2 Chronicles

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2 Chronicles 16 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 2 Chronicles 16 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 In the six and thirtieth 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.

According to this verse, Baasha fought with Judah in the 36th year of Asa's reign, yet 1 Kg.16:6-8 says that Baasha died in the 26th year of Asa's reign. So if both stories are true, Baasha was still fighting 10 years after his death!
When did Baasha die?
Both stories are true. It all just depends on when you start counting. The author of Kings counts the year since the beginning of Asa's reign. The author of Chronicles counts the years since the beginning of the kingdom of Juda: Rehoboam reigned 17 years, his son Abia three years, and Asa had reigned 16 years at this point in time. Baasha died ten years later, so 26 years according to the author of Kings and 46 years according to the author of Chronicles.

2 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 Ben-hadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

3 There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

4 And Ben- hadad hearkened 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.

5 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease.

6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.

7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, 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.

(16:7, 10, 12) Was Asa perfect?

8 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.

9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew 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.

"The eyes of the Lord run to and fro."
It is a great comfort of those who have no helper in this world that their cause is not unbeknown to him who sees all things.

10 Then 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.

11 And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.

Asa, when he had a foot disease, went to physicians instead of seeking the Lord. (God disapproves of those who seek medical help rather than "seeking the Lord.")
We are here in the 917 BC. The author of the SAB forgets that modern medicine is still three thousand years away. Even the father of modern medicine, Hypocratus —although most doctor's these days have rejected the moral basis upon which he founded his Art— was not burn until almost 400 years later. So what is the meaning of the word “physician” here? Does it mean a properly trained doctor? It could well be an enchanter. Should Asah have listened to those? But even if this person was a physician Asah should have looked for God's blessing of the physician's work. Ask the Lord to give the physician wisdom to make the proper dignosis and proscribe a suitable medicine.
The author of the SAB also appears to read in this text that Christians shouldn't seek medicial help. As I have pointed out, it's utter nonsense to compare the work of a possible enchanter to the work of a modern doctor. That isn't the point of this verse. The point this text makes is to seek God first and ask him to bless the things we do. Ora et labora!

13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.

14 And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.