2 Chronicles 15


‘The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:1-7

Asa’s Reform

Oded was one of the lesser-known prophets in the early years of the Judah, but here, he courageously speaks to a king who was glowing with success after the great victory over the Cushites.

Azariah’s purpose is clearly to encourage God’s people to be constant in their faithfulness to their God because it was their lack of faithfulness which had so frequently resulted in manifold sorrows for them.

Asa recognises that Judah was in trouble because they had reaped the consequences of following other gods. He also recognised that God requires obedience to His will so that the blessings from God be unleashed on Judah.

God was on Asa’s side only when Asa had committed himself to God, Deuteronomy 4:29 / Jeremiah 29:13 / Matthew 7:7, and notice that when they stopped teaching God’s Word to the people, they met trouble from God Himself, Leviticus 10:11 / Deuteronomy 33:10 / Malachi 2:7 / 2 Chronicles 17:7-9.

‘When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’s temple. Then he assembled all Judah and Benjamin and the people from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who had settled among them, for large numbers had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. They assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. At that time they sacrificed to the LORD seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep and goats from the plunder they had brought back. They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.’ 2 Chronicles 15:8-15

Gill, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Some think that besides the above words of Azariah the son of Oded, a prophecy of Oded his father was related by him, though not recorded but rather Oded here is the same with the son of Oded; and so the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions read Azariah the son of Oded and so does the Alexandrian copy of the Septuagint version.’

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following, concerning the third month, Esther 8:9.

‘This was June, Sivan, on the sixth day of which the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost, was observed. The great sacrifices on this occasion included some of the booty they had taken in the war with Zerah and if the conjecture that Zerah came against Asa in his eleventh year is correct, this would indicate that the war lasted four years. However, a great deal of the chronology of all of these Hebrew kings is very uncertain.’

Notice they acknowledge that the victory came from God, hence why they gave back to God from the spoil of the victory over the Cushites, 2 Chronicles 14:12-15.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following, concerning the number seven.

‘The prevalence of the number ‘seven’ in the religious system of the Jews has been noticed often. Seven bullocks and seven rams were a common offering, Numbers 29:32 / 1 Chronicles 15:26 / 2 Chronicles 29:21 / Job 42:8 / Ezekiel 14:23. At the larger sacrifices, however, it is seldom that we find the number seven at all prominent, 2 Chronicles 30:24 / 2 Chronicles 35:7-9 / 1 Kings 8:63.’

The original covenant between God and His people is recorded in Exodus 24:3-8, it was renewed again at Shechem, Joshua 8:30-35, this was the third ratification and still, another took place in the times of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 10:20.

Anyone who didn’t seek God was to be put to death, Exodus 22:20 / Deuteronomy 13:6-17 / Deuteronomy 17:2-7. Because they entered into a covenant to reform Judah, anyone who wouldn’t join the reformation was threatened with death because they would be seen as hindrances to the reforms.

‘King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley. Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life. He brought into the temple of God the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated. There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.’ 2 Chronicles 15:16-19

He removed his mother from her political position because she had the audacity of making an image of the Canaanite goddess Asherah and placing it in the Kidron Valley near Jerusalem, 1 Kings 15:9-15.

The Asherah was associated with a mixture of different religions, the actual Asherah was probably a grove of trees or wooden idols which were erected in special places of worship, specifically in high places.

Several people went out of their way to destroy these wooden images, Gideon, Judges 6:25-28, Asa, 2 Chronicles 15:16, Hezekiah, 2 Chronicles 31:1, and Josiah, 2 Chronicles 34:3-7.

The text says that Asa didn’t remove the high places from Israel, however, 2 Chronicles 14:3, tells us that he did. This isn’t a contradiction as 2 Chronicles 14:3, mentions that the high places had altars to the foreign gods. In other words, Asa removed the high places that were dedicated to idols, but not the ones that were dedicated to God.

Asa was loyal all his life, he acted against idolatry and corruption, and in his restoration of certain silver and gold utensils to the temple.

Notice there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign, 1 Kings 15:16.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘This cannot be reconciled with the chronology of Kings, 1 Kings 16:8, and the suggestion in the margin implies the adoption of a mode of marking time unknown either to himself or any other Scriptural writer. It is supposed that the figures here and in 2 Chronicles 16:1 are corrupt and that in both verses ‘twentieth’ should replace ‘thirtieth’. The attack of Baasha would then have been made in the last year of Asa’s reign and ten years of peace would have followed Asa’s victory over Zerah.’

Go To 2 Chronicles 16


"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."