1 Kings 16

1 Then God gave a message to Hanani's son Jehu about punishment for King Baasha. 2 This was the message: ‘Even though you were not an important person, I made you the leader of my people, the Israelites. But then you did all the bad things that Jeroboam did! Also, you caused my people the Israelites to do bad things. Their sins have caused me to become very angry. 3 So now I am ready to destroy you and your family. I will remove your family as I did to the family of Nebat's son Jeroboam. 4 If people of your family die in the city, dogs will eat their bodies. If they die in the country, vultures will eat them.’

5 The other things that happened while Baasha was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The History of Israel's Kings’. It tells about all the things that Baasha did and about his power. 6 Baasha died and they buried him in Tirzah. His son Elah became king after him.

7 Hanani's son Jehu, the prophet, had received a message from the Lord about Baasha and his family. Baasha had done many things that the Lord said were evil, in the same way that Jeroboam had done. Baasha had even destroyed Jeroboam's whole family. These bad things made the Lord very angry.

Elah, king of Israel

8 When Asa had been king of Judah for 26 years, Baasha's son Elah became king of Israel. He ruled as king in Tirzah for two years.

9 Zimri was one of Elah's officers. He had authority over half of Elah's chariots. Zimri decided to kill King Elah. One day, Elah was in the home of a man called Arza, an officer who had authority over the king's palace in Tirzah. Elah was drinking too much wine and he became drunk. 10 Zimri came in to Arza's house. He hit Elah and he killed him. When this happened, Asa had been king of Judah for 27 years. Zimri made himself king instead of Elah.

11 When Zimri began to rule Israel as king, he killed everybody in Baasha's family. He did not leave any of Baasha's male relatives alive. He even killed Baasha's friends. 12 Zimri killed everybody in Baasha's family, as the Lord had said it would happen. The prophet Jehu had spoken the Lord's message against Baasha. 13 This happened because of all the sins that Baasha and his son Elah had done. They had also caused the Israelites to do bad things. The useless idolsthat they worshipped had made the Lord, Israel's God, very angry.

14 The other things that happened while Elah was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The History of Israel's Kings’. It tells about all the things that Elah did.

Zimri, king of Israel

15 When Asa had been king of Judah for 27 years, Zimri became king of Israel. He ruled as king in Tirzah for seven days.

When Zimri killed King Elah, Israel's army was attacking a Philistine town called Gibbethon. 16 The army received this message: ‘Zimri has turned against the king and he has killed King Elah.’ Omri was the officer who led Israel's army. That day, Omri's soldiers decided to make Omri the king of Israel, while they were in their camp at Gibbethon. 17 So Omri and all Israel's army left Gibbethon and they went to attack Tirzah. 18 Zimri saw that Omri had taken power over the city. So he went into the strong buildings of the king's palace. He lit a fire to burn the palace all around him. Zimri himself died in the fire. 19 This happened because of the sins that he had done. He did things that the Lord says are evil. He did the same bad things that Jeroboam had done. He also caused the Israelites to continue doing bad things.

20 The other things that happened while Zimri was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The History of Israel's Kings’. It tells about how he killed King Elah, as well as the other things that he did.

Omri, king of Israel

21 At that time, half of the Israelite people wanted Omri to be their king. But half of the people wanted Ginath's son Tibni to be their king. The two groups of people could not agree together. 22 But the group who wanted Omri to be king was stronger than the other group. As a result, Tibni died. Then Omri became the king of Israel.

16:22It seems that the fight between the two groups continued for four years. See verse 15 and verse 23.

23 Omri became king of Israel when Asa had been king of Judah for 31 years. Omri ruled Israel as king for 12 years. He lived in Tirzah for the first six years. 24 Then Omri bought a hill from a man called Shemer. He paid Shemer 70 kilograms of silver for it. He built a city on the hill and he called the city Samaria. That was because the hill had belonged to Shemer.

16:24Samaria and Shemer have the same sound.

25 But Omri did many things that the Lord said were evil. He did more evil things than all the kings of Israel who lived before him. 26 He did the same bad things that Nebat's son Jeroboam had done and that he caused the Israelites to do. The useless idols that they worshipped caused the Lord, Israel's God, to be very angry.

27 The other things that happened while Omri was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The History of Israel's Kings’. It tells about the things that he did and the power that he had. 28 Omri died and they buried him in Samaria. His son Ahab became king of Israel after him.

Ahab, king of Israel

29 Omri's son Ahab became king of Israel when Asa had been king of Judah for 38 years. Ahab ruled Israel as king in Samaria for 22 years.

30 Omri's son Ahab did many things that the Lord said were evil. He did more evil things than all the kings of Israel who lived before him. 31 He did the same bad things that Nebat's son Jeroboam had done. He even did something that was even worse. He married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, the king of Sidon. Ahab served Baal as his god and he worshipped 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 to worship. He did many bad things that made the Lord, Israel's God, angry. He did more bad things than all the kings of Israel who lived before him.

34 While Ahab ruled as king, Hiel built Jericho city again. Hiel came from Bethel. Abiram, his firstborn son, died when Hiel built the city's foundation. Segub, his youngest son, died when he built the gates in the city's wall. The Lord had told Nun's son Joshua that this would happen.

16:34See Joshua 6:26.