14 gAbijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land had rest for ten years. 2 And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3 He took away the foreign altars hand the high places and broke down ithe pillars and cut down the jAsherim 4 and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. 5 He also took out of all the cities of Judah hthe high places and the kincense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. 6 He built lfortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, mfor the Lord gave him peace. 7 And he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with nwalls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God. We have sought him, mand he has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered. 8 And Asa had an army of o300,000 from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin that carried shields and drew bows. All these were mighty men of valor.
9 Zerah pthe Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and came as far as qMareshah. 10 And Asa went out to meet him, and rthey drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at qMareshah. 11 And Asa scried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, tfor we rely on you, uand in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” 12 vSo the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as wGerar, and the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The men of Judah1 carried away very much spoil. 14 And they attacked all the cities around wGerar, xfor the fear of the Lord was upon them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 And they struck down the tents of those who had livestock and carried away sheep in abundance and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
15 yThe Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, 2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: zThe Lord is with you while you are with him. aIf you seek him, he will be found by you, bbut if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 cFor a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, 4 dbut when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. 5 In those times there was no peace eto him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. 7 fBut you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, gfor your work shall be rewarded.”
8 As soon as Asa heard these words, hthe prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from ithe cities that he had taken in jthe hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord kthat was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord.2 9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, land those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 They sacrificed to the Lord on that day mfrom the spoil that they had brought 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep. 12 nAnd they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, 13 but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, oshould be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, pand the Lord gave them rest all around.
16 qEven Maacah, rhis mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image sfor Asherah. Asa cut down her image, tcrushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17 uBut the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.
16 vIn the wthirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, xthat he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2 Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the Lord and the king's house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, 3 “There is a covenant3 between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.” 4 And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the ystore cities of Naphtali. 5 And when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah and let his work cease. 6 Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.
7 At that time zHanani athe seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, b“Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. 8 Were not cthe Ethiopians and dthe Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet ebecause you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand. 9 fFor the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those gwhose heart is blameless4 toward him. hYou have done foolishly in this, for from now on iyou will have wars.” 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him jin the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time.
11 kThe acts of Asa, from first to last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 14 They buried him in the tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier lthat had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer's art, mand they made a very great fire in his honor.
9 aI am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For bI could wish that I myself were caccursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,1 my kinsmen daccording to the flesh. 4 They are eIsraelites, and to them belong fthe adoption, gthe glory, hthe covenants, ithe giving of the law, jthe worship, and kthe promises. 5 To them belong lthe patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, mwho is God over all, nblessed forever. Amen.
6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham obecause they are his offspring, but p“Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but qthe children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: r“About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but salso when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of thim who calls—12 she was told, u“The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, v“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
14 What shall we say then? wIs there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, x“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,2 but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, y“For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For zwho can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, ato answer back to God? bWill what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 cHas the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump done vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
19 iThe heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above1 proclaims his handiwork.
In them he has set a tent for lthe sun,
previving the soul;
8 uthe precepts of the Lord are right,
the commandment of the Lord is vpure,
wenlightening the eyes;
10 More to be desired are they than ygold,
even much zfine gold;
asweeter also than honey
and drippings of bthe honeycomb.
cin keeping them there is great reward.
12 dWho can discern his errors?
let them not have idominion over me!