hath the force of the king of Aram escaped from thy hand.

And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah,.... Being sent by the Lord to reprove him:

and said unto him, because thou hast relied on the king of Syria; on the covenant he made with him, on the promises the Syrian king made to him upon receiving his money, and so trusted to an arm of flesh, and even an Heathen king:

and not relied on the Lord thy God; his promises, power, and providence, which he had reason to believe would have been engaged on his behalf, had he placed his confidence in him as he ought to have done: the Targum is,"and not relied on the Word of the Lord thy God:"

therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand; which otherwise would have fallen into it, had he left him to continue in league with the king of Israel, and not solicited him to break it; for then he would have come with him against Asa, and the Lord would have delivered him to him.


2 Chronicles 16:8  8 Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand.

   YLT  8Did not the Cushim and the Lubim become a very great force for multitude, for chariot, and for horsemen? and in thy leaning on Jehovah He gave them into thy hand,

Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen?.... They were no less than 1,000,000 men, and three hundred chariots, 2 Chronicles 14:9, the Lubim were the Libyans, a people near Egypt, that dwelt in Africa; according to an Arabic writerF12Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. dyn. 3. p. 57. , they were the Nubians:

yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, he delivered them into thine hand; and with equal ease could and would have delivered the Syrian army unto him, had he as then trusted in the Lord.


2 Chronicles 16:9  9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

   YLT  9for Jehovah -- His eyes go to and fro in all the earth, to show Himself strong [for] a people whose heart [is] perfect towards Him; thou hast been foolish concerning this, because -- henceforth there are with thee wars.'

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth,.... The eyes of his omniscience are everywhere, and the eyes of his mercy and goodness, of his care and providence, are here and there, and in every place throughout the whole world at once, see Zechariah 4:10,

to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him; or, as in the margin, "strongly to hold" with such, to be on their side, take their part, strengthen them, support and supply them, and to protect and defend them who are sincere and upright in heart; whose graces are sincere and unfeigned, though not complete, nor they free from sin, and who, with the heart, sincerely believe in God, in which Asa at this time failed, though otherwise his heart is said to be perfect, 1 Kings 15:4, it was so in the general bent of it, and especially with respect to the worship of God, though there was something lacking in his faith at this time, as there often is in the best of men:

herein thou hast done foolishly; to trust in man, and not in the Lord, to part with his money, and lose the opportunity of having the whole Syrian army fall into his hands:

therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars; which, though we read not of, was doubtless his case; some interpret it of his posterity.


2 Chronicles 16:10  10 Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time.

   YLT  10And Asa is angry at the seer, and giveth him to the house of torture, for [he is] in a rage with him for this; and Asa oppresseth [some] of the people at that time.

Then Asa was wroth with the seer,.... For this faithful reproof of him, which was another instance of his sin and folly:

and put him in a prison house; in a very strait place, in which he could not turn himself, what we call "little ease"; some say it was the stocks, others a pillory he put him into:

for he was in a rage with him because of this thing; his passion rose very high, and to which he gave way, and was his infirmity:

and Asa oppressed some of the people the same time; by fines and imprisonments, such as perhaps expressed their disapprobation of his league with the king of Syria, and of his ill usage of the prophet.


2 Chronicles 16:11  11 Note that the acts of Asa, first and last, are indeed written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

   YLT  11And lo, the matters of Asa, the first and the last, lo, they are written on the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last,.... See Gill on 1 Kings 15:23.


2 Chronicles 16:12  12 And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.

   YLT  12And Asa is diseased -- in the thirty and ninth year of his reign -- in his feet, till his disease is excessive, and also in his disease he hath not sought Jehovah, but among physicians.

And Asa in the thirty ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet,.... This was about two years before his death, and his disease is generally thought to be the gout in his feet, and a just retaliation for putting the prophet's feet into the stocks:

until his disease was exceeding great; it increased upon him, and became very severe and intolerable, and the fits were frequent, as well as the pain sharper; though the sense of the HebrewF13עד למעלה "usque ad supra", Montanus; "usque ad summum", Vatablus; "usque ad sursum", Piscator. phrase may be, that his disease got upwards, into a superior part of his body, head, or stomach, which, when the gout does, it is dangerous. A very learned physicianF14Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p. 645. is of opinion, that not the gout, but what he calls an "aedematous" swelling of the feet, is meant, which insensibly gets up into the bowels, and is successively attended with greater inconveniences; a tension of the abdomen, difficulty of breathing, very troublesome to the patient, and issues in a dropsy, and death itself:

yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord; his seeking to physicians for help in his disease, perhaps, would not have been observed to his reproach, had he also sought unto the Lord, whom he ought to have sought in the first place; and when he applied to the physicians, he should have implored the blessing of God on their prescriptions; but he so much forgot himself as to forget the Lord: this is the first time we read of physicians among the Jews, and some think these were Heathens, and a sort of enchanters: the Jews entertained a very ill opinion of physicians; the best of them, they sayF15T. Bab. Kiddashin, fol. 32. 1. Gloss. in ib. , deserve hell, and they adviseF16T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 113. 1. men not to live in a city where the chief man is a physician; but the author of the book of Ecclesiasticus gives a great encomium of them, and exhorts to honour and esteem them,"1Honour a physician with the honour due unto him for the uses which ye may have of him: for the Lord hath created him. 2For of the most High cometh healing, and he shall receive honour of the king. 3The skill of the physician shall lift up his head: and in the sight of great men he shall be in admiration. 4The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them. 5 Was not the water made sweet with wood, that the virtue thereof might be known? 6 And he hath given men skill, that he might be honoured in his marvellous works. 7 With such doth he heal men, and taketh away their pains. 8 Of such doth the apothecary make a confection; and of his works there is no end; and from him is peace over all the earth,' (Sirach 38)JulianF17Opera, par. 2. p. 154. the emperor greatly honoured them, and observes, that it is justly said by the philosophers, that the art of medicine fell from heaven.


2 Chronicles 16:13  13 So Asa rested with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign.

   YLT  13And Asa lieth with his fathers, and dieth in the forty and first year of his reign,

And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the forty first year of his reign. See 1 Kings 15:10.


2 Chronicles 16:14  14 They buried him in his own tomb, which he had made for himself in the City of David; and they laid him in the bed which was filled with spices and various ingredients prepared in a mixture of ointments. They made a very great burning for him.

   YLT  14and they bury him in [one of] his graves, that he had prepared for himself in the city of David, and they cause him to lie on a bed that [one] hath filled [with] spices, and divers kinds of mixtures, with perfumed work; and they burn for him a burning -- very great.

And they buried him in his own sepulchres which he had made for himself in the city of David,.... Where was the burying place of the kings of Judah; here Asa had ordered a vault to be made for himself and his family, and therefore called sepulchres, because of the several cells therein to put separate bodies in:

and laid him in the bed; not only laid him out, as we express it, but laid him on a bed of state, where he lay in great pomp; or the funeral bed, which, with other nationsF18Herodian. Hist. l. 4. c. 3. Vid. Kirchman. de Funer. Roman. l. 1. c. 11. & Alstorph. de Lect. Vet. c. 19. p. 151, 152. , used to be strowed with sweet smelling flowers and herbs, as follows:

which was filled with sweet odours, and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries art; or rather confectioner or druggist; for it is a question whether there were then any such we call apothecaries; this bed was strowed with spices, myrrh, aloes, cassia, cinnamon, &c. and which perhaps might be made up into a liquid, which was sprinkled over the bed and shroud in which he lay:

and they made a very great burning for him; not that they made a great fire, and burned his body; for burning was not used with the Jews; but they burnt spices and other things in great quantity, in honour of him: See Gill on Jeremiah 34:5, and this custom continued to the times of Herod, at whose funeral there were five hundred of his domestics and freed men bearing spicesF19Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 33. sect. 9. .


──John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible