Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 16

Zimri was king for just 7 days

1 Kings 16:15-17

25 years earlier, Baasha killed the king and all the royal family. He then ruled for 24 years.

Zimri believed that he too could do the same thing. He killed the king and the royal family, and then he declared himself to be the new king. He took control over the palace in Tirzah, but he failed to gain the support of the army.

When Zimri did this, the army was 50 miles (80 kilometres) away, at Gibbethon. They had been trying to gain control over Gibbethon, which belonged to the rulers of Philistia. It was a great shock for them to hear that their young king, Elah, was dead. They considered Zimri to be a terrible murderer. They declared that they would not accept his authority over their nation.

So, instead, they decided to appoint their own king. They chose their chief commander, Omri, who was already leading their army. Israel’s people had always believed that their king should lead their army in battle (1 Samuel 8:19-20). The army even carried out a ceremony to appoint Omri king at once. They considered it an urgent matter that their nation should have a new king to oppose Zimri.

As king, Omri’s first order was that the army must leave Gibbethon. They needed to fight for their own country before they tried to attack another nation. So, the whole army marched from Gibbethon to Tirzah, their capital city. They camped round it and they began to attack it.

Next part: The death of Zimri (1 Kings 16:18)


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