Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 16

The rule and death of Baasha

1 Kings 16:5-7

Tirzah was the beautiful town where Jeroboam built his palace (Song of Solomon 6:4; 1 Kings 14:17). When Baasha attacked and killed all of Jeroboam’s family, he took their palace for himself. It seems that Baasha’s family enjoyed the luxury there (16:9).

Baasha came from the tribe (family group) called Issachar (15:27). So, to live in Tirzah, he left the region where his family had formerly lived. His grave was near the palace at Tirzah.

In his rule, which lasted for 24 years, Baasha achieved much. However, as an evil and cruel king, he achieved little or nothing that was truly good. He killed Nadab, and Jeroboam’s whole family. Although that was an act of God’s judgment against them (14:10-11), the Bible still considers it to be an evil act (16:7).

Baasha was a constant enemy for King Asa of Judah. Baasha took control of Ramah, just 6 miles (10 kilometres) from Jerusalem. It seems clear that he intended to attack Jerusalem from there. However, Asa paid the king of Aram to attack him, and so Baasha lost control over large parts of northern Israel (15:16-21).

God sent the prophet (holy man) Jehu to Baasha, to declare his (God’s) judgment against Baasha’s evil acts. As Baasha had acted like Jeroboam, his family would suffer like Jeroboam’s family. However, Baasha still refused to turn from his evil behaviour.

Next part: King Elah – and Zimri, his official (1 Kings 16:8-9)


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