Fausset's Bible Dictionary
1. Elah's captain. Besieged Gibbethon in Dan, the siege had some time before been begun by Nadab (1Ki_15:27). On Elan's murder at Tirzah by Zimri the army made Omri king, 935 B.C. He took Tirzah, and Zimri after a seven days' reign perished in the flames. Half the people desired Tibni (1Ki_16:15-27), who according to the Septuagint was helped by his brother Joram, but died defeated. The civil war was of four years' duration. In 931 B.C. Omri began his sole reign. For six years he reigned at the beautiful Tirzah (Son_6:4). But having proved its inability to resist a siege, he bought for two silver talents from Shemer the hill Shomron or Samaria, six miles from the old capital, Shechem, and distinguished for strength, beauty, and fertility. Here he reigned for six years more, and died in 919 B.C. Determined and unscrupulous he "walked in Jeroboam's sin of the calf worship, provoking Jehovah God of Israel to anger with vanities."
His "might which he showed" was celebrated in the royal chronicles. To strengthen his dynasty he allied himself to Benhadad I of Damascus, surrendering cities as the price of the alliance (1Ki_20:34), including Ramoth Gilead (1Ki_22:3). (See AHAB.) For the same end his son Ahab married the Sidonian king Ethbaal's daughter Jezebel, which issued in the introduction of Baal worship into Israel. Compare Mic_6:16. "the statutes (a firmly established system) of Omri." His vigour secured the permanence of his dynasty for four reigns, until God by Jehu overthrew it for its guilt. Beth Omri, "the house of Omri," is the regular designation for Samaria in Assyrian monuments, thus confirming 1Ki_16:24. In the black obelisk even Jehu as king of Israel is called "son of Omri" In the Dibon stone Mesha records that Omri subjected and oppressed Moab until Mesha delivered his country. This agrees with the Hebrew date for Omri, and with the "might" attributed to him (1Ki_16:27).
|Taken from: Fausset's Bible Dictionary by Andrew Robert Fausset (1821-1910)|