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1 Kings 14-16

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

1 Kings Chapter 14

The books of Kings provide an account of the two separate and independent kingdoms of the Israelites that formed from the united kingdom (see The United Kingdom) after the death of King Solomon (see The Division Of Israel) - Israel (see The Northern Kingdom) and Judah (see The Southern Kingdom; see also Kings of Israel and Judah and Israelite Dynasties).

Ark Of The Covenant Jeroboam, the first king of Israel quickly led the new kingdom of "Israel" into apostasy. When his son Abijah became seriously ill, Jeroboam had his wife disguise herself and inquire to the prophet Ahijah (a totally illogical act). The prophet, even though blind with age, foretold the death of Jeroboam's son Abijah, the destruction of Jeroboam's royal line, and the future destruction and captivity of the northern of Israel (see also The Galilee Captivity) - all because of Jeroboam's unfaithfulness to The Lord.

"At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, "Arise, and disguise yourself, that it be not known that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh; behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, who said of me that I should be king over this people." (1 Kings 14:1-2 RSV)

"Go, tell Jeroboam, 'Thus says The Lord, the God of Israel: "Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you leader over My people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you; and yet you have not been like My servant David, who kept My commandments, and followed Me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in My eyes, but you have done evil above all that were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods, and molten images, provoking Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back; therefore behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will utterly consume the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone." (1 Kings 14:7-10 RSV)

"Then Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah. And as she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. And all Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to the word of The Lord, which He spoke by His servant Ahijah the prophet.

Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. And the time that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years; and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 14:17-20 RSV)

The southern kingdom of Judah under Rehoboam was no less corrupt to The Lord than Israel. As a result, The Lord allowed Judah's enemies to become strong again, such as King Shishak of Egypt who looted Jerusalem (the movie "Raider's of The Lost Ark" is based upon the incorrect assumption that Shishak took The Ark Of The Covenant to Egypt at that time - see the Fact Finder question below). All the while, Israel and Judah were at war with each other i.e. "there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually."

"And Judah did what was evil in the sight of The Lord, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. For they also built for themselves high places, and pillars, and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree; and there were also male cult prostitutes [see Sodomites] in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which The Lord drove out before the people of Israel.

In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; he took away the treasures of the house of The Lord and the treasures of the king's house; he took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made; and King Rehoboam made in their stead shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. And as often as the king went into the house of The Lord, the guard bore them and brought them back to the guardroom.

Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 14:22-31 RSV)

1 Kings Chapter 15

Abijam succeeded his father Rehoboam as king of Judah. Abijam's three year reign also saw constant war with Israel, with very heavy losses e.g. "Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter; so there fell slain of Israel five hundred thousand picked men." (2 Chronicles 13:17 RSV). Like most of the other kings, "he walked in all the sins which his father did before him; and his heart was not wholly true to The Lord his God, as the heart of David his father."

Israel

"Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah. He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.

And he walked in all the sins which his father did before him; and his heart was not wholly true to The Lord his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David's sake The Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem; because David did what was right in the eyes of The Lord, and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life. The rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 15:1-8 RSV)

King Asa of Judah was the son of Abijah and grandson of Rehoboam; he also experienced constant war with Israel. Asa bought himself an ally against Israel, Syria, with "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." Asa was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat.

"In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel Asa began to reign over Judah" (1 Kings 15:9 RSV)

And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might permit no one 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 gave them into the hands of his servants; and King Asa sent them to Benhadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, "Let there be a league between me and you, as between my father and your father: behold, I am sending to you a present of silver and gold; go, break your league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me." And Benhadad hearkened to King Asa, and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinnereth, with all the land of Naphtali." (1 Kings 15:16-20 RSV)

"Now the rest of all the acts of Asa, 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? But in 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 15:23-24 RSV)

Nadab was the son and successor of King Jeroboam of Israel. Nadab reigned two years before being assassinated (see also Assassins) by Baasha who then "killed all the house of Jeroboam; he left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it, according to the word of The Lord which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite."

"Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah; and he reigned over Israel two years. He did what was evil in the sight of The Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.

Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon. So Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead.

And as soon as he was king, he killed all the house of Jeroboam; he left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it, according to the word of The Lord which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite; it was for the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned and which he made Israel to sin, and because of the anger to which he provoked The Lord, the God of Israel.

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." (1 Kings 15:25-32 RSV)

After annihilating the royal line of Jeroboam, Baasha assumed the throne and began the second royal dynasty of the northern kingdom of Israel (see Israelite Dynasties). Tirzah was made the capital of his kingdom and it is there that Baasha was buried after his reign of twenty four years.

"In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah, and reigned twenty-four years. He did what was evil in the sight of The Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to sin." (1 Kings 15:33-34 RSV)

1 Kings Chapter 16

Baasha's idolatry brought about the end of his short royal line. Like many others, Baasha learned, the hard way, that what The Lord makes ("I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over My people Israel"), He will also break ("I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house") if it becomes corrupt.

Tirzah

"And the word of The Lord [see also YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, "Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over My people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and have made My people Israel to sin, provoking Me to anger with their sins, 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. Any one belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one of his who dies in the field the birds of the air shall 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? And Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried at Tirzah; and Elah his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 16:1-6 RSV)

Elah was the son and successor of Baasha of Israel. He was assassinated, while in a drunken stupor, by his military officer Zimri, who then proclaimed himself king and "destroyed all the house of Baasha, according to the word of The Lord, which He spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet."

"In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and reigned two years.

But his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. When he was at Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household in Tirzah, Zimri came in and struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead.

When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he killed all the house of Baasha; he did not leave him a single male of his kinsmen or his friends. Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of Baasha, according to the word of The Lord, which he spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son which they sinned, and which they made Israel to sin, provoking The Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols." (1 Kings 16:8-13 RSV)

Zimri reigned only seven days. After hearing of Zimri's assassination of the king, the larger part of the army "elected" (see also Royal Democracy) Omri as king. Omri's forces laid siege to Tirzah, where Zimri set fire to the royal palace and died.

"In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the troops were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, and the troops who were encamped heard it said, "Zimri has conspired, and he has killed the king"; therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. So Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king's house, and burned the king's house over him with fire, and died, because of his sins which he committed, doing evil in the sight of The Lord, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and for his sin which he committed, making Israel to sin." (1 Kings 16:15-19 RSV)

Omri's defeat of Zimri was easy, however Omri spent the next four years struggling against Tibni for the throne before achieving victory. Omri reigned for six years at Tirza before establishing a new capital city for the northern kingdom of Israel at Samaria. Despite his political success, "Omri did what was evil in the sight of The Lord, and did more evil than all who were before him."

"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. But the people who followed Omri overcame the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath; so Tibni died, and Omri became king.

In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and reigned for twelve years; six years he reigned in Tirzah. He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; and he fortified the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill.

Omri did what was evil in the sight of The Lord, and did more evil than all who were before him. For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in the sins which he made Israel to sin, provoking The Lord, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols.

Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and the might that he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? And Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria; and Ahab his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 16:21-28 RSV)

Ahab was the son and successor of Omri who is more famous for his wife than his father. Ahab married the infamous Jezebel who would oppose the prophet Elijah.

"In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of The Lord more than all that were before him. And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal [see also Baal-zebub and Beelzebub], and worshiped him. He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke The Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho [see Hiel's Lesson At Jericho]; he laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his first-born, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of The Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun." (1 Kings 16:29-34 RSV)

Fact Finder: Why was it not possible for King Shishak of Egypt, or anyone else, to have taken The Ark of The Covenant away from Jerusalem?
See Raiders Of The Lost Ark; also How Does The Ark Get To Heaven?

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