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Elah Of Israel
Elah, in Hebrew pronounced ay-law, meaning an oak (a word that has a direct relation to the meaning of El, a name of God - see the Fact Finder question below) was the son and successor of Baasha, king of Israel (see Baasha Of Israel). Baasha and Elah began, and ended, one of the nine royal lines, or dynasties, of The Northern Kingdom of Israel (see Israelite Dynasties). They fell because they were defiantly corrupt - thereby bringing the wrath of the LORD upon themselves.
"16:1 Then the word of the LORD [i.e. of Jesus Christ - see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and 'The God Of The Old Testament'] came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, 16:2 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; 16:3 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. 16:4 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.
"Thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin"
Note very carefully that it wasn't some "religious leader" (in the northern kingdom of Israel, the obedient to the LORD Levites had left anyway - see No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?) that led the entire nation into sin - it was their political leader. No king (or Prime Minister, or President) regards himself subservient to the leader of a nation's religion. Elah's reign began merely as a continuation of his father's mis-leadership.
"16:7 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.
And so it was that Elah was assassinated by Zimri, one of his own military commanders.
"16:9 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. 16:10 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." (1 Kings 16:9-10 KJV)
Whether Zimri realized it or not, or whether he did it merely to eliminate any rival claims to the throne that Zimri then claimed for himself, Zimri "slew all the house of Baasha" - "according to the word of the LORD, which he spake against Baasha by Jehu the prophet."
"16:11 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. 16:12 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, 16:13 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.
Fact Finder: How is the word for "oak" involved in the Name of the LORD?