2 Chronicles 16

King Baasha of Israel attacks Judah

1 After Asa had been king of Judah for 36 years, King Baasha of Israel 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.

16:1King Baasha of Israel had been an enemy of Judah since he became king. See 1 Kings 15:16.
16:1Ramah was on the main road about 8 kilometres north of Jerusalem. It was a town that was part of Asa's kingdom, in land that belonged to Benjamin's tribe.

2 Then Asa took all the silver and gold that they had stored in the Lord's temple and in the king's palace. He sent it to Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, who lived in Damascus. 3 He also sent this message to Ben-Hadad: ‘We should make an agreement to be friends, as our fathers did. I am sending you this 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.’

4 Ben-Hadad agreed to do what King Asa asked him to do. He sent his army with its leaders to attack towns in Israel. They won the battles at Ijon, Dan, Abel-Maim and all the cities of Naphtali's tribe where they stored things. 5 When King Baasha heard this news, he stopped the work in Ramah and he went away. 6 Then King Asa told all the men in Judah to do some hard work. They had to carry away from Ramah all the big stones and the wood that Baasha had been using there. Then King Asa used those things to make Geba and Mizpah strong towns again.

Hanani warns King Asa

7 At that time, the prophet Hanani went to visit Asa, king of Judah. He said to him, ‘You asked the king of Syria to help you. You should have trusted the Lord your God to help you instead. Because of that, the army of Syria's king has escaped from your power. 8 The armies of Ethiopia and Libya were very large. They had lots of chariots and soldiers who rode on horses. But you trusted the Lord when they attacked you, and he put them under your power. 9 The Lord carefully watches over the whole earth. If people serve him faithfully, he makes them strong. But you have done a foolish thing. As a result, you will now always be fighting wars.’

10 Asa was angry with the prophet, so he put him in prison. At that time Asa also started to do cruel things to some people.

Asa dies

11 All the things that happened while Asa was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The history of the kings of Judah and Israel’. 12 When Asa had been king for 39 years, he had a disease in his feet. He became very ill, but he did not ask the Lord to help him. Instead, he asked doctors to make him better.

13 Asa died when he had been king for 41 years. 14 His people buried him in the grave that he had prepared for himself in the City of David. They put him on a special bed that had spices and different kinds of perfume on it. They burned a large fire to give him honour.