1 Kings 15:33 – Baasha died when?

1 Kings 15:33—”Here it says Baasha died in the 26th year of king Asa’s reign, but 2 Chronicles 16:1 says he was still alive in the 36th year.”

The word translated as “reign” in Hebrew is מלכות (malkut) , which is often used to simply mean “realm” or “kingdom” rather than “reign”1. Taken in this sense, some scholars conclude that this “36th year of Asa’s realm” is measuring not from Asa’s enthronement (910BC) but from the creation of his kingdom or realm when Asa’s kingdom divided from Israel (930BC), which fits precisely with 1 Kings. Other have suggested that this was a copyist mistake and the original number is 16; for in the Hebrew alphabetical type the difference between ‘3-‘ and ‘1-‘ is very slight. A scribe may have simply misread a smudged letter. For a fuller explanation of such minor scribal copyist mistakes in the Qur’ān and Bible, see the article Minor Variants and Copying Errors in the Tawrat, Zabur, Injīl and Qur’ān.

  1. For examples of this usage, see 2 Chr 1:1, 11:17; 20:30; Neh 9:35; Es 1:14

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