I Kings 15:
1 Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah.
2 He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
3 And he walked in all the sins that his father did before him, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.
4 Nevertheless, for David’s sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem,
5 because David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
6 Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.
7 The rest of the acts of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
8 And Abijam slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place.
V.4 ties the kings of Judah together – “nevertheless, for David’s sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem…”. This is the prophetic hope – the gospel, that David’s son Jesus Christ is set up in the lineage of kings to establish new Jerusalem. For what other reason are the kings maintained in spite of their faulty relationships with the Anointed Son of David as sung in Psalm 2? Theirs is the true covenant of God’s unfailing love to us, that we cannot be removed far and wide from His warm embrace (Romans 8:38-39).
Chapters 15-16 record the history of Abijah and Asa – and there are interestingly different depictions of him in 1 Kings 15-16 and 2 Chronicles 13-16. The narrator of Kings jumps immediately to the summation of Abijah’s life; and notably, in the book of Kings, Abijah is called Abijam – a name which now means ‘father of the sea’ instead of ‘the Lord is my father’. With the sea connoting negative implications in biblical terms (Jeremiah 5:22; Ezekiel 47:9; Jude 1:13), the usage of Abijam over Abijah is fitting in the narrator’s negative description of Absalom / Abishalom’s lineage. “He walked in all the sins that his father did before him, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God” (v.3 – my emphasis italicized). Though not ‘wholly’ true, 2 Chronicles 13 makes specific reference to Abijah’s holy proclamation against Jeroboam. Though the narrator recognizes the book of Chronicles as recording Abijah’s life account (v.7), nonetheless the account of his life in this book is short, and not sweet.
It would seem, however, that the focus is not on the merits of Abijah – but contrarily on the evils of Maacah (“oppression”), the daughter of Abishalom (“father of peace”). She is mentioned in v.2 but is again mentioned in verses 10 and 13 – it is quite clear that these two chapters focus on the comparison of the relationships which Abijah and Asa respectively had with Christ. Contrast the description above with the following text from 2 Chronicles 13:
4 Then Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim that is in the hill country of Ephraim and said, “Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel!
5 Ought you not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?
6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord,
7 and certain worthless scoundrels gathered about him and defied Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and irresolute and could not withstand them.
8 “And now you think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David, because you are a great multitude and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made you for gods.
9 Have you not driven out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes for ordination with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what are no gods.
10 But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him. We have priests ministering to the LORD who are sons of Aaron, and Levites for their service.
11 They offer to the LORD every morning and every evening burnt offerings and incense of sweet spices, set out the showbread on the table of pure gold, and care for the golden lampstand that its lamps may burn every evening. For we keep the charge of the LORD our God, but you have forsaken him.
12 Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.”
13 Jeroboam had sent an ambush around to come upon them from behind. Thus his troops were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them.
14 And when Judah looked, behold, the battle was in front of and behind them. And they cried to the LORD, and the priests blew the trumpets.
15 Then the men of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
16 The men of Israel fled before Judah, and God gave them into their hand.
17 Abijah and his people struck them with great force, so there fell slain of Israel 500,000 chosen men.
18 Thus the men of Israel were subdued at that time, and the men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers.
19 And Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took cities from him, Bethel with its villages and Jeshanah with its villages and Ephron with its villages.
20 Jeroboam did not recover his power in the days of Abijah. And the LORD struck him down, and he died.
What happened to the man who exclaimed these words against Jeroboam? This is what 1 Kings 15 seeks to clarify by its current focus on Asa.
9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah,
10 and he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
11 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done.
12 He put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.
13 He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron.
14 But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true to the LORD all his days.
15 And he brought into the house of the LORD the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels.
Immediately, in v.11 Asa is described as ‘doing what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done’ – comparing Asa and Abijah to David as the ‘standard’. However, it is important that we do not assume the kings to look at David as some “God-king”, though he is a commonly used type of Christ (Luke 18:38; Revelation 22:16). What David had done was but a shadow of Christ, but moreso, David had faith in Christ. Here is a man whose deeds bore Christocentric meaning because of the Christocentric faith he had (Psalm 2, 72, 110; Mark 12:35-37). As Matthew Henry notes in his commentary on Mark 12:35-37:
“Christ shows the people how weak and defective the scribes were in their preaching, and how unable to solve the difficulties that occurred in the scriptures of the Old Testament, which they undertook to expound. Of this he gives an instance, which is not so fully related here as it was in Matthew. Christ was teaching in the temple: many things he said, which were not written; but notice is taken of this, because it will stir us up to enquire concerning Christ, and to enquire of him; for none can have the right knowledge of him but from himself; it is not to be had from the scribes, for they will soon be run aground.
1. They told the people that the Messiah was to be the Son of David ( 35), and they were in the right; he was not only to descend from his loins, but to fill his throne (Luke i. 32); The Lord shall give him the throne of his father David. The scripture said it often, but the people took it as what the scribes said; whereas the truths of God should rather be quoted from our Bibles than from our ministers, for there is the original of them. Dulcius ex ipso fonte bibuntur aquæ–The waters are sweetest when drawn immediately from their source.
2. Yet they could not tell them how, notwithstanding that it was very proper for David, in spirit, the spirit of prophecy, to call him his Lord, as he doth, Ps. cx. 1. They had taught the people that concerning the Messiah, which would be for the honour of their nation–that he should be a branch of their royal family; but they had not taken care to teach them that which was for the honour of the Messiah himself–that he should be the Son of God, and, as such, and not otherwise, David’s Lord. Thus they held the truth in unrighteousness, and were partial in the gospel, as well as in the law, of the Old Testament. They were able to say it, and prove it–that Christ was to be David’s son; but if any should object, How then doth David himself call him Lord? They would not know how to avoid the force of the objection. Note, Those are unworthy to sit in Moses’s seat, who, though they are able to preach the truth, are not in some measure able to defend it when they have preached it, and to convince gainsayers.”
Though Abijah fought and won military victories against Jeroboam, such victories are ultimately empty if the removal of such powers is not immediately replaced with God’s love through Christ (Romans 8:39). Asa’s actions is therefore in stark contrast, by firstly his putting away of the male cult prostitutes, removing all the idols his fathers had made (fathers, notably linking this to Abishalom ironically titled the ‘father of peace’). Instead, only Asa, the physician, can cure the nation of its sins by removing the idolatrous sacramental objects of their own faiths; by removing Satan’s stronghold within the church and cleansing it from inside out. The key verse is v.13 – he removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because of her faith in Asherah. By assumption, this means that Abijah did not remove his queen mother in-spite of her worship of Asherah – effectively making Abijah’s words of 2 Chronicles 13 empty if he did not carry out the implications of his proclamation against even the queen mother. The stark image is that of Abijah’s omission and Asa’s proactive mission to destroy all that leads people astray, burning the image of Asherah in the brook Kidron – at the same time, the image of such burning burnt into the minds of his Israelite subjects. The burning of the image of Asherah in this brook is especially symbolic, for it is a place of David’s weeping (2 Samuel 15:23, 30), frequently a place crossed by the LORD (John 18:1), and a place frequented by all types of impurities (2 Kings 11:16, 23:6; 2 Chronicles 29:16, 30:14; Jeremiah 26:23) but also eventually a place where the Jews would wish to be buried (Joel 3:2)
Remember the words of our LORD Jesus concerning idols, for He is the purifier of our spirits by the coming and filling of His Spirit (2 Corinthians 6:16; Revelation 9:20).
V.14 is testament to the LORD not seeking ‘perfection’ for the purpose of salvation; in fact, what He seeks is a type of worship which understands His will for mankind. Asa clearly understood this – setting himself apart from Abijah by focusing on the house of the LORD. This is a House which is heavily neglected – aside from David, Solomon and Asa’s respective foci on this central Temple of Israel, we will not come back to this House until 2 Kings 11, approximately 100 years later, under the direction of Jehoiada. Yet, it is also the place where the light of Christ shines the brightest – the Levitical system of sacrifice, pointing clearly towards the work of the sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered for the sins of the church of spiritual Israel (Romans 11:25-26).
16 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house and gave them into the hands of his servants. And King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying,
19 “Let there be a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you a present of silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.”
Yet, almost immediately after what had been a bold imagery of the focus on the temple and house of God – we witness the fall of Asa by his reliance on “the son of the Syrian god” (Ben-hadad), who in turn is the son of he “who believes Rimmon is good” (Tabrimmon), the son of Hezion – king of Syria. Like Ahijah earlier in his life, and just as Asa had torn down the Asherah images in the midst of her mother’s forced abdication of the throne, Asa could have relied on the LORD to defeat the wicked Baasha. Instead, Asa would relinquish the treasures of the house of the LORD, implying that the mere worship and sacrifice of the Temple is insufficient that he should rely on earthly rather than spiritual alliances (Romans 13:12; Ephesians 6).
20 And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel and conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.
21 And when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah, and he lived in Tirzah.
22 Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah, none was exempt, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.
23 Now the rest of all the acts of Asa, all his might, and all that he did, and the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in his old age he was diseased in his feet.
24 And Asa slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.
How strange that the later history of Asa’s life is not reflected here, though Abijah’s wickedness is displayed for all to see? For Asa, just like Abijah, did not rely on the LORD fully in his latter days – 2 Chronicles 16:
7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you.
8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand.
9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.”
10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time…
12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.
Asa’s victory here seems to be won by Yahweh – but note that this is not a war fought under the banner of Anointed One. Even though Baasha is painted as an evil conspirator against the son of Jeroboam in the following verses, the narrator is not providing a full picture of what this king of Judah is like: however, it is clear that the kings of Israel are portrayed in a decidedly worse picture to promote the primary message of the King of Kings to come from Judah. However, the Anointed King is not any of the ones mentioned thus far – as Chronicles clearly shows.
25 Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.
26 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.
27 Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him. And Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, for Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon.
28 So Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah and reigned in his place.
29 And as soon as he was king, he killed all the house of Jeroboam. He left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite.
30 It was for the sins of Jeroboam that he sinned and that he made Israel to sin, and because of the anger to which he provoked the LORD, the God of Israel.
31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years.
34 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.
Thus, the foretelling of the overcoming of Baasha bears the focused message of the author of this book of Kings – that the line of Judah prevailed over the line of Israel. That the House of Judah overcomes the House of Israel which has been led astray by Jeroboam and Nadab and Baasha’s sins (v. 26, 34; 2 Kings 10:31, 15:9, 15:18 – constant reference to Jeroboam as causing Israel to sin, in fulfillment of Ahijah’s prophecy in 1 Kings 11-12). Tirzah (pleasantness), an old royal city of the Canaanites, was destroyed by Joshua in Joshua 12:24. Jeroboam chose it for his residence, and he removed to it from Shechem, which at first he made the capital of his kingdom. It remained the chief residence of the kings of Israel till Omri took Samaria (1 Kings 14:17; 15:21; 16:6, 8, etc.). Here Zimri perished amid the flames of the palace to which in his despair he had set fire (1 Kings 16:18) – and it is apparent that just as the brook Kidron was primarily a place of the burning of the Asherah image, so also Tirzah is a place where the kings of Israel can only find temporary solace before their ungodly demise (1 Kings 15:33; 16:6-23).
I Kings 16:
1 And the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,
2 “Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins,
3 behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
4 Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat.”
5 Now the rest of the acts of Baasha and what he did, and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
6 And Baasha slept with his fathers and was buried at Tirzah, and Elah his son reigned in his place.
7 Moreover, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha and his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and also because he destroyed it.
Thus, we finally receive the due intervention for Baasha’s act, for his emulation of the wicked bloodline of Jeroboam. A Christian prophet Jehu (Jehovah is the living), the son of Hanani (God has gratified me), has effectively pointed out the generations to come – the anti-Christ house of Jeroboam, in the line of the kings of Israel. Contrarily, the line of the kings of Judah has David, the type-of-Christ. It is from this point forward that the antithesis is more pronounced – the Davidic king against the Jeroboam-like king. The former leading the Israelites back to the law, back to the house of the LORD, back to Jerusalem; the latter leading the Israelites to the brook Kidron, to Tirzah, to Ramah, to the false altars of worship.
8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned two years.
9 But his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. When he was at Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household in Tirzah,
10 Zimri came in and struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place.
11 When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he struck down all the house of Baasha. He did not leave him a single male of his relatives or his friends.
12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet,
13 for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they made Israel to sin, provoking the LORD God of Israel to anger with their idols.
14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
Elah of Baasha died by hands of Zimri the commander – contrast this continuity with David’s fear of killing the king (1 Samuel 24:6) because of his understanding of what the ‘king’ means in the Israelite context (Psalm 24, 72). The king is not a mere human title; it is a dignified delegated position to cause Israel to live in grace, not in sin; to cause Israel to live in faith by placing her trust in the Day of Atonement, amongst the other Jewish festivals which were witnesses of the gospel truths in themselves (Exodus 19:6; Deuteronomy 17:18-20).
15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the troops were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines,
16 and the troops who were encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired, and he has killed the king.” Therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp.
17 So Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah.
18 And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire and died,
19 because of his sins that he committed, doing evil in the sight of the LORD, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and for his sin which he committed, making Israel to sin.
20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and the conspiracy that he made, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
Is it not apparent here that the life of Omri is very similar to that of Baasha’s life against Nadab at Gibbethon (1 Kings 15:27-30)? This is the continuity and persistence of sin (1 Timothy 5:20), notably living under the father of lies (v.19; John 8:44). What happened to the days when Israel was united as one man (Judges 20:11), but now it is divided into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah – but a third by the splitting of the people of Israel into two parts (v.21)? That half should follow Tibni (straw / hay / intelligence), and half should follow Omri (pupil of Jehovah)? That these false kings should build Samaria, a place of heresy – crafted by man and not God (Hosea 8:5-6)?
21 Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts. Half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri.
22 But the people who followed Omri overcame the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath. So Tibni died, and Omri became king.
23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for twelve years; six years he reigned in Tirzah.
24 He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and he fortified the hill and called the name of the city that he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill.
25 Omri did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did more evil than all who were before him.
26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in the sins that he made Israel to sin, provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols.
27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri that he did, and the might that he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
28 And Omri slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria, and Ahab his son reigned in his place.
29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years.
30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him.
31 And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him.
32 He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria.
33 And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.
34 In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.
And now we come to the 7th king since Jeroboam (inclusive of Jeroboam, from Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri) – who has allegedly done “evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him” (v.30). Not only that, he took for his wife Jezebel (chaste) the daughter of Ethbaal (with Baal) king of the Sidonians and served Baal. The irony that Jezebel, as ‘chaste’ – is the daughter of he who serves and is with their ‘lord’ Baal. He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, built in the evil city of Samaria – and he also made an Asherah, like Maacah the removed queen mother. While Abijah and Asa promoted the reforms under Christ’s banner (in spite of their own deficiencies as types of Christ), the physical church of Israel continued to worship Baal, in their mock-house of their lord, with their mock elohim (Baal and Asherah). This ends with the symbolic rebuilding of Jericho by Hiel of Bethel (life of God of the house of God), in fulfillment of Joshua’s curse in Joshua 6:26 –
26 Joshua laid an oath on them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the LORD be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho.
“At the cost of his firstborn shall he
lay its foundation,
and at the cost of his youngest son
shall he set up its gates.”
What further irony that the city of Jericho is rebuilt by a man who aligns himself with Ethbaal, with Jezebel, with Ahab – in their mock Bethel, their mock elohim and their mock city by the name of a man who is apparently the ‘life of God’. This could not be further from the truth. Yet, it is clear the narrator has one agenda by the end of chapters 15 and 16 – to portray the hypocrisy of physical against spiritual Israel; the hypocrisy of the kings of Israel against the kings of Judah. By comparing Abijah and Asa’s life, we see that Asa’s faith followed through with the removal of idols, though he faltered in his walk with the LORD in a variety of times (highlighted in Chronicles instead of Kings). And in highlighting Asa’s work, we see Abijah’s comparative deficiencies as to have the narrator identify him as ‘walking in the sins of that his father did before him’ (i.e. following in the line of Maacah and Absalom, though this is not the focus of Chronicles – see 2 Chronicles 13:2); whereas Asa walked in line with the heart of David v.11 and this is reflected in his removal of idols, of even his queen mother whom Abijah failed to remove.
Whatever glorious picture we see, however, is but a dim shadow of the Anointed Son whom David worshiped as no mere human king, but the Son of the Heavenly Yahweh. Even in the heights of Asa’s reforms, these pale in comparison to the spotless work of the humble Lamb of God. What we can say, though, is that their work points us firmly to Christ – who will remove all Asherahs, all Baals, all false kings, and that “All names will soon be restored to their proper owners.” (Aslan in the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia) They will neither be Jezebel, nor Hiel – for the curse of Joshua will fall upon them as a mark against Satan, revealing Jezebel as the false prophetess (Revelation 2:20), and Hiel as the death cursed from God.