King Baasha reigned in Israel for about 23 years. During his reign, he continued the ongoing conflict with Judah and he encouraged the continuation of the Golden Calf Cult started by King Jeroboam. Baasha’s name means boldness, wicked, usurper among other words and it is a perfect way to describe his time in power. He appears on the Bible Timeline with World history starting in 967 BC
Baasha Becomes King
Baasha was a military commander in the service of King Nadab who was the son of the former King Jeroboam. When King Nabad was attacking a Philistine town named Gibbethon, Bashaa assassinated him. After assassinating the king, he then took over the throne. Apparently, he had some of the key members of the army behind him in order to accomplish this feat.
God uses Baasha to Destroy Jeroboam’s Line
God then used King Bassha to wipe out Jeroboam’s line as prophesized through Ahijah the prophet. He killed all of Jeroboams family members and not one relative was left breathing. King Bashaa was successful at exterminating Jeroboam’s line because God used him to carry out this particular judgment.
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Baasha’s Evil Reign
King Baasha didn’t learn from King Jeroboam’s mistakes. Ultimately, Jeroboam lost the kingdom of Israel because of his sins and King Baasha was following in his footsteps. Instead of bringing the people back to the true worship of God he continued with the false practices that they were accustomed to performing. King Bashaa had grown up in an environment of pagan worship and probably didn’t believe that it was all that bad to worship in this manner. Baasha’s name means “Baal hears” and it was probably given to him in honor of the pagan god Baal.
Jehu‘s Prophecy Against King Baasha
God sent a message to a prophet named Jehu and he told him to inform Baasha that he was going to wipe out his dynasty for the same reasons that he destroyed Jeroboam’s. Jehu explained the reasons for God’s judgment and they include arousing God’s anger by causing the people to sin and by disregarding the serious commitment that is needed to govern and lead God’s people. He also said that dogs would eat Baasha’s dead family members in the city and birds would devour their flesh in the country. King Bashaa didn’t turn away from his evil practices even after receiving this prophecy from Jehu.
The Wars of King Bashaa
King Asa was ruling Judah during the reign of King Baasha. Both rulers tried to keep their people from defecting across their borders into the other king’s territory. King Baasha fortified an area called Ramah and used this city or fortress to control the border region. King Asa then decided to bribe a nearby king named Ben-Hada of Aram from the region of Damascus.
King Ben-Hadad had a treaty with King Baasha and King Asa made it a point to persuade him to end the treaty and side with Judah against Israel. The king of Aram agreed to the bribe and they attacked the border areas that were under Baasha’s control. King Bashaa eventually pulled his forces out the border areas and stopped placing troops in the region.
King Baasha’s Successor
Eventually, Baasha’s reign had come to an end and his son Elah succeeded his rule. God didn’t carry out the promise to wipe out Baasha’s line until his son Elah became ruler. Once again the sins of a father were being revisited upon his son.
- 1 Kings 15: 25 – 31 King Baasha assassinates King Nabad and wipes out Jeroboam’s family line.
- 1 Kings 16: 1 – 8 Jehu prophesizes King Baasha’s destruction.
- 2 Chronicles 16: King Baasha is defeated by King Asa and the King of Aram