1 Kings 15:18 MEANING

1 Kings 15:18
(18) Sent them to Ben-hadad.--This shows that Syria, recovering its independence at the fall of Solomon's empire, was already attaining the formidable power, which so soon threatened to destroy Israel altogether. The Ben-hadad of the text is the grandson of Hezion, who must be the Rezon of 1 Kings 11:23. Already, as we gather from the next verse, there had been leagues between Syria and Judah in the preceding reign. Now it is clear that Baasha had attempted to supersede these by a closer league--possibly, like Pekah in later times (2 Kings 16:5-6), desiring to strengthen and secure himself against invasion by the subjugation of Judah. Asa naturally resolved to bribe Ben-hadad by presents to prefer the old tie to the new; but he went beyond this, and proposed a combined attack on Israel, for the first time calling in a heathen power against his "brethren, the children of Israel." It was an expedient which, though it succeeded for its immediate purpose, yet both as a desperate policy and an unfaithfulness to the brotherhood, which, in spite of separation and corruption, still bound the two kingdoms in the covenant of God with Abraham, deserved and received prophetic rebuke. (See 2 Chronicles 16:7-9.) Just so Isaiah, in the days of Ahaz and Hezekiah, denounced the vain trust in confederacies with the neighbouring nations and alliance with Egypt (Isaiah 30:1-17).

Verse 18. - Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left [LXX. τὸ σὑρεθὲν, which Rawlinson thinks points to a corruption of our text. He says, "The Jewish treasuries should now have been tolerably full," because

(1) of the long peace (2 Chronicles 14:1-6), and

(2) the "very much spoil" they had taken from the Ethiopians (ib., ver. 13). Compare ver. 15 above. But the historian has in mind the depletion of the treasury by Shishak (1 Kings 14:26). It is true there was nothing "left" on that occasion, but the treasures since accumulated are referred to under this term. It may be the phrase is not strictly accurate, but the LXX. reading looks suspiciously like an emendation] in the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them [cf. 2 Kings 16:8. For this act of faithlessness he was reproved by Hanani the seer (2 Chronicles 16:7): "O Asa, where was thy piety, while thou robbedst God to corrupt an infidel for the slaughter of the Israelites?" (Hall)] to Ben-hadad ["the son of the sun" (see note on 1 Kings 11:23). Three kings of Damascus at least bore this name, viz., this king, his son (1 Kings 20:1), and the son of Hazael (2 Kings . 24)], the son of Tabrimon [the name means, Good is Rimmon, as to which deity see note on 2 Kings 5:18], the son of Hezion [by some identified with Rezin (1 Kings 11:23), but on insufficient grounds] king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus ["The centre of the Aramaean power west of the Euphrates" (Ewald)], saying,

15:9-24 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. That is right indeed which is so in God's eyes. Asa's times were times of reformation. He removed that which was evil; there reformation begins, and a great deal he found to do. When Asa found idolatry in the court, he rooted it out thence. Reformation must begin at home. Asa honours and respects his mother; he loves her well, but he loves God better. Those that have power are happy when thus they have hearts to use it well. We must not only cease to do evil, but learn to do well; not only cast away the idols of our iniquity, but dedicate ourselves and our all to God's honour and glory. Asa was cordially devoted to the service of God, his sins not arising from presumption. But his league with Benhadad arose from unbelief. Even true believers find it hard, in times of urgent danger, to trust in the Lord with all their heart. Unbelief makes way for carnal policy, and thus for one sin after another. Unbelief has often led Christians to call in the help of the Lord's enemies in their contests with their brethren; and some who once shone brightly, have thus been covered with a dark cloud towards the end of their days.Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house,.... What was left untaken away by Shishak king of Egypt, 1 Kings 14:26, or what he had put there dedicated by his father and himself, 1 Kings 15:15 and be they either, they were not to be taken, especially the treasures of the house of the Lord, and put to profane use, and particularly to such bad purposes as these were:

and delivered them into the hands of his servants: to be disposed of as next directed:

and King Asa sent them to Benhadad the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus; according to some chronologers (w), Hezion, the grandfather of this Benhadad, is the same with Rezon the first king of Damascus, 1 Kings 11:23, who was succeeded by Tabrimon, and he by Benhadad:

saying: as follows.

(w) Usher. Annal. A. M. 3064. Marsham. Canon. Chron. Seculum 13. p. 346.

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