House of Omri

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The House of Omri (929-884BC by Ussher,[1] or 885-841BC by Thiele[2]) is the dynasty of four kings, beginning with Omri, a rebel general who seized power from one who himself had murdered a previous king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. It lasted for forty-five years.


The House of Omri began when a general named Omri, commanding the troops of the Northern Kingdom at the siege of Gibbethon, led the entire army to Tirzah to take over the kingdom from King Zimri, who had seized power by murdering King Elah seven days before. Omri won the day when Zimri burned the palace down over his own head and perished in the flames.

Soon afterward, however, the army split into two equal halves, the one following Omri, and the other following a pretender named Tibni. Omni spent four years quelling this rivalry. To do it, he might have made a military treaty with King Ithobaal I of Tyre, involving the marriage of his son Ahab to Ithobaal's daughter Jezebel. We do know that Athaliah, daughter of Omri and eventual queen of the Southern Kingdom, was born two years into the civil war.

Baal worship

The marriage of Ahab and Jezebel was to prove instrumental in introducing the worship of Baal to the Northern Kingdom and even to the Southern. During the reign of Ahab, Jezebel systematically exterminated almost all the prophets of God then living in the Northern Kingdom—except that a palace steward hid a hundred of them in at least two locations, and two prophets, the great Elijah and his student Elisha, strove against Baal worship beginning in the ninth year of Ahab to the very end of the House of Omri, through lessons, demonstrations, and occasionally direct action.

End of the House of Omri

The House of Omri ended with the death, in yet another military coup, of Jehoram, second son of Ahab, at the hand of his general, Jehu.

King List

Ussher I Ussher II Ussher III Ussher IV Thiele I Thiele II Thiele III Thiele IV
Omri I_Kings 16:23 3075 929 3015 929 3290 929 3230 929 3075 885 3015 885 3290 885 3230 885
Ahab I_Kings 16:29 3086 918 3026 918 3301 918 3241 918 3085 874 3025 874 3300 874 3240 874
Ahaziah I_Kings 22:51 3106 898 3046 898 3321 898 3261 898 3106 853 3046 853 3321 853 3261 853
Jehoram II_Kings 3:1 3108 896 3048 896 3323 896 3263 896 3107 852 3047 852 3322 852 3262 852
Jehu II_Kings 10 3120 884 3060 884 3335 884 3275 884 3118 841 3058 841 3333 841 3273 841


  1. James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Larry Pierce, ed., Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003 (ISBN 0890513600), pghh. 501-504, 506-507, 511, 513-5, 517-9, 521-523, 525, 534
  2. Leon J. Wood, A Survey of Israel's History, rev. ed. David O'Brien, Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1986 (ISBN 031034770X), pp. 261-272

See also