Nadab son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in the second year of Asa's rule in Judah. He was king of Israel two years.
He was openly evil before God - he followed in the footsteps of his father who both sinned and made Israel sin.
Baasha son of Ahijah of the tribe of Issachar ganged up on him and attacked him at the Philistine town of Gibbethon while Nadab and the Israelites were doing battle there.
Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and became Israel's next king.
As soon as he was king he killed everyone in Jeroboam's family. There wasn't a living soul left to the name of Jeroboam; Baasha wiped them out totally, just as God's servant Ahijah of Shiloh had prophesied
- punishment for Jeroboam's sins and for making Israel sin, for making the God of Israel thoroughly angry.
The rest of Nadab's life, everything else he did, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.
There was continuous war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel.
In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king in Tirzah over all Israel. He ruled twenty-four years.
He was openly evil before God, walking in the footsteps of Jeroboam, who both sinned and made Israel sin.
The word of God came to Jehu son of Hanani with this message for Baasha:
"I took you from nothing - a complete nobody - and set you up as the leader of my people Israel, but you plodded along in the rut of Jeroboam, making my people Israel sin and making me seethe over their sin.
And now the consequences - I will burn Baasha and his regime to cinders, the identical fate of Jeroboam son of Nebat.
Baasha's people who die in the city will be eaten by scavenger dogs; carrion crows will eat the ones who die in the country."
The rest of Baasha's life, the record of his regime, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.
Baasha died and was buried with his ancestors in Tirzah. His son Elah was king after him.
That's the way it was with Baasha: Through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani, God's word came to him and his regime because of his life of open evil before God and his making God so angry - a chip off the block of Jeroboam, even though God had destroyed him.
In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha began his rule. He was king in Tirzah only two years.
One day when he was at the house of Arza the palace manager, drinking himself drunk, Zimri, captain of half his chariot-force, conspired against him.
Zimri slipped in, knocked Elah to the ground, and killed him. This happened in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Zimri then became the king.
Zimri had no sooner become king than he killed everyone connected with Baasha, got rid of them all like so many stray dogs - relatives and friends alike.
Zimri totally wiped out the family of Baasha, just as God's word delivered by the prophet Jehu had said
- wages for the sins of Baasha and his son Elah; not only for their sins but for dragging Israel into their sins and making the God of Israel angry with their stupid idols.
The rest of Elah's life, what he said and did, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.
Zimri was king in Tirzah for all of seven days during the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Asa king of Judah. The Israelite army was on maneuvers near the Philistine town of Gibbethon at the time.
When they got the report, "Zimri has conspired against the king and killed him," right there in the camp they made Omri, commander of the army, king.
Omri and the army immediately left Gibbethon and attacked Tirzah.
When Zimri saw that he was surrounded and as good as dead, he entered the palace citadel, set the place on fire, and died.
It was a fit end for his sins, for living a flagrantly evil life before God, walking in the footsteps of Jeroboam, sinning and then dragging Israel into his sins.
As for the rest of Zimri's life, along with his infamous conspiracy, it's all written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.
After that the people of Israel were split right down the middle: Half favored Tibni son of Ginath as king, and half wanted Omri.
Eventually the Omri side proved stronger than the Tibni side. Tibni ended up dead and Omri king.
Omri took over as king of Israel in the thirty-first year of the reign of Asa king of Judah. He ruled for twelve years, the first six in Tirzah.
He then bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for 150 pounds of silver. He developed the hill and named the city that he built Samaria, after its original owner Shemer.
But as far as God was concerned, Omri lived an evil life - set new records in evil.
He walked in the footsteps of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who not only sinned but dragged Israel into his sins, making God angry - such an empty-headed, empty-hearted life!
The rest of Omri's life, the mark he made on his times, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.
Omri died and was buried in Samaria. His son Ahab was the next king after him.
Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah. Ahab son of Omri was king over Israel for twenty-two years. He ruled from Samaria.
Ahab son of Omri did even more open evil before God than anyone yet - a new champion in evil!
It wasn't enough for him to copy the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat; no, he went all out, first by marrying Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and then by serving and worshiping the god Baal.
He built a temple for Baal in Samaria, and then furnished it with an altar for Baal.
Worse, he went on and built a shrine to the sacred whore Asherah. He made the God of Israel angrier than all the previous kings of Israel put together.
It was under Ahab's rule that Hiel of Bethel refortified Jericho, but at a terrible cost: He ritually sacrificed his firstborn son Abiram at the laying of the foundation, and his youngest son Segub at the setting up of the gates. This is exactly what Joshua son of Nun said would happen.
Asa's son Jehoshaphat was the next king; he started out by working on his defense system against Israel.
He put troops in all the fortress cities of Judah and deployed garrisons throughout Judah and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.
God was on Jehoshaphat's side because he stuck to the ways of his father Asa's early years. He didn't fool around with the popular Baal religion -
he was a seeker and follower of the God of his father and was obedient to him; he wasn't like Israel.
And God secured the kingdom under his rule, gave him a firm grip on it. And everyone in Judah showed their appreciation by bringing gifts. Jehoshaphat ended up very rich and much honored.
He was single-minded in following God; and he got rid of the local sex-and-religion shrines.
In the third year of his reign he sent his officials - excellent men, every one of them - Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah on a teaching mission to the cities of Judah.
They were accompanied by Levites - Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-Adonijah; the priests Elishama and Jehoram were also in the company.
They made a circuit of the towns of Judah, teaching the people and using the Book of The Revelation of God as their text.
There was a strong sense of the fear of God in all the kingdoms around Judah - they didn't dare go to war against Jehoshaphat.
Some Philistines even brought gifts and a load of silver to Jehoshaphat, and the desert bedouin brought flocks - 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats.
So Jehoshaphat became stronger by the day, and constructed more and more forts and store-cities - an age of prosperity for Judah!
He also had excellent fighting men stationed in Jerusalem.
The captains of the military units of Judah, classified according to families, were: Captain Adnah with 300,000 soldiers;
his associate Captain Jehohanan with 280,000;
his associate Amasiah son of Zicri, a volunteer for God, with 200,000.
Officer Eliada represented Benjamin with 200,000 fully equipped with bow and shield;
and his associate was Jehozabad with 180,000 armed and ready for battle.
These were under the direct command of the king; in addition there were the troops assigned to the fortress cities spread all over Judah.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)