Baasha's War against Judah

Truly as the prophet Ahijah had predicted, the new king began his reign by bloodshed, completely destroying the house of Jeroboam, until not a single member of it was left. However, Baasha's determination to exterminate the house of Jeroboam did not mean he was opposed to Jeroboam's evil ways. Baasha maintained the idolatry of the calves in Bethel and Dan, and the Kingdom of Israel sank even deeper in depravity.

Baasha took up his residence in Tirzah, and soon began to cast covetous eyes upon the land of Judah, where the pious King Asa was reigning. Baasha began to build the city of Ramah on the very boundaries of Judah. The alarmed king of Judah enlisted the aid of Benhadad, king of Syria, and Baasha found himself compelled to abandon his project. King Asa now dismantled the city of Ramah. King Baasha continued to wage war on the king of Judah as long as he lived. His evil ways aroused G‑d's wrath, and he was warned by the prophet Jehu, the son of Hanani, that because of his sins his house would suffer the same fate that the house of Jeroboam had suffered. Said the prophet in the name of G‑d: "I have exalted you from dust and made you prince over My people. But you have followed in the ways of Jeroboam, and you have misguided my people into committing sins. Therefore I shall do unto your house as I have done to the house of Jeroboam!"

Baasha died in the twenty-fourth year of his reign, and was buried in Tirzah. He was succeeded by his son Elah.


Elah, the fourth King of Israel, ruled only two years, during which he indulged in a life of revelry. Once, while he was sitting at one of his luxurious banquets, at the time when his armies were fighting the Philistines at Gibbethon, he was suddenly attacked and murdered by Zimri, the captain of his chariots, who aspired to the kingdom. Zimri proclaimed himself King of Israel, and began to exterminate the family of Baasha. In the course of a week, not a single member of the royal family of Baasha remained alive.