And the cities which he built - Such as Geba and Mizpah, which he built out of the spoils of Ramah.
He was diseased in his feet - Probably he had a strong rheumatic affection, or the gout. This took place in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, three years before his death; and it is said that he sought to physicians rather than to the Lord, 2 Chronicles 16:12, 2 Chronicles 16:13.
The rest of all the acts of Asa - A few of these are preserved in 2 Chronicles 15:9-15; 2 Chronicles 16:7-12. From the whole narrative of Chronicles we gather that the character of Asa deteriorated as he grew old, and that, while he maintained the worship of Yahweh consistently from first to last, he failed to maintain the personal faith and piety which had been so conspicuous in his early youth.
The cities which he built - Asa, during the earlier part of his reign, before any serious attack had been made upon him, had the prudence to “build fenced cities in Judah,” with “walls and towers, gates and bars,” so strengthening himself against a possible evil day 2 Chronicles 14:6-7.
In the time of his old age - See the marginal reference. If it has been rightly supposed that Rehoboam was a young man of 21 or 22 at his accession 1 Kings 12:8, Asa‘s age at this time must have been less than 50. It may seem strange to speak of “old age” in such a case; but Solomon was regarded as “old” at about 50 (1 Kings 11:4 note).
Asa's long record of faithful service was marred by some mistakes, made at times when he failed to put his trust fully in God. When, on one occasion, the king of Israel entered the kingdom of Judah and seized Ramah, a fortified city only five miles from Jerusalem, Asa sought deliverance by forming an alliance with Benhadad, king of Syria. This failure to trust God alone in time of need was sternly rebuked by Hanani the prophet, who appeared before Asa with the message: PK 113.1
“Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, He delivered them into thine 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 thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:7-9. PK 113.2
Instead of humbling himself before God because of his mistake, “Asa was wroth 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.” Verse 10. PK 113.3Read in context »