Chapter 6

  1. And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, for he took away the altars of the strange gods and the high places, and broke down the images and cut down the groves, and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to do the law and the commandment. Also, he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images. And the kingdom was quiet before him.
  2. And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years because the Lord had given him rest. Therefore, he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls and towers, gates and bars, while the land is yet before us because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.
  3. And Asa had an army of men that bore shields and spears out of Judah, three hundred thousand, and out of Benjamin that bore shields and drew bows, two hundred eighty thousand. All these were mighty men of valor.
  4. And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian, with a host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots, and came unto Mareshah. Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried unto the Lord his God and said, Lord, it is nothing with you to help, whether with many or with them that have no power. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on you, and in your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God, let not man prevail against you.
  5. So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar. And the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves, for they were destroyed before the Lord and before his host. And they carried away very much spoil. And they smote all the cities round about Gerar, for the fear of the Lord came upon them. And they spoiled all the cities, for there was exceedingly much spoil in them. They smote also the tents of cattle, and carried away sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem.
  6. And the spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa and said unto him, Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you, while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found of you. But if you forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel has been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel and sought him, he was found of them. And in those times, there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city, for God did vex them with all adversity. Be strong therefore and let not your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.
  7. And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from Mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord that was before the porch of the Lord. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon — for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance when they saw that the Lord his God was with him — so they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.
  8. And they offered unto the Lord, the same time, of the spoil which they had brought — seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul, that whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. And they swore unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with horns. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought him with their whole desire, and he was found of them. And the Lord gave them rest round about.
  9. And also concerning Maacah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen because she had made an idol in a grove. And Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. But the high places were not taken away out of Israel.
  10. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated — silver, and gold, and vessels. And there was no more war unto the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.
  11. In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa brought out silver and gold, out of the treasures of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria that dwelled at Damascus, saying, There is a league between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold. Go break your league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.
  12. And Benhadad listened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel. And they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-Maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali. And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah and let his work cease. Then Asa the king took all Judah. And they carried away the stones of Ramah and the timber thereof with which Baasha was building. And he built with them Geba and Mizpah.
  13. And at that time, Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because you have relied on the king of Syria and not relied on the Lord your God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of your hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim a huge host with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you did rely on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein you have done foolishly. Therefore from henceforth you shall have wars. Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in a prison house, for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.
  14. And behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. And Asa in the thirty-ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceedingly great. Yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the forty-first year of his reign. And they buried him in his own sepulchers which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odors and diverse kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art. And they made a very great burning for him.