|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:15-28 When men forsake God, they will be left to plague one another. Proud aspiring men ruin one another. Omri struggled with Tibni some years. Though we do not always understand the rules by which God governs nations and individuals in his providence, we may learn useful lessons from the history before us. When tyrants succeed each other, and massacres, conspiracies, and civil wars, we may be sure the Lord has a controversy with the people for their sins; they are loudly called to repent and reform. Omri made himself infamous by his wickedness. Many wicked men have been men of might and renown; have built cities, and their names are found in history; but they have no name in the book of life.
Verse 23. - In the thirty and first year of Asa, king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, twelve years [As Omri was proclaimed king in the twenty-seventh and died in the thirty-eighth year of Asa (cf. vers. 15, 29), he cannot in any case have reigned twelve full years; whereas if his reign is to be dated, as it is here, from the thirty-first year of Asa, it is obvious that he would only have reigned seven, or, according to the Jewish mode of reckoning, eight years. Rawlinson proposes to get over the difficulty by rearranging the text. He would attach the first clause of this verse to ver. 22, and read, "And Omri reigned in the thirty-first," etc. But to this there are two serious objections. First, that ver. 23, as it now stands, only follows the usual formula with which a new reign is announced (cf. vers. 8, 15, 29); and, second, it is extremely doubtful whether any prose sentence in the Hebrew ever begins as ver. 23 would then do, "Reigned Omri over Israel twelve years." Such a sentence would certainly be quite alien to the usus loquendi of our author. We are therefore reduced to the conclusion either
(1) that the text here, as in some other instances (1 Kings 6:1; 2 Kings 1:17; cf. 3:1; 13:1, 10, etc.), has suffered at the hands of a reviser, or
(2) that the numbers have been corrupted in transcription; or
(3) that the historian expresses himself in a somewhat confused way. Of these suppositions perhaps
(1) is the most likely. Anyhow, it is clear that the twelve years of Omri's reign are to be counted not from the thirty-first, but from the twenty-seventh year of Asa, i.e., from the date of Zimri's death (see vers. 10, 15, 29). The confusion has arisen from the fact that it was not until Tibni was slain, after four years of conflict, that Omri became sole ruler]: six years reigned he in Tirzah.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In the thirty first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel twelve years,.... Which are to be reckoned not from the thirty first of Asa; for Ahab the son of Omri began to reign in his thirty eighth year, and so his reign would be but seven or eight years; but they are reckoned from the twenty seventh of Asa, the beginning of it, when Elah was slain by Zimri, and he died, which to the end of the thirty eight of Asa make twelve years; for the division, according to the Jewish chronology (d), lasted four years; Jarchi says five (e); and from the beginning of that his reign is reckoned, though he did not reign over all Israel, or completely, until the thirty first of Asa, when Tibni died:
six years reigned he in Tirzah; the royal city of the kings of Israel, from Jeroboam to this time, and the other six he reigned in Samaria, built by him, as in the next verse.
(d) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 17. p. 45. (e) So Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 11. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Ki 16:23-28. Omri Builds Samaria.
23. In the thirty and first year of Asa … began Omri to reign—The twelve years of his reign are computed from the beginning of his reign, which was in the twenty-seventh year of Asa's reign. He held a contested reign for four years with Tibni; and then, at the date stated in this verse, entered on a sole and peaceful reign of eight years.
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