Son of Ahijah, and commander of the armies of Nadab, king of Israel. He killed his master treacherously at the siege of Gibbethon, and usurped the kingdom, B.C. 953, which he possessed twenty-three years. He exterminated the whole race of Jeroboam, as had been predicted, 1Ki 14:7-14; but by his bad conduct and idolatry incurred God's indignation,
bravery, the third king of the separate kingdom of Israel, and founder of its second dynasty (1Ki 15; 16; 2Ch 16:1-6). He was the son of Ahijah of the tribe of Issachar. The city of Tirzah he made the capital of his kingdom, and there he was buried, after an eventful reign of twenty-four years (1Ki 15:33). On account of his idolatries his family was exterminated, according to the word of the prophet Jehu (1Ki 16:3-4,10-13).
Son of Ahijah, of Issachar, first of the second dynasty of kings of the ten tribes' northern kingdom, which supplanted Jeroboam's dynasty (1Ki 15:27). Gesenius explains the name means "wicked": others from baah, "he who seeks;" shaah, "he who lays waste." Though the instrument of God's vengeance on the seed of Jeroboam who both "sinned and made Israel to sin," "leaving not to Jeroboam any that breathed," he walked in the same sinful way. Therefore, the word of Jehovah came to Jehu son of Hanani: "Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust (which implies that he was of low origin), 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 ... Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha and his house ... 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" (1Ki 16:1-4,7-8,14).
As he conspired against king Nadab, son of Jeroboam, who was besieging the Philistine town of Gibbethon, and slew all Jeroboam's seed, so Zimri, a servant, conspired against Baasha's son, Elah, and slew all Baasha's house, "leaving him not one of his kinsfolk or of his friends." Retribution in kind. God did not the less punish Baasha "because he killed Nadab," though in his killing Nadab he was unconsciously fulfilling God's purpose; the motive is what God looks to, and Baasha's motive was cruel selfish ambition, reckless of bloodshed if only it furthered his end. His chief act in his reign was "he built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa, king of Judah (1Ki 15:17).
It might seem strange that Judah, so much weaker numerically, should not have kept Ramah, as a fortress to guard against invasion by Israel, numerically the stronger state. Instead, the people of Judah took away the stones and timber of Ramah to build Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah. An incidental notice explains it (1Ki 12:26): "Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David if this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of Jehovah at Jerusalem." Further, in 2Ch 11:13-17 we read, "the priests and Levites in all Israel resorted to Rehoboam out of all their coasts. For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had east them off from executing the priest's office unto the Lord ... And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong."
Israel's king Baasha was naturally anxious to stop this continuous drain of the best out of the northern kingdom, and reared Ramah, which commanded the N. road from Jerusalem, into a fortress for the purpose. Judah's king was equally anxious to remove this obstacle put to the influx from Israel of those God fearing men, who would so materially strengthen his kingdom The happy dovetailing of the incidental Scripture notices just mentioned into this solution of the difficulty is a proof of the truth of the narrative. Baasha reigned 24 years, and had the beautiful city Tirzah for his capital (Song 6:4).
BAASHA, king of Israel, obtained the crown by usurpation. He was an officer of the army under Nadab, son of Jeroboam I., and while the army was besieging Gibbethon, a Philistine town, he slew his king and mounted the throne. The execution of the whole house of Jeroboam followed. Baasha was a warlike ruler, and carried on war with Judah throughout his reign. The only incident preserved to us is his capture and fortification of Ramah, which led to the interference of Benhadad, as already recounted in the article Asa. Although Baasha died in his bed after a reign of twenty-four years, his dynasty was extinguished two years after his death (1Ki 15:27 to 1Ki 16:6).
H. P. Smith.
Son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar: he conspired against Nadab king of Israel, killed him and all the seed royal, and reigned in his stead, B.C. 953-930. It was according to the word of the Lord by the prophet Ahijah, that the seed of Jeroboam should be entirely destroyed, because of his wickedness; but Baasha was no better, and his posterity fell under a like judgement. 1Ki 15:16-33; 16:1-13; 21:22; 2Ki 9:9; 2Ch 16:1-6; Jer 41:9.
(wicked), B.C. 953-931, third sovereign of the separate kingdom of Israel, and the founder of its second dynasty. He was son of Ahijah of the tribe of Issachar and conspired against King Nadab,
and killed him with his whole family. He appears to have been of humble origin.
It was probably in the 13th year of his reign that he made war on Asa, and began to fortify Ramah. He was defeated by the unexpected alliance of Asa with Ben-hadad I. of Damascus. Baasha died in the 24th year of his reign, and was buried in Tirzah,
which he had made his capital.
BAASHA, the son of Ahijah, commander-in-chief of the armies belonging to Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, king of Israel. Baasha killed his master treacherously at the siege of Gibbethon, a city of the Philistines, A.M. 3051, and usurped the crown, which he possessed twenty-four years, 1Ki 15:27, &c. And, to secure himself in his usurpation, he massacred all the relatives of his predecessor; which barbarous action proved the accomplishment of the prophecy denounced against the house of Jeroboam by Ahijah, the prophet, 1Ki 14:1, &c.