King Baasha - Biography

Chart of the Kings King Baasha - Biography God's Judgment Regarding King Baasha
Previous King: Nadab   Next King: Elah

Little is known about Baasha's background. He was of the tribe of Issachar, of humble origin, and was probably a military commander, since he was with King Nadab in war. While at war, Baasha murdered Nadab and proclaimed himself king. He also murdered all Nadab's relatives, whom he considered rivals to the throne, thereby fulfilling a prophecy against King Jeroboam, but also bringing upon himself a prophecy that his own family would be similarly exterminated.

Baasha's 23-year reign was marked by ongoing war with neighboring Judah, and by a continuation of Jeroboam's golden calf cult.

Israel was not as prosperous as neighboring Judah, and many Israelites had warm feelings for their Judean neighbors. The kings of Israel generally saw emigration as a threat. Jeroboam had tried to stop international travel to Judah; Baasha similarly tried to seal the borders. He began building border fortifications at Ramah, for the dual purposes of enforcing travel regulations and for use as a base of military operations against Judah. But Judah's King Asa caused a diversion to draw Baasha's people away, then assembled a massive work force to remove the building materials so the fortifications couldn't be completed and used against Judah. Baasha was forced to abandon the effort.

Upon Baasha's death, he was succeeded by his son Elah. But Elah ruled only a short time before being murdered by Zimri, who also exterminated Baasha's heirs, as Baasha had done to his predecessor, and as the prophet had said would happen.

Where to read Baasha's story: 1 Kings 15:16 - 16:13; 2 Chronicles 16:1-6

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