This time it's king Baasha that he's is pissed off about. Baasha became king by killing Jeroboam's son and then slaughtered the rest of Jeroboam's family, "according to the saying of the Lord."
Now you'd think that God would thank Baasha for doing his dirty work for him. But if so, you'd be wrong about that. God was angry at Baasha for killing Jeroboam's family, even though he apparently inspired him to do it. God works in really creepy ways.
God made his plans known in the usual way: he sent a prophet (Jehu) to tell Baasha the bad news.
Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; 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. Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat. 1 Kings 16:1-4Yep, that's right. God will kill everyone in Baasha's family and feed their bodies to the dogs and birds.
But God doesn't do anything to Baasha. He just waits for him to die and then has his family slaughtered to teach him a lesson. (The best way to teach a man a lesson is to kill his family after he dies.)
So Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son reigned in his stead. 1 Kings 16:6After Baasha died, his son Elah was king for two years. Then God got to work on his next mass murder.
One of Elah's captains (Zimri) was selected by God to do the killing. First he killed Elah (while he was "drinking himself drunk") and then all of Baasha's family and friends -- all those that pissed against a wall, anyway.
His servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, ... drinking himself drunk. ... And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him ... and reigned in his stead. ...So God had all of Baasha's wall-pissing friends and family killed. It doesn't say how many that was, so I'll just guess 20: 10 friends and 10 family members.
And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends. Thus did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake against Baasha by Jehu the prophet. 1 Kings 16:9-12
Since I'm not having much luck getting apologists to defend God's killings, I thought I'd add a note from one of my favorite Bibles, the Quest Study Bible (QSB). Here's what they say about God's 80th killing. (p. 492)
Why did God punish Baasha? (16:7)[Note that the editors of the QSB don't deny that God wanted Baasha to kill Jeroboam's family. In fact, they clearly believe that the slaughter was a good and noble act. The problem, they say, was Baasha's intention (which, by the way, the Bible says nothing about). If Baasha had of massacred Jeroboam's family to "honor God," it would have been (in their warped minds) a wonderful, virtuous act! You have to have the right intention when you slaughter a family for God.
Baasha's violence accomplished God's purpose, but that one act did not make him a servant of God. God held him accountable for his evil intentions, not for inadvertently full fulling God's will. Baasha had wiped out Jeroboam's clan to increase his power base, not to honor God.
But because Baasha didn't have the proper intention when performing the mass murder, God was forced to have someone else (Zimri) murder Baasha's family and friends. One holy mass murder leads to another.
But I guess Zimri didn't have the right intention either when he slaughtered Baasha's family and friends, so he burned himself to death because he did "evil in the sight of the LORD." But that's another story.]
God's next killing: Zimri burns to death