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.
1 Kings 16
New International Version
16 Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu(A) son of Hanani(B) concerning Baasha: 2 “I lifted you up from the dust(C) and appointed you ruler(D) over my people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused(E) my people Israel to sin and to arouse my anger by their sins. 3 So I am about to wipe out Baasha(F) and his house,(G) and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 4 Dogs(H) will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and birds(I) will feed on those who die in the country.”
5 As for the other events of Baasha’s reign, what he did and his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals(J) of the kings of Israel? 6 Baasha rested with his ancestors and was buried in Tirzah.(K) And Elah his son succeeded him as king.
7 Moreover, the word of the Lord came(L) through the prophet Jehu(M) son of Hanani to Baasha and his house, because of all the evil he had done in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger by the things he did, becoming like the house of Jeroboam—and also because he destroyed it.
Elah King of Israel
8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he reigned in Tirzah two years.
9 Zimri, one of his officials, who had command of half his chariots, plotted against him. Elah was in Tirzah at the time, getting drunk(N) in the home of Arza, the palace administrator(O) at Tirzah. 10 Zimri came in, struck him down and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Then he succeeded him as king.(P)
11 As soon as he began to reign and was seated on the throne, he killed off Baasha’s whole family.(Q) He did not spare a single male, whether relative or friend. 12 So Zimri destroyed the whole family of Baasha, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken against Baasha through the prophet Jehu— 13 because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed and had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols.(R)
14 As for the other events of Elah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Zimri King of Israel
15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned in Tirzah seven days. The army was encamped near Gibbethon,(S) a Philistine town. 16 When the Israelites in the camp heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and murdered him, they proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp. 17 Then Omri and all the Israelites with him withdrew from Gibbethon and laid siege to Tirzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, 19 because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord and following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.
20 As for the other events of Zimri’s reign, and the rebellion he carried out, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Omri King of Israel
21 Then the people of Israel were split into two factions; half supported Tibni son of Ginath for king, and the other half supported Omri. 22 But Omri’s followers proved stronger than those of Tibni son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri became king.
23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah.(T) 24 He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents[a] of silver and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria,(U) after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill.
25 But Omri did evil(V) in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him. 26 He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused(W) Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols.(X)
27 As for the other events of Omri’s reign, what he did and the things he achieved, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 28 Omri rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria.(Y) And Ahab his son succeeded him as king.
Ahab Becomes King of Israel
29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. 30 Ahab son of Omri did more(Z) evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married(AA) Jezebel daughter(AB) of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal(AC) and worship him. 32 He set up an altar(AD) for Baal in the temple(AE) of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole(AF) and did more(AG) to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.
34 In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.(AH)
- 1 Kings 16:24 That is, about 150 pounds or about 68 kilograms