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Elah and King Zimri of Israel, King

When the kingdom of Israel had split into half Jeroboam had ruled Israel in the north. Once he was made king he caused the people to sin by turning them away from worshipping God. So the Lord judged Jeroboam and wiped out his family line through a man named Bashaa (1 Kings 15:25-31). Once Bashaa was on the throne, he committed the same sins as Jeroboam and led the people into false worship. Once he had passed away, his son Elah (the name means an oath or a curse) became the next king. These kings are found on the Bible Timeline Poster during the reign of the Kings after the Division of the Kingdom.

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Elah,King of Isreal
Elah, King of Isreal

Bashaa’s Sins

Bashaa slew Nadab and took over the kingdom from him. Once he became king he didn’t turn the people back to worship God instead he continued with the pagan practices that were started by Jeroboam. As a result, God used the prophet Jehu to tell him that his family line was going to be wiped out. This was the same judgment that he used against Jeroboam.

Jehu’s Prophecy

God used a prophet named Jehu to inform Bashaa about his judgment. God stated through Jehu that he lifted up Bashaa to rule over his people. Bashaa didn’t lead the people back into the true worship of God. As a result, God said that Bashaa’s kinsmen would be eaten by dogs when they died in the city and consumed by birds when they died in the country. Once Bashaa had died, his son Elah became king.

Elah the King

Elah had become king, and he continued in the ways of his father, Bashaa. During his reign one of his officials named Zimri had plotted to kill him. One day King Elah was spending some time at the home of one of his royal officials. This particular administrator was named Arza, and he was the palace, administrator. King Elah and Arza were passing the night away drinking, and that’s when he struck him down. After killing Elah, Zimri became the king. Elah only reigned for two years just like his father. Zimri wiped out all of Bashaa’s family line (and his male friends) starting with Elah.

Zimri’s Rule of Israel

Zimri was a soldier who commanded half of the charioteers. Once the army had heard that he killed King Elah, they declared the commander of their army named Omri as their leader. Omri and the Israeli soldiers moved against Zimri and surrounded the city of Tirzah were he ruled. Zimri knew he couldn’t defeat Omri, and he set fire to the palace. Zimri only ruled Israel for seven days before he was removed from the throne. God already knew that Zimri was going to follow in the ways of Jeroboam and 1 Kings 16:19 states that this is the reason he was quickly removed from his position as king. King Elah and King Zimri probably were both destined to rule Israel for a long time, but they had to do rule on God’s terms. Apparently neither one of these rulers understood this important fact. As a result of their decisions to worship false gods they both died horrible deaths, and they only ruled Israel for a short period.

Biblical References

  • 1 Kings 12:1-24 The Kingdom of Israel splits and Jeroboam rules the north. He begins the Golden Calf Cult, which is still carried out by Elah and Zimri.
  • 1 Kings 15:25-31 Bashaa destroys Jeroboam and his family line and sets himself up as king. Bashaa is the father of Elah.
  • 1 Kings 16:1-4 Jehu the prophet tells Bashaa about his coming demise as king.
  • 1 Kings 16:13 Elah becomes king after his father dies and continues in the way of the Golden Calf Cult.
  • 1 Kings 16:8-11 Zimri slays Elah, and God fulfills his judgment against Bashaa through the death of his son. Zimri also wipes out the rest of Bashaa’s line. Zimri becomes king.
  • I Kings 16:16 A military commander named Omri is made king by the Israeli soldiers, and he attacks Zimri.
  • I Kings 16:19 Zimri sets the palace on fire and dies, and Omri is now the new king. Zimri only rules Israel for seven days.
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2 thoughts on “Elah and King Zimri of Israel, King

  1. Hi, just letting you know about a small error. This blog says that “Elah only reigned for two years just like his father,” whereas Elah’s father (Baasha) actually reigned TWENTY FOUR years (1 Kings 15:33).
    It was the king before Baasha (Nadab) who also reigned for two years (1 Kings 15:25).

  2. Hi guys I have loved this beacouse am learnig alot God bless you ever

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