1 Kings 16

1 Then God spoke to Jehu the son of Hanani. The LORD's words were against Baasha. 2 ‘You were not important, but I made you the leader of my people Israel. But then you did all the bad things that Jeroboam did! Also, you caused my people Israel to sin and you made me very angry because of their sins. 3 As a result, I will take away completely Baasha and his family. I will make the family of Baasha like that of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 4 Dogs will eat the dead bodies of Baasha's family if they die in the city. Some of them will die in country places. The birds that fly in the air will eat the dead bodies of those people.’

5 There is a book with reports about the kings of Israel. This book tells about when Baasha was king. It tells about what he did. And it tells about everything else that happened then.

6 Baasha died as his ancestors had died. They buried him in Tirzah. Then Baasha's son Elah became king after him. 7 The word of the LORD had come by the prophet Jehu. Jehu was the son of Hanani. The word came to Baasha and to the family of Baasha. It came because of all the bad things that he had done. He had done what the LORD did not like. Baasha had made the LORD very angry by the things that he had done. The family of Baasha had become like the family of Jeroboam. The word also came because Baasha had destroyed the family of Jeroboam.

Elah, king of Israel

8 Elah, the son of Baasha, became king of Israel. This happened when Asa had been king of Judah for nearly 26 years. Now Elah was king in Tirzah for two years. 9 Zimri was the leader of half of Elah's chariots. Zimri decided to kill Elah. Elah was in Tirzah, in the home of a man called Arza. Elah was drinking too much alcohol. Arza said what people must do in Elah's palace in Tirzah. 10 Zimri came in to where Elah was. He hit Elah and he killed him. At this time, Asa had been king of Judah for nearly 27 years. So Zimri made himself king instead of Elah. 11 When Zimri became king on the throne of Israel, he immediately killed everybody in Baasha's family. He killed every male in the family and he killed every friend of Baasha. 12 So Zimri killed everybody in Baasha's family. The word of the LORD had said that this would happen. The prophet Jehu had spoken what the LORD had said against Baasha. 13 The LORD had said this because of all the sins that Baasha and his son Elah had done. Also, they had caused Israel's people to do them. Their idols, which had no value, had made the LORD, the God of Israel, very angry. 14 There is a book with reports about the kings of Israel. This book tells about when Elah was king. It tells about what he did. And it tells about everything else that happened then.

Zimri, king of Israel

15 Zimri was king of Israel in Tirzah for only 7 days. Asa had been king of Judah for nearly 27 years when this happened. The army of Israel was near a town in Philistia called Gibbethon. 16 The army of Israel heard about what Zimri had done. Zimri had decided to kill the king Elah and he had done it. Omri was the leader of the army of Israel. The army made Omri king of Israel on that day, while they were in Gibbethon. 17 Then Omri left Gibbethon. All the army of Israel left with him. Omri and his army attacked Tirzah. 18 Zimri saw that Omri had taken the city Tirzah from him. So he went into the king's palace, where it was still safe. He lit a fire which burned down the palace all round him. So Zimri died, 19 because of all the sins that he had done. He had done what the LORD did not like. He had copied the ways of Jeroboam. He had done the sins that Jeroboam had done. Also, he had caused Israel's people to do them. 20 There is a book with reports about the kings of Israel. In it are all the other things that Zimri did. It includes the way that he killed Baasha's family.

Omri, king of Israel

21 There were two groups of people in Israel. Half of the people wanted Tibni, the son of Ginath, to be the king. The other half wanted Omri to be the king. 22 But the half that wanted Omri was stronger than the other half. After 4 years, Tibni the son of Ginath died. Then Omri became the king of Israel. 23 Omri became king of Israel when Asa had been king of Judah for nearly 31 years. Omri ruled the people for 12 years. He was in Tirzah for 6 of these years. 24 Omri bought a hill called Samaria from Shemer. He paid two talents of silver for it. He built a city on the hill and he called the city Samaria. That was because he bought the hill from Shemer. 25 But Omri did what the LORD did not like. He sinned more than all the kings of Israel before him. 26 He did all the bad things that Jeroboam the son of Nebat had done. He did all the sins which Jeroboam had caused Israel's people to do. This made the LORD, the God of Israel, very angry, because of the idols which were worth nothing. 27 There is a book with reports about the kings of Israel. This book tells about when Omri was king. It tells about what he did. And it tells about everything else that happened then. 28 So Omri died and they buried him with his ancestors in Samaria. His son Ahab became king of Israel after him.

Ahab becomes king of Israel

29 Ahab the son of Omri became king of Israel. Asa had been king of Judah for nearly 38 years when that happened. Ahab was king of Israel in Samaria for 22 years. 30 Omri's son, Ahab, did more things that the LORD did not like than any of those kings before him. 31 He did not think that it was a bad thing to do the same sins as Jeroboam the son of Nebat. So he did something that was even worse. He married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal. Ethbaal was the king of Sidon. Ahab became the servant of Baal and he began to worship him. 32 Ahab built a temple for Baal in Samaria. He made an altar for Baal in this temple. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole. He did more things to make the LORD, the God of Israel, angry than all the kings of Israel before him. 34 While Ahab was king of Israel, Hiel built Jericho again. Hiel lived in Bethel. His first son, called Abiram, died when he started to build Jericho. And his youngest son, called Segub, died when he built the gates of Jericho. This agreed with the word of the LORD by Joshua, the son of Nun.

16:34Verse 4. The city may be Tirzah, 1 Kings 15:33.
16:34Verse 5. We do not know what this ‘book’ is. Nobody knows where it is.
16:34Verse 22. The 4 year fight is not in verse 22 of the Hebrew Bible. It comes from verses 15 and 23.
16:34Verse 24. Samaria is the word in the Greek language for the Hebrew word Shemer (or Shomron). Students dug the place in 1924. They showed that Omri was the first person to build a city there. They also think that the Hebrew name was Shomron, from ‘Omri’. In the Hebrew language, the names of many hills in Israel ended in –on. Examples are Zion, Hermon and Lebanon.
16:34Verse 27. ‘what he did’ includes Samaria. He built that city, which would become important in Israel.
16:34Verse 34. Joshua's words are in Joshua 6:26.