Hanani the seer and King Asa (2 Chr 16:7-16:10)

“At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa of Judah. He said to him. ‘Because you relied on the king of Aram and did not rely on Yahweh your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with exceedingly many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on Yahweh, he gave them into your hand. The eyes of Yahweh range throughout the entire earth, to strengthen those whose heart is blameless to him. You have done foolishly in this. From now on you will have wars.’ Then King Asa was angry with the seer. He put him in the stocks, in prison. He was in a rage with him because of this. King Asa inflicted cruelties on some of the people at the same time.”

There is a whole change of tone here. The prophet or seer Hanani came to King Asa that he should not have made an alliance with the King of Aram against his fellow Israelites. He should have consulted with Yahweh, like he did when he prayed for help against the Ethiopians. King Asa did not take this rebuke kindly. He put the prophet in jail. Then he angrily inflicted cruelties on others. There were other people with the name of Hanani, but this prophet only appears here. King Asa should have consulted with Yahweh, not made foreign alliances with the King of Aram.  Suddenly the good King Asa takes a bitter turn as this may explain why he was struck ill in the next section.

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