Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 15

The king of Aram attacks northern Israel

1 Kings 15:20-21

Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram, had made a peace agreement with Baasha, the king of northern Israel. However, Asa’s gold and silver mattered more to Ben-Hadad then the promises that Ben-Hadad had made. So, Ben-Hadad sent his army to attack northern Israel.

Aram was on the north-east side of Israel. Aram’s army first attacked the towns that were the furthest north in Israel: Ijon, Abel Bethmaacah and Dan. At the time of this attack, Baasha’s army was still working to build the defences at Ramah. That was the town furthest south in the country that Baasha controlled.

So, Baasha’s army had to march for more than 100 miles (160 kilometres) to reach the region that Aram’s army had attacked. By the time that they arrived, Aram’s army had entered further into Israel. They gained control over Kinnereth, a town by the sea of Galilee, and the region round it. Israel had lost control over the regions that belonged to the tribes (groups of families) called Dan and Naphtali.

That incident brought to an end Baasha’s plans to attack Jerusalem from Ramah. Baasha himself returned to the safety of his palace in Tirzah. Judah’s army took control of Ramah; probably they did not even need to fight for it.

So, Asa’s plan had succeeded. However, he had failed to trust God in this situation. What Asa had done, did not please God (2 Chronicles 16:7-10).

Next part: Asa destroys the defences at Ramah (1 Kings 15:22)


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