1 Kings 16

The Book of 1 Kings
Chapter 16

Chapter Overview:

The ruin of Baasha's family foretold, ver. 1 - 7.
And executed by Zimri, ver. 8 - 14.
Zimri's short reign, ver. 15 - 20.
The struggle between Omri and Tibni, and Omri's reign, ver. 21 - 28.
The beginning of Ahab's reign, ver. 29 - 33.
16:1Hanani - He was sent to Asa, king of Judah. But the son, who was young and more active, was sent on this longer and more dangerousexpedition to Baasha, king of Israel.
16:2I made thee - Though that invading the kingdom was from himself, and his own wicked heart; yet the translation of the kingdom from Nadabto Baasha simply considered, was from God, who by his providencedisposed of all occasions, and of the hearts of the soldiers and people,so that Baasha should have opportunity of executing God's judgment uponNadab; nay, the very act of Baasha, the killing his masterNadab, was an act of divine justice. And if Baasha had done this inobedience to God's command, and with a single design, to execute God'svengeance threatened against him, it had been no more a sin, than Jehu'sact in killing his master king Jehoram, upon the same account, 9:24 .But Baasha did this, merely to gratify his own pride, or covetousness,or malice, ver. 7 .
16:7Came, &c. - The meaning is, the message which came from the Lord to Jehu, ver. 1 , &c. was here deliveredby the hand, the ministry of Jehu, unto Baasha. Jehu didwhat God commanded him in this matter, tho' it was notwithout apparent hazard to himself.
16:8Two years - One compleat, and part of the other, ver. 10 .
16:9Chariots - Of all his military chariots, and the men belonging to them: the chariots for carriage of necessary things, being put into meanerhands. Tirzah - Whilst his forces were elsewhere employed, ver. 15 ,which gave Zimri advantage to execute his design.
16:11Kinfolks - Heb. avengers; to whom it belonged to revenge his death.
16:13Vanities - Idols called vanities; because they are but imaginary deities, and mere nothings; having no power to do eithergood or hurt.
16:15Gibbethon - Which had been besieged before, but, it seems, was then relieved, or afterwards recovered by the Philistines; taking theadvantage of the disorders and contentions which were among their enemies.
16:19For his sins - This befell him for his sins.In walking, &c. - This he might do, either before his reign, in the wholecourse of his life, which is justly charged upon him, because of hisimpenitency: or during his short reign; in which, he had time enough topublish his intentions, about the worship of the calves; or to sacrificeto them, for his good success.
16:21Were divided - Fell into a civil war: yet neither this, nor any other of God's dreadful judgments could win them to repentance.
16:22Prevailed - Partly, because they had the army on their side; and principally, by the appointment of God, giving up the Israelites to himwho was much the worst, ver. 25 ,26.Died - A violent death, in the battle: but not till after a struggle ofsome years. But why in all these confusions of the kingdom of Israel,did they never think of returning to the house of David?Probably because the kings of Judah assumed a more absolute power thanthe kings of Israel. It was the heaviness of the yoke that theycomplained of, when they first revolted from the house of David.And it is not unlikely, the dread of that made them averse to it ever after.
16:23Twelve years - That is, and he reigned twelve years, not from this thirty - first year of Asa, for he died in his thirty - eighth year,ver. 29 , but from the beginning of his reign, which was inAsa's twenty - seventh year, ver. 15 ,16. So he reigned four yearsin a state of war with Tibni, and eight years peaceably.
16:24Two talents - Two talents is something more than seven hundred pounds.
16:26Did worse - Perhaps he made severer laws concerning the calf worship; whence we read of the statutes of Omri, 6:16 .
16:31A light thing - The Hebrew runs, was it a light thing, &c, that is, was this but a small sin, that therefore he needed to add moreabominations? Where the question, as is usual among the Hebrews,implies a strong denial; and intimates, that this was no small sin, buta great crime; and might have satisfied his wicked mind, without anyadditions. Jezebel - A woman infamous for her idolatry, and cruelty, andsorcery, and filthiness. Eth - baal - Called Ithbalus, or Itobalusin heathen writers. So she was of an heathenish and idolatrous race. Suchas the kings and people of Israel were expressly forbidden to marry.Baal - The idol which the Sidonians worshipped, which is thought to beHercules. And this idolatry was much worse than that of the calves;because in the calves they worshipped the true God; but in these, false godsor devils.
16:34In his days - This is added,
  1. as an instance of the certainty of divine predictions, this being fulfilled eight hundred years after it was threatened; and withal, as a warning to the Israelites, not to think themselves innocent or safe, because the judgment threatened against them by Ahijah, chap. 14:15 , was not yet executed. Or,
  2. as an evidence of the horrible corruption of his times, and of that high contempt of God which then reigned.
The Bethelite - Who lived in Bethel, the seat and sink of idolatry,wherewith he was throughly leavened. He laid, &c. - That is, in thebeginning of his building, God took away his first - born, and otherssuccessively in the progress of the work, and the youngest when he finishedit. And so he found by his own sad experience, the truth of God's word.