The History of the Governments
of Israel and Judah

Lesson Three

The Subject Material Of This Lesson is about events in Israel during the reign of Asa, King of Judah and divided into three parts.

Josephus, Book 8, Chapter 12, Continued.   

1. How, on the destruction of the house of Baasha, Zimri got the kingdom, as did his son Ahab after him.

Josephus, Book 8, Chapter 13.

2. How Ahab, when he had taken Jezebel to wife, became more wicked than all the kings that had been before him; of the actions of the prophet Elijah, and what befell Naboth

Josephus Book 8, Chapter 14 

3. How Hadad, King of Damascus And of Syria, made two expeditions against Ahab, and was beaten.

The Antiquities Of The Jews: By Josephus. In these lessons we will hear the witness of the historian Josephus (Joseph Ben Mattias). His father was a Levite and his mother was of the tribe of Judah. During his life he was a priest, general, prisoner, and later a Roman citizen and author. He lived from 37 A.D. to about 100 A.D. His writings are available in any Christian Book Store. We will present Josephus account parallel to the Bible's account.

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Wicked men wax worse and worse

1. How, on the destruction of the house of Baasha, Zimri got the kingdom, as did his son Ahab after him.

1 Kings 15:25-32

(25) And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years.

(26) And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

Be careful who you vote for since the President, and other elected leaders, have the ability to lead the who nation into righteousness or sin.

(27) And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which {belonged} to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.

(28) Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead.

(29) And it came to pass, when he reigned, {that} he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite:

(30) Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger.

(31) Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, {are} they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (32) And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

King Baasha of Israel Reigns Twenty Four Years
Becoming King in the Third Year of Asa 

1 Kings 15:33-34 & 1 Kings 16:1-7

Josephus: Book 8,
Chapter 12, section 3 to 6

(33) In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years.

(34) And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

(1) Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,

(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;

(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.

(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.

(5) Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, and what he did, and his might, {are} they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

(6) So Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son reigned in his stead.

(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.

 

3. I now return to Baasha, the king of the multitude of the Israelites who slew Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, and retained the government.

He dwelt in the city Tirzah, having make that his habitation, and reigned twenty-four years.

He became more wicked and impious that Jeroboam or his son.

He did a great deal of mischief to the multitude, and was injurious to God, who sent the prophet Jehu, and told him beforehand, that his whole family should be destroyed, and that he would bring the same miseries on his house which had brought that of Jeroboam to ruin; because when he had been made king by him, he had not requited his kindness, by governing the multitude righteously and religiously;  which things, in the first place, tended to their happiness; and, in the next place, were pleasing to God: that he had imitated this very wicked king Jeroboam; and although that man's soul had perished, yet did he express to the life his wickedness; and he said that he should therefore justly experience the like calamity with him, since he had been guilty of the like wickedness.

But Baasha, though he heard beforehand what miseries would befall him and his whole family for their insolent behavior, yet did not he leave off his wicked practices for the time to come, nor did he care to appear to be other than worse and worse till he died; nor did he then repent of his past actions, nor endeavor to obtain pardon of God for them, but did as those do who have rewards proposed to them, when they have once in earnest set about their work, they do not leave off their labours; for thus did Baasha, when the prophet foretold to him what would come to pass, grow worse, as if what were threatened, the perdition of his family and the destruction of his house, (which are really among the greatest of evils,) were good things; and, as if he were a combatant for wickedness, he every day took more and more pains for it; and at last he took his army, and assaulted a certain considerable city called Ramah, which was forty furlongs distant from Jerusalem; and when he had taken it, he fortified it, having determined beforehand to leave a garrison in it, that they might thence make excursions, and do mischief to the kingdom of Asa.

 King Asa's Response To The Fall Of Ramah 

2 Chronicles 16:1-6

Josephus: Book 8, Chapter 12, section 4

(1) In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.

(2) Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the Lord and of the king's house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

(3) {There is} a league between me and thee, as {there was} between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

(4) And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.

(5) And it came to pass, when Baasha heard {it}, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease.

(6) Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.

 

4. Whereupon Asa was afraid of the attempts the enemy might make upon him; and considering with himself what mischiefs this army that was left in Ramah might do to the country over which he reigned, he sent ambassadors to the king of the Damascus, with gold and silver, desiring his assistance, and putting him in mind that we have had a friendship together from the times we have had a friendship together from  the times of our forefathers.

So he gladly received that sum of money, and made a league with him, and broke the friendship he had with Baasha, and sent the commanders of his own forces unto the cities that were under Baasha's dominion, and ordered them to do them mischief.

So they went and burnt some of them, and spoiled others: Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmain, and many others.

Now when the king of Israel heard this, he left off building and fortifying Ramah, and returned presently to assist his own people under the distresses they were in; but Asa made use of the materials that were prepared for building that city, for building in the same place two strong cities, the one of which was called Geba, and the other Mizpah; so that after this, Baasha had no leisure to make expeditions against Asa, for he was prevented by death, and was buried in the city Tirzah; and Elah, his son, took the kingdom, who, when he had reigned two years, died, being treacherously slain by Zimire, the captain of half his army; for when he was at Araza, his steward's house, he persuaded some of the horsemen that were under him to assault Elah, and by that means he slew him when he was without his armed men, and his captains, for they were all busied in the siege of Gibbethon, a city of the Philistines.

King Elath of Israel Reigns Two Years 

1 Kings 16:9-10

(8) In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years.

(9) And his servant Zimri, captain of half {his} chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house Arza steward of his {house} in Tirzah.

(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.

King Zimri Of Israel Reigns Seven Days 

1 Kings 16:10-22

Josephus: Book 8, Chapter 12, section 5

(10) And Zimri went in and smote (King Elath), and killed him, in the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(14) Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, {are} they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

(15) In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people {were} encamped against Gibbethon, which {belonged} to the Philistines.

(16) And the people {that were} encamped heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king: wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp.

(17) And Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah.

(18) And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died.

(19) For his sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight of the Lord, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel to sin.

(20) Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his treason that he wrought, {are} they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

(21) Then were the people of Israel divided into two parts: half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king; and half followed Omri.

(22) But the people that followed Omri prevailed against the people that followed Tibni the son of Ginath: so Tibni died, and Omri reigned.

5. When Zimri, the captain of the army, had killed Elah, he took the kingdom himself, and according to Jehu's prophecy, slew all the house of Baasha; for it came to pass that Baasha's house utterly perished, on account of his impiety, in the same manner as we have already described the destruction of the house of Jeroboam; but the army that was besieging Gibbethon, when they heard what had befallen the king, and that when Zimri had killed him he had gained the kingdom, they made Omri their general king, who drew off his army from Gibbethon, and came to Tirzah, where the royal palace was, and assaulted the city, and took it by force.

But when Zimre saw that the city had none to defend it, he fled into the inmost part of the palace, and set it on fire, and burnt himself in it, when he had reigned only seven days.

Upon which the people of Israel were presently divided, and part of them would have Tibni to be king, and part Omri; but when those that were for Omri's ruling had beaten Tibni, Omri reigned over all the multitude.

King Omri Of Israel Reigns Twelve Years 

1 Kings 16:22-29

Josephus: Book 8, Chapter 12, Section 5

(23) In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, twelve years: six years reigned he in Tirzah.

(24) And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria.

(25) But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that {were} before him.

(26) For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities.

(27) Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he shewed, {are} they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

(28) So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead.

(29) And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years

 

Now it was in the thirtieth year of the reign of Asa that Omre reigned for twelve years; six of these years he reigned in the city of Tirzah, and the rest in the city called Semareon, but named by the Greeks Samaria; but he himself called it Semareon, from Smer, who sold him the mountain whereon he built it.

Now Omre was no way different from those kings that reigned before him, but that he grew worse than they, for they all sought how they might turn the people away from God, by their daily wicked practices; and on that account it was that God made one of them to be slain by another, and that no one person of their families should remain.

This Omre also died at Samaria, and Ahab his son succeeded him.


 

Josephus's Comments About Israel's Wicked Kings

Josephus: Book 8, Chapter 12, Section 6

6. Now by these events we may learn what concern God hath for the affairs of mankind, and how he loves good men, and hates the wicked, and destroys them root and branch: for many of these kings of Israel, they and their families, were miserably destroyed, and taken away one by another, in short time, for their transgression and wickedness; but Asa, who was king of Jerusalem, and of the two tribes, attained, by God's blessing, a long and a blessed old age, for his piety and righteousness and died happily, when he had reigned forty and one years; and when he was dead, his son Jehoshaphat succeeded him in the government.

He was born of Asa's wife Azubah.

And all men allowed that he followed the works of David his forefather, and this both in courage and piety; but we are not obliged now to speak any more of the affairs of this king.

 

 

 

Questions

Question #1. Baasha, king of Israel, conspired against Nadab the son of Jeroboam. Baasha slew all the house of Jeroboam. Why did this tragedy come to pass against the house of Jeroboam? (1 Kings 15:26)

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Question #2. Was Baasha any better than Jeroboam and Nadab whom he slew? (1 Kings 15:33-16:7)

       (  )    Yes.

       (  )    No. 

Question #3. Elath, the son of Baasha, was slain by Zimre. What did the people of Israel do when they heard of the death of this wicked king? 

      (  ) a.   They celebrated the wicked king's death.
      (  ) b.   They made war against the new king. 

Note: Wickedness in government does not necessarily mean lack of popularity. Just look at some of our present leaders.

Question #4. Omri was king after Zimri. Was Omri an improvement?

      (  )    Yes.      (  )    No.

Question #5. Ahab, the son of Omri, was the next king. Was Ahab better or worse?

       (  )       Better.
       (  )       Worse.
       (  )       Much worse. 

Answers and Next page - Click Here

 

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