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2 Chronicles 16 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

King Baasha of Israel Invades Judah

16 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s rule, King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and captured the town of Ramah. He started making the town stronger, and he put troops there to stop people from going in and out of Judah.

When Asa heard about this, he took the silver and gold from his palace and from the Lord’s temple. Then he sent it to Damascus with this message for King Benhadad of Syria: “I think we should sign a peace treaty, just as our fathers did. This silver and gold is a present for you. Would you please break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel and force him to leave my country?”

Benhadad did what Asa asked and sent the Syrian army into Israel. They captured the towns of Ijon, Dan, Abel-Maim,[a] and all the towns in Naphtali where supplies were kept. When Baasha heard about it, he stopped his work on the town of Ramah.

Asa ordered everyone in Judah to carry away the stones and wood Baasha had used to fortify Ramah. Then he fortified the towns of Geba and Mizpah with these same stones and wood.

Hanani the Prophet Condemns Asa

Soon after that happened, Hanani the prophet went to Asa and said:

You depended on the king of Syria instead of depending on the Lord your God. And so, you will never defeat the Syrian army. Remember how powerful the Ethiopian[b] and Libyan army was, with all their chariots and cavalry troops! You trusted the Lord to help you then, and you defeated them. The Lord is constantly watching everyone, and he gives strength to those who faithfully obey him. But you have done a foolish thing, and your kingdom will never be at peace again.

10 When Asa heard this, he was so angry that he put Hanani in prison. Asa was also cruel to some of his people.[c]

Asa Dies

11 Everything Asa did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his rule, he got a very bad foot disease, but he relied on doctors and refused to ask the Lord for help. 13 He died two years later.

14 Earlier, Asa had his own tomb cut out of a rock hill in Jerusalem. So he was buried there, and the tomb was filled with spices and sweet-smelling oils. Then the people built a bonfire in his honor.

Footnotes:

  1. 16.4 Abel-Maim: Also called “Abel-Bethmaacah” (see 1 Kings 15.20).
  2. 16.8 Ethiopian: See the note at 12.3.
  3. 16.10 Asa was also cruel. . . people: Or “Asa also started being cruel to some of his people.”

2 Chronicles 16 New International Version (NIV)

Asa’s Last Years

16 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.

Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”

Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim[a] and all the store cities of Naphtali. When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work. Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using. With them he built up Geba and Mizpah.

At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites[b] and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen[c]? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.

10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.

11 The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians. 13 Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors. 14 They buried him in the tomb that he had cut out for himself in the City of David. They laid him on a bier covered with spices and various blended perfumes, and they made a huge fire in his honor.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 16:4 Also known as Abel Beth Maakah
  2. 2 Chronicles 16:8 That is, people from the upper Nile region
  3. 2 Chronicles 16:8 Or charioteers
New International Version (NIV)

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