Prophecy Against Baasha & Comparative Size of Temples

These are some blood thirsty people, are there going to be any more good kings like David?

King Baasha reigned in Israel for about 23 years.

During his reign he continued the ongoing conflict with Judah and he encouraged the continuation of the Golden Calf Cult started by King Jeroboam.

Baasha’s name means boldness, wicked, usurper among other words and it is a perfect way to describe his time in power.

He appears on the Bible Timeline with World history starting in 967 B.C.

Baasha Becomes King
Baasha was a military commander in the service of King Nadab who was the son of the former King Jeroboam.

When King Nabad was attacking a Philistine town named Gibbethon, Bashaa assassinated him.

After assassinating the king he then took over the throne.

Apparently, he had some of the key members of the army behind him in order to accomplish this feat.

God uses Baasha
God then used King Bassha to wipe out Jeroboam’s line as prophesized through Ahijah the prophet.

He killed all of Jeroboams family members and not one relative was left breathing.

King Bashaa was successful at exterminating Jeroboam’s line because God used him to carry out this particular judgment.

Baasha’s Evil Reign
King Baasha didn’t learn from King Jeroboam’s mistakes.

Ultimately, Jeroboam lost the kingdom of Israel because of his sins and King Baasha was following in his foot steps.

Instead of bringing the people back to the true worship of God he continued with the false practices that they were accustomed to performing.

King Bashaa had grown up in an environment of pagan worship and probably didn’t believe that it was all that bad to worship in this manner.

Baasha’s name also means “Baal hears” and it was probably given to him in honor of the pagan god Baal.

Jehu‘s Prophecy Against King Baasha

God sent a message to a prophet named Jehu and he told him to inform Baasha that he was going to wipe out his dynasty for the same reasons that he destroyed Jeroboam’s.

Jehu explained the reasons for God’s judgment and they include arousing God’s anger by causing the people to sin and by disregarding the serious commitment that is needed to govern and lead God’s people.

He also said that dogs would eat Baasha’s dead family members in the city and birds would devour their flesh in the country.

King Bashaa didn’t turn away from his evil practices even after receiving this prophecy from Jehu.

End of Baash
God always keeps His promise, but He does it in His time, not ours.

Eventually Baasha’s reign had come to an end and his son Elah succeeded his rule.

God then made His promise come true.

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,

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;

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.

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.

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?” (1 Kgs 16:1-5). 

In the 26th year that Asa reigned over Judah, Baasha died and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah reigned.

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

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.

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” (1 Kgs 16:9-11).

Baasha and Elah sinned greatly, so the Israelites did as well, and this angered the Lord.  Zunru destroyed all the house of Baasha as God told him to do so through the prophet Jehu.

Zimri had reigned in Tirzah for seven days and the people encamped against Gibbethon and the people of Israel made Omri king over Israel, but Zimri’s son, Elah, reigned over Tirzah.

“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? (1 Kgs 16:14).

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?” (1 Kgs 16:17-20).

Omri was the sixth king of Israel after Jeroboam, a successful military campaigner, and the founder of the House of Omri, an Israelite royal house which included other monarchs such as Ahab, Ahaziah, Joram, and Athaliah.

Mentioned in the Bible as well as other extra-biblical sources such as the Mesha stele and the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III.

Omri is also credited with the construction of Samaria and establishing it as his capital.

Israel was now divided, half followed King Tibni, the son of Ginath, and the others followed King Omri.  But the armies of Omri fought against and killed King Tibni so in the 31st year that Asa was king over Judah, Omri reigned over all of Israel, 12 years in Tirzah.

Omri bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver and built the city of Shemer, which he had named after the owner of the hill Samaria.

 “But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him.

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.

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?” (1 Kgs 16:25-27). 

When Omri died he was buried in Samaria, and his son Ahab reigned over Israel in Samaria for 22 years.  He married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, served and worshipped Baal, and built an altar for Baal in the house of Baal in Samaria, as well as make a grove.

“In his days did Hiel the Beth-elite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun” (1 Kgs 16:34).

Comparative Size of Temples

The temple of Solomon wasn’t large compared with other temples of antiquity.  But to some degree, it made up for lack of size with quality and expense of decoration. 

Its dimensions were 75 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high.  Its measurements were somewhat influenced by divine instructions,  being double those of the tabernacle, which had been built according to God’s specific directions.

By comparison, the well-known Parthenon in Athens was 238 feet long, 111 feet wide, and 65 feet high.  The nearby temple of Jupiter was 354 feet long, 135 feet wide, and over 90 feet high.

At Baalbek in Lebanon, the great temple of Jupiter measured 290 by 160 feet; its 64-foot columns were the tallest in the Greco-Roman world.  Of course, the top of the roof would have raised almost double that height. 

The adjacent temple of Bacchus was 87 feet long by 75 feet wide and had columns 57 feet high.

Babylon had many temples.  Three of those excavated include the  Ishtar (111 by 102 feet), and Marduk, patron deity of the city. 

The main building of this temple measured 281 feet by 262 feet.  It was joined by a larger building (380 by 293 feet), of which only the outlines are known.