Omri

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United Monarchy of Israel

Northern Kingdom of Israel

Omri (Hebrew: עמרי, Modern Omri Tiberian ʻOmrî; short for Hebrew: עָמְרִיָּה, Modern Omriyya Tiberian ʻOmriyyā ; "The Lord is my life") was king of Israel and father of Ahab. He was "commander of the army" of king Elah when Zimri murdered Elah and made himself king. Instead, the troops at Gibbethon chose Omri as king, and he led them to Tirzah where they trapped Zimri in the royal palace. Zimri set fire to the palace and died after a reign of only seven days. (1 Kings 16:15-18)

Although Zimri was eliminated, "half of the people" supported Tibni in opposition to Omri. (1 Kings 16:21-22) It took Omri four years to subdue Tibni and at last proclaim himself undisputed king of Israel. (1 Kings 16:15 and 16:23) For the first six years, his capital was in Tirzah, after which he built a new capital of the kingdom in Samaria, on a hill he bought from Shemer. (1 Kings 16:23-24)

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