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Baasha

BAASHA (bā'a-sha, Heb. ba‘shā’, boldness). The son of Ahijah, of the tribe of Issachar. He became the third king of Israel by assassinating Nadab, when that king, the son of Jeroboam, was directing the siege of Gibbethon in the land of the Philistines. Baasha exterminated the house of Jeroboam and made Tirzah his capital. He ascended the throne in the third year of Asa, king of Judah (1Kgs.15.1-1Kgs.15.34-1Kgs.16.1-1Kgs.16.34), and carried on a long war with him. About the sixteenth year of Asa, Baasha began to fortify Ramah, five miles (eight km.) north of Jerusalem, in order to blockade the northern frontier of Judah. He was prevented from completing this work by Ben-Hadad, king of Damascus, whom Asa had hired (1Kgs.15.16-1Kgs.15.21; 2Chr.16.1-2Chr.16.6). Asa then tore down Baasha’s defenses, and for his own protection built up the bulwarks of Geba (between Ramah and Jerusalem). Baasha continued the calf worship begun by Jeroboam, and Jehu the prophet threatened him and his house