Chapter 15

1And the spirit of God was upon Azariah the son of Oded.   אוַֽעֲזַרְיָ֙הוּ֙ בֶּן־עוֹדֵ֔ד הָֽיְתָ֥ה עָלָ֖יו ר֥וּחַ אֱלֹהִֽים:
2And he went out before Asa and said to him, "Hearken to me, Asa and all of Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you because you are with Him, and if you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.   בוַיֵּצֵא֘ לִפְנֵ֣י אָסָא֒ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ל֔וֹ שְׁמָע֕וּנִי אָסָ֖א וְכָל־יְהוּדָ֣ה וּבִנְיָמִ֑ן יְהֹוָ֚ה עִמָּכֶם֙ בִּֽהְיֽוֹתְכֶ֣ם עִמּ֔וֹ וְאִם־תִּדְרְשֻׁ֙הוּ֙ יִמָּצֵ֣א לָכֶ֔ם וְאִם־תַּֽעַזְבֻ֖הוּ יַֽעֲזֹ֥ב אֶתְכֶֽם:
3Now there were many days for Israel without a true God and without an instructing priest, and without the Torah.   גוְיָמִ֥ים רַבִּ֖ים לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לְלֹ֣א| אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֱמֶ֗ת וּלְלֹ֛א כֹּהֵ֥ן מוֹרֶ֖ה וּלְלֹ֥א תוֹרָֽה:
Now there were many days for Israel without a true God: until you came.  
and without an instructing priest: Since no one asks them words of Torah, the priests will not instruct you.  
4And they returned to the Lord, the God of Israel, when they were in distress, and they sought Him, and He was found by them.   דוַיָּ֙שָׁב֙ בַּצַּר־ל֔וֹ עַל־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיְבַקְשֻׁ֖הוּ וַיִּמָּצֵ֥א לָהֶֽם:
And they returned to the Lord, the God of Israel, when they were in distress: He means to say that now, when they were beset with troubles, they beseeched the Lord, the God of Israel, and they sought Him; therefore, He was found by them, and He saved you (sic) wherever you went.  
5And in those times, there was no peace for anyone going or coming for there were great turmoils upon all the inhabitants of the lands.   הוּבָֽעִתִּ֣ים הָהֵ֔ם אֵ֥ין שָׁל֖וֹם לַיּוֹצֵ֣א וְלַבָּ֑א כִּי מְהוּמ֣וֹת רַבּ֔וֹת עַ֥ל כָּל־יֹֽשְׁבֵ֖י הָֽאֲרָצֽוֹת:
And in those times: in those numerous days for Israel, [when they were] without a true God.  
there was no peace for anyone going or coming, etc.: Concerning Rehoboam it is written (above 12:2): “Shishak, the king of Egypt, marched against Jerusalem, for they had betrayed the Lord.” Abijah also experienced many turmoils.  
6And nation was crushed by nation and city by city, because God discomfited them with all troubles.   ווְכֻתְּת֥וּ גֽוֹי־בְּג֖וֹי וְעִ֣יר בְּעִ֑יר כִּֽי־אֱלֹהִ֥ים הֲמָמָ֖ם בְּכָל־צָרָֽה:
And nation was crushed by nation: Heb. וְכֻתְּתוּ. Another instance of this is (Num. 14:45): “and they struck them and crushed them (וַיַּכְּתוּם).”  
7But you be strong and let your hands not slacken, for there is reward for your work."   זוְאַתֶּ֣ם חִזְק֔וּ וְאַל־יִרְפּ֖וּ יְדֵיכֶ֑ם כִּ֛י יֵ֥שׁ שָׂכָ֖ר לִפְעֻלַּתְכֶֽם:
But you be strong: to seek God.  
8And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he strengthened himself and removed the abominations from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had captured from Mount Ephraim, and he renewed the altar of the Lord, which was in front of the vestibule of the Lord.   חוְכִשְׁמֹ֨עַ אָסָ֜א הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה וְהַנְּבוּאָה֘ עֹדֵ֣ד הַנָּבִיא֒ הִתְחַזַּ֗ק וַיַּֽעֲבֵ֚ר הַשִּׁקּוּצִים֙ מִכָּל־אֶ֚רֶץ יְהוּדָה֙ וּבִנְיָמִ֔ן וּמִן־הֶ֣עָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לָכַ֖ד מֵהַ֣ר אֶפְרָ֑יִם וַיְחַדֵּשׁ֙ אֶת־מִזְבַּ֣ח יְהֹוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֕ר לִפְנֵ֖י אוּלָ֥ם יְהֹוָֽה:
9And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin and those dwelling with them from Ephraim and Manasseh and from Simeon, for many of Israel had defected to them when they saw that the Lord their God was with them.   טוַיִּקְבֹּ֗ץ אֶת־כָּל־יְהוּדָה֙ וּבִנְיָמִ֔ן וְהַגָּרִים֙ עִמָּהֶ֔ם מֵֽאֶפְרַ֥יִם וּמְנַשֶּׁ֖ה וּמִשִּׁמְע֑וֹן כִּי־נָֽפְל֨וּ עָלָ֚יו מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל֙ לָרֹ֔ב בִּרְאֹתָ֕ם כִּֽי־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהָ֖יו עִמּֽוֹ:
10And they gathered to Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa's reign.   יוַיִּקָּֽבְצ֥וּ יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֑י לִשְׁנַ֥ת חֲמֵֽשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵ֖ה לְמַלְכ֥וּת אָסָֽא:
11And they sacrificed to the Lord on that day of the plunder [that] they brought; cattle, seven hundred, and sheep, seven thousand.   יאוַיִּזְבְּח֚וּ לַֽיהֹוָה֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא מִן־הַשָּׁלָ֖ל הֵבִ֑יאוּ בָּקָר֙ שְׁבַ֣ע מֵא֔וֹת וְצֹ֖אן שִׁבְעַ֥ת אֲלָפִֽים:
And they sacrificed to the Lord on that day of the plunder they brought: The meaning is: And the plunder that they brought, they sacrificed seven hundred cattle and seven thousand sheep which they had captured, and from that they brought, as above: (14:14): “And they also smote the tents of the livestock, and they captured many sheep. etc.” Another possible explanation is: “And they sacrificed to the Lord on that day” - when they were victorious and came in peace to Jerusalem.“from the plunder they brought” - from the plunder that they had brought, i.e., seven hundred cattle and seven thousand sheep.  
12And they entered the covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their forefathers, with all their heart and with all their soul.   יבוַיָּבֹ֣אוּ בַבְּרִ֔ית לִדְר֕וֹשׁ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֽוֹתֵיהֶ֑ם בְּכָל־לְבָבָ֖ם וּבְכָל־נַפְשָֽׁם:
13And whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, shall be put to death, from the smallest to the greatest, whether man or woman.   יגוְכֹ֨ל אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹֽא־יִדְר֛שׁ לַֽיהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל יוּמָ֑ת לְמִן־קָטֹן֙ וְעַד־גָּד֔וֹל לְמֵאִ֖ישׁ וְעַד־אִשָּֽׁה:
14And they swore to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting, and with trumpets and with shopharoth.   ידוַיִּשָּֽׁבְעוּ֙ לַיהֹוָ֔ה בְּק֥וֹל גָּד֖וֹל וּבִתְרוּעָ֑ה וּבַֽחֲצֹֽצְר֖וֹת וּבְשֽׁוֹפָרֽוֹת:
15And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, because they had sworn with all their heart, and they sought Him with all their will, and He was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest from round about.   טווַיִּשְׂמְח֨וּ כָל־יְהוּדָ֜ה עַל־הַשְּׁבוּעָ֗ה כִּ֚י בְכָל־לְבָבָם֙ נִשְׁבָּ֔עוּ וּבְכָל־רְצוֹנָ֣ם בִּקְשֻׁ֔הוּ וַיִּמָּצֵ֖א לָהֶ֑ם וַיָּ֧נַח יְהֹוָ֛ה לָהֶ֖ם מִסָּבִֽיב:
16And also Maacah, King Asa's mother, he deposed from [being] the queen because she had made a frightful image for an asherah, and Asa cut off her image, crushed it and burnt it in Kidron Valley.   טזוְגַם־מַֽעֲכָ֞ה אֵ֣ם| אָסָ֣א הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ הֱסִירָהּ֙ מִגְּבִירָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־עָֽשְׂתָ֥ה לַֽאֲשֵׁרָ֖ה מִפְלָ֑צֶת וַיִּכְרֹ֚ת אָסָא֙ אֶת־מִפְלַצְתָּ֔הּ וַיָּ֕דֶק וַיִּשְׂרֹ֖ף בְּנַ֥חַל קִדְרֽוֹן:
And also Maacah, King Asa’s mother he deposed from [being] the queen: because she had made a frightful image for an asherah to gratify her lust. [מִפְלֶצֶת means] מַפְלֵא לֵצוּתָא. It carried lasciviousness to an extreme. She made herself a phallus for the image, and would copulate with it.  
17The high places, however, were not removed from Israel, but Asa's heart was perfect all his days.   יזוְהַ֨בָּמ֔וֹת לֹא־סָ֖רוּ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵ֑ל רַ֧ק לְבַב־אָסָ֛א הָיָ֥ה שָׁלֵ֖ם כָּל־יָמָֽיו:
The high places, however, were not removed: private high places, upon which they had become accustomed to sacrificing to Heaven from the time that Shiloh was destroyed until the Temple was built. [Those who worshipped there] were punishable by כָּרֵת, premature death.  
18And he brought the hallowed objects of his father and his own hallowed objects to the House of God-silver, gold, and vessels.   יחוַיָּבֵ֞א אֶת־קָדְשֵׁ֥י אָבִ֛יו וְקָֽדָשָׁ֖יו בֵּ֣ית הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים כֶּ֥סֶף וְזָהָ֖ב וְכֵלִֽים:
19And there was no war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa's reign.   יטוּמִלְחָמָ֖ה לֹ֣א הָיָ֑תָה עַ֛ד שְׁנַת־שְׁלֹשִׁ֥ים וְחָמֵ֖שׁ לְמַלְכ֥וּת אָסָֽא:
And there was no war, etc.: We learned in Seder Olam (ch. 16): “In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s kingdom, Baasha, the king of Israel, advanced.” Is it possible to say so? Had not Baasha already died in the twenty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, as it is written (I Kings 16:8): “In the twenty- sixth year of Asa, king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha reigned” ? What then is the meaning of “In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s kingdom”? This corresponds to the thirty-six years from the time that Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, for so it is written (I Kings 2:39-46): “and two of Shimei’s slaves ran away… And the king commanded Benaiah etc. and he smote (Sic) and fell upon him,” and immediately following this Scripture writes about Solomon’s marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter, i.e., immediately after those three years, and in the fourth year he married her, and he reigned forty years. We find that she was with him thirty-six years, and corresponding to them were the thirty-six years that the decree was issued upon the kings of Aram to be adversaries to Israel and finally to fall into the hand[s] of David’s sons. Therefore, it is stated: “In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s kingdom.” In the sixteenth year of his reign, after Zerah the Cushite fell into his hand[s], that is the thirty-sixth year from Solomon’s death, and in the sixteenth [year] of Asa, the king of Israel and the king of Aram made a treaty to advance and provoke Asa. Asa sinned, as it is stated (16: 2f.): “And Asa brought out silver and gold… saying, ‘Make (sic) a treaty between me and you…’ And Ben Hadad heeded.” And the kings of Aram did not cease being adversaries to Israel until Ahaz died, and in the third year of Ahaz, the king of Israel and the king of Aram made a treaty to advance and provoke Ahaz, and Ahaz had no merit that they should fall into his hand[s]; so they both fell into the hand [s] of Tiglath-Pileser, the king of Assyria.