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Kings of Ancient Israel

United Monarchy of Israel

Northern Kingdom of Israel

Baasha (Hebrew: בַּעְשָׁא‎, Basha, "Baal hears") was the third king of the northern Israelite Kingdom of Israel. He was the son of Ahijah of the Tribe of Issachar. Baasha's story is told in 1 Kings 15:16-16:7.

Baasha became king of Israel in the third year of Asa, king of Judah. (1 Kings 15:28) William F. Albright has dated his reign to 900 - 877 BCE, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 909 - 886 BCE.[1] Baasha came to power by murdering the previous king, Nadab, followed by the entire House of Jeroboam (Nadab's father and predecessor). Baasha had previously been a captain in Nadab's own army. (1 Kings 15:28-29)

Over the course of his twenty-three year reign, Baasha was at war with Asa, king of Judah. He allied Israel with Syria and endeavored to strangle Judah's trade by fortifying Ramah, a city five miles north of Jerusalem. King Asa of Judah then bribed King Ben-hadad of Syria to switch sides and attack Israel, prompting the loss of extensive territory in Dan and Naphtali northwest of the Sea of Galilee. Baasha was forced to withdraw from Ramah.

Though Baasha remained in power for life, he was not without his opponents. The prophet Jehu, the son of Hanani, foretold the destruction of his dynasty, which came to pass with the assassination of Baasha's son Elah.


Baasha from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum "
  1. ^ Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, (1st ed.; New York: Macmillan, 1951; 2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965; 3rd ed.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Kregel, 1983). ISBN 082543825X, 9780825438257
Baasha of Israel
Contemporary Kings of Judah: Asa
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Israel
909 BC – 886 BC
Succeeded by


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