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16 A message of condemnation from the Lord was delivered to King Baasha at this time by the prophet Jehu:

“I lifted you out of the dust,” the message said, “to make you king of my people Israel; but you have walked in the evil paths of Jeroboam. You have made my people sin, and I am angry! So now I will destroy you and your family, just as I did the descendants of Jeroboam. 4-7 Those of your family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the fields will be eaten by the birds.”

The message was sent to Baasha and his family because he had angered the Lord by all his evil deeds. He was as evil as Jeroboam despite the fact that the Lord had destroyed all of Jeroboam’s descendants for their sins.

The rest of Baasha’s biography—his deeds and conquests—are written in The Annals of the Kings of Israel.

Elah, Baasha’s son, began reigning during the twenty-sixth year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, but he reigned only two years. Then General Zimri, who had charge of half the royal chariot troops, plotted against him. One day King Elah was half drunk at the home of Arza, the superintendent of the palace, in the capital city of Tirzah. 10 Zimri simply walked in and struck him down and killed him. (This occurred during the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Asa of Judah.) Then Zimri declared himself to be the new king of Israel.

11 He immediately killed the entire royal family—leaving not a single male child. He even destroyed distant relatives and friends. 12 This destruction of the descendants of Baasha was in line with what the Lord had predicted through the prophet Jehu. 13 The tragedy occurred because of the sins of Baasha and his son Elah; for they had led Israel into worshiping idols, and the Lord was very angry about it. 14 The rest of the history of Elah’s reign is written in The Annals of the Kings of Israel.

15-16 But Zimri lasted only seven days; for when the army of Israel, which was then engaged in attacking the Philistine city of Gibbethon, heard that Zimri had assassinated the king, they decided on General Omri, commander-in-chief of the army, as their new ruler. 17 So Omri led the army of Gibbethon to besiege Tirzah, Israel’s capital. 18 When Zimri saw that the city had been taken, he went into the palace and burned it over him and died in the flames. 19 For he, too, had sinned like Jeroboam; he had worshiped idols and had led the people of Israel to sin with him. 20 The rest of the story of Zimri and his treason are written in The Annals of the Kings of Israel.

21 But now the kingdom of Israel was split in two; half the people were loyal to General Omri, and the other half followed Tibni, the son of Ginath. 22 But General Omri won and Tibni was killed; so Omri reigned without opposition.

23 King Asa of Judah had been on the throne thirty-one years when Omri began his reign over Israel, which lasted twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 24 Then Omri bought the hill now known as Samaria from its owner, Shemer, for $4,000 and built a city on it, calling it Samaria in honor of Shemer. 25 But Omri was worse than any of the kings before him; 26 he worshiped idols as Jeroboam had and led Israel into this same sin. So God was very angry. 27 The rest of Omri’s history is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Israel. 28 When Omri died he was buried in Samaria, and his son Ahab became king in his place.

29 King Asa of Judah had been on the throne thirty-eight years when Ahab became the king of Israel; and Ahab reigned for twenty-two years. 30 But he was even more wicked than his father Omri; he was worse than any other king of Israel! 31 And as though that were not enough, he married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and then began worshiping Baal. 32 First he built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria. 33 Then he made other idols and did more to anger the Lord God of Israel than any of the other kings of Israel before him.

34 (It was during his reign that Hiel, a man from Bethel, rebuilt Jericho. When he laid the foundations, his oldest son, Abiram, died; and when he finally completed it by setting up the gates, his youngest son, Segub, died. For this was the Lord’s curse upon Jericho[a] as declared by Joshua, the son of Nun.)


  1. 1 Kings 16:34 the Lord’s curse upon Jericho, see Joshua 6:26.
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