Baasha, from the Hebrew name pronounced bah-shaw, meaning offensive, or boldness, was the third king of the northern kingdom of Israel (see Kings of Israel and Judah) and father of the second dynasty of kings of Israel. Baasha was of the tribe of Issachar (see also Children of Jacob). Tirzah was made the capital of Baasha's kingdom, and as such was the capital of Israel, the northern kingdom of Israel, until Omri replaced it with Samaria. Baasha reigned for 24 corrupt years and is buried in Tirzah.
"Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house"
As is often the case, reigns of the kings of Israel are accounted for according to their relationship with the kings of Judah, and vice versa. Such was also the case with Baasha king of Israel who is first mentioned in the historical Scriptures (see Bible History) in the account of Asa king of Judah.
"And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah."
"Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of The Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me."
"So Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of the hosts which he had against the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelbethmaachah, and all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah. Then king Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah."
"The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet. And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 15:16-24 KJV)
Baasha became king of Israel by means of his assassinating a king of Israel. Baasha killed Nadab, son of Jeroboam "and reigned in his stead."
"And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years. And he did evil in the sight of The Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin."
"And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon. Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead."
"And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of The Lord, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite: Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked The Lord God of Israel to anger."
"Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days."
"In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years. And he did evil in the sight of The Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin." (1 Kings 15:25-34 KJV)
Baasha's downfall was a direct result of his leading the people of Israel to grievously sin against The Lord, including the Calf Worship that had begun with Jeroboam.
"Then the word of The Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins; Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat."
"Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, and what he did, and his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? So Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 16:1-6 KJV)
Baasha's evil was so great that The Lord decreed that not only Baasha's reign would end, but that his royal dynasty would end.
"And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of The Lord against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of The Lord, in provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him."
"In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years."
"And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza steward of his house in Tirzah. And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him, in the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead."
"And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends. Thus did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the word of The Lord, which he spake against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, For all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, by which they sinned, and by which they made Israel to sin, in provoking The Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities." (1 Kings 16:7-13 KJV)
Fact Finder: What is meant by a royal "dynasty"? From which Israelite royal dynasty is Jesus Christ descended, Israel or Judah?
See Israelite Dynasties