Meaning: servant of Jehovah
a ruler of the Kingdom of Israel
When King Elah was murdered by Zimri at Tirzah (1 Kings 16:15-27), Omri, his captain, was made king (B.C. 931). For 4 years, there was continued opposition to his reign, Tibni, another claimant to the throne, leading the opposing party, but, at the close of that period, all his rivals were defeated, and he became king of Israel, “Tibni died and Omri reigned” (B.C. 927).
By his vigor and power, he gained great eminence and consolidated the kingdom. He fixed his dynasty on the throne so firmly that it continued during 4 succeeding reigns.
Tirza was for 6 years the seat of his government. He then moved the capital to Samaria, where he died, and was succeeded by his son King Ahab.
“He wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him.”
Beth-omri, “the House of Omri” or “City of Omri,” is the name usually found on Assyrian inscriptions for Samaria.
In the stele of Mesha (the “Moabite stone”), which was erected in Moab about 20 or 30 years after Omri’s death, it is recorded that Omri oppressed Moab till Mesha delivered the land.
“Omri, king of Israel, oppressed Moab many days, for Chemosh was angry with his land.
His son succeeded him, and he also said, I will oppress Moab” (compare 2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-5).
The “Moabite stone” also records that “Omri took the land of Medeba, and occupied it in his day and in the days of his son 40 years.”