The sinful kings of Israel

1 Kgs 16:1-34

This chapter begins with God’s judgement being pronounced on Baasha by Jehu the prophet. Despite seeing what happened to Jeroboam because of his sins, Baasha still followed a similar path, and a similar judgement to Jeroboam’s was meted to him- any of his that died in the city would be eaten by dogs,and those that die in the fields, by birds.

After Baasha died, his son Elah reigned in his place, however his servant Zimri conspired against him within two years of his reign, smote him and killed him while he was drunk. Zimri then became king in his stead, and his first task was to destroy the whole house of Baasha, thus fulfilling the prophecy Jehu gave.

Zimri was however reigning in Tirzah, meanwhile the people made Omri, the captain of the host of Israel, king over Israel. Omri and his host with him then besieged Tirzah, took the city, and this forced Zimri burn himself up along with his palace. Zimri too was thus judged for his treason.

After this, the people were divided, some made Tibni their king, and the other half followed Omri. Those following Omri however prevailed, Tibni died and Omri reigned as king. However Omri too did evil in the sight of God, even worse than those before him. After Omri died, Ahab his son became king in his stead, and he also continued the evil trend of Israel’s former kings, even worse. He also took Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, as wife.  Ahab became renowned for the worship of Baal, setting up an altar for its worship in Samaria.

This chapter concludes by referring to the fulfilment of a prophecy by Joshua, when he warned about rebuilding the walls of Jericho (see Joshua 6:26). Hiel laid the foundation of the wall with his firstson- Abiram’s death, and set up its gate with the death of his youngest son Segub’s death.

Some verses to remember

vs 25 But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that were before him.

vs 30:  And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.


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