1 Kings 16: The Evil Kings of Israel

Synopsis:

The Lord doesn’t like Baasha because he sins, so he has Jehu, a prophet and son of Hanani curse Baasha. After 23 years, Baasha dies and his son Elah takes over. But Zimri, captain of the chariots, killed Elah when he was drunk. He killed everyone in the house. When the rest of Israel finds out that Zimri has killed their king, they rise up against Zimri and Zimri immolates himself by setting the king’s palace at Tirzah on fire around him. At this point, the people of Israel split. Half side with Omri who led the charge against the traitor Zimri and the other half make Tibni king.  Tibni dies and Omri becomes king. He reigns in TIrzah for a while but builds a house in Samaria. Omri was just as bad as Baasha and his son Elah and God is still angry with them. Eventually Omri dies and his son Ahab takes over. Ahab is worse than all the kings of Israel before him.  In fact, he’s so bad he and his wife Jezebel start worshipping Baal and build an altar for Baal in Samaria. Ahab did more to to provoke the anger of the God of Israel than all the kings before him.  Oh – and Hiel a Beth-elite built Jericho.

Timeline of Israeli Kings: 

Note – these dates are all based on the reign of king Asa of Judah.
Year 2: Ahijab of Israel reigns after Jeroboam
Year 3: Baasha takes over in a bloody coup
Year 26: Elah, son of Baasha takes over Israel
Year 27 – Zimri (traitor) kills Elah and takes over
Year 27 – Omri kills Zimri and Israel is split between Omri and Tibni
Year 31 – Omri prevails and reigns over Israel
Year 38 – Ahab, son of Omri reigns over Israel
Year 41 – Asa of Judah dies.

Favorite bit:

We finally meet Jezebel! (1 Kings 16:31) – She is the wife of Jehu.

Funniest part:

The recurrent fact that whatever king just took over “wrought evil in the eyes of the Lod, and did worse than all that were before him.”

Most exciting bit:

1 Kings 16:8-20 – The tale of Zimri – captain of the chariots and his act of treason against Elah. His reign only lasted 7 days and he dies in a fire in the palace.  

Favorite quote: 

“And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.” (1 Kings 16:11)

The curse of Jehu, the prophet speaking on behalf of God:

1 Kings 16:2-4  - Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people of Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins; Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the prosperity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Make sure you have support before you stage a coup. (1 Kings 16)