Border Conflict between Israel and Judah

1 Kings 15:9-22

Around 895 B.C., a few decades after Israel divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, a border dispute erupted between the two nations. King Baasha of Israel seized the strategic Judean border town of Ramah and fortified it to gain control over all routes leading to and from Judah along its northern border. King Asa of Judah responded by bribing Beh-hadad I, king of Aram, with all the silver and gold that remained in the treasuries of the Temple and his own palace. Ben-hadad accepted Asa’s bribe and attacked Israel, capturing Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, the area of Kinnereth, and all Naphtali. After this Baasha stopped building Ramah and withdraw to his capital city of Tirzah, and Asa ordered everyone in Judah to carry away the stones and timber from Ramah. Asa then used the materials to build up Geba and Mizpah, thereby moving the border further north and ensuring a watchful presence over key routes heading north and east. The Bible is unclear how long Aram retained control over the region of Naphtali. Years later King Ahab of Israel waged several more battles with the Arameans (1 Kings 20; 1 Kings 22; 2 Kings 6:24-33), and he may have recovered Naphtali during that time.

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