Son of Baasha, fourth king of Israel (1 Kings 16:6-14).
He reigned two years, 888-887 BC. The statement that he came to the throne in the 26th year of Asa, reigned two years, and died in the 27th year of Asa, illustrates the Hebrew method of synchronizing the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah (compare 1 Kings 15:33; 16:8). Elah appears to have been a debauchee. While he was drinking himself drunk in the house of Azra, his chamberlain, Zimri, one of his military leaders, conspired against him and murdered him. According to Josephus (VIII, xii, 4) he took advantage of the absence of the army, which was at Gibbethon, to kill Elah. The extirpation of the royal family followed the murder of the king. Baasha's dynasty had its origin in a murder and it ended in a murder. The government had no stability. These revolutions illustrate the truth that "they who take the sword shall perish with the sword."
S. K. Mosiman
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