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Answering The Atheist
March 27, 2005 / Volume 5, Issue 13

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
When did Baasha, king of Israel die? Was it in the 26th year of king Asa of Judah (1 Kings 16:6-8), or was it after the 36th year of king Asa of Judah (2 Chronicles 16:1)? Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Baasha died in the 26th year of king Asa's reign in Judah, just as the writer of 1 Kings tells us. What then, are we to make of the reference to Baasha coming up against Judah in the 36th year of Asa?

Since Baasha died in the 26th year of Asa's reign, he could not have come up against Judah 10 years later. It is likely that the reference to the 36th year in 2 Chronicles 16 means the 36th year since the division of the two kingdoms, which fell during the reign of Asa. Note, Rehoboam reigned 17 years, Abijah reigned 3 years, and at the occurrence of this conflict, Asa had reigned 16 years. Baasha would die 10 years after this event.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible