I Kings

Chapter 16

"Lord's Prophecy Against Baasha, by Jahu [1-7]."
"Elah's Reign over Israel [8-14]."
"Zimri Reigns, by Killing Elah, then Commits Suicide [15-20]."
"House of Israel Split, Between Omri and Tibni [21-22]."
"Omri Prevails, Builds Samaria [23-34]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

Many things happen in this sixteenth chapter that bring the prophet Elijah on the scene, for his name will be derived because of the mission that God had called him. The name "Elijah", in the Hebrew tongue means "my God is YHVH (Ya)", the sacred name of the Father. While all the kings of Israel tried to make everything in the world their gods, from the golden calves to sexual orgies in the groves; their god was whatever came along at that time. This is why God sent the prophet Elijah, to declare the message that "El is Ya", the "El" means "God", and "Ya" is a form of the sacred name. There is no other God.

So in this chapter we see the digression of the nation of Israel as man tries to play the role of king. The nation is going to get to such a point of degradation by the end of this chapter that it sets the stage for God to step in through his prophet Elijah in the next chapter. Then prophecy will unfold very rapidly.

I Kings 16:1 "Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,"

Jehu the prophet's name will come up later.

I Kings 16:2 "Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over My People Israel; and thous hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made My People Israel to sin, to provoke Me to anger with their sins;"

The prophet is reminding Baasha that he was a nobody until God placed him on the throne. When God does someone a favor and that person throws the favor right back in God's face, God becomes very sensitive over the matter. When Baasha took over the throne and continued right down the same road as Jeroboam in Idolatry, it stirred God to anger. After all that our Heavenly Father the Creator has done for His People it is a disgrace the respect that is shown back to Him. It shows the ignorance of His people toward His Word and respect of His ways.

I Kings 16:3 "Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat."

In other words, at the direction of God, Baasha will be killed just as the offspring of Jeroboam were killed and the throne uprooted. Remember from verse 28 of the prior chapter that Baasha came to power by slaying Nebad, the son of Jeroboam, and this was the end of the first dynasty of the house of Israel. Now God is telling Baasha that his dynasty will have the same ending as Jeroboam's, it will end in murder also. Every male of his family will be killed.

Though the House [nation] of Israel will have many dynasties, the House of Judah has but one, and that dynasty comes from David and continues to our present day. Go back and review pages 75 - 78.

I Kings 16:4 "Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him the dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat."

Father is telling Baasha that his family members are not even going to have a decent burial. They will die in the streets of the cities and the dogs will eat their carcasses; and those that dies in the fields, the scavengers of the air will eat. The buzzards are going to pick his children's bones clean. If you think our Father is going to play around with those wicked leaders that cause His children to stray into idolatry, you are badly mistaken. God is going to hold every one that He places in authority accountable for their actions of causing His children to fall into sin. God is YHVH, the Almighty Father, and He is going to control people to see that His Will is accomplished. When God says something it will come to pass.

I Kings 16:5 "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?"

Yes they are.

I Kings 16:6 "So Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son reigned in his stead."

Baasha died and he was buried in the capital city of Tirzah of the house of Israel. Elah then become the second king to reign in Baasha's dynasty, being the son of Baasha.

I Kings 16:7 "And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the Lord against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, in provoking Him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him."

This is the prophet Jehu speaking to king Elah, the son of Baasha, and he is prophesying against the house or "dynasty of Baasha", which Elah now reigns over. Remember when there was a riot in king Nadab's kingdom, and Baasha took advantage of the uprising and killed Nadab. God is now reminding Elah of how he came to power. It was by an act of treason, and not by an act of God.

Jeroboam's family was killed just as God, through the prophet stated that they would be. However it was not done by the divine intervention, by the hand of God, but by a murder that wanted to get ahead himself. God did not like that, and now we see what God will do about it. When you sin, you name your own punishment, it falls right back on your head, and it has been that way from the beginning. Sit back and watch how things develop in your own life, and see how either good or bad things come to you according to your own words and actions. Anytime you pronounce something on someone else, it will come right back on your own head. What goes around, comes around, and many times when it comes back to you, it comes back much harder. The things we do and say should be with dignity and discipline.

I Kings 16:8 "In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years."

This verse again draws attention that there are two separate kingdoms and nations. While king Asa is in his twenty sixth year of his reign over Judah, Elah came to power over Israel, and reigned for a very short time. Remember that only one day into a new year counts as a full year. So if he came to power in the last week of December and died January one, according to Scripture it would be recorded as two years. This is why there was a 110 year correction when the Jews came out of captivity, as recorded on a hillside in Iran.

I Kings 16:9 "And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza steward of his house in Tirzah."

Zimri was a military general over half of king Elah's army. This was an easy act for Zimri, for Elah was on an drunken binge in Arza's home.

I Kings 16:10 "And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him, in the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead."

Keep in mind that both the kingdoms are of the same family of Jacob. They are the offspring of the twelve sons of Jacob, whose name was changed by God to "Israel". All this is going on in one branch of the family, that of the house or nation of Israel, while the other part of the family called Judah, still has Asa as it's king. We went from the first dynasty to the second dynasty because Baasha murdered Nadab, now the second dynasty has ended just as the first, when Zimri murded Elah, the son of Baasha.

Friend, you can not please God and get ahead in your family while you are fighting each other. It will take a very long time before this entire family will come back together as a family unit, and it will not happen until the true King of Kings returns to earth to set up his Millennium kingdom at the seventh trumpet of the latter days. Man's nature causes him to slip up and make mistakes, and for those sins comes problems.

I Kings 16:11 "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 kinsfold, nor of his friends."

When Zimri came to power, he killed all the males in the family of Baasha, including all his friends. Zimri took away all the competition of Baasha's dynasty, so there there would be no one that could claim his throne. Even though God pronounce that this would happen, God did not put murder into his mind, but allowed the evil to happen in its due course of time.

I Kings 16:12 "Thus did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which He spake against Baasha by Jehu the prophet,"

It happened just as the prophet Jehu prophesied.

I Kings 16:13 "For all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, by which they sinned, and by which they made Israel to sin, in provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities."

Don't miss it; their sin was "in provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities." Lets take this word "vanities" to the prime in the Hebrew: is #1891 in Strong's Hebrew dictionary: "Habal, haw-bal'; a prime root; to be vain in act, word or expectation; to lead astray."

So when we take it all the way to the prime, God is talking about all those things that Baasha and Elah did to lead Israel astray. It was in the words they spoke and the things they did; the idols they brought into the land, and even the expectation of forcing those in Israel to accept the idolatry that was brought upon them. So the vanities spoken of here is not like the vanities spoken of in the New Testament that means "nothingness" or "emptiness", but a systematic action to lead those under you into doing a specific thing. In this case, it was the leading of Israel into idolatry, sexual orgies and all the other heathen practices that went on under the name of religion at that time.

This is the same as taking one word or verse of God's word and then going off into many directions of man's traditions. It will have the same effect as what was going on under these kings of the house of Israel. The teacher is suppose to teach exact what the Word is stating, and in the right context of the chapter. This same thing can happen within a church itself if you are not careful. Traditions can lead astray just as much as forms of idolatry. These things makes our Father angry when it happens, for He cares about His children.

I Kings 16:14 "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?"

I Kings 16:15 "In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the People were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines."

Though Zimri became king over Israel, his reign was for only one week. When Zimri murdered Elah, the army was camped over against the land of the Philistines.

I Kings 16:16 "And the People that were encamped heard say, "Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king:" wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp."

Though Zimri was at the capital city declaring himself to be king, the people that were in the camp heard that he had killed Elah, and they declared their captain Omri the king instead of Zimri. So they pulled up stakes of the camp and headed for the capital, to take Zimri down for the act that he had done. Leading the charge was Omri, another of Israel's captains. More infighting and distractions in the family. During the entire time not one of them gave a thought of what God wanted.

I Kings 16:17 "And Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah."

I Kings 16:18 "And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died,"

When Zimri saw that his army had besieged the city, he knew that his days were numbered, and he went into the palace and burned it to the ground with himself inside. He committed suicide. The third dynasty of Zimri ended in just one week with Zimri's death.

l Kings 16:19 "For his sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight of the Lord, in walking in the ways of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel sin."

Zimeri, in that week, did exactly as the kings before him did, cause the people to sin, and did nothing to change the wickedness. Keep in mind that when you take on a role of serving God in what ever the duty, you had better know in your mind that God holds you accountable for what you do when you are in that responsibility. It may be man's own man made system, but if you claim to be teaching from God's Word, He will hold you to that task, no matter what those in charge say about it. Many churches would rather teach their tradition than what is written in God's Word. However, if you do so, don't claim it to be of God, but of your church system. Friend, you are either of a teacher of God's Word, or you are a hireling, teaching for personal favors. Teaching God's Word can bring personal blessings.

I Kings 16:20 "Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his treason that he wrought, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?"

There is a short dialog going on throughout the books of Kings, that dialog draws our attention that there is a second witness to those things stated within the books of Kings, in the books of the Chronicles. The same references are given in the Chronicles that refer their statements back to the books of Kings.

I Kings 16:21 "Then were the People of Israel divided into two parts: half of the People followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king; and half followed Omri."

So after Zimri commited suicide, and the palace burned, the house of Israel divided again. Though the army wanted Omri to be their king, half of the kingdom wanted Tibni to be king. The division was within the families of Israel. So now we have three divisions to Solomon's kingdom. So now we will learn why this came to pass. Though it is history, it is also a type that we are to learn from, even within our own family today. Nothing gets ahead when there is fighting and squabbling over simple matters.

I Kings 16:22 "But the People that followed Omri prevailed against the People that followed Tibni the son of Ginath: so Tibni died, and Omri reigned."

Do you wonder how Tibni died? It isn't recorded.

I Kings 16:23 "In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, twelve years: (six years reigned he in Tirzah.)"

So the fourth dynasty is now reigning with Omri as the king of all Israel. He will reign from Tirzah for six years until the capital city of Samaria is completed.

I Kings 16:24 "And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria."

The name of "Samaria" remained the same all the way to the time of Christ. The name "Samaria" means "watch mountain". It was built on a hill and became the capital city of the ten northern tribes making up the house of Israel. Though the name "watch mountain" was used, there was no watching going on from the hill as far as God's Word was concerned.

I Kings 16:25 "But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him."

Notice that each king that comes to power was worse than the kings that were before them. It was a constant down hill spiritual slide in each reign that came to power. When God is removed from the kingdom, there is only one way to go and that is to the bottom.

I Kings 16:26 "For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities."

Omri didn't just lead his people to sin, but he forced the people to take part in all the heathen act, rituals and words. Just as Jeroboam forced the people to worship the calves, and brought in his own heathen priests: Omri did this and far more. He set up many of the traditions that would become part of the house of Israel for years to come. Notice that all these kings actions revert back to Jeroboam, and by now it is some four generations later, and the heathen acts and now accepted because by repetition, they have become traditions. They do what they do because grandma and grandpa did it, and it is part of the family tradition.

Do you see what God thinks of their traditions? God hates them, for they provoke Him to anger because they go against God's Word. Though the golden calves are gone, and the groves and signs of orgy worship; today the traditions have taken on a different face, and but end result is the same. Traditions draw the people away from the true Word of God, and into a false hope through their doctrines of traditions that also go against God's Word. They do it all in the name of God, but God and His Word are left out. Just as they did in old Israel, today there is an adding of the sins such as sodomy and abortion that is being accepted within many church houses. Stop and take a look around yourself today.

Take a close look at what is being accepted into the Christian churches of today. Room is being made for the sodomites, for the free thinkers of Buddah through the realm of psychology, and the Hindu in the TM (transidental meditation) and so on. Friend, that which has been, is coming around again, only even stronger. The point that is made here is that God is not happy when His Word is replaced. If you go along with the system of the world's sin and corruption, you are being led astry just as our forefathers were in Omri day.

The thing that matters to God is where you get your true foundation, and that foundation must be from the Word of God. What you do and say, and how you react to things must be based on the truth that comes from God's Word, and when it does, God blesses you for it.

I Kings 16:27 "Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he shewed, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?"

I Kings 16:28 "So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead."

Though Omri was worse than all the other kings of Israel, Ahab sunk to the very lowest, far worse than his father Omri. Perversion doesn't get any worse than those words and thoughts that came out of Ahab's mind.

I Kings 16:29 "And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years."

Again, note that Asa is having a very long reign over Judah, while all this murder and perversion was taking place up north in the house of Israel. With the evil that Ahab could think up, and by marrying into the Kenites, or the Zidonians, you know that bad things are about to happen.

I Kings 16:30 "And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him."

He was worse than all the others put together, and his reign went on for twenty two years. With the woman that Ahab chose for a wife, there could be no disagreement with her, or she would order your head to be cut off. Their was no room left for opposition to their wickedness. We see this type starting to happen even today, and it will be getting worse.

I Kings 16:31 "And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him."

Ahab sunk all the way to the bottom, he took the daughter of the king of the Kenites (Zidonians), and just like Solomon with his wives, he made Israel worship the gods of the Kenites. Remember that these Zidonians are the offspring of Cain, the son of Satan from the Garden of Eden. Ahab brought an offspring of Satan to be his wife, and allowed her to set up the form of religion that God's People were to worship. It is happening today as a type of what happened in Ahab's day. In time God is going to make both Ahab, and his wicked wife Jezebel pay for their deeds. God will balance the scales of life, and even in death, there will be a recogning for all wickedness done in this life. There are no hidden mysteries with God and nobody gets away with anything.

There are no unsolved cases in heaven, and you may have gotten away with many things under the noses of these earthly judges, but the Judge that makes the final decision you can't bluff. There is no payoffs, no bribes, or barganing before the throne of God. Those sins repented are just blotted out, and the sins not repented of are there to be judged. The wages of all sin is death, but the gift that God gives is eternal life.

In Ahab and Jezebel's life there was no repentance for any sin, and they will pay a dear price. God's Word tells us how we should walk, and in Ahab's kingdom the command was that no one was to walk in God's ways. A teacher of God's Word has only one responsibility and that is to teach God's Word as it is written in the manuscripts, to the best of our ability. If anyone desires to disregard that Word, it is at that persons own choice. He or she than choses the direction for their own life, and only they will account for their actions. Then if they go to hell, that is by their own choice.

The greatest of all sin is to be led astray in the great apostacy, to follow Satan upon his arrival, when you know that he is not the true Christ. To fall during the time of Ahab and Jezebel will not be as bad as worshipping Satan in the great apostacy in our generation. God has forewarned us in His Word, and He expects us to know the signs of our times, and be on watch for them. That falling away, or apostacy is what is given in II Thessalonians 2:1-7, and it will come to pass. This is why the rapture doctrine is so critical, for it puts Christians of our day asleep spiritually, to where they do not study to put on the whole armor of God. They will not be able to stand against the wiles of Satan and his army of fallen angels at their coming at the sixth trump. Their troubles are not for just this short time here on earth, but for an entire eternity. Are you ready to stand on that day with the truth of the plan of God sealed in your mind, or are you relying on some fair-tale that man's traditions have thought up? It's your choice.

I Kings 16:32 "And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria."

Baal worship is headed by Satan himself. Jeroboam built two forms of calves, but Ahab is constructing alters and temples or houses for Baal right in the capital itself.

I Kings 16:33 "And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him."

In other words, God liked his actions less than any other king that went before him. We will see that God will send Elijah on the seen to challange the priests of Baal, for Elijah was just a man of God with faith and trust in the Father and His Word. He will straighten some of God's people, but many will continue just as they were going.

I Kings 16:34 "In his days did Hiel the Beth-elite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which He spake by Joshua the son of Nun."

This verse is calling attention that Jericho became a fortified city of Israel, and using the word "build", in the Hebrew text means that it was fortified and completed. So why is this little verse tacked on to the end of this chapter? It documents that God's Word comes to pass exactly as it is written. This is talking about Joshua 6:26.

Joshua 6:26 "And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, "Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city of Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it." "

The walls of Jericho had to come down before the children of Israel could come in and claim the promise land. God brought the walls of Jericho down because of the obedience of Joshua and his army. So when Jericho fell Joshua stated this prophecy. Joshua is saying that, the person that revives this city of Jericho and rebuilds it would not only lose his first born but to his youngest son. He is stating in the prophecy that they would surely die, and they did. This is to let us know that what is about to happen is of divine intervention by God. When a prophet of God states something that God has revealed to him, that prophecy will happen exactly as it is written.

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