1 Kings 16
Contemporary English Version
16 The Lord sent Jehu son of Hanani to say to Baasha:
2 Nobody knew who you were until I, the Lord, chose you[a] to be the leader of my people Israel. And now you’re acting exactly like Jeroboam by causing the Israelites to sin. What you’ve done has made me so angry 3 that I will destroy you and your family, just as I did the family of Jeroboam. 4 Dogs will eat the bodies of your relatives who die in town, and vultures will eat the bodies of those who die in the country.
5-7 Baasha made the Lord very angry, and that’s why the Lord gave Jehu this message for Baasha and his family. Baasha constantly disobeyed the Lord by following Jeroboam’s sinful example—but even worse, he killed everyone in Jeroboam’s family!
Everything else Baasha did while he was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. Baasha died and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah became king.
King Elah of Israel
8 Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel after Asa had been king of Judah for twenty-five years, and he ruled from Tirzah for two years.
9 Zimri commanded half of Elah’s chariots, and he made plans to kill Elah.
One day, Elah was in Tirzah, getting drunk at the home of Arza, his prime minister, 10 when Zimri went there and killed Elah. So Zimri became king in the twenty-seventh year of Asa’s rule in Judah.
11 As soon as Zimri became king, he killed everyone in Baasha’s family. Not one man or boy in his family was left alive—even his close friends were killed. 12 Baasha’s family was completely wiped out, just as the Lord’s prophet Jehu had warned. 13 Baasha and Elah sinned and caused the Israelites to sin, and they made the Lord angry by worshiping idols.
14 Everything else Elah did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Israel.
King Zimri of Israel
15-16 Zimri became king of Israel in Asa’s twenty-seventh year as king of Judah, but he ruled only seven days from Tirzah.
Israel’s army was camped near Gibbethon in Philistia under the command of Omri. The soldiers heard that Zimri had killed Elah, and they made Omri their king that same day. 17 At once, Omri and his army marched to Tirzah and attacked. 18 When Zimri saw that the town was captured, he ran into the strongest part of the palace and killed himself by setting it on fire. 19 Zimri had disobeyed the Lord by following the evil example of Jeroboam, who had caused the Israelites to sin.
20 Everything else Zimri did while he was king, including his rebellion against Elah, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel.
King Omri of Israel
21 After Zimri died, some of the Israelites wanted Tibni son of Ginath to be king, but others wanted Omri. 22 Omri’s followers were stronger than Tibni’s, so Tibni was killed, and Omri became king of Israel 23 in the thirty-first year of Asa’s rule in Judah.
Omri ruled Israel for twelve years. The first six years he ruled from Tirzah, 24 then he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for about one hundred fifty pounds of silver. He built a town there and named it Samaria, after Shemer who had owned the hill.
25 Omri did more evil things than any king before him. 26 He acted just like Jeroboam and made the Lord God of Israel angry by causing the Israelites to sin and to worship idols.
27 Everything else Omri did while he was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 28 Omri died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Ahab became king.
King Ahab of Israel
29 Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa’s rule in Judah, and he ruled twenty-two years from Samaria.
30 Ahab did more things to disobey the Lord than any king before him. 31 He acted just like Jeroboam. Even worse, he married Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of Sidon[b] and started worshiping Baal. 32 Ahab built an altar and temple for Baal in Samaria 33 and set up a sacred pole[c] for worshiping the goddess Asherah. Ahab did more to make the Lord God of Israel angry than any king of Israel before him.
34 While Ahab was king, a man from Bethel named Hiel rebuilt the town of Jericho. But while Hiel was laying the foundation for the town wall, his oldest son Abiram died. And while he was finishing the gates, his youngest son Segub died. This happened just as the Lord had told Joshua to say many years ago.[d]
- 16.2 Nobody. . . you: Hebrew “I pulled you up out of the dust.”
- 16.31 Sidon: One of the most important cities in Phoenicia. It was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of Israel, in what is today southern Lebanon.
- 16.33 sacred pole: See the note at 14.15.
- 16.34 a man from Bethel. . . ago: See Joshua 6.26.