The continual war between King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel (1 Kings 15:16-15:22)

“There was war between King Asa and King Baasha of Israel all their days. King Baasha of Israel went up against Judah. He built Ramah to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to King Asa of Judah. Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of Yahweh and the treasures of the king’s house. He then gave them into the hands of his servants. King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad son of Tabrimmon son of Hezion of Arum, who resided in Damascus, saying. ‘Let there be an alliance between me and you, like that between my father and your father. I am sending you a present of silver and gold. Go, break your alliance with King Baasha of Israel, so that he may withdraw from me.’ Ben-hadad listened to King Asa. He sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. When King Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah. He lived in Tirzah. Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah. None were exempt. They carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which King Baasha had been building. With them King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.”

King Baasha was the contemporary king of Israel. King Baasha set up some kind of barricade in Ramah, which was about 6 miles north of Jerusalem that kept King Asa from coming and going into Jerusalem. King Asa of Judah had an idea to get the Aramean King Ben-hadad of Damascus on his side against King Baasha. He sent envoys to Damascus with gold and silver from the temple and palace treasuries. He wanted King Ben-hadad to break his alliance with King Baasha and invade the northern territories. King Ben-hadad took the gold and silver. Then he sent his armies to take over the northern area around Dan, Naphtali, and the Galilean area (Chinneroth). When this happened Baasha stopped his work at Ramah and went to defend his cities from Tirzah. Meanwhile, King Asa sent all his people out from Jerusalem to Ramah to take all the stones and timbers. Then they rebuilt the cities of Geba, 6 miles northeast of Jerusalem in the Benjamin territory, and Mizpah, about 4 miles northwest of Jerusalem. These towns had existed before, but now they were refortified. Mizpah was a common name for many towns.