1 Kings 16

Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, Ahab

Baasha Reigned in Nadab's Place (14:33-15:7) ISRAEL

Baasha was evil like Jeroboam and brought on himself the same prophetic judgment as Jeroboam. This time it was Jehu the prophet who reminded Baasha that it was God Who took him from being a low-ranking foot soldier to giving him power and it was God Who would abandon him so not one relative would be left to mourn his death. Baasha's dynasty was abandoned not only for his idolatrous ways but also for his merciless killing of Jeroboam's relatives. As with other kings, other things were written of Baasha and he was buried in the capital city of Tirzah and his son Elah reigned in his place.

Elah Reigned in Baasha's Place (8-14) ISRAEL

Elah reigned just two years in Tirzah when Zimri the commander of half his chariot force led a conspiracy to assassinate him. Elah's army was at Gibbethon still involved in the long siege (1 Kings 15:27; 16:15), the very place Elah should have been with his army. Instead, Elah was home in Tirzah, involved in a drunken orgy in one of his friends' homes when Zimri entered and ran him through with a sword (8-10).

Zimri, as per God's prophetic word to Baasha, began to execute all the friends and relatives of Baasha until none were left to mourn and none were left to make a challenge for the throne. It was noted that these kings were abandoned to destruction because of the ease with which they caused the nation to sin (11-13). Again, there were other things said about Elah, but they were written in other places (14)

Zimri Reigned In the Place of Elah (15-20) ISRAEL

Zimri only held the throne for seven days when news of his execution of the king reached the ears of Omri, the commander of Israel's army at Gibbethon. His troops immediately made Omri the king (15-16).

Knowing Zimri was a low-ranking officer without broad support and realizing he had made many enemies by such a heinous act and impetuous act, Omri marched his army from the siege at Gibbethon to the capital at Tirzah and surrounded the city (17-18). Zimri, realizing his situation was dire, committed suicide by burning the palace down. Even in his seven-day reign, he was noted as being as wicked as every other king and the rest of the story of his conspiracy was further written in another place (19).

Omri Reigned In the Place of Zimri (21-28) ISRAEL

As soon as Omri was made king, he was immediately challenged by a rival king, likely another general who was commanding a different part of the army then the one at Gibbethon. His name was Tibni, and eventually Tibni was overthrown and died. This happened in the thirty-first year of Asa, king of Judah. For six years, Omri reigned in Tirzah, but then after building another capital, he moved (21-22).

The new capital was located strategically at the crossroads of two key roads on a mound which was given to being fortified. He named the city Samaria, after the name of the man who had formerly owned the land, Shemer. The city was located forty-two miles north of Jerusalem and twenty-five miles from the coast (23-24).

As with the other kings, Omri was evil, even more evil than those before him. He was like Jeroboam in all his idolatry and cruelty. He also provoked Yahweh to abandon him. He too had other things written about him in other places; he was given a state funeral and was buried in Samaria (26-28).

Ahab Reigned In the Place of Omri (29-34)

Ahab was more wicked yet than all the other kings. He not only continued Jerobaom's calf worship, but he added to the worship by taking a Phoenician wife, Jezebel, for whom he built a temple to Baal in the capital city of Samaria (29-32). So not only did Israel have a religious system of worshiping a Jehovah who came to them riding on golden calves, but Ahab sported a temple to Baal and put up Asherah poles, all dedicated to worship though all means immoral. He gave sanctuary, so to speak, to all unholiness and foreign gods, stripping Israel of the virtue of love (33). One of the effects of this kind of false worship was the rebuilding of the city which belonged to the Lord and was to never be rebuilt. According to prophesy (Joshua 6:26), the rebuilding of the city cost the builder his first born (34).