But the high places were not all removed, even though Asa’s heart was wholly devoted to the Lord all his days.1 Kings 15:14 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He took down the foreign altars and high places, and he shattered the pillars and cut down the images of Asherah.2 Chronicles 14:2–3 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
In an online conversation recently, these two texts were cited as contradictory. Here is part of a screenshot that shows the contradiction as posted.
As one sees, the assertion offered is that Asa did not remove the high places in the former and he does in the latter. The 1 Kings passage doesn’t say assign responsibility to anyone for not removing the high places. That is the first error.
In contrast, the 2 Chronicles passage clearly states Asa removes the high places. Already, we begin to see this alleged contradiction unraveling.
Greg Koukl is a Christian author and apologist. One of the points he takes the time to emphasize is never read a verse (or passage) alone. Read above and below to get a better understanding of the context.
Given that instruction, we can clearly see how both passages are truncated purposefully to prove a point. When we read the entire account of Asa’s reign in both passages and compare them, we clearly see the harmonization. Let’s expand the citation of 1 Kings:
Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. He expelled the male cult prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. In addition he even deposed his grandmother Maakah as queen, because she had made an idol in a grove. Asa destroyed her idol and burned it by the Kidron brook. But the high places were not all removed, even though Asa’s heart was wholly devoted to the Lord all his days.1 Kings 15:11–14 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Now considering the account of Asa, 2 Chronicles is more detailed. If we just read verses 14:2-3, we would miss the entire explanation of the disposition of those high places. In this more detailed account of the reign of Asa, we eventually come to a better understanding of what actually happened and where.
King Asa even removed his mother Maakah from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her image, crushed it, and burned it in the Kidron Valley. But they did not remove the high places from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was wholly committed all his days.2 Chronicles 15:16–17 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Asa has nothing to do with the remaining high places. Those were in Israel, a different nation under a different king. And they, not he, didn’t remove them. In Judah, the high places were removed, but not in Israel.
The conclusion is, each statement is correct when the context is understood clearly. There is no contradiction from which to ‘get out of.’
2 thoughts on “On Contradictions: 1 Kings 15:14 and 2 Chronicles 14:2-3”
Amazing. Loved it!
Thank you. I hope it blessed you in some way.