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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Basha', בִּעְשָׁא , for בִּעֲשָׁא, from an obsolete root, בָּעִשׁ, signifying, according to Furst [Heb. Handw. s.v.], to be bold, but according to Gesenius [Thes. Heb. s.v.] = בָּאִשׁ, to be ojaensive, hence wicked; Sept. Βαασά, Josephus Βασάνης, Ant. 8, 11, 4, etc.), third sovereign of the separate kingdom of Israel, and the founder of its second dynasty (1 Kings 15; 1 Kings 16; 2 Chronicles 16; Jeremiah 41:9). He reigned B.C. 950-927. Baasha was son of Ahijah, of the tribe of Issachar, and perhaps commander of the forces of the northern kingdom; he conspired against King Nadab, son of Jeroboam, when he was besieging the Philistine town of Gibbethon, and, having killed him, proceeded to extirpate his entire circle of relatives. He appears to have been of humble origin, as the Prophet Jehu speaks of him as having been "exalted out of the dust" (1 Kings 16:2). In matters of religion his reign was no improvement on that of Jeroboam; he equally forgot his position as king of the nation of God's election, and was chiefly remarkable for his persevering hostility to Judah. It was probably in the twenty-third year of his reign [see ASA] that he made war on its king, Asa, and began to fortify Ramah as a barrier against it. He was compelled to desist, however, being defeated by the unexpected alliance of Asa with Benhadad I of Damascus, who had previously been friendly to Baasha. Benhadad took several towns in the north of Israel, and Conquered lands belonging to it near the sources of Jordan (1 Kings 15:18 sq.). Baasha died in the twenty-fourth year of his reign, and was honorably buried in the beautiful city of Tirzah (Song of Solomon 6:4), which he had made his capital (1 Kings 15:33). For his idolatries, the Prophet Jehu declared to him the determination of God to extermiInate his family likewise, which was accomplished in the days of his son Elah (q.v.) by Zimri (1 Kings 16:10-13). (See ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Baasha'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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