King Abijam of Judah was the father of King Asa who ruled from Jerusalem around 900 B.C which is where this event appears on the Biblical Timeline Chart. King Asa was the fifth ruler that was descended from the line of David. King Asa ruled Judah for 41 years and he made it a point to honor God by obeying his commandments. Asa’s name means “healer” or “doctor” and this name reflects Asa’s character and how he corrected a lot of the wrong things in Judah that offended God. King Asa made it a point to remove the pagan shrines that had become a part of their culture that was introduced from King Jeroboam of Israel.
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King Asa constantly fought against King Bashaa of Israel during his reign, but he also fought against other enemies such as King Zerah from Ethiopia. The Ethiopians had been interacting with the kingdom of Judah since the time that King Solomon had reigned. Historians claim that King Zerah was taking a large army north of Israel to battle against the Assyrians. King Zerah had probably been conquering and subjecting lands all around him because of the large army that he had commanded. 2 Chronicles 14:9 states that Zerah had marched his million man army into a Judean town known as Mareshah. King Asa found out about King Zerah’s force in Mareshah and took his forces to the town to do battle.
King Asa only had a 300,000 man army and was seriously outnumbered by the powerful Ethiopian force. Asa realized that the only way that he could defeat Zerah was by relying on God. In 2 Chronicles 14:11 Asa prays to God and the Lord answers his request because the Judean king was faithful to him. The forces of Judah moved out against the Ethiopians and God caused them to win. The Ethiopians were being beaten so bad that they had to retreat and when they did the forces of Judah pursued them a great distance to a foreign territory called Gerar. Once the people of Gerar heard about the defeat of the mighty Ethiopian army they feared God and the people of Judah.
After the Ethiopians were defeated King Asa’s men took their abandoned possessions that they had left behind. His forces raided far into Ethiopian territory and took their livestock, cattle and camels. King Asa’s forces had won a great victory because God allowed them to win.
- 1 Chronicles 15: 11 King Asa made it a point to obey God.
- 1 Chronicles 15: 12, 13 he removed most of the pagan shrine and got rid of the pagan priests.
- 1 Chronicles 15: 16 King Asa always at war with King Bashaa of Israel.
- 2 Chronicles 14: 1,6 God gives Judah ten years of peace because Asa obeyed him.
- 2 Chronicles 14:9 King Asa and King Zerah prepare for battle in the town of Mareshah.
- 2 Chronicles 14: 11 King Asa prays for God’s help against King Zerah.
- 2 Chronicles 14: 12, 13 God gives King Asa’s forces the victory of the Ethiopians.
- 2 Chronicles 14: 13-15 King Asa’s forces chase the Ethiopians all the way back to their homelands and take their possessions, livestock and camels.
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