Asa’s Last Years
1Baasha was king of Israel. He marched out against Judah. It was in the 36th year of Asa’s rule over Judah. Baasha built up the walls of Ramah. He did it to keep people from leaving or entering the territory of Asa, the king of Judah.
2 Asa took the silver and gold from among the treasures of the Lord’s temple and his own palace. He sent it to Ben-Hadad. Ben-Hadad was king of Aram. He was ruling in Damascus. 3 “Let’s make a peace treaty between us,” Asa said. “My father and your father had made a peace treaty between them. Now I’m sending you silver and gold. So break your treaty with Baasha, the king of Israel. Then he’ll go back home.”
4 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa. He sent his army commanders against the towns of Israel. His army captured Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim and all the cities in Naphtali where Baasha stored things. 5 Baasha heard about it. So he stopped building up Ramah and left that place. 6 Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah to Ramah. They carried away the stones and wood Baasha had been using. Asa used them to build up Geba and Mizpah.
7 At that time Hanani the prophet came to Asa, the king of Judah. He said to him, “You trusted the king of Aram. You didn’t trust in the Lord your God. So the army of the king of Aram has escaped from you. 8 The people of Cush and Libya had a strong army. They had large numbers of chariots and horsemen. But you trusted in the Lord. So he handed them over to you. 9 The Lord looks out over the whole earth. He gives strength to those who commit their lives completely to him. You have done a foolish thing. From now on you will be at war.”
10 Asa was angry with the prophet because of what he had said. In fact, he was so angry he put him in prison. At the same time, Asa treated some of his own people very badly.
11 The events of Asa’s rule from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the records of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the 39th year of Asa’s rule his feet began to hurt. The pain was terrible. But even though he was suffering, he didn’t look to the Lord for help. All he did was go to the doctors. 13 In the 41st year of Asa’s rule he joined the members of his family who had already died. 14 He was buried in a tomb. He had cut it out for himself in the City of David. His body was laid on a wooden frame. It was covered with spices and different mixes of perfume. A huge fire was made to honor him.