1 Kings 16

1 The LORD’s word came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, 2 “Because I exalted you out of the dust, and made you prince over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and have made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins; 3 behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house; and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 4 The dogs will eat Baasha’s descendants who die in the city; and he who dies of his in the field, the birds of the sky will eat.” 5 Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, and what he did, and his might, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 6 Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah; and Elah his son reigned in his place. 7 Moreover the LORD’s word came by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha and against his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the LORD’s sight, to provoke him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and because he struck him. 8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah for two years. 9 His servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him. Now he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household in Tirzah; 10 and Zimri went in and struck him, and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place. 11 When he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, he attacked all the house of Baasha. He didn’t leave him a single one who urinates on a wall amongst his relatives or his friends. 12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of Baasha, according to the LORD’s word, which he spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, 13 for all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned, and with which they made Israel to sin, to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger with their vanities. 14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. 16 The people who were encamped heard that Zimri had conspired, and had also killed the king. Therefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. 17 Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the fortified part of the king’s house, and burnt the king’s house over him with fire, and died, 19 for his sins which he sinned in doing that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel to sin. 20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his treason that he committed, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 21 Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts: half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king; and half followed Omri. 22 But the people who followed Omri prevailed against the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath; so Tibni died, and Omri reigned. 23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel for twelve years. He reigned six years in Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver; and he built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill. 25 Omri did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, and dealt wickedly above all who were before him. 26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sins with which he made Israel to sin, to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger with their vanities. 27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he showed, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 28 So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria; and Ahab his son reigned in his place. 29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel. Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 Ahab the son of Omri did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight above all that were before him. 31 As if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshiped him. 32 He raised up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33 Ahab made the Asherah; and Ahab did more yet to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 34 In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho. He laid its foundation with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the LORD’s word, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–14

This chapter relates wholly to the kingdom of Israel, and the revolutions of that kingdom. God calls Israel his people still, though wretchedly corrupted. Jehu foretells the same destruction to come upon Baasha’s family, which that king had been employed to bring upon the family of Jeroboam. Those who resemble others in their sins, may expect to resemble them in the plagues they suffer, especially those who seem zealous against such sins in others as they allow in themselves. Baasha himself dies in peace, and is buried with honour. Herein plainly appears that there are punishments after death, which are most to be dreaded. Let Elah be a warning to drunkards, who know not but death may surprise them. Death easily comes upon men when they are drunk. Besides the diseases which men bring themselves into by drinking, when in that state, men are easily overcome by an enemy, and liable to bad accidents. Death comes terribly upon men in such a state, finding them in the act of sin, and unfitted for any act of devotion; that day comes upon them unawares. The word of God was fulfilled, and the sins of Baasha and Elah were reckoned for, with which they provoked God. Their idols are called their vanities, for idols cannot profit nor help; miserable are those whose gods are vanities.

Verses 15–28

When men forsake God, they will be left to plague one another. Proud aspiring men ruin one another. Omri struggled with Tibni some years. Though we do not always understand the rules by which God governs nations and individuals in his providence, we may learn useful lessons from the history before us. When tyrants succeed each other, and massacres, conspiracies, and civil wars, we may be sure the Lord has a controversy with the people for their sins; they are loudly called to repent and reform. Omri made himself infamous by his wickedness. Many wicked men have been men of might and renown; have built cities, and their names are found in history; but they have no name in the book of life.

Verses 29–34

Ahab did evil above all that reigned before him, and did it with a particular enmity both against Jehovah and Israel. He was not satisfied with breaking the second commandment by image-worship, he broke the first by worshipping other gods: making light of lesser sins makes way for greater. Marriages with daring offenders also imbolden in wickedness, and hurry men on to the greatest excesses. One of Ahab’s subjects, following the example of his presumption, ventured to build Jericho. Like Achan, he meddled with the accursed thing; turned that to his own use, which was devoted to God’s honour: he began to build, in defiance of the curse well devoted to God’s honour: he began to build, in defiance of the curse well known in Israel; but none ever hardened his heart against God, and prospered. Let the reading of this chapter cause us to mark the dreadful end of all the workers of iniquity. And what does the history of all ungodly men furnish, what ever rank or situation they move in, but sad examples of the same?

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