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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 16

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-34

Chapter 16

So the word of the LORD came to Jehu the prophet unto Baasha, saying, Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, made thee prince over my people Israel; and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and you have made my people to sin, and provoked me to anger with their sins; Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of house; and I will make his house like the house of Jeroboam ( 1 Kings 16:1-3 ).

So Baasha's house is to be utterly wiped out.

Those that die in the city eaten by dogs; those that die in the fields eaten by vultures. And the rest of the acts of Baasha, those that he did, are in the books of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? ( 1 Kings 16:4-5 )

Again, books that we don't have.

And Elah his son reigned in his stead. And in the twenty-sixth year when Asa was down in Judah, Elah began to reign over Israel and he only reigned for two years. And his servant Zimri, the captain of half of his chariots, conspired against him, as he was there at Tirzah, and he was drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza the steward of his house of Tirzah. And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Asa the king of Judah, and Zimri reigned over Israel. And as soon as he sat upon the throne, he wiped out all of the house of Baasha: did not leave a single one from all of the family or relatives. And thus did Zimri destroy the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, for all of the sins of Baasha. Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? In the twenty-seventh year of Asa the king of Judah, Zimri [Remember Asa reigned for forty-one years after he reigned twenty-seven years, Zimri] began to reign in Tirzah. The people were encamped against Gibbethon. And the people that were encamped heard Zimri hath conspired, and slain the king and all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp. And Omri went from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and he besieged Tirzah. And it came to pass, when Zimri saw the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and he burnt the house down on himself ( 1 Kings 16:6 , 1 Kings 16:8-18 ).

So he committed suicide having reigned for just a few days. And Omri the captain of the host began to reign.

For the sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight of the LORD... And the rest of it is written in chronicles of Israel ( 1 Kings 16:19-20 )?

Which we do not have.

Then the people of Israel divided into two parts ( 1 Kings 16:21 ):

And so there came a civil war in the northern kingdom. They had already divided from the Southern Kingdom and now there's a civil war going on up there.

And there were those that followed Tibni and they sought to make him king; and half the people followed Omri. And the people that followed Omri prevailed against the people that followed Tibni: and so Tibni died, and Omri reigned. And as he began to reign over Israel for twelve years: he reigned for six years in Tirzah. And then he bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and he built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill, Samaria. But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, did worse than all that were before him. He walked in the ways of Jeroboam and he sinned against the Lord. And the rest of the acts of Omri are written in the books of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? So Omri slept with his fathers, he was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead. And in the thirty-eighth year of Asa the king of Judah began Ahab, and he was worst than all the rest ( 1 Kings 16:21-29 ).

Honestly, the poor people. They didn't have a decent king.

And Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel and Samaria for twenty-two years. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all that were before him. And it came to pass, if this weren't enough to walk in the sins of Jeroboam, he took as his wife Jezebel that wicked daughter of Ethbaal the king of the Zidonians, and he went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built at Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. And in his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: and he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD ( 1 Kings 16:29-34 ),

Now turn back to Joshua chapter six, verse twenty-six. After Joshua destroyed the city of Jericho, the first city to fall as they were conquering the land. "And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it" ( Joshua 6:26 ).

So Joshua said, Cursed is the man who rebuilds this city. He will lay the foundation at the time of his firstborn's son, but he will set at the gates when his youngest son is born. So the prophecy of Joshua was fulfilled some five hundred years later. Joshua made that prophecy about 1451 B.C. and about 925 B.C. did Hiel from Bethel rebuild the city of Jericho, and he laid the foundation at the birth of his son Abiram and he set up the gates when his youngest son Segub was born. And thus God's word, again, amazing prophecies fulfilled.

Omri built Samaria and he died and his son Ahab took over the wicked king who made Samaria the capital of the Northern Kingdom. The ruins of Samaria are very fascinating ruins to see. You can go up on the hill that was once the city of Samaria. And you can see the ruins of Omri's palace. They are still there. And of Ahab's palace also. You can also see many of the ruins that were built by the Romans who, of course, later made that one of the Roman cities. But the ruins of the city of Samaria go clear on back to the time of Omri and Ahab. And you can see the ruins of their palaces still there in Samaria.

When you are there it gives you sort of an awesome feeling when you realize all of the wickedness and all of the treachery and all of the bloodshed because of the wickedness and treachery there in Samaria. You think of the sieges that took place there in Samaria. And we'll be getting into some of those as we move on into Second Kings, when Samaria was besieged by the Assyrians and the horrible things that happened during the times of these sieges.

But it is interesting that the ruins of those areas are still in existence today. In fact, some of the most well-preserved ruins in the Holy Land going back to the Old Testament period are there in the city and in the site of Samaria.

And now may the Lord be with you and watch over you and keep you through the week. May you be strengthened by His Spirit in your inner man. And may you through the understanding of the Spirit begin to comprehend how much He really loves you. The full depth of God's love for you. May He watch over you and may you find your strength and your help in Him. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-kings-16.html. 2014.
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