1 Kings 15
Abijam, king of Judah
1 Abijam became king of Judah. This happened after Jeroboam had been king of Israel for nearly 18 years. Jeroboam was the son of Nebat. 2 Abijam was king in Jerusalem for three years. His mother's name was Maacah. She was the daughter of Abishalom. 3 Abijam did all the sins that his father had done before him. He was not a good servant of the Lord his God. David, his father's grandfather, had been a good servant of God. 4 But the Lord his God gave Abijam a light in Jerusalem. That was because of what God had promised to David. So God made Jerusalem strong. He also gave Abijam a son to be king after him. 5 David had always done what the Lord wanted him to do. David had obeyed the Lord's rules all his life. The only time that he did not do that was about Uriah. Uriah came from the people called the Hittites. 6 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam for all Abijam's life.
15:2Some Bibles spell Abishalom as Absalom. So maybe Maacah was the granddaughter of King David.
15:4The light in Jerusalem means this: People kept a light in their homes if they still lived there. So the light means this. David's family still lived in Jerusalem.
15:5David sent Uriah to his death, so that David could marry Uriah's wife, 2 Samuel chapter 11.
7 There is a book with reports about the kings of Judah. People wrote in it everything that King Abijam did. There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
15:7We do not know what this ‘book’ is. Nobody knows where it is.
8 So Abijam died and they buried him with his ancestors in the City of David. Then, Abijam's son Asa became king after him.
Asa, king of Judah
9 Asa became king of Judah when Jeroboam had been king of Israel for nearly 20 years. 10 And Asa was king in Jerusalem for 41 years. His grandmother's name was Maacah. She was the daughter of Abishalom. 11 And Asa did what his father David had done. Asa did what the Lord wanted him to do. 12 He sent away from the temple the men that had sex with other men for money. He sent them away from Judah. And he destroyed all the idols that his father had made. 13 He even told his grandmother Maacah that she could not continue to call herself ‘Queen Mother’. This was because she had made one of the bad Asherah poles. Asa cut the Asherah pole down and he burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14 Asa loved the Lord for all his life. But he did not remove the high places. 15 He brought into the temple silver and gold. He also brought things that he and his father had made special for God.
15:13Maybe Maacah was a leader of the people that worshipped idols. The Kidron Valley was outside Jerusalem.
15:15The silver and gold may have come from the wars that Asa fought.
16 There was a war between Asa and King Baasha of Israel. It continued all the time that they ruled their countries. 17 Baasha, the king of Israel, attacked Judah. He made the town called Ramah very strong. As a result, nobody could go into or leave the country of Asa, king of Judah. 18 So Asa took all the silver and the gold that they stored in his palace and in the Lord's temple. He gave it to his servants and he sent them to Ben-Hadad. He was the king of Aram, who ruled in the capital city called Damascus. Ben-Hadad's father was Tabrimmon and his grandfather was Hezion. 19 Asa sent this message to Ben-Hadad. ‘We should agree together, as our fathers agreed together. Look! I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Do not now help Baasha the king of Israel. So maybe he will leave my country.’ 20 And Ben-Hadad did agree with King Asa. He sent his army with its leaders against the towns in Israel. He beat Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, all Kinnereth and also Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard this, he did not build again in Ramah. He brought his army back to Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa said that everyone in Judah must do this. They must carry away everything that Baasha was using in Ramah. This included stones and wood. King Asa used them to make Geba in Benjamin strong and also Mizpah.
15:17Ramah was very near to Jerusalem. Ramah was in Benjamin, so it was part of King Asa's kingdom.
23 There is a book with reports about the kings of Judah. In it, people have written everything that happened during Asa's time.
In the book are these things:
everything that he did
the wars that he fought
the cities that he built.
24 So Asa died and they buried him with his ancestors in the City of David. Then, Asa's son Jehoshaphat became king after him.
Nadab, king of Israel
25 When Asa had been king of Judah for two years, Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king of Israel. Nadab was king of Israel for two years. 26 He did what the Lord did not like. He did what his father had done. He did the same sins as his father had done. And he caused Israel's people to do them too. 27 Baasha was the son of Ahijah. He came from the big family of Issachar. He decided to kill Nadab. He did kill him at a town in Philistia called Gibbethon. This was while Nadab and his army from Israel were attacking Gibbethon. 28 When Asa had been king of Judah for nearly three years, Baasha killed Nadab. Baasha became king of Israel after Nadab. 29 Immediately after Baasha became king, he killed all Jeroboam's family. He did not leave anybody in Jeroboam's family alive. He killed them all. The Lord had said that it would happen. He said it by his servant Ahijah who was from Shiloh. 30 That was because of Jeroboam's sins. Also, it was because he had caused Israel's people to do the same sins. This had made the Lord God of Israel very angry.
15:29Ahijah's words are in 1 Kings 14:10.
31 There is a book with reports about the kings of Israel. This book tells about when Nadab was king. It tells about what he did. And it tells about everything else that happened then.
32 There was war between Asa and Baasha, king of Israel, all the time that they ruled their countries.
Baasha, king of Israel
33 When Asa had been king in Judah for nearly three years, Baasha became the king of all Israel. Baasha was the son of Ahijah. It happened in Tirzah. Baasha was king for 24 years. 34 Baasha did what the Lord did not like. He did all the sins that Jeroboam did. He had caused Israel's people to do them too.
15:33Tirzah was a beautiful place (Song of Songs 6:4). Perhaps that is why Israel's kings went there instead of to Shechem.