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Baasha (Hebrew: "courage") (r. 953-930BC by Ussher,[1] or 909-886BC by Thiele[2][3]) was the third King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.[4]

Accession by assassination

Baasha was a general in the Northern Kingdom (Israel) army. At the siege of Gibbethon, Baasha formed a conspiracy against King Nadab and murdered him. He then systematically exterminated everyone in Nadab's family, and in the extended family of Jeroboam I.[5] This fulfilled an earlier prophecy by Ahijah the Shulamite against Jeroboam. Baasha continued on the throne for twenty-four years.[3][4]

Among his first acts was to remove his capital from Shechem to Tirzah.[6] He had one son, Elah, who eventually would succeed him, though not for long.

The Ramah Skirmish

In the fourteenth year of his reign, Baasha began to fortify the city of Ramah, in an attempt to stem the tide of defections from his kingdom to the Southern Kingdom, then under King Asa. Asa paid an enormous bribe to King Benhadad I of Syria, whereupon Benhadad then broke his own treaty with Baasha and attacked several Northern Kingdom cities. Benhadad destroyed the cities of Ijon in the tribal province of Asher, the city of Dan (city) in the tribal province of Dan, Abelbethmaachah in the tribal province of Manasseh (tribe), the borders of Chinnereth, and practically every city of any size in Naphthali. Baasha then had to leave off fortifying Ramah to defend against any further incursions. Subsequently, Asa drafted a large labor force and dismantled Ramah completely.[3][7]

A Baleful Prophecy

Baasha indulged in idolatry just as much as Jeroboam I had done. Because of that, the prophet Jehu, son of Hanani, foretold that God would some day have meted out to him exactly the same kind of rough justice that he had meted out to Jeroboam's family.[4][6][8]

Death and Succession

Baasha died in 930 BC (Ussher) after a twenty-four-year reign and was buried in Tirzah. His son Elah reigned in his stead.[3][4]

Related References

  1. James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Larry Pierce, ed., Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003 (ISBN 0890513600), pghh. 492, 496-500
  2. Leon J. Wood, A Survey of Israel's History, rev. ed. David O'Brien, Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1986 (ISBN 031034770X), pp. 260-261
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Author not available. "Entry for Baasha." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007, from the HighBeam Encyclopedia.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Konig, George. Baasha, King of Israel., 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  5. I_Kings 15:27-34
  6. 6.0 6.1 Authors unknown. "Entry for Baasha." WebBible Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  7. II_Chronicles 16:1-14
  8. I_Kings 16:1-10

See also