Baasha, Elah And Zimri Reigns in Israel

Charles Spurgeon was credited as the greatest preacher in the history of the English World, One morning it was snowing very heavily in his village and so he attended the Primitive Methodist Chapel that was very close to his home. When he arrived there were about 15 people in atte … More


Chapter sixteen deals withe the sinfulness of a nation. The kings of this chapter were Spiritually dead, and as a consequence the people followed their leaders into a cesspool of sin. Their behavior was so treacherous that they provoked God to anger. God destroyed Jeroboam’s descendants just as He announced beforehand through Abijah but He still held Baasha responsible. Baasha had not acted under God’s direction but only to gain his own ends.  He did not learn from those who went before him but repeated the same mistakes as Jeroboam.

Baasha died a tragic death, as Jehu prophesied, and his son, Elath, assumed the throne. He continued his father’s policies and paid no attention to the warning of Hainan, the prophet. His reign only lasted two years when he became a victim of conspiracy. While in a drunken stupor he was murdered by Zimri who was a powerful military officer in Elath’s army. In order to avoid retaliation against his coup d’etat he wiped out Baasha’s entire household.

Zimri declared himself king but his reign only lasted seven days which proved to be the shortest of any Israelite king. The Israelite army was encamped at Gibbethon when Zimri took over. When the troops heard about this they declared Omni the commander of the army (v. l6) as the new king. He and his men marched back to Tirzah, the capital. When Zimri realized what was happening he retired to the palace and committed suicide by setting it on fire.


I need to make sure that I learn from the past, the experiences of others and especially from the lives of people in the Bible and never repeat these same sinful mistakes.

I Kings 16:1-20 (English Standard Version)

And the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, "Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat." Now the rest of the acts of Baasha and what he did, and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? And Baasha slept with his fathers and was buried at Tirzah, and Elah his son reigned in his place. Moreover, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha and his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and also because he destroyed it. In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned two years. But his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. When he was at Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household in Tirzah, Zimri came in and struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place. When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he struck down all the house of Baasha. He did not leave him a single male of his relatives or his friends. Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they made Israel to sin, provoking the LORD God of Israel to anger with their idols. Now the rest of the acts of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the troops were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, and the troops who were encamped heard it said, "Zimri has conspired, and he has killed the king." Therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. So Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king's house and burned the king's house over him with fire and died, because of his sins that he committed, doing evil in the sight of the LORD, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and for his sin which he committed, making Israel to sin. Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and the conspiracy that he made, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

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