Chapter 16: The reigns of Bashah, Ela, Zimri, Omri, Achav
1. The prophecy of Yehu to Basha:
- A prophecy of Basha’s doom: Hashem sent Yehu, the son of Chanani, the following prophecy to state regarding Baasha: “I have elevated you from the dust, and made you a leader over My people, Israel, and nonetheless you have chosen to go in the way of Yeravam and you have caused My people Israel to sin and to anger Me with their sins. Therefore, I will obliterate Baasha and his entire family, as I did to the family of Yeravam the son of Navat. The corpses of the family of Baasha which are in the city will be eaten by the dogs, while the corpses of the family of Baasha which in the field will be eaten by the birds in the sky.”
2. The legacy of Basha:
- His chronicles: The rest of the event relating to king Baasha and what he did, are written in the book of chronicles of the kings of Israel.
- His death: Baasha died and was buried in Tirzah.
- His successor: Elah, the son of Basha, reigned after him.
3. The reign of Elah:
- The years of reign of Elah: Elah, the son of Baasha, ruled over Israel in Tirzah for two years. He became king in the twenty sixth year of reign of Asa, king of Judah.
4. The death of Elah, and the purge of the entire family of Basha by Zimri:
- Due to the prophecy of Yehu, the son of Chanani the prophet, the following occurred to the family of Basha, due to his own sins, and the sins he caused the Jewish people to sin.
- His assassination by Zimri: Ela’s servant Zimri, who was one of the two captains who oversaw the chariots, conspired against Ela to kill him. While Ela was in Tirzah drinking himself drunk, Zimri came and killed him. Ela was drinking in the house of Arza who was [appointed] over the household in Tirzah, and there he was killed.
- Elah was killed in the twenty seventh year of reign of Asa the king of Judah.
- Zimri becomes king: he reigned in his stead.
- Zimri purges the royal family of Basha: When Zimir became king he annihilated the entire house of Basha, as Yehu had prophesied in the name of Hashem that would occur. There were no male survivors of his family, and nor did any of his friends or relatives survive. This was done as punishment for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son who sinned and caused Israel to sin and to anger God of Israel with idolatry.
5. The legacy of Elah:
- The remaining events of Elah and all that he accomplished are written in the book of Chronicles of the kings of Israel.
6. The very short reign of Zimri and the ensuing civil war culminating in his death and the rule of Omri:
- The reign of Zimri for only seven days: Zimri became king in the twenty seventh year of reign of Asa, the king of Judah. Zimri reigned for seven days in Tirzah while the people were encamped around Givson, which was in the land of the Philistines.
- Part of the Jewish people coronate Omri as king: The people who were encamped in Givson heard that Zimri had rebelled and assassinated Elah. So they all went ahead and pronounced Omri the commander-in-chief of the army, as king of Israel on that day in the camp.
- The civil war: Omri and all of Israel went up from Givon and besieged Tirzah. When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he entered the inner chamber of the king’s palace. Omri then set the palace on fire and burnt Zimri within the king’s palace, and he died. This occurred as a result of his sins which he sinned and caused Israel to sin, following the path of Yeravam.
- The legacy of Zimri: The remainder of the events of Zimri and his rebellion, are written in the book of Chronicles of the kings of Israel.
7. The kingdom of Israel splits in two and is then reunited:
- The two kings: At that point the kingdom of Israel split in two. Half of the people followed after Tivni the son of Ginas, and proclaimed him king, and the other half followed after Omri [and proclaimed him king].
- Tivni is killed and the kingdom unites: The people who followed Omri overpowered those who followed Tivni, after Tivni died [by assassination] Omri reigned [over all the Jewish people].
8. The reign of Omri:
- His years of reign: Omri became king in the thirty-first year of reign of Asa the king of Judah. Omri ruled over Israel for twelve years [five years under the split kingdom, and seven years with a united kingdom]. In the city of Tirzah [which was the capitol prior to Shomron], he ruled for six years [and then built the city of Shomron and moved his capitol to there].
- His purchase and construction of the city Shomron: Omri bought the mountain of Shomron from Shemer for two Kikar of silver. He built up the mountain and called the name of the city which he built “Shomron.” It was named after Shemer, who was the original owner of the mountain.
- His sins: Omri sinned against Hashem, following all the sins of Yeravam, and was even more wicked than all those who preceded him. He caused Israel to sin and anger God with their false gods.
- His chronicles: The remainder of the actions of Omri and his accomplishments are written in the book of Chronicles of the kings of Israel.
- His death: Omri died and was buried in Shomron.
- Achav, the successor of Omri: Achav, the son of Omri, ruled after him.
9. The reign of Achav, son of Omri:
- His years of reign: Now Achav the son of Omri ruled over Israel, in the thirty-eighth year of Asa, king of Judah, and Achav the son of Omri ruled over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years.
- His sins: Achav sinned before Hashem more than all those who preceded him. It was very light in his eyes to sin and follow in the ways of Yeravam, the son of Nevat.
- His marriage to Izevel: Achav took as a wife Izevel, the daughter of Etbaal, who was the king of the Tzidonim.
- Worshipping the Baal: Achav went and worshipped the Baal and prostrated himself to him. He erected an altar for the Baal in the house of Baal which he had built in the Shomron.
- Worshipping an Asheira: Achav made an Asheirah tree [i.e. a tree for worship].
- Achav angered Hashem more than all the other kings of Israel who had preceded him.
10. The city of Yerichos is rebuilt:
- In the times of Achav, Chiel the Bethelite built Yericho. [When he first built] the foundations,] his firstborn son Aviram [died], and when he set up its gates, his youngest son Seguv [died], following the curse that Hashem had spoken to Yehoshua Ben Nun [that whoever would rebuild Yerciho would burry all of his sons].
 See Rashi 16:22
 See Radak 16:22
 Rashi 16:23
 Rashi 16:23
 Rashi 16:34