1 Asa did what was good and pleasing to Hashem his God.
א וַיַּעַשׂ אָסָא הַטּוֹב וְהַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו׃
2 He abolished the alien altars and shrines; he smashed the pillars and cut down the sacred posts.
ב וַיָּסַר אֶת־מִזְבְּחוֹת הַנֵּכָר וְהַבָּמוֹת וַיְשַׁבֵּר אֶת־הַמַּצֵּבוֹת וַיְגַדַּע אֶת־הָאֲשֵׁרִים׃
3 He ordered Yehuda to turn to God of their fathers and to observe the Teaching and the Commandment.
ג וַיֹּאמֶר לִיהוּדָה לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם וְלַעֲשׂוֹת הַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוָה׃
4 He abolished the shrines and the incense stands throughout the cities of Yehuda, and the kingdom was untroubled under him.
ד וַיָּסַר מִכָּל־עָרֵי יְהוּדָה אֶת־הַבָּמוֹת וְאֶת־הַחַמָּנִים וַתִּשְׁקֹט הַמַּמְלָכָה לְפָנָיו׃
5 He built fortified towns in Yehuda, since the land was untroubled and he was not engaged in warfare during those years, for Hashem had granted him respite.
ה וַיִּבֶן עָרֵי מְצוּרָה בִּיהוּדָה כִּי־שָׁקְטָה הָאָרֶץ וְאֵין־עִמּוֹ מִלְחָמָה בַּשָּׁנִים הָאֵלֶּה כִּי־הֵנִיחַ יְהֹוָה לוֹ׃
6 He said to Yehuda, “Let us build up these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars, while the land is at our disposal because we turned to Hashem our God—we turned [to Him] and He gave us respite on all sides.” They were successful in their building.
ו וַיֹּאמֶר לִיהוּדָה נִבְנֶה אֶת־הֶעָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְנָסֵב חוֹמָה וּמִגְדָּלִים דְּלָתַיִם וּבְרִיחִים עוֹדֶנּוּ הָאָרֶץ לְפָנֵינוּ כִּי דָרַשְׁנוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ דָּרַשְׁנוּ וַיָּנַח לָנוּ מִסָּבִיב וַיִּבְנוּ וַיַּצְלִיחוּ׃
ז וַיְהִי לְאָסָא חַיִל נֹשֵׂא צִנָּה וָרֹמַח מִיהוּדָה שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וּמִבִּנְיָמִן נֹשְׂאֵי מָגֵן וְדֹרְכֵי קֶשֶׁת מָאתַיִם וּשְׁמוֹנִים אָלֶף כָּל־אֵלֶּה גִּבּוֹרֵי חָיִל׃
8 Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with an army of a thousand thousand and 300 chariots. When he reached Mareshah
ח וַיֵּצֵא אֲלֵיהֶם זֶרַח הַכּוּשִׁי בְּחַיִל אֶלֶף אֲלָפִים וּמַרְכָּבוֹת שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת וַיָּבֹא עַד־מָרֵשָׁה׃
9 Asa confronted him, and the battle lines were drawn in the valley of Zephat by Mareshah.
10 Asa called to Hashem his God, and said, “Hashem, it is all the same to You to help the numerous and the powerless. Help us, Hashem our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this great multitude. You are Hashem our God. Let no mortal hinder You.”
va-yik-RA a-SA el a-do-NAI e-lo-HAV va-yo-MAR a-do-NAI ayn i-m’-KHA la-ZOR BAYN RAV l’-AYN KO-akh oz-RAY-nu a-do-NAI e-lo-HAY-nu kee a-LE-kha nish-A-nu uv-shim-KHA VA-nu al he-ha-MON ha-ZEH a-do-NAI e-lo-HAY-nu A-tah al ya-TZOR i-m’-KHA e-NOSH
י וַיִּקְרָא אָסָא אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו וַיֹּאמַר יְהֹוָה אֵין־עִמְּךָ לַעְזוֹר בֵּין רַב לְאֵין כֹּחַ עָזְרֵנוּ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ כִּי־עָלֶיךָ נִשְׁעַנּוּ וּבְשִׁמְךָ בָאנוּ עַל־הֶהָמוֹן הַזֶּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ אַתָּה אַל־יַעְצֹר עִמְּךָ אֱנוֹשׁ׃
14:10 In Your name we have come against this great multitude
Since the kingdom of Yehuda is the “kingdom of Hashem” (13:8), when it is attacked by a foreign enemy, it is fighting for God and His holy name. If the enemy wins, then in the enemy’s mind, they have defeated not only the Nation of Israel but also Hashem. This is one reason why throughout Jewish history, so many empires sought to conquer the Land of Israel and the city of Yerushalayim. This is also why it was so important to foreign powers to destroy the Beit Hamikdash, as a sign that they had overpowered the God of Israel. Just as Asa fought to defend God’s honor, so should we all.1 comment
11 So Hashem routed the Cushites before Asa and Yehuda, and the Cushites fled.
12 Asa and the army with him pursued them as far as Gerar. Many of the Cushites fell wounded beyond recovery, for they broke before Hashem and His camp. Very much spoil was taken.
יב וַיִּרְדְּפֵם אָסָא וְהָעָם אֲשֶׁר־עִמּוֹ עַד־לִגְרָר וַיִּפֹּל מִכּוּשִׁים לְאֵין לָהֶם מִחְיָה כִּי־נִשְׁבְּרוּ לִפְנֵי־יְהֹוָה וְלִפְנֵי מַחֲנֵהוּ וַיִּשְׂאוּ שָׁלָל הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד׃
13 All the cities in the vicinity of Gerar were ravaged, for a terror of Hashem seized them. All the cities were plundered, and they yielded much booty.
יג וַיַּכּוּ אֵת כָּל־הֶעָרִים סְבִיבוֹת גְּרָר כִּי־הָיָה פַחַד־יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיהֶם וַיָּבֹזּוּ אֶת־כָּל־הֶעָרִים כִּי־בִזָּה רַבָּה הָיְתָה בָהֶם׃
14 They also ravaged the encampment of herdsmen, capturing much sheep and camels. Then they returned to Yerushalayim.
יד וְגַם־אָהֳלֵי מִקְנֶה הִכּוּ וַיִּשְׁבּוּ צֹאן לָרֹב וּגְמַלִּים וַיָּשֻׁבוּ יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃