(bah' uh shuh) HEBREW: BASHA
"Baal hears"

Starting early in the ninth century B.C., rival clans fought each other for rule over the kingdom of Israel. Baasha the son of Ahijah, from the tribe of Issachar, began the destructive custom of gaining the throne of the northern kingdom by assassinating the current king. In the midst of a war with the Philistines, Baasha killed King Nadab, son of Jeroboam I, and then proceeded to murder the entire royal family in order to become the third ruler of the northern kingdom (1 Kin. 15:16ff; 16:1ff; Jer. 41:9).

During his reign (c.900-877 B.C.) Baasha formed an alliance with Syria to the north and tried to strangle Judah's trade by fortifying the city of Ramah, five miles north of Jerusalem. King Asa of Judah responded by bribing King Ben-hadad of Syria to switch sides and attack Israel. After Baasha lost extensive territories in the regions of Dan and Naphtali, north and west of the Sea of Galilee, he was forced to surrender Ramah to Judah.

Baasha remained in power more than 20 years. But his continued support of the false worship of Yahweh begun by Jeroboam I provoked opposition from prophets such as Jehu the son of Hanani, who predicted the destruction of his dynasty - a prediction that came true with the assassination of Baasha's son and successor, Elah, in the second year of his reign.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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