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The death of Zimri did not automatically place the throne of the Northern Kingdom in Omri’s hands. Half the population, including the army, followed Omri but the other half sided with Tibni (v. 21). For over three years civil war ravaged Israel and threatened to split it into two parts. At the end of this period Omri was victorious (v. 22). About the same time Omri took over Tibni died. We can not know for sure if his death was violent or natural. In the 31st year of Asa Omri began to reign (v. 23).
Many of the sins of Omri are written in the book of the Chronicles (v. 27). Though Omri is passed over quickly in l Kings but he was a powerful and politically effective king. In fact, he was probably the strongest leader of the Northern Kingdom up to this time. However, Omri’s spiritual leadership was the worst of any Israelite king to this time. To add to this spiritual deterioration was an alliance he made with the Phoenicians which was sealed by the marriage of his son, Ahab, to Jezebel, a daughter of the Phoenician king, Ethboal.
At the end of a 12-year reign, Omri died and his rule was passed on to his son, Ahab, who was more wicked than his father (v. 25). Verse 30 says that Ahab “did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him” (v. 30). In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. Jezebel never rested till she had got all the forms of her native Tyrian worship in.
Influenced by his wicked wife, Jezebel, Ahab built a temple for Baal worship in the capital of Israel. Jezebel, who was a self-styled “prophetess” (Revelation 2:20) inaugurated her own priesthood, withdrew the altars of the Lord, established her own idols and persecuted the servants of the Lord.
Omri strengthened the nation politically and militarily but he did not care about the nation’s spiritual condition (Micah 6:l6). Anytime I leave God out of my plans it will only lead to a tragic future.
Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts. Half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri. But the people who followed Omri overcame the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath. So Tibni died, and Omri became king. In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and he 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 that he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill. Omri did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did more evil than all who were before him. For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in the sins that he made Israel to sin, provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols. Now the rest of the acts of Omri that he did, and the might that he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? And Omri slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria, and Ahab his son reigned in his place. In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.
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I Kings 13:1-19A Man of God Goes to Bethel
I Kings 13:20-34A Lion Kills The Man of God
I Kings 14:1-20Judgment on The House of Jeroboam
I Kings 14:21-31Rehoboam’s evil reign in Judah
I Kings 15:1-8Abijah’s Evil Reign in Judah
I Kings 15:25-34Nadab’s Evil Reign in Israel
I Kings 16:1-20Baasha, Elah And Zimri Reigns in Israel
I Kings 16:21-34Omri And Ahab Reigns in Israel
I Kings 17:1-24Elijah Visits a Widow at Zarephath
I Kings 18:1-19Elijah’s Message to Ahab
I Kings 18:20-29Elijah’s Mt Carmel Victory
I Kings 18:30-46The Drought Ends
I Kings 19:1-7Elijah Flees From Jezebel
I Kings 19:8-21The Lord Appears to Elijah