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Zimri Of Israel
Zimri, from the Hebrew name pronounced zim-ree, meaning musical, or touch the strings, was the fifth king of the northern kingdom of Israel, after Israel divided into north and south, after the death of King Solomon (to understand the history of the Israelite monarchy, past and future, see the complete study series The Origin, The Civil War, The United Kingdom, The Division Of Israel, The Northern Kingdom, The Southern Kingdom and The Messiah; see also David, Future King Of Israel).
Zimri was a high-ranking military commander of King Elah, until one day Zimri assassinated his king and assumed the throne himself.
"16:8 In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah [see Elah Of Israel] the son of Baasha [see Baasha Of Israel] to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years.
"Zimri went in and smote him ... and reigned in his stead"
To assure that no political challenges would be made from his successor's royal line (see the Fact Finder question below to understand the dynasties of Israel and Judah - and where Jesus Christ is found in those lines), Zimri killed all of the existing royal family. It wasn't the purpose of Zimri alone that the line be destroyed - it was also the will of the LORD to end a hopelessly corrupt political regime in the north.
"16:11 And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends. 16:12 Thus did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, 16:13 For all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, by which they sinned, and by which they made Israel to sin, in provoking the LORD God of Israel to anger with their vanities.
Zimri reigned only seven days before he had a counter-revolution on his hands (democracy has taken numerous forms throughout human history, including for kings - see Royal Democracy). The people of Israel elected their own king, Omri, who led the army against Zimri - who obviously didn't have the support of the military that he had formerly been loyal to.
"16:15 In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. 16:16 And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king: wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp. 16:17 And Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah." (1 Kings 16:15-17 KJV)
When Zimri saw that his situation was lost, he committed suicide in the palace at Tirzah (see The Kings Of Tirzah).
"16:18 And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died, 16:19 For his sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight of the LORD, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel to sin. 16:20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his treason that he wrought, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?" (1 Kings 16:18-20 KJV)
Fact Finder: How and where is Jesus Christ in the royal dynasties of Israel and Judah?