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The Reforms of Asa

15 Now (A)the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out [a]to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. (B)The Lord is with you while you are with Him. (C)If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but (D)if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. (E)For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a (F)teaching priest, and without (G)law; but (H)when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. (I)So nation was [b]destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”

And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of [c]Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities (J)which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the Lord that was before the vestibule of the Lord. Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and (K)those who dwelt with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.

10 So they gathered together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 (L)And they offered to the Lord [d]at that time seven hundred bulls and seven thousand sheep from the [e]spoil they had brought. 12 Then they (M)entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 (N)and whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel (O)was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 Then they took an oath before the Lord with a loud voice, with shouting and trumpets and rams’ horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and (P)sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the Lord gave them (Q)rest all around.

16 Also he removed (R)Maachah, the [f]mother of Asa the king, from being queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of [g]Asherah; and Asa cut down her obscene image, then crushed and burned it by the Brook Kidron. 17 But (S)the [h]high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days.

18 He also brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated and that he himself had dedicated: silver and gold and utensils. 19 And there was no war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 15:2 Lit. before
  2. 2 Chronicles 15:6 Lit. beaten in pieces
  3. 2 Chronicles 15:8 So with MT, LXX; Syr., Vg. Azariah the son of Oded (cf. v. 1)
  4. 2 Chronicles 15:11 Lit. in that day
  5. 2 Chronicles 15:11 plunder
  6. 2 Chronicles 15:16 Or grandmother
  7. 2 Chronicles 15:16 A Canaanite deity
  8. 2 Chronicles 15:17 Places for pagan worship

Asa’s Reform(A)

15 The Spirit of God came on(B) Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you(C) when you are with him.(D) If you seek(E) him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.(F) For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach(G) and without the law.(H) But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him,(I) and he was found by them. In those days it was not safe to travel about,(J) for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another,(K) because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. But as for you, be strong(L) and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”(M)

When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of[a] Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols(N) from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured(O) in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar(P) of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord’s temple.

Then he assembled all Judah and Benjamin and the people from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who had settled among them, for large numbers(Q) had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.

10 They assembled at Jerusalem in the third month(R) of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 At that time they sacrificed to the Lord seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep and goats from the plunder(S) they had brought back. 12 They entered into a covenant(T) to seek the Lord,(U) the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. 13 All who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, were to be put to death,(V) whether small or great, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the Lord with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God(W) eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest(X) on every side.

16 King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maakah(Y) from her position as queen mother,(Z) because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah.(AA) Asa cut it down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley.(AB) 17 Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 18 He brought into the temple of God the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.(AC)

19 There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 15:8 Vulgate and Syriac (see also Septuagint and verse 1); Hebrew does not have Azariah son of.

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