Chapter 14

1Now Asa did what was good and proper in the eyes of the Lord his God.   אוַיַּ֚עַשׂ אָסָא֙ הַטּ֣וֹב וְהַיָּשָׁ֔ר בְּעֵינֵ֖י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהָֽיו:
2And he removed the foreign altars and the high places, and he shattered the monuments and cut down the asherim.   בוַיָּ֛סַר אֶת־מִזְבְּח֥וֹת הַנֵּכָ֖ר וְהַבָּמ֑וֹת וַיְשַׁבֵּר֙ אֶת־הַמַּצֵּב֔וֹת וַיְגַדַּ֖ע אֶת־הָֽאֲשֵׁרִֽים:
3And he commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their forefathers and to perform the Law and the commandments.   גוַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לִֽיהוּדָ֔ה לִדְר֕וֹשׁ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֽוֹתֵיהֶ֑ם וְלַֽעֲשׂ֖וֹת הַתּוֹרָ֥ה וְהַמִּצְוָֽה:
And he commanded Judah to seek: unlike the Ten Tribes, who sought other, new Gods, which came up of late, and did not seek the God of their fathers.  
4And he removed from all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun images, and the kingdom was tranquil before him.   דוַיָּ֙סַר֙ מִכָּל־עָרֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה אֶת־הַבָּמ֖וֹת וְאֶת־הַֽחַמָּנִ֑ים וַתִּשְׁקֹ֥ט הַמַּמְלָכָ֖ה לְפָנָֽיו:
5And he built fortified cities in Judah, because the land was tranquil, and there was no war with him in these years, because the Lord gave him peace.   הוַיִּ֛בֶן עָרֵ֥י מְצוּרָ֖ה בִּֽיהוּדָ֑ה כִּי־שָֽׁקְטָ֣ה הָאָ֗רֶץ וְאֵֽין־עִמּ֚וֹ מִלְחָמָה֙ בַּשָּׁנִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה כִּֽי־הֵנִ֥יחַ יְהֹוָ֖ה לֽוֹ:
6And he said to Judah, "Let us build these cities and encompass them with a wall and towers and doors and bars as long as the land is before us, for we sought the Lord our God; we sought [Him] and He gave us peace from round about." So they built and prospered.   ווַיֹּ֨אמֶר לִֽיהוּדָ֜ה נִבְנֶ֣ה| אֶת־הֶֽעָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה וְנָסֵ֨ב חוֹמָ֣ה וּמִגְדָּלִים֘ דְּלָתַ֣יִם וּבְרִיחִים֒ עוֹדֶ֨נּוּ הָאָ֜רֶץ לְפָנֵ֗ינוּ כִּ֚י דָרַ֙שְׁנוּ֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֔ינוּ דָּרַ֕שְׁנוּ וַיָּ֥נַֽח לָ֖נוּ מִסָּבִ֑יב וַיִּבְנ֖וּ וַיַּצְלִֽיחוּ:
as long as the land is before us: As long as the kingdom is established before us, so that if we need them, they will be a refuge for us. And all this happened in the ten years about which it is written (above 13:23): “in his time the land was tranquil.” But after those ten years, there was a war between him and Baasha all their lives, for in the third year of Asa, Baasha reigned, and seven years there was peace between them, and so it is proven here as well (verse 5): “and there was no war with him in these years.” But in the other years there was war with him, and below (15:19) it is written: “And there was no war until the thirty- fifth year of Asa’s reign.” We can, however, explain that the war that he had with the Cushites was not until the thirty-fifth year of his reign, but this is difficult to me, for it is written below (16: 1): “In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, Baasha… advanced,” until (verse 9): “you have dealt foolishly concerning this, for from now on there will be wars with you.” It appears from here that prior to this, he did not have wars, and he lived after that only five years, and in I Kings 15:32, it is written: “And there was war between Asa and Baasha, etc. all their lives.” In Seder Olam (ch. 16) it is explained clearly.  
for we sought the Lord our God; we sought [Him]: Since we sought Him, He gave us peace from round about.  
So they built: cities.  
and prospered: And a similar instance is (above 12:7): “And when the Lord saw that they had humbled themselves, etc.”  
7And Asa had an army bearing shields and spears, from Judah three hundred thousand and from Benjamin bearing shields and drawing the bow, two hundred eighty thousand, all these mighty warriors.   זוַיְהִ֣י לְאָסָ֔א חַיִל֘ נֹשֵׂ֣א צִנָּ֣ה וָרֹמַח֒ מִֽיהוּדָה֙ שְׁלֹ֣שׁ מֵא֣וֹת אֶ֔לֶף וּמִבִּנְיָמִ֗ן נֹֽשְׂאֵ֚י מָגֵן֙ וְדֹ֣רְכֵי קֶ֔שֶׁת מָאתַ֥יִם וּשְׁמוֹנִ֖ים אָ֑לֶף כָּל־אֵ֖לֶּה גִּבּ֥וֹרֵי חָֽיִל:
8And Zerah the Cushite came out against them with an army of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots, and he came as far as Mareshah.   חוַיֵּצֵ֨א אֲלֵיהֶ֜ם זֶ֣רַח הַכּוּשִׁ֗י בְּחַ֙יִל֙ אֶ֣לֶף אֲלָפִ֔ים וּמַרְכָּב֖וֹת שְׁלֹ֣שׁ מֵא֑וֹת וַיָּבֹ֖א עַד־מָֽרֵשָֽׁה:
9And Asa came out before him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephath at Mareshah.   טוַיֵּצֵ֥א אָסָ֖א לְפָנָ֑יו וַיַּֽעַרְכוּ֙ מִלְחָמָ֔ה בְּגֵ֥יא צְפָ֖תָה לְמָֽרֵשָֽׁה:
10And Asa called out to the Lord his God, and he said, "O Lord, there is no difference to You to help either the great or the powerless; help us, O Lord our God, for we have relied on You, and we have come with Your name upon this multitude. You are the Lord our God; let no man rule against You.   יוַיִּקְרָ֨א אָסָ֜א אֶל־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָיו֘ וַיֹּאמַר֒ יְהֹוָ֗ה אֵֽין־עִמְּךָ֚ לַעְזוֹר֙ בֵּ֥ין רַב֙ לְאֵ֣ין כֹּ֔חַ עָזְרֵ֜נוּ יְהֹוָ֚ה אֱלֹהֵ֙ינוּ֙ כִּֽי־עָלֶ֣יךָ נִשְׁעַ֔נּוּ וּבְשִׁמְךָ֣ בָ֔אנוּ עַל־הֶֽהָמ֖וֹן הַזֶּ֑ה יְהֹוָ֚ה אֱלֹהֵ֙ינוּ֙ אַ֔תָּה אַל־יַעְצֹ֥ר עִמְּךָ֖ אֱנֽוֹשׁ:
it makes no difference to You to aid: i.e., even though we are few and they are as numerous as the sand by the sea, and we have no strength before them, You can help both the great and the powerless; it is known that You have strength to aid; therefore, help us, O Lord our God, for we have relied on You.  
let no man rule against You: Let not our enemies - man - have human strength to rule (עִמְּ) with You, i.e., against You, to be victorious, so that they should not say, “We have defeated their God.” Another explanation from the Rabbi: Let not the weak one (אֱנוֹשׁ) be held back (יַעְצר), for we are weak, deprived of strength, keeping us back (עוֹצְרֵי יָד) from defeating them. And an example is (Deut. 11: 17): “and He will hold back (וְעָצַר) the heaven” ; (Gen. 20:18): “For the Lord had held back (וְעָצר עָצַר) ,” and like (Jud. 13:16): “If you take me in (תַּעְצְרֵנִי).”  
11And the Lord smote the Cushites before Asa and before Judah, and the Cushites fled.   יאוַיִּגֹּ֚ף יְהֹוָה֙ אֶת־הַכּוּשִׁ֔ים לִפְנֵ֥י אָסָ֖א וְלִפְנֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֑ה וַיָּנֻ֖סוּ הַכּוּשִֽׁים:
12And Asa and the people who were with him pursued them all the way to Gerar, and there fell from the Cushites until they had no life, for they were broken before the Lord and before His camp, and they carried away very much spoils.   יבוַיִּרְדְּפֵ֨ם אָסָ֜א וְהָעָ֣ם אֲשֶׁר־עִמּוֹ֘ עַד־לִגְרָר֒ וַיִּפֹּ֚ל מִכּוּשִׁים֙ לְאֵֽין־לָהֶ֣ם מִֽחְיָ֔ה כִּֽי־נִשְׁבְּר֥וּ לִפְנֵֽי־יְהֹוָ֖ה וְלִפְנֵ֣י מַֽחֲנֵ֑הוּ וַיִּשְׂא֥וּ שָׁלָ֖ל הַרְבֵּ֥ה מְאֹֽד:
13And they smote all the cities around Gerar, because the fear of the Lord was upon them, and they plundered all the cities because there was much plunder in them.   יגוַיַּכּ֗וּ אֵ֚ת כָּל־הֶֽעָרִים֙ סְבִיב֣וֹת גְּרָ֔ר כִּֽי־הָיָ֥ה פַֽחַד־יְהֹוָ֖ה עֲלֵיהֶ֑ם וַיָּבֹ֙זּוּ֙ אֶת־כָּל־הֶ֣עָרִ֔ים כִּֽי־בִזָּ֥ה רַבָּ֖ה הָיְתָ֥ה בָהֶֽם:
14And they also smote the tents of the livestock, and they captured many sheep and camels, and they returned to Jerusalem.   ידוְגַם־אָֽהֳלֵ֥י מִקְנֶ֖ה הִכּ֑וּ וַיִּשְׁבּ֨וּ צֹ֚אן לָרֹב֙ וּגְמַלִּ֔ים וַיָּשֻׁ֖בוּ יְרֽוּשָׁלִָֽם: