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Tirzah was one of the Canaanite cities that were taken by the Israelites under Joshua during their God-commanded possession of the Promised Land (from Dan to Beersheba, the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea). Later, after the death of Solomon, when the united kingdom of the Israelites split into two separate kingdoms, Israel and Judah (see Jews At War With Israel), Jeroboam made his residence at Tirzah, making it the capital of the northern ten tribes (1 Kings 14:7-20), which it remained until Omri replaced it with Samaria (see Kings of Israel and Judah). It was apparently a beautiful place, as possibly alluded to in the Songs of Solomon: "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine; he pastures his flock among the lilies. You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love, comely as Jerusalem." (Songs of Solomon 6:3-4 RSV)

Tirzah The Early Capital Of The Northern Kingdom

"In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah, and reigned twenty-four years" (1 Kings 15:33 RSV)

"And Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried at Tirzah; and Elah his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 16:6 RSV)

"In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and reigned two years. But his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. When he was at Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household in Tirzah, Zimri came in and struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 16:8-10 RSV)

"In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the troops were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, and the troops who were encamped heard it said, "Zimri has conspired, and he has killed the king"; therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. So Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king's house, and burned the king's house over him with fire, and died, because of his sins which he committed, doing evil in the sight of The Lord, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and for his sin which he committed, making Israel to sin." (1 Kings 16:15-19 RSV)

"In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and reigned for twelve years; six years he reigned in Tirzah. He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; and he fortified the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill." (1 Kings 16:23-24 RSV)

Fact Finder: Why did the Israelites split into 2 separate kingdoms after the death of Solomon?
See Rehoboam

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