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16 The Lord’s message against Baasha came to[a] Jehu son of Hanani: “I raised you up[b] from the dust and made you ruler over my people Israel. Yet you followed in Jeroboam’s footsteps[c] and encouraged my people Israel to sin; their sins have made me angry.[d] So I am ready to burn up[e] Baasha and his family, and make your family[f] like the family of Jeroboam son of Nebat. Dogs will eat the members of Baasha’s family[g] who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country.”

The rest of the events of Baasha’s reign, including his accomplishments and successes, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel.[h] Baasha passed away[i] and was buried in Tirzah. His son Elah replaced him as king. And so it was the Lord’s message came through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha and his family.[j] This was because of all the evil he had done in the Lord’s view, by angering him with his deeds and becoming like Jeroboam’s dynasty,[k] and because of how he had destroyed Jeroboam’s dynasty.[l]

Elah’s Reign over Israel

In the twenty-sixth year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Baasha’s son Elah became king over Israel; he ruled in Tirzah for two years. His servant Zimri, a commander of half of his chariot force, conspired against him. While Elah was in Tirzah drinking heavily[m] at the house of Arza, who supervised the palace in Tirzah, 10 Zimri came in and struck him dead. (This happened in the twenty-seventh year of Asa’s reign over Judah.) Zimri replaced Elah as king.[n] 11 When he became king and occupied the throne, he killed Baasha’s entire family. He did not spare any male belonging to him; he killed his relatives and his friends.[o] 12 Zimri destroyed Baasha’s entire family, in keeping with the Lord’s message which he had spoken against Baasha through Jehu the prophet. 13 This happened because of all the sins which Baasha and his son Elah committed and which they made Israel commit. They angered the Lord God of Israel with their worthless idols.[p]

14 The rest of the events of Elah’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel.[q]

Zimri’s Reign over Israel

15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Zimri became king over Israel; he ruled for seven days in Tirzah. Zimri’s revolt took place while the army was deployed[r] in Gibbethon, which was in Philistine territory. 16 While deployed there, the army received this report:[s] “Zimri has conspired against the king and assassinated him.”[t] So all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day in the camp. 17 Omri and all Israel went up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he went into the fortified area of the royal palace. He set the palace on fire and died in the flames.[u] 19 This happened because of the sins he committed. He did evil in the sight of[v] the Lord and followed in Jeroboam’s footsteps and encouraged Israel to continue sinning.[w]

20 The rest of the events of Zimri’s reign, including the details of his revolt, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel.[x]

Omri’s Reign over Israel

21 At that time the people of Israel were divided in their loyalties. Half the people supported Tibni son of Ginath and wanted to make him king; the other half supported Omri. 22 Omri’s supporters were stronger than those who supported Tibni son of Ginath. Tibni died; Omri became king.

23 In the thirty-first year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Omri became king over Israel. He ruled for twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 24 He purchased the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents[y] of silver. He launched a construction project there[z] and named the city he built after Shemer, the former owner of the hill of Samaria. 25 Omri did more evil in the sight of[aa] the Lord than all who were before him. 26 He followed in the footsteps of Jeroboam son of Nebat and encouraged Israel to sin;[ab] they angered the Lord God of Israel with their worthless idols.[ac]

27 The rest of the events of Omri’s reign, including his accomplishments and successes, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel.[ad] 28 Omri passed away[ae] and was buried in Samaria. His son Ahab replaced him as king.[af]

Ahab Promotes Idolatry

29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Omri’s son Ahab became king over Israel. Ahab son of Omri ruled over Israel for twenty-two years in Samaria. 30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the sight of[ag] the Lord than all who were before him. 31 As if following in the sinful footsteps of Jeroboam son of Nebat were not bad enough, he married Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians. Then he worshiped and bowed to Baal.[ah] 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal he had built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole; he[ai] did more to anger the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

34 During Ahab’s reign,[aj] Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho. Abiram, his firstborn son, died when he laid the foundation;[ak] Segub, his youngest son, died when he erected its gates,[al] in keeping with the Lord’s message that he had spoken through Joshua son of Nun.[am]

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 16:1 tc LXX “by the hand of,” meaning “through.”
  2. 1 Kings 16:2 tn The Hebrew text has “because” at the beginning of the sentence. In the Hebrew text vv. 2-3 are one sentence comprised of a causal clause giving the reason for divine punishment (v. 2) and the main clause announcing the punishment (v. 3). The translation divides this sentence for stylistic reasons.
  3. 1 Kings 16:2 tn Heb “walked in the way of Jeroboam.”
  4. 1 Kings 16:2 tn Heb “angering me by their sins.”
  5. 1 Kings 16:3 tn The traditional view understands the verb בָּעַר (baʿar) to mean “burn.” However, an alternate view takes בָּעַר (baʿar) as a homonym meaning “sweep away” (HALOT 146 s.v. II בער). In this case one might translate, “I am ready to sweep away Baasha and his family.” Either metaphor emphasizes the thorough and destructive nature of the coming judgment.
  6. 1 Kings 16:3 tc The Old Greek, Syriac Peshitta, and some mss of the Targum have here “his house.”
  7. 1 Kings 16:4 tn Heb “the ones belonging to Baasha.”
  8. 1 Kings 16:5 tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Baasha, and that which he did and his strength, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Israel?”
  9. 1 Kings 16:6 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”
  10. 1 Kings 16:7 tn Heb “house,” by extension meaning the members of one’s household or a dynasty.
  11. 1 Kings 16:7 tn Heb “house.”
  12. 1 Kings 16:7 tn Heb “he struck him down” or “…it down.”
  13. 1 Kings 16:9 tn Heb “while he was in Tirzah drinking and drunken.”
  14. 1 Kings 16:10 tn Heb “and he became king in his place.”
  15. 1 Kings 16:11 tn Heb “and he did not spare any belonging to him who urinate against a wall, [including] his kinsmen redeemers and his friends.”
  16. 1 Kings 16:13 tn Heb “angering the Lord God of Israel with their empty things.”
  17. 1 Kings 16:14 tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Elah, and all which he did, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Israel?”
  18. 1 Kings 16:15 tn Heb “Now the people were encamped.
  19. 1 Kings 16:16 tn Heb “and the people who were encamped heard, saying.”
  20. 1 Kings 16:16 tn Heb “has conspired against and also has struck down the king.”
  21. 1 Kings 16:18 tn Heb “and he burned the house of the king over him with fire and he died.”
  22. 1 Kings 16:19 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
  23. 1 Kings 16:19 tn Heb “walking in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he did to make Israel sin.”
  24. 1 Kings 16:20 tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Zimri, and his conspiracy which he conspired, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Israel?”
  25. 1 Kings 16:24 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 150 pounds of silver.
  26. 1 Kings 16:24 tn Heb “he built up the hill.”
  27. 1 Kings 16:25 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
  28. 1 Kings 16:26 tn Heb “walked in all the way of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in his sin which he made Israel sin.”
  29. 1 Kings 16:26 tn Heb “angering the Lord God of Israel with their empty things.”
  30. 1 Kings 16:27 tn Heb “As for the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his strength which he demonstrated, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Israel?”
  31. 1 Kings 16:28 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”
  32. 1 Kings 16:28 tc The Old Greek has eight additional verses here. Cf. 1 Kgs 22:41-44.
  33. 1 Kings 16:30 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
  34. 1 Kings 16:31 tn Heb “and he went and served Baal and bowed down to him.”sn The Canaanites worshiped Baal as a storm and fertility god.
  35. 1 Kings 16:33 tn Heb “Ahab”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  36. 1 Kings 16:34 tn Heb “in his days.”
  37. 1 Kings 16:34 tn Heb “with Abiram, his firstborn, he founded it.”
  38. 1 Kings 16:34 tn Heb “with Segub, his youngest, he set up its gates.”
  39. 1 Kings 16:34 sn Warned through Joshua son of Nun. For the background to this statement, see Josh 6:26, where Joshua pronounces a curse on the one who dares to rebuild Jericho. Here that curse is viewed as a prophecy spoken by God through Joshua.

16 Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu(A) son of Hanani(B) concerning Baasha: “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. 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. 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.”

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? Baasha rested with his ancestors and was buried in Tirzah.(K) And Elah his son succeeded him as king.

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

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.

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)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 16:24 That is, about 150 pounds or about 68 kilograms

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