Hebrew History – Lesson 16

I Kings 16 Chapter 21


After studying the first two dynasties, we move to Omri. Omri was the Sixth King of Israel, and he established the third dynasty.

I. Omri – Israel’s Sixth King

1 Ki 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. 1 Ki 16:22 But the people that followed Omri prevailed against the people that followed Tibni the son of Ginath: so Tibni died, and Omri reigned.

The people who followed after Omri were able to overthrow those of Tibni. This civil war lasted for four years.

1 Ki 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.

We see that in the 31st year of Judah’s King Asa , the Omri began to reign over the Northern tribe of Israel. He reigned for six years in Tirzah and then purchased the hill Samaria and made it as his capital as we read in verse 24. After purchasing the hill, he reigned another 6 years. See also I Kings 16:51.

1 Ki 16:24 And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria. 1 Ki 16:25 But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that were before him.

We see that Omri was not a good king, but one that did evil and was more evil than any other king before him. It should be noted that not one king of the Northern division of the kingdom ever was noted as "doing right in the eyes of the Lord." Because of all of his evil, he made Israel famous among their surrounding nations. Omri is the first king to be mentioned by name by Archeology discovery.

1 Ki 16:26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger with their vanities. 1 Ki 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?

Omri gained both economic prosperity during his reign as well as military security. During his reign, he married a daughter of Judah.

1 Ki 16:28 So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead.

II. Ahab, Israel’s Seventh King

1 Ki 16:29 And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. 1 Ki 16:30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. 1 Ki 16:31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.

We see that the evil that Omri did passes down to his son, and he becomes one of the most evil kings that ever reigned in Israel. He walked in the sins of Jeroboam and married Jezebel for his wife. With Jezebel’s help, Ahab became the worst of all the kings of Israel due to his evil.

1 Ki 16:32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 1 Ki 16:33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.

Ahab not only setup an altar to the false god Baal, but he made a grove. These things made the Lord more angry at him than any other king before him.

1 Ki 22:29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead. 1 Ki 22:30 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.

We see that the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat (King of Judah at the time) went to Ramothgilead, where Ahab was killed.

1 Ki 22:35 And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot. 1 Ki 22:36 And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country. 1 Ki 22:37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. 1 Ki 22:38 And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.

The dogs licking up his blood was fulfillment of the word of the Lord. And wicked Jezebel came to a horrible death as had been prophesied would come to pass.

2 Ki 9:31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? 2 Ki 9:32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. 2 Ki 9:33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. 2 Ki 9:34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. 2 Ki 9:35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. 2 Ki 9:36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: 2 Ki 9:37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

Elijah, the Tishbite, had prophesied earlier saying "The dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel at Jezreel."

III. The Reign of Jehu

2 Ki 9:11 Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication. 2 Ki 9:12 And they said, It is false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. 2 Ki 9:13 Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.

Jehu begins a new dynasty in Israel, the fourth such one. After he becomes the king, he destroys the family of Ahab.

2 Ki 10:19 Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtlety, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.

Not only did he destroy Ahab’s family, but he also put to death the worshippers of Baal.

IV. Jeroboam II

2 Ki 14:23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years. 2 Ki 14:24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 2 Ki 14:25 He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher. 2 Ki 14:26 For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel. 2 Ki 14:27 And the LORD said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.

We see a second Jeroboam come into power. He had the longest reign of any of Israel’s kings. (41 years). During the time of his kingship, he accomplished several things.

V. The Rise of Assyria to Power

2 Ki 17:4 And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. 2 Ki 17:5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. 2 Ki 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

We see that the Assyrians were not only military people, but they were a mean and cruel people. They beat the people down to conquer them. And most of the time, they literally killed off everyone. Israel was carried off captive in 722 BC. The reason for their fall was bad politics and idolatry.

VI. The Origin of the Samaritans

2 Ki 17:24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.

We see Sargas brings in alien colonists to replace the population of Israel. The people remarried with those that remained in the Northern kingdom. The Jews and Samaritans did not associate one with the other very much.

John 4:9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

The Samaritans established a religion in the land. They recognized the first five books of the Bible.

Ezra 4:1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; Ezra 4:2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. Ezra 4:3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. Ezra 4:4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

We see that when the Samaritans came and wanted to help rebuild the temple of the Lord, they were told that they would not be allowed to help do it. "Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God." This made the Samaritans very upset, and they caused trouble to the people of Judah.

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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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