Chapter 15: The reigns of Aviyam, Asa, Nadav & Basha
1. The reign of Aviyam the son of Rechavam:
- In the eighteenth year of the reign of King Yeravam, the son of Navat, Aviyam ruled over Judah.
- The years of his reign: For three years he ruled in Jerusalem.
- His mother: His mother’s name was Maachah the daughter of Avishalom.
- His sins: Aviyam followed all the sins of his father, and his heart was not complete with Hashem as was the heart of David his father. It was only for the sake of David that Hashem gave him reign in Jerusalem and to preserve Jerusalem, as David followed the path of Hashem for all the days of his life, with exception to the incident with Uriah the Hittite.
- The state of war between him and Yeravam: There was war between Rechavam and between Yeravam, and then between Aviyam and Yeravam throughout all the days of his life.
- His legacy: The events surrounding Aviyam and all that he did are written in the book of Chronicles of the kings of Judah.
- His death: Aviyam passed away and was buried in the city of David.
- His successor: Asa, his son, reigned after him.
2. The reign of Asa the son of Aviyam:
- In the twentieth year of the reign of Yeravam, king of Israel, Asa ruled over Judah.
- His years of reign: Asa ruled in Jerusalem for forty one years.
- His mother: His [grand] mother’s name was Maachah, and she was the daughter of Avishalom [and mother of Aviyam].
- His righteousness: Asa followed the ways of Hashem, as had done David his father. He abolished the adulterers from the land, and he removed all the idols that his fathers had made.
- Removal of Maacha from royalty and destruction of her idol monument: Asa removed his mother Maachah from her royalty status, as she had constructed a structure by an Asheira tree [which was used for idol worship, and which contained a male sexual organ which she had intercourse with on a daily basis]. Asa cut off this structure from the tree and burnt it in the Kidron Valley.
- The Bamos were not destroyed: [Despite Asa’s righteousness] the Bamos which were used to offer sacrifices to G-d were not removed [even though once the temple was built in Jerusalem, bringing an offering in another area carried a penalty of excision].
- Despite the above, Asa’s heart remained faithful to God throughout all of his days.
- Filling up the treasury of the temple: Asa brought his father’s consecrated items and his own consecrated items into the temple. This included both silver and gold and vessels.
3. The state of war between Asa and Basha, the king of Israel:
- There was a state of war between Asa and Basha, the king of Israel [who was the son of Nadav, and the grandson of Yeravam], throughout all their days.
- Basha, the king of Israel, prevents entry or exit to Jerusalem: Basha, the king of Israel, went up in battle against Judah and built a high tower [by the gates of Jerusalem], to prevent anyone who was faithful to Asa the king of Judah to be able to come or go [as his guards positioned there would throw stones at any person exiting or entering].
- Asa pays tribute to a Gentile king to wage war against the king of Israel: Asa took all of the silver and gold that remained in the treasuries of the Temple and of the treasuries of the palace, and he entrusted them in the hands of his servants to have them sent to Ben Haddad, the son of Tabrimon the son of Chezyon, the king of Aram who resided in Damascus, with the following message: “There is a treaty between me and you and between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent to you a bribe of silver and gold. Now, go break your treaty with Basha, king of Israel, and antagonize him so that he will leave me alone [and stop terrorizing me and my people from on top of the tower].”
- The Gentile king forces the king of Israel to stop his attacks on Asa: Ben Haddad accepted the bride from king Asa, and he sent the captains of his armies to wage war against the cities of Israel, and he smote the cities of Iyon, and Dan, and Ave Beis Maachah, and all of the villages of County of Kinereth together with all of the land of Naftali.
- Basha backs down from antagonizing Judah: When Basha the king of Israel heard of this attack, he refrained from building the high tower [and attacking the men of Judah], and he resided in the city of Tirzah [which was the capital of the kingdom of Israel].
- Asa takes down the tower of Basha: King Asa proclaimed to all of Judah that everyone must come without exception [even a groom from his wedding room] to take down the tower built by Basha. They carried the stones of the tower, and its timber, and king Asa used it to build the Geva of Benjamin and Mitzpah.
4. The legacy of Asa:
- His chronicles: The remainder of the history of Asa and all his mighty deeds and accomplishments and the cities which he built, are written in the book of Chronicles of the kings of Judah.
- His foot ailment: In Asa’s old age, he was stricken with a foot ailment.
- His death: King Asa passed away and was buried with his fathers in the city of David.
- His successor: Yehoshafat, his son, reigned after him.
5. The legacy of Nadav, king of Israel:
- His years of reign: Nadav, the son of Yeravam, reigned over the kingdom of Israel during the second year of the reign of Asa, the king of Judah. He ruled over the kingdom of Israel for two [short] years.
- His sins: Nadav sinned against Hashem as did his father and caused the Jewish people to likewise sin.
- His assassination by Basha: Baasha, the son of Achiyah, of the tribe of Issachar, conspired against him, and Baasha killed him in Givon, which was a city of the Philistines. This occurred when king Nadav and the Jewish people were laying siege against Givon.
- His chronicles: The rest of the events of Nadav and all that he did, are written in the book of Chronicles of the kings of Israel.
6. Basha becomes king of Israel, and liquidates the royal family of Yeravam:
- Basha killed king Nadav in the third year of the reign of Asa the king of Judah, and he then became king in his stead.
- Purge of the family of Yeravam: When Basha became king, he killed all members of the family of Yeravam. He did not leave any survivors amongst the family of Yeravam, and thus the family of Yeravam was completely decimated, as had prophesized Achiyah the Shilonite that would occur to him. This was done by G-d in retribution for the sins of Yeravam which he personally sinned and which he caused the Jewish people to sin, and which angered God.
7. The legacy of Basha, king of Israel:
- The state of war: There was war between Asa [the king of Judah] and Baasha the king of Israel, throughout all their days.
- His years of reign: In the third year of reign of Asa the king of Judah, Baasha the son of Achiyah reigned over all of Israel in Tirzah for twenty four years.
- His sins: Basha sinned against Hashem and caused the Jewish people to sin against Him, following the same path as Yeravam.
 See Radak and Metzudos Dovid 15:10
 See Radak 15:13
 See Rashi 15:13; Avoda Zara 44a
 Rashi 15:14
 Metzudos Dovid 15:17
 Metzudos Dovid 15:17
 Metzudos Dovid 15:21
 Rashi 15:22
 See Metzudos Dovid 15:25