16:1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasha of Israel attacked Judah, and he established Ramah as a military outpost to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the land of King Asa of Judah. 1 16:2 Asa took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace and sent it to King Ben Hadad of Syria, ruler in Damascus, along with this message: 16:3 “I want to make a treaty with you, like the one our fathers made. 2 See, I have sent you silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel, so he will retreat from my land.” 3 16:4 Ben Hadad accepted King Asa’s offer and ordered his army commanders to attack the cities of Israel. 4 They conquered 5 Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim, 6 and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 16:5 When Baasha heard the news, he stopped fortifying 7 Ramah and abandoned the project. 8 16:6 King Asa ordered all the men of Judah to carry away the stones and wood that Baasha had used to build Ramah. 9 He used the materials to build up 10 Geba and Mizpah.
16:7 At that time Hanani the prophet 11 visited King Asa 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 from your hand. 16:8 Did not the Cushites and Libyans have a huge army with chariots and a very large number of horsemen? But when you relied on the Lord, he handed them over to you! 16:9 Certainly 12 the Lord watches the whole earth carefully 13 and is ready to strengthen those who are devoted to him. 14 You have acted foolishly in this matter; from now on you will have war.