Baasha, son of Ahijah, of the tribe of Issachar

“In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah became king over all Israel in Tirzah, and reigned twenty-four years. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin.” (1Ki 15:33-34)

Baasha usurped the throne after his assassination of Nadab during the siege against Gibbethon (1Ki 15:27-28). Although of humble origin (1Ki 16:2), he thereby became founder of the second dynasty of Israel. Baasha made Tirzah the capital city of his kingdom and conducted a non-stop war against king Asa of Judah (1Ki 15:32). Ramah was a strategic Benjamite city located about five miles north of Jerusalem along the main north-south trunk route, which Baasha fortified in order to cut off access to Jerusalem. Asa retaliated by hiring the Syrians to break the blockade at a considerable cost of silver and gold from his treasuries.

“So Ben-Hadad heeded King Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel. He attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maachah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. Now it happened, when Baasha heard it, that he stopped building Ramah, and remained in Tirzah.” (1Ki 15:20-21)

Jehu, the son of Hanani, prophesied the destruction of Baasha's house due to his willful continuation of golden calf idolatry as instituted by Jeroboam:

“Inasmuch as I lifted you out of the dust and made you ruler over My people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and have made My people Israel sin, to provoke Me to anger with their sins, surely I will take away the posterity of Baasha and the posterity of his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. The dogs shall eat whoever belongs to Baasha and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the fields.” (1Ki 16:2-4)

After the third longest reign of the kings of Israel, Baasha died and was buried in Tirzah. He was succeeded by his son Elah.