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2 Chronicles 14:1-4 (KJV)

So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years. And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.

2 Chronicles 15:8 (KJV)

And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD.

In the beginning of his reign we are told Asa did good and right in the eyes of the Lord: he removed altars of foreign gods and high places, but later in chapter 15 we are told that Asa removed the abominations in obedience to a prophetic admonition, as if he had not removed them at the beginning of his reign.

Wow can we reconcile the two texts? Or there is a chronological issue here?

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    2 Chron 14:1-4 is just a summary statement -- typical of the way the Chronicler often introduces the reign of a Judean king post-Solomon -- followed by the more detailed account. Compare 2 Chron 17:1ff.; 21:1ff.; 22:1ff.; 24:1ff., etc. There is no "contradiction" here, and no chronological issue requiring "interpretation".
    – Dɑvïd
    Dec 27 '16 at 14:03
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Asa had an up-and-down relationship with God. He began in 2 Chronicles 14:

1And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years.

2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles.

He had a nice beginning, depending on the Lord.

11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”

12 The Lord struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled,

The Lord helped him to fight his enemies. Then he received a warning, 2 Chronicles 15:

1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

Asa heeded the Oded's warning, 2 Chronicles 15:

8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord’s temple.

God rewarded him with peace.

15 All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.

But then the event took a downturn in 2 Chronicles 16:

1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.

This time, he didn't ask God for help but solicited foreign help, 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 Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen?

Asa didn't learn the lesson from the last war.

Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. 9For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

Asa obeyed Oded. Now he didn't obey Hanani.

10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.

He was angry with God and took it out on the people.

12In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.

He refused to repent and turn to God.

13 Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors.

How can we harmonize 2 Chronicles 14:1-4 and 15:8?

Asa had an up-and-down relationship with God.

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Two things:

  1. The chronology of Asa's reign is still not settled historically. There remains some debate about the chronology of his kingship, and the chronology of his reign. It is likely these verses reflect this confusion.

  2. Even if that were not the case, the struggle the House of Judah (meaning the tribes of Judah, Levi, and Benjamin) had remaining faithful to YHWH worship was an ongoing struggle. Is there any evidence to think it was either/or rather than both/and?

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As it turns out, in 2 Chronicles 14:3 Asa took away the altars of the foreigner's (מִזְבְּח֥וֹת הַנֵּכָ֖ר) and their high places (וְהַבָּמ֑וֹת) and broke down their pillars (הַמַּצֵּב֔וֹת) and cut down their groves (הָאֲשֵׁרִֽים), but later on in 2 Chronicles 15:8 Asa was moved by the prophet to also remove the abominable idols (הַשִּׁקּוּצִים֙) that had found their way into the lands and cities of Judah and Benjamin.

Conclusion

There is no contradiction here.

The things spoken of in 2 Chronicles 14:3 are distinct Hebrew words and as such are not referring to the same thing mentioned in 2 Chronicles 15:8, which are personal idols of "wood and stone, silver and gold (Deuteronomy 29:17).

Such treasures as belonged to Solomon's wives, and for which he built high places (1 Kings 11:1-8). Abominations that found their way not only into the hills, but also into the fields of the children of Judah (Jeremiah 13:17), and ultimately all the way to the heart of the nation, into "the house, which is called by my name" (Jeremiah 32:34).

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