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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

1 Kings 15



Verses 25-28


‘And Nadab reigned over Israel two years.’ ‘Baasha reigned in his stead.’

1 Kings 15:25-28

I. No doubt the reforms which Asa instituted in the south served to make Jeroboam more determined than ever to establish the calf-worship which he had introduced; and after his death his son Nadab perpetuated the same form of idolatry. But Nadab reigned only a short time. Less than two years after he became king, as he was besieging the town of Gibbethon, and endeavouring to drive out the Philistines, one of his subjects from the tribe of Issachar, Baasha by name, conspired against and slew the king, and reigned in his stead. From the prophet Jehu’s message to Baasha, it is to be inferred that the rising up of Baasha in the room of Nadab, and also the extermination of the whole family of Jeroboam and the founding of a new dynasty, was according to God’s ordering, although the actual killing of Nadab was not approved by God.

II. The religious affairs of Israel were in no wise bettered by the change in dynasty.—Baasha’s conduct was no improvement upon that of the two kings of the previous house. He reigned twenty-four years, ‘and he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.’ Immediately he ascended the throne, Baasha, endeavouring to make his power secure by removing all possible rivals, killed every one belonging to the house of Jeroboam, and thus fulfilled God’s prophecy, as given in 1 Kings 14:14. Then followed a long war with Asa, King of Judah. Like Jeroboam, Baasha seems to have been unthankful to God for having raised him from a lowly position and made him king, and also indisposed in any way to observe God’s commandments. Therefore, the same punishment which befell Jeroboam is announced as Baasha’s fate. From Jerusalem God sent the prophet Jehu with this message: ‘Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over My people Israel (notice that in spite of their sin God still calls them His people); and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made My people Israel to sin, to provoke Me to anger with their sins; behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.’

This prophecy was fulfilled speedily. Baasha died, and was buried in Tirzah, his son Elah taking the throne only for two short years.


(1) ‘Under the circumstances described in this chapter, the wonder is that the worship of Jehovah, which was so opposed to the general tendency of the national life and of surrounding nations, did not fall into disuse. That it did not, was due to the influence of the prophetic body, which was destined to become more and more influential; and this was the result of God’s special interference. His Holy Spirit strove against the infection of abominable idolatry, which was continually breaking out. It is thus, also, that in infinite patience God deals with us. His Spirit strives against the flesh, that we may not do what we otherwise would; but if He is thwarted, there is overthrow and rejection, as of the Ten Tribes.’

(2) ‘Baasha is one of the few kings of Israel who died a natural death, and whose remains were laid in a royal tomb.’

(3) ‘Nadab was apparently altogether unfit to cope with the difficulties of his position. He was only a weaker Jeroboam. He “walked in the ways of his father,” and never, so far as appears, made even an attempt to abolish his father’s schismatical system. He was thus left by God to his own devices and resources, and he speedily met the fate which awaits the weak successor of a powerful usurper.’


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Kings 15:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

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