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Omri was the sixth king of the northern kingdom of Israel (see Kings of Israel and Judah and Jews At War With Israel), reigning from about 886 to 875 B.C. Beginning as an army commander, he was made king after Zimri assassinated Elah and seized the throne. Omri is the first Israelite monarch found to be mentioned in historical records other than The Bible itself. The "Moabite stone" states that "Omri, king of Israel, oppressed Moab many days and his sons after him." Assyrian (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) records refer to the area of northern Israel as "the land of Omri." His dynasty ruled until 842.

Sword and Shield "In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned in Tirzah seven days. The army was encamped near Gibbethon, a Philistine town. When the Israelites in the camp heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and murdered him, they proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp. Then Omri and all the Israelites with him withdrew from Gibbethon and laid siege to Tirzah. When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the eyes of The Lord [see The Logos and Rock Of Ages] and walking in the ways of Jeroboam and in the sin he had committed and had caused Israel to commit."

"As for the other events of Zimri's reign, and the rebellion he carried out, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?"

"Then the people of Israel were split into two factions; half supported Tibni son of Ginath for king, and the other half supported Omri. But Omri's followers proved stronger than those of Tibni son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri became king."

"In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver [see Biblical Weights and Measures] and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill."

"But Omri did evil in the eyes of The Lord and sinned more than all those before him. He walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit, so that they provoked The Lord, the God of Israel, to anger by their worthless idols." [see Images and Idols]

"As for the other events of Omri's reign, what he did and the things he achieved, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Omri rested with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. And Ahab his son succeeded him as king." (1 Kings 16:15-28)

Fact Finder: Omri was succeeded by his son Ahab. What notoriously wicked lady did Ahab marry?
1 Kings 16:31
See also Jezebel

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