Sunday, September 12 2010
Omri Of Israel
Omri, from the Hebrew name pronounced owm-ree, meaning a heap of grain (his name is related to the omer, a measure of volume equal to about 2 liters; see Biblical Weights and Measures) was the sixth king of the northern kingdom of Israel (see The Northern Kingdom, as well as the rest of the series Israelite Monarchy - The Origin, The Civil War, The United Kingdom, The Division Of Israel, The Northern Kingdom, The Southern Kingdom, The Messiah, as well as Kings of Israel and Judah and Israelite Dynasties). Beginning as an army commander, Omri was made king after Zimri assassinated Elah and seized the throne (see Zimri Of Israel and Elah Of Israel).
"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)
Omri is the first Israelite monarch found to be documented in historical records other than the Bible itself (thereby independently verifying the truth and accuracy of Bible History). The "Moabite Stone" states that "Omri, king of Israel, oppressed Moab many days and his sons after him" and "Omri took the land of Medeba, and occupied it in his day and in the days of his son forty years." Also, Assyrian (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) records refer to the area of northern Israel as "the land of Omri."
"The acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he showed, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?"
Omri's reign did not come uncontested. The people of the northern kingdom had to make their final choice between Omri and Tibni (see Royal Democracy).
"16:21 Then were the people of Israel divided into two parts: half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king; and half followed Omri.
Omri eventually moved the capital of the northern kingdom from Tirzah (see the Fact Finder question below) to a new city that Omri built, named "after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria."
"16:23 In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, twelve years: six years reigned he in Tirzah.
As happened with almost all of the other kings of both the northern and southern kingdoms, Omri became grossly corrupt before the LORD, who was Christ (see Christ The Creator, 'Before Abraham Was, I AM', 'The God Of The Old Testament' and Did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob Know 'The LORD'?; see also the Fact Finder question below to understand why the Levites of the northern kingdom of "Israel" left for the southern kingdom of "Judah" - while it remained less corrupt, for a while longer than the northern kingdom did).
"16:25 But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that were before him.
And so Omri ended up just like his predecessors - just as corrupt, and just as dead.
"16:27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he showed, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
Fact Finder: (a) How long was Tirzah a capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel? (b) Why did the northern kingdom have no genuine Levitical priesthood?
This Day In History, September 12
1609: English explorer Henry Hudson, while employed by the Netherlands, discovered a famous river in eastern North America that would later be named after him - the Hudson River. New York City was originally named New Amsterdam.
1683: Austrian and Polish forces took Vienna, Austria, back from the Ottomans after the Battle of Kahlenberg (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1683: Vienna was retaken from the Ottomans.
1722: The Treaty of St. Petersburg ended the Russo-Persian War.
1758: French astronomer Charles Messier began his Messier Catalog of deep-sky objects with the Crab Nebula - the remnants of a supernova explosion that was first observed by Chinese astronomers in 1054.
1848: Switzerland adopted a new constitution under which it became a federal republic.
1878: The obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle, originally cut from the quarries of Aswan in about 1475 B.C., was erected in London (see also Antony and Cleopatra).
1914: The First Battle of the Aisne in France in WW1 began. It lasted 17 days. British and French forces battled the Germans to a stalemate; static trench warfare set in on the Aisne and lasted for the next 18 months (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1962: In a lead-up to the "Cuban Missile Crisis," US President Kennedy held a news conference and announced that the US would not tolerate any Soviet offensive base in the western hemisphere (while at the same time the US itself had dozens of offensive bases in the eastern hemisphere, some right on the Russian border).
1972: Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda, sent a cable to the United Nations Secretary General to announce that since no statue of Hitler had been erected in Germany, he proposed to set one up in Uganda.
1990: Agreements were signed by the US, Britain, France, Russia, and East and West Germany which permitted the re-unification of Germany - a key event in European history, and Bible prophecy (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).