Don't these two verses contradict?

1st Kings 15:29 (KJV)

And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite.


1st Kings 16:7 (KJV)

And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the Lord against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, in provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him.

Background story is that son of Jeroboam got sick and his mother took him to Ahijah, there he told her that everyone from Jeroboam family will die. "1st Kings 14:14 (KJV) Moreover the Lord shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now"

So yeah, I am a bit confused. If God decided to kill him, why did he take that as transgressions to the one who killed him?

Thank you.

3 Answers 3


It does happen from time to time in the Old Testament that God allows A to be the instrument of his punishment upon B and then punishes A for being over-enthusiastic in the task and exceeding his commission.

The classic example and justification for this theory is the case of Assyria, as described in Isaiah ch10.

On the one hand, Assyria is "the rod of my anger, the staff of my fury. Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to seize spoil and to plunder" (vv5-6, RSV).

On the other hand, the Assyrians are not aware of this command, which they will have received subconsciously, and they are acting for motives of their own; "But he does not so intend, and his mind does not so think; but it is in his mind to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few" (v7).

Therefore the Lord will subject to judgment even his own instrument of judgement, for going too far and claiming independent authority; "Shall the axe vaunt itself against him who wields it?... Therefore the Lord of Hosts will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors..etc" (vv15-16).

Another example is Babylon; the Lord will "bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all these nations round about" (Jeremiah ch25 v8), but after seventy years will "punish the king of Babylon" (v11)

A possible third example is the house of Jehu; Jehu was commissioned by the Lord to overthrow the house of Ahab (2 Kings ch9), but in the process went on to kill rather more people than were necessary (2 Kings ch10), and that may be why his house were later to be punished for "the blood of Jezreel" (Hosea ch1 v4)

Sending and later punishing the destroyer of the house of Jeroboam fits into this pattern.

  • yeah but in case I brought up the guy did what he was supposed to do, not more than that. I specifically ask for the phrase why was God accusing Basasha for being unrighetus if he killed Jeroboam family as instructed.
    – jeaq
    Mar 11, 2023 at 0:20
  • 1
    Possibly his consccious motives were evil, as in the case of Assyria; "He did not so intend". Then the Lord might still want to punish them even if he approved of the result. Mar 11, 2023 at 0:29

It is true that the northern kingdom of Israel's history is characterized by a succession of five dynasties - all terminated by a series of violet assassinations. Most of these dynasties only lasted two generations - the father and his son!

All these dynasties were exceedingly wicked and ended by simply by God allowing a strong-man to kill the current king. Assassination is murder and the fact that God permitted it does not make the act correct nor lawful.

We see this in other cases as well:

  • God simply withdrew His protection and allowed Assyria to capture and destroy the northern kingdom of Israel while still protecting the southern kingdom of Judah. But then God destroyed the destroyed the kingdom of Assyria for its violence
  • God withdrew His protection and allowed the kingdom of Babylon to capture Judah but then later destroyed Babylon for its violence and sinful acts.
  • we also see this in Rev 17 where the great prostitute is destroyed by the very kings same evil kings that supported here, V12 & 16.

The same applied in 1 Kings 15 & 16 as quoted by the OP - while God will the removal of wicked kings, He simply allowed their wickedness to destroy them. That does not vindicate the murderous actions of the one who assassinated them at all and they were punished for their violence as well.

APPENDIX - Dynasties of Israel

The northern kingdom of Israel had five dynasties as follows:

  1. Jeroboam and his son Nadab, assassinated by Baasha
  2. Baasha and his son Elah assassinated by Zimri

Interregnum: Zimri king for 5 days followed by Tibni (killed by Omri)

  1. Omri and his decedents, Ahab, Ahaziah, Joram assassinated by Jehu
  2. Jehu and his decedents, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, Zechariah assassinated by Shallum

Interregnum: Shallum king for 6 months but assassinated by Menahem

  1. Menahem and his son Pekehiah assassinated by Pekah

Final kings: Pekah (assassinated and Hoshea, taken captive)

  • Okay, that makes sense, thank you for taking time to answer my question.
    – jeaq
    Mar 10, 2023 at 20:11
  • okay, but you say "that does not vindicate the murderous actions of the one who assassinated them at all and they were punished for their violence as well", than one can argue that killing anybody is a sin that God would judge(killing Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites...) of whom God specifically ordered to be killed(man, woman, children).
    – jeaq
    Mar 11, 2023 at 0:29
  • 1
    @jeaq - there is a big difference between removing someone from power and assassinating them. David knew it was God's plan to remove Saul from Power but refused to assassinate Saul! These other men should have followed David's example.
    – Dottard
    Mar 11, 2023 at 5:56

The scripture often described God did something, it doesn't mean God did it intentionally. It is God knows it in advance, but did not intervene its course.

It has to say it is the wicked one who set path of his ill fate. God knows his destiny, but did not intervene to save him, for it is his punishment, God's judgement.

So God allowed Baasha to take over the kingdom, and God said in 1 Kings 16:2

“Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins,

In this sentence, God used the word "exalted", a word that implied Baasha was not worth to be a king but God let him be a king. It is different to be "chosen", as God gave to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Zerubbabel and finally, Jesus.

Being exalted did not have God's promise of being chosen, which has an implication of eternity. If Baasha did well and remained faithful to God, his kingdom last, otherwise, he met the same ill fate as the family of Jeroboam when he set path of his own destruction, and God did not intervene.

So there is no contradiction of 1 Kings 15:29 and 1 Kings 16:7. They were scrutinized under the same judgement of God.

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