1 Kings 15
Abijam, Asa, (JUDAH) Nadab, Baasha (ISRAEL)
Abijam Reigned In Rehoboam's Place (1-8) JUDAH
During Jeroboam's reign in Israel, Abijam became king in Judah. In short, Abijam had his father Rehoboam’s spirit in sin and passion for evil. He did worship Yahweh but not with his whole heart (1-3). Yet for the sake of David, Yahweh put David's grandsons on the throne in Judah for some four centuries (4-5). The same hostilities that were present between Rehoboam and Jerobaom continued into Abijam's reign (6-7). While he only reigned for three years, God gave him a great victory against Jeroboam, Judah being out numbered two to one (2 Chronicles 13:2-20). Abijam died and his son reigned in his place according to the promise of Yahweh (8).
Asa Reigned In Abijam's Place (9-15) JUDAH
In the twentieth year of Jeroboam's reign, Asa took Abijam's place. Asa reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem and withstood the evil influences of his grandfather, father, and even his own mother. He destroyed the idols his father had built and terminated temple prostitution. Asa even deposed his own mother for her participation in pagan worship, setting her worship shrine ablaze in the Kidron Valley. The destruction of idols would have been the destruction of vast wealth, not merely unseemly images (9-13). While Asa did not destroy all the worship shrines during his forty-one-year reign, he was called by God wholly true to the Lord. He also was recorded as having been hugely generous with God's house (15). There was war between Asa and the king of Israel (16), but then Yahweh gave Judah ten years of peace which Asa considered the result of following Yahweh (2 Chronicles 14:1-10).
Baasha, King of Israel, Attacks Asa, King of Judah (16-23)
There was constant conflict between Asa and Baasha. Each kingdom would take cities from each other—back and forth it went. During one of these conflicts, Baasha went up five miles north of Jerusalem and began to build fortress cities to to seal off Jerusalem from any movement to the north (17). Asa became so concerned that he pillaged the house of God of gold and wealth, sending the treasure to Syria to buy Ben-hadad's betrayal of Baasha and military aid for Judah (18). An alliance was formed and Ben-hadad attacked Israel and captured some northern cities, forcing Baasha to stop building the siege cities around Jerusalem and return home to defend what was left (19-21). Asa immediately went to the cities Baasha was building, confiscated the material, and built two cites of his own (22).
Asa's Death (23-24)
Asa eventually died, and as with the other kings, more historical data was provided in other books. It was footnoted that he was diseased in his feet as an older ruler and he was given a state funeral. Jehoshaphat began to reign in his place.
Nadab Reigned In Jeroboam's Place (25-26) ISRAEL
Nadab, Jeroboam's son, had a short reign of only two years. He walked in evil in Yahweh's presence like his father had and caused Israel to sin (25-26). Eventually, Baasha, with some troops from Issachar, conspired to kill Nadab when Nadab was busy laying siege to Gibbethon seeking to take back a Levitical city in Dan which had fallen under Philistine control (27-28). Baasha's immediate action, once he was king, was to fulfill Ahijah's prophecy and massacre Jeroboam's descendants. He left no relative living (29).
It was Jeroboam's sins which led Israel into sin and which caused the Lord to abandon Jeroboam and his family over to the merciless destruction of Baasha (30). Of course, as usual, other things were written in other places about Nadab (31-32).
Baasha Reigned in Nadab's Place (33-34) ISRAEL
Baasha was evil like his father, and in the next chapter, his evil would bring prophetic judgment on his own head.