Asa, king of Judah
9 Asa became king of Judah when Jeroboam had been king of Israel for 20 years. 10 Asa ruled in Jerusalem as king for 41 years. His grandmother was Maakah. She was the daughter of Abishalom. 11 Asa did things that pleased the Lord, as his ancestor King David had done. 12 He removed the male prostitutes from the altars on the hills. He sent them out of Judah. He removed all the useless idols that his ancestors had made. 13 He also told his grandmother Maakah that she could no longer have authority as the Queen Mother. This was because she had made an Asherah pole to worship. Asa cut down the Asherah pole and he burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14 Asa did not remove the altars on all the hills, but he served the Lord faithfully for his whole life. 15 He brought into the Lord's temple the things that he and his father had made as gifts to the Lord. They used silver and gold to make some of these things.
15:13Queen Mother was the wife of a king that had now died. She had authority to make important decisions.
15:13The Kidron Valley was outside Jerusalem.
16 There was always a war between King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel while they ruled. 17 One time, Baasha attacked Judah. He put a group of his soldiers in Ramah and he made it a strong town. As a result, nobody could travel into Judah or out of Judah, where King Asa ruled. 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. He told them to take it to Ben-Hadad in Damascus. He was the king who ruled Syria. Ben-Hadad's father was Tabrimmon and his grandfather was Hezion. 19 Asa sent this message to Ben-Hadad: ‘We should make an agreement to be friends, as our fathers did. I am sending you this gift of silver and gold. Please stop being friends with Baasha, king of Israel. If you no longer help him, he will have to take his soldiers out of my country.’ 20 Ben-Hadad agreed to do what King Asa asked him to do. He sent his army with its leaders to attack towns in Israel. He won the fights against the towns of Ijon, Dan, Abel-Beth-Maakah, as well as the region of Kinnereth and the land of Naphtali. 21 When King Baasha heard this news, he stopped the work in Ramah. He left there and he went to live in Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa told all the men in Judah to do some hard work. Everyone had to do this: They must carry away all the big stones and the wood that Baasha had been using to build with in Ramah. Then King Asa used them to build again Geba (in Benjamin's land) and Mizpah to make them strong towns.
15:17Ramah was near to Jerusalem, in Benjamin's land. It was part of King Asa's kingdom.
23 The other things that happened while Asa was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The History of Judah's Kings’. It tells about Asa's power and all the great things that he did. It also tells about the cities that he built. When Asa became an old man he had an illness in his feet.
24 Asa died and they buried him beside his ancestors in the City of David, his ancestor. Asa's son Jehoshaphat became king after him.