He also removed Maacah his grandmother 1 from her position as queen because she had made a loathsome Asherah pole. Asa cut down her Asherah pole and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
“As for those who consecrate and ritually purify themselves so they can follow their leader and worship in the sacred orchards, 1 those who eat the flesh of pigs and other disgusting creatures, like mice 2 – they will all be destroyed together,” 3 says the Lord.
My people, recall how King Balak of Moab planned to harm you, 1 how Balaam son of Beor responded to him. Recall how you journeyed from Shittim to Gilgal, so you might acknowledge that the Lord has treated you fairly.” 2
Shepherd your people with your shepherd’s rod, 1 the flock that belongs to you, 2 the one that lives alone in a thicket, in the midst of a pastureland. 3 Allow them to graze in Bashan and Gilead, 4 as they did in the old days. 5
That night the Lord said to him, “Take the bull from your father’s herd, as well as a second bull, one that is seven years old. 1 Pull down your father’s Baal altar and cut down the nearby Asherah pole.
The Lord will attack Israel, making it like a reed that sways in the water. 1 He will remove Israel from this good land he gave to their ancestors 2 and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, 3 because they angered the Lord by making Asherah poles. 4
until I come and take you to a land just like your own – a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Then you will live and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.”
He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for Baal and made an Asherah pole just like King Ahab of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky 1 and worshiped 2 them.
He put an idol of Asherah he had made in the temple, about which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home. 1
The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the high-ranking priests, 1 and the guards 2 to bring out of the Lord’s temple all the items that were used in the worship of 3 Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. 4 The king 5 burned them outside of Jerusalem in the terraces 6 of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 7
He also tore down the altar in Bethel 1 at the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who encouraged Israel to sin. 2 He burned all the combustible items at that high place and crushed them to dust; including the Asherah pole. 3
King Asa also removed Maacah his grandmother 1 from her position as queen mother 2 because she had made a loathsome Asherah pole. Asa cut down her Asherah pole and crushed and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
The Annals of the Prophets include his prayer, give an account of how the Lord responded to it, record all his sins and unfaithful acts, and identify the sites where he built high places and erected Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself. 1
He ordered the altars of the Baals to be torn down, 1 and broke the incense altars that were above them. He smashed the Asherah poles, idols and images, crushed them up and sprinkled the dust over the tombs of those who had sacrificed to them.