Questions From Readers
● 1 Kings 15:33 states that in the third year of Asa the king of Judah Baasha became king over Israel and reigned twenty-four years. However, 2 Chronicles 16:1 says that Baasha came against Judah in the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa. How could this be, when Baasha’s reign had ended ten years before?—W. M., England.
To harmonize the discrepancy between 1 Kings 15:33 and 2 Chronicles 16:1 the chronologist archbishop Usher dated the thirty-sixth year in Asa’s reign from the split of the one nation into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, at the end of Solomon’s reign. So in the margin of our edition of the Authorized Version Bible you will find under marginal note 1 at 2 Chronicles this note concerning the thirty-sixth year: “That is, from the rending of the ten tribes from Judah, over which Asa was now king.”
Likewise Jewish commentators quote the Seder Olam, which suggests that the thirty-sixth year was reckoned from the existence of the separate kingdom of Judah, which corresponded to the sixteenth year of Asa (Rehoboam 17 years, Abijah 3 years and Asa 16 years).
Some might think that at 2 Chronicles 16:1 the sixteenth year of Asa’s reign might have been meant instead of the thirty-sixth, but the recent Interpreter’s Bible announces the discovery of a stele that confirms the use of thirty-sixth. So it appears that the correct view is that the thirty-sixth year of 2 Chronicles 16:1 refers, as suggested, to the count from the division of Israel into two kingdoms.