And Baasha rested with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah reigned in his place.
I. HE RECITES THE CRIMES OF BAASHA. These were -
1. That he "walked in the way of Jeroboam." This implies
(1) that he was influenced by a like ambition. An ambition to be great in the eyes of men - to be a king. (See 1 Kings 11:37.)
(2) That to compass this he resorted to unscrupulous measures. He rebelled against his king. He rebelled against his God.
2. That he made the people of the Lord to sin.
(1) To make any people, or person, to sin is a great crime. And who can sin only to himself? Directly or indirectly sin must exert an influence beyond.
(2) To make God's covenanted people to sin is a higher crime. The oath upon them is violated. The salt of the earth, too, loses its savour, and the world is left to putrefy.
(3) To make God's people to sin, not as by accident, but of set purpose, is the highest crime. This Baasha did in upholding Jeroboam's calves - the "work" of men's "hands" (ver. 7). He did this fearing, as Jeroboam had feared, that if the people went to Jerusalem to worship they might repent of their rebellion against the house of David. For the same reason Baasha opposed the reformation under Asa, and to this end set about the building of Ramah (see 2 Chronicles 16:1).
3. That he thereby provoked the anger of the Lord against them.
(1) This expressed itself in the incessant wars by which they were shaken "as a reed is shaken in the water" (1 Kings 14:15).
(2) This is laid at He door of Baasha. His house is implicated with him. Jehu, therefore, had a message also to his house (ver. 7).
4. And because he killed Jeroboam.
(1) This, however, he did not, in person. Jeroboam died on his bed (1 Kings 14:20).
(2) But, in his house, he slew him (1 Kings 15:27-29). A man lives in his posterity; when his posterity are destroyed or exterminated, he is extinct.
(3) Perhaps the words "because he killed him might be fairly rendered because he killed it," viz., the house of Jeroboam. This any. how is the meaning (see 1 Kings 15:27, 29). The notion that he killed Jehu is inconsistent with the records of history, which bring Jehu upon the scene again in the days of Jehoshaphat.
II. HE UTTERS THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD.
1. The posterity of Baasha was to be taken away.
(1) His own. He was to have no male representative.
(2) That of his house. His female as well as male issue was to be destroyed. He was to be utterly rooted out.
2. History repeats itself.
(1) It does this because crime must provoke appropriate punishment. God recognizes the lex talionis - eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
(2) The house of Baasha being like to that of Jeroboam, the doom is.similar. As Baasha executed the judgment of the Lord upon the house of Jeroboam, another aspirant to royalty is to execute the judgment of the Lord upon the house of Baasha. Note
3. There are posthumous punishments.
(1) Baasha was as great a criminal as any of his house, yet he came to his grave in peace and honour. He died on his bed and was buried in state. Must there not be future reckoning and retribution?
(2) Baasha is punished in the extermination of his house. But this judgment came upon him after his decease. How could that affect Aim unless there be a future state?
(3) The same inference follows from the judgment upon the bodies of his posterity after their decease. What matter would it be to him or them to have their bodies eaten by dogs or by vultures when the life was gone, unless the spirits survived?
(4) How such things react Upon the disembodied spirit is a mystery. "There are many things in heaven and earth that do not enter into our philosophy." - J.A.M.
Omri slept with his fathers... Ahab his son reigned in his stead.
1. We need not trouble ourselves with the settling of the periods making up the dozen years of Omri's reign, which had its opening portion in Tirzah, the royal seat (ver. 17). Omri had ability of a certain sort, and hence, probably, was able to secure the adhesion of so many of the people and the conquest of his two rivals. He showed it in the selection of a new capital. Shemer owned a tract of land with a hill of great strategic value. With an opening out into the wider distant plain through the level grounds which divided it elsewhere, all around, from the mountains, it had on one side a gentle slope, and on all the others it was easily made strong against an enemy, when bows and arrows and spears constituted the common weapons of assault. The town got its name from him who owned the hill, and most fitly, for it was the synonym of "watch-tower," the very thing at which Omri aimed, having in mind through the slaughter of how many enemies he had to wade to the throne, and how necessary it was to be strong against any future assaults. They who part with Jehovah as Guide and Protector, and trust to human resources, need to multiply these to the utmost. Jeroboam had not flung off God formally. He had only modified the way of serving Him. He had set up the calves. This was politic, expedient, necessary. It was in harmony too with the ways of the nations. This was "the Way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat" (ver. 26). It was not the way of loyalty to Jehovah; it was not the way of truth. It was the way of disobedience under the inspiration of policy. Between this sin and the others that followed it was only a question of degree, not of kind. Set up taste, usage, popular craving, fashion, artistic completeness, or anything else as changing, modifying the method of Divine appointment, and you enter on the inclined plane. How far down and how fast you will go is determined by circumstances. So Omri's working "evil in the eyes of the Lord," and doing "worse than all that were before him" (ver. 25), is only walking in all "the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat," and in his corrupting and contaminating sin. So it is ever. Given the supremacy of Peter, then his control of all things, secular and sacred; then his infallibility! What was the effect of all these modifications? Toward man, to keep Israel together and from union with Judah. But in the other and higher direction — toward God — the effect was "to provoke (ver. 26) the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities." (See, for the "statutes of Omri," Micah 6:16.) When Omri died, the chronicles of the kings of Israel (ver. 27) containing the record of his deeds, they buried him in his capital, Samaria, and the throne fell to his son Ahab in the thirty-eighth year of Asa of Judah (ver. 29), and about nine hundred and eighteen years before the coming of our Lord. His career is as full of darkness and weakness as a king's life could well be. His reign of twenty-two years was a continued curse to the people. He held on the way of his father, but, according to the common rule in such cases, descending lower and lower. Moral rottenness, like material putrefaction, must increase. "Evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." He married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Zidonians. We are not surprised at the character of the daughter when we know the career of her father as it is learned from outside history. Among the innovations of Ahab our version mentions a "grove," a misleading word into which the translators were led from its being really an idolatrous image or group of images, including the "sacred symbolic tree" so frequently seen in Assyrian monuments. That it could not be a grove, a wood, is clear from 2 Kings 22:4, where Josiah brought out "the grove" — asherah in Hebrew — from the house of the Lord. It was doubtless a new and imposing idol, in keeping with the luxurious life now being lived by the Israelites as wealth grew through commerce.(1) There is a real connection between the moral and religious condition of a nation and its temporal affairs. If we as a people defy God or disregard His, laws, He in His government of the world may be expected to show that He is "contrary to us."(2) The temptation is always great to God's people to be like their neighbours; and if these neighbours be cultivated, be deemed standards of excellence in arts, in manners, or in arms; if they be wealthy; if their trade is of importance to us; if they be powerful and it is our interest to stand well with them — the inducements to conformity are all the greater. The distinctive elements of our religion are set aside. Why thrust our Bibles, our family worship, our Sabbaths, on them? True, God says of us that we are to be "holding forth the Word of life." Ah, yes, but that was in other circumstances.(3) The next step is to take up the ways of our friends. Much in their methods can be described as nice, impressive, beautiful — especially if we have taken their standard of "loveliness"; and, having done this, there is a stage of attempted combination. But it is awkward, difficult — in the end possible. One or other must go. And when man is choosing between his own products and God's orders, he prefers his own. So the light is superseded by the darkness; spiritual religion gives place to "impressive" forms, which put no check on tastes or lusts or passions, and make no conscience uncomfortable, while sin is swallowed as a sweet morsel.
(J. Hall, D. D.).
PeopleAbiram, Ahab, Arza, Asa, Baasha, Elah, Ethbaal, Ginath, Hanani, Hiel, Israelites, Jehu, Jeroboam, Jezebel, Joram, Joshua, Nebat, Nun, Omri, Segub, Shemer, Sidonians, Tibni, Tirzah, Zidon, Zidonians, Zimri
PlacesBethel, Gibbethon, Jericho, Samaria, Tirzah
TopicsBaasa, Baasha, Ba'asha, Buried, Elah, Fathers, Lieth, Reigned, Reigneth, Rest, Rested, Slept, Stead, Succeeded, Tirzah
Outline1. Jehu's prophecy against Baasha
5. Elah succeeds him
8. Zimri, conspiring against Elah, succeeds him
11. Zimri executes Jehu's prophecy
15. Omri, made king by the soldiers, forces Zimri desperately to burn himself
21. The kingdom being divided, Omri prevails against Tibni
23. Omri builds Samaria
25. His wicked reign
27. Ahab succeeds him
29. Ahab's most wicked reign
34. Joshua's curse upon Hiel the builder of Jericho
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 16:6
LibraryWhether the Mode of virtue Falls under the Precept of the Law?
Objection 1: It would seem that the mode of virtue falls under the precept of the law. For the mode of virtue is that deeds of justice should be done justly, that deeds of fortitude should be done bravely, and in like manner as to the other virtues. But it is commanded (Dt. 26:20) that "thou shalt follow justly after that which is just." Therefore the mode of virtue falls under the precept. Objection 2: Further, that which belongs to the intention of the lawgiver comes chiefly under the precept. …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
Whether a Man Can be Saved Without Baptism?
Whether There Can be any Suitable Cause for the Sacraments of the Old Law?
Whether a Vow Consists in a Mere Purpose of the Will?
Whether Whoever is Perfect is in the State of Perfection?
Whether after the Resurrection Every one Will Know what Sins He Has Committed?
Sennacherib (705-681 B. C. )
The Assyrian Revival and the Struggle for Syria
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